As many of you already know, wedding planning and your wedding day can be unbelievably stressful—chaotic even. However, me and my team took many MANY steps to ensure that our big day went off as smoothly as possible.
My wedding day was flawless. There never was an “oh crap!” or high stress moment due to mishaps or crazy misunderstandings. I have this pure and peaceful memory for the rest of my life. Hopefully, some of these tips will help you too.
Let’s not waste any time and jump right into it.
I know you don’t want a wedding planner and that’s fine. But I highly recommend a wedding coordinator!
- And by wedding coordinator I don’t mean your mom or your sister. While my mom and sis did sooo much to help me, hiring a wedding coordinator was the best decision I could have ever made. My wedding coordinator was not only efficient, but with so much experience she was able to plan every detail—all without overwhelming me. I had a vision, I expressed what I wanted, and she offered input accordingly.
Have a schedule for the big day and send it to everyone in your wedding party.
- I used The Knot’s wedding day schedule maker to layout the timeline of the day. I then forwarded it to everyone who had anything to do with the big day. The Knot made it so easy because I was able to both email and print off copies. Plus, color coordination means there’s no excuse for mishaps. Even the Groom and groomsmen had a copy!
Don’t let anyone in your bridal suite other than your stylist, your mom, and your bridal party.
- Trust me on this one. Everyone will want a sneak peak of the bride before the ceremony and you will already be feeling like you could poop your pants from nervousness. Take those last hours to collect your thoughts and center yourself! You’re making a huge decision and while the gesture is sweet, there’s plenty of time for mingling after the ceremony! My MOH (who happened to be my sister) had strict orders to guard the door. Even if it meant making someone mad. And I was much more calm because of it.
Don’t forget to have lunch delivered.
- Everyone remembers to grab wedding day breakfast but if your wedding is in the afternoon, have lunch catered as well. This step actually got lost in translation so we survived on snacks. All was well though because I was too nervous too eat.
Be super picky about your wedding photographer. They can help or hurt the flow of your day.
- Our wedding photographer was the absolute best. He was experienced and funny. With that comes knowledge of how to round up family for pictures, and what move to make where. By the time we shot an engagement session, I had no doubt that he would capture every moment I asked for. I had heard horror stories prior to my wedding about lazy photographers who basically couldn’t get the shot because of all the hustle and bustle. That wasn’t our experience at all and I am so thankful!
Take your attire up to the venue the night before.
- This is something that can be so easily overlooked. Take up your dress/bridesmaid dresses/tuxes the night before when you have your rehearsal dinner. This way, if anything is forgotten, it’s no big deal. You can be sure to get it when you get home!
If your venue allows it, do two run throughs and not just one.
- My venue was so kind to allow us a run-through 3-ish weeks before the rehearsal dinner. Our florist plans were done and we wanted a last minute picture before we finalized everything. This was such a good decision looking back now.
Focus more on your husband and becoming one in marriage and less on impressing your guests.
- This one really tickles me. I feel like in planning our wedding, a lot of people had made assumptions about what our day would look like. Instead, we created a wedding that matched us. We prioritized our coffee bar probably above anything else because we love coffee. Sharing a cup of coffee is still one of our favorite things to do still to this day. I also wanted tadpoles in vases as my center pieces but that idea got shot down…no regrets though. I can see why that might have spoiled dinner. (haha)
Do most of your decorating the night before.
- By the day of our wedding, there was maybe 1-2 hours of decorating to be done. Most of the decorating occurred that Friday before the rehearsal dinner. This allowed me to look over a lot of things and make tweaks as needed.
Prioritize what is important to you and stick to that!
- If you could care less about cake cutting, alcohol, pictures, whatever it may be, I suggest omitting those activities from your day and doing what makes you and your spouse the happiest. It is so easy to give into the pressure to have a “traditional” style wedding or to do “this is or that” because so-and-so wants it that way. That is not what your wedding is about so make a list of what means most to you and don’t deviate.
Delegate tasks and be clear of your expectations.
- Each of my decorators, bridesmaids, MOH, mom, etc. had roles to play for the big day. Whether it was keeping tabs on the groom and groomsmen to NOT be late or just making sure my blood sugar stayed up, it took a village. All of this was discussed way ahead of time and I truly believe this is one of the reasons my wedding day flowed so well.
I guess at the end of the day, just make sure you create a wedding that captures you and your spouse’s vision. That will leave you feeling that happiest and most fulfilled. I mean, I was halfway down the aisle WITHOUT my bouquet before we realized I had forgot it. But I didn’t panic, I laughed. I was so eager to walk to my soon-to-be husband that I forgot my super expensive bouquet. That is what it’s all about though– love and togetherness.
All photography done by Benjamin Martin Photography