I have wanted to write some advice for my couples as well as any couple getting married about how to honestly and truly have a relaxed wedding day. I hope some of these top tips for less stress on your wedding day are helpful!
I hear so commonly from my couples who book that having a relaxed day is so important to them and I absolutely understand this as that’s the kind of wedding day I would want as well.
So here are some of the most helpful things I have learned from my couples past and present that have really helped keep stress down on your wedding day and help a relaxed vibe.
Schedule your ceremony a little earlier in the day.
I’m not suggesting that you have your wedding ceremony at 10am but one thing I have noticed is the couples that have a slightly earlier ceremony have a more relaxed time between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast/dinner at the typical UK wedding. So whilst having a 2pm ceremony is lovely, by scheduling it for 1pm gives you a little more time to mingle with guests in between the end of the ceremony and your wedding dinner/breakfast. It also means your photographer gets more chances to capture candid moments which is what everyone who books me is looking for!
Make sure you leave time for bridal / groom portraits before the ceremony.
For the brides and grooms looking for portraits before the ceremony (which is mostly all of you!) make sure you have left 5-15 minutes between being fully dressed and ready and the photographer leaving. Make sure any stylists, make up artists etc. are fully aware of this will keep you on track. Unfortunately I have often found a lot of stress is created by wanting portraits but not having enough time creating a rushed atmosphere, so put those 5-15 minutes before your photographer has to leave for the wedding ceremony.
Keep your family photo numbers to a small amount and trust your photographer to capture the guest photos candidly.
Think about those family photos you are asking your photographer for, a good family photo can take about five minutes to set up, so if you think you want lots of them, make sure first of all your schedule has enough time for them, or ask your wedding photographer if they offer a second photographer who can be busy with the group photos whilst your main photographer busily captures all those candid moments and details from your wedding cocktails hour/reception.
Make sure your bridesmaids or groomsmen are ready before you are (as bride or groom).
This will really help your timings, I’ve seen a lot of stress happen because bridesmaids aren’t ready for example, if you’re the bride – I really think you have the right to say they have to be. This is important because you will want them to be ready in the final photos of you being ready. And of course the grooms don’t want some of their groomsmen still shirtless in the background of their photos either – this is about storytelling with style after all!
Keep your getting ready location tidy – use your bridesmaids, groomsmen and family members to help with this.
Don’t be afraid to ask bridesmaids/groomsmen/family members they can help keep the room you are getting ready in tidy making sure suitcases and unsightly plastic bags are kept out of sight in photos. It will mean your photographer can work much easier around you and spend more time taking beautiful photos than tidying the room. And a clean room is good for your soul and mind’s peace as well.
Have all of your key details ready in one place for your photographer
This is a real stress buster. Make sure before your photographer arrives that all your wedding stationery, rings, jewellery, shoes, love letters/notes and anything that is to be photographed is in one place. It will mean you can tell your photographer where it all is and they can work quietly in the background without having to interrupt you with twenty questions on where everything is!
Don’t expect everything to run exactly to your wedding day schedule!
Things do slip a little sometimes! Sure be a little late for the ceremony, but don’t leave it too late, it can get a bit hectic otherwise!
Make sure you have some quiet time with your spouse during the wedding day to reflect
A gap of ten to fifteen minutes somewhere in the day where you and your newly married spouse are able to have some personal time with each other during the day or in the evening is really wonderful and stress reducing. You can reflect in peace on your marriage vows and the moment. It’s good for the soul to be quiet sometimes. And no, as a photographer I wouldn’t advocate the photographer being there for this part, this is your personal time away from lenses and prying eyes. A good time to do this is either just before or just after the evening portrait session with your wedding photographer.
Speeches can be before the wedding dinner/breakfast and even outdoors
Of course there is nothing mandating that speeches have to be after the wedding dinner, and indeed indoors, it just so happens traditionally that is what has happened. But it is not uncommon to schedule speeches before the wedding dinner, and maybe you could even have them outside on the lawn before sitting down to dinner. This is quite common in European weddings and can make for a beautifully relaxed approach to speeches.