Top 10 tips for a stress-free wedding
The big day is looming. Do you have butterflies yet? Are you starting to worry you’ve forgotten something or that there just isn’t enough time left to do everything you want? Stress is common in the lead up to, and on, your wedding day. It’s been said over and over that getting married is the biggest day of our lives and needs to be spectacular. No pressure!! If you’re starting to feel the niggle of stress and are worried about last minute things popping up that weren’t in the plan, here are some top tips to contribute to a low stress wedding day.
1. Plan Ahead
It might not be that sexy, but weddings call for a spreadsheet or two! From when you start your planning, write down all the things that are important to you, what budget you have to allocate, when they need to be booked by and who will be providing it or helping you make it. As the day draws nearer, it will make you feel so much better knowing everything has been ticked off and will alleviate any last minute worries that you’ve forgotten something. A quick check of the list will reassure you that you’ve got it covered.
You’ll also be surprised how far ahead some wedding suppliers get booked up, so once you have your wedding date set, get on the phone to those key people and book in your dream day. Once the big things are booked, you can relax knowing that the core of the day is sorted and can start to focus on the smaller, more fun stuff.
2. Don’t go overboard
When planning your wedding, concentrate on the details that matter to you as a couple. If you want a small outside wedding, don’t be railroaded into a big hotel venue with distant family and friends you’ve not seen for years! Don’t care about a first dance or a cake? Fine! Group dance and brownie tower for dessert it is. Not fussed about big flower arrangements but want the reception lit by hundreds of fairy lights? Not a problem.
Don’t try and fit every stereotype of a wedding into your day if its not what you want. Going all out to please everyone else will only cause regret, stretch your budget away from the details that do matter, and you want make sure you have a day you are proud of and want to remember for the right reasons!
3. Have a dress rehearsal!
When people think about a bride, it’s all about the dress! Dress fittings and making the necessary adjustments take up a lot of time and can be emotional, but it doesn’t end there. Before the big day, take the time to have a proper dress up session to make sure it all works together. Your bridal boutique will have you bring in your chosen bridal shoes to try on with your dress to set the right length, but make sure you then wear your shoes at home to break them in. You don’t want to be the bride hobbling around the reception because your shoes are rubbing! If you’re wearing special lingerie, make sure it’s comfortable enough to wear for at least 8 hours. Practice your hair style and leave it in all day so make sure you don’t get a headache, no pins dig in unbearably and that it lasts and doesn’t flop after a few hours. Try on your jewellery - make sure it’s the right length for your dress neckline and that it doesn’t interfere with your veil or hairstyle. Sometimes its not just the dress that needs adjusting.
4. Brief your suppliers
You’ve spent months planning your wedding and have carefully selected the suppliers who will deliver the day you want. But when it boils down to it, if they’re not carefully briefed, things might get missed or overlooked and it’s too late to change it after its all over. Take the time to give them a written brief – it doesn’t have to be an essay – outlining what you are expecting them to provide and what’s been agreed. Any particular shots you want taken (for your photographer), any particular tracks you want played (for the band or DJ), any particular embellishments you want included (for the florist and caterers) – once its all written down and agreed, its another thing to tick off the list and one less thing to worry about.
Chances are you have an abundance of friends and family who are as excited about your wedding as you are and would be only too happy to help. Use these willing hands to sort out some of the smaller, last minute jobs that don’t need your undivided attention. In the lead up to your day, divvy up the planning to give you more flexibility to focus on the details that matter whilst ensuring that nothing is forgotten and none of your hard work or ideas go to waste. Don’t forget, you know the strengths and capabilities of your family and wedding party so assign them jobs and use their talents. Never underestimate the power excitement – use it and channel it into usefulness.
6. Have a plan B!
Particularly if you are incorporating any outside elements into your day, have a plan B in case the dreaded English weather takes a turn for the worse! You might hope for a gorgeous sunny day, but have a wet weather plan on the back burner just in case. If it does happen to be raining at the time you’re due to be leaving the ceremony or having photos taken for example, knowing in advance you have made other arrangements or picked indoor photo spots will make it seem much less of a big deal and wont stress you out or send you into a panic.
7. Food and music matters
Most wedding guests remember two main things from any wedding – how good the food was, and how good the music was. There’s nothing worse than being hungry or having to send food back because its not cooked properly or cold. Choose your caterers wisely and where possible choose dishes with seasonal ingredients to ensure they are as fresh and tasty as possible. Most caterers will also offer you a tasting appointment to agree your menu and make sure it is exactly what you want. Food takes up a reasonable proportion of your wedding budget so make sure its money well spent.
Music should also be suited to you as a couple. Speak to your band or DJ and select some key tracks for the playlist that have meaning to you as a couple, or will be a great memory trigger for friends and family. Throw in a few crowd pleasers and dancefloor fillers and you’re set to dance the night away.
8. Don’t forget to eat!
You wouldn’t believe the amount of couples who are so busy mingling, talking, hugging and having their photo taken with all the guests that they don’t actually get to eat any of the delicious food they have carefully selected.
Ask your caterer, or a family member or bridesmaid, to prepare you or put aside a plate you can nibble on between the social moments. During the meal, it’s OK to sit down and enjoy some food without jumping up constantly to visit guests at their tables. You’ll need some energy to keep going the rest of the day once the initial adrenaline rush has worn off.
9. Keep mementoes
Your photographer and videographer will capture all the visual moments of the day for you to enjoy over and over again, but what about the other things that also matter? Ask someone close to you to pick up a few key mementoes during the course of the day and before the end of the night. Whether that’s a hand made party favour, some personalised ribbon, your table place card that announces you as Mrs for the first time, an embroidered napkin, an order of service or the champagne flute you received your first toast as Husband and Wife in, after the day has finished these physical reminders will be a lovely keepsake. Whether you choose to display them or keep them stored safely away, this way you’ll always have a piece of your wedding day to touch and hold in the future.
10. If you can, use a planner!
It’s our job to organise weddings and worry about all the little things that make your day personal and unique. If your budget allows, hiring the services of a professional planner can take away so much stress and leave you to concentrate on this very special occasion with your partner. If you can’t justify a full planning package, look into alternatives as many planners offer a partial planning service to help you in the final weeks before the day to make sure everything is covered and runs smoothly, and some planners offer an on the day coordination service to be a point of control on the day so you can relax and enjoy every second knowing all the arrangements are being looked after.
Whether your day is big or small, a long time coming or arranged in just a few months, panned by a professional or done completely DIY, wedding days are jam packed with beautiful memories for you and everyone involved. Planning ahead will not only help you organise your time and budget but will also allow you to have a low stress day. Always remember, if something doesn’t got exactly to plan no one will really know except you. The day is a celebration of your love and that’s all that really matters.