I work some amazing couples, some of the sweetest, most down to earth people you will ever meet. And I have to say, some of the most organized and cool, calm, collected types too!! It's always a joy to show up on a wedding day knowing you'll be greeted with happy, joyful people who are excited to get married!!
But let's face it, regardless of how organized or well-dispositioned one might be there is still room to experience stress on the wedding day. Having been a Bride myself and now wedding photographer, I've watched Bride and Grooms over the years taking mental note of what seemed to work...or not work... to enable a couple to enjoy a relatively stress free and FUN wedding day! Here are a few tips that I've learned along the way :
Should a photographer really need to say this? Yes, yes I do. Perhaps it's because I'm guilty of this myself but when amidst a flurry of activity it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, smothered and conflicted. Emotions which don't exactly equate to a smile. If you find yourself leaning in this direction, SMILE. Your smile will not only change your attitude, outlook and feelings towards the situation but it will be infectious to those around you. And truly, is there anything more beautiful than a smiling Bride? I think not!
Oh time, elusive time. If there is one thing that I could recommend to all couples getting married it would be this : always plan for more time than you think you need. A wedding day is a RUSH of activity, people and responsibilities. Even the smallest weddings can still be full and busy. Planning for more time than you think you'll need ensures that even if something runs late, you've planned for it. It gives your vendors opportunity to serve you and provides a buffer for unexpected events like traffic, lost guests or a dress that won't quite bustle. You may not need that extra five minutes here and there but if you do, you'll sure be glad you planned for it!
More than you.
As a Bride or Groom you are the star of the show. After all, you're reason why everyone has gathered from near and far. But even so, a wedding day is not JUST about you. If that sounds counter cultural, well perhaps it is. But hear me out. You share your day with your parents, your grandparents, your siblings, your friends, your loved ones. Each person has given of themselves to participate in some way to your day and each has a vested emotional stake in your wedding. So while they may do things or say things that can cause stress or anxiety, remember that they too are experiencing this day and are flooded with a range of emotions, often filled with pride to see you married. Stop and give them a hug, thank them and tell them how much they mean to you. Not only will it calm your nerves but it will leave a lasting impression and a memory you can both treasure.
It's important to manage your expectations on the wedding day and realize that even though you may have meticulously thought out every detail, something is bound to go "wrong." Wrong is such a harsh word because often times these are the things that create the sweetest kinds of memories. Case in point, while enjoying our First Kiss as a married couple Dave and I apparently exchange a bit of saliva (hey it was like 500 degrees in the church!). When we turned to face our guests a string of spit was connected between us, a string so large it was seen from the balcony and caught on camera! Definitely not something we were planning for and certainly something that could have caused undo stress. But looking back we just laughed and it has become a story that we fondly tell over and over again:) Try your best to roll with the punches, whatever may come your way. You never know, it could become one of your favorite memories!!
If you're a former Bride, what were some of the best tips given to you to avoid the dreaded wedding day stress? What did you learn from experiencing your own wedding that you can share with Bride and Grooms to be? Feel free to share in the comment box, I'd love to hear from you!