How to Plan a Stress Free Wedding

This is the day that you have been dreaming of! Your wedding day preparations are in full swing but you find yourself overwhelmed with the stress of planning your perfect wedding. This just isn’t what you imagined this romantic journey of planning to be.

I have been in the wedding industry for a number of years, and while I’m not a professional wedding planner, I have had a front row seat to the stress that brides and grooms have to deal with while planning their wedding day. In an attempt to try to lighten the load for you beautiful brides, I have put together a list of how to plan a stress free wedding, from a professional photographer’s point of view.

Hire Professionals

When you are planning an important celebration that only happens once in a lifetime (maybe twice for some), you should most definitely recruit professionals to help you plan this special day. Hire a wedding planner that can put all of your ideas together and prevent too many people from getting too involved.

Book professional hair and makeup artists to ensure you look your very best, not only for your wedding but also for your photographs. Many brides don’t take into account that your makeup affects your photos.

Most importantly, hire a professional wedding photographer! When looking for a photographer don’t go with a general photographer who take good family or event photographs, you need a professional who is experienced in the wedding niche. Wedding photographers have a different way of shooting, have different plans of action as well as backup plans. They also know the general schedule for a wedding and will help the wedding party to stay within that schedule. A professional wedding photographer can cost a lot more than a general one, but you really can’t put a price on those one in a lifetime moments on your wedding day. Rather cut out other expenses to ensure that your budget allows for professional photography.

Ensure that you have booked all of your professionals well in advance and have met with them prior to the wedding to make sure that you are all on the same page.

Wedding Morning Preparations

Be organised! From the moment you wake up on your wedding day, you should have a detailed plan of action that you are ready to execute. Prepare as much as you can the day before your wedding – have everything packed and ready to go, pack cars with the things that you can pack in advance, have a checklist of everything you need to be taken with you. Allow your bridesmaids and family to help you, you don’t have to do everything alone. Delegate tasks and lists to everyone in your bridal party.

Your dress is one of the most important factors of your wedding day. Your bridesmaids should be dressed before you so that they are free to help with anything that needs sorting out while you can concentrate on getting ready. Your photographer should have a rough idea of when you are getting dressed so that he can capture memorable moments of everyone seeing you in your dress for the first time and helping you prepare. This is another reason why the bride should be the last to get dressed, so that everyone else looks dressed and ready when the photos of the bride are taken.

Hair & Makeup Essentials

As I mentioned above, hiring hair and makeup professionals are crucial to you looking and feeling gorgeous on your wedding day and in your photographs. Ensure that you have done at least one trial runs of your hair and makeup, as well as your bridesmaids, prior to your wedding day to make sure that you are 100% happy with the look that your stylists have for you. The last thing that you want is to be making changes on your wedding day.

Decide on a location for hair and makeup. If it is at your family house before you leave for the wedding make sure that the rooms are all clean and look good in the background of your morning preparation photos. The best light for getting ready is natural light, if you can, choose a place where there are lots of big windows and no artificial lighting, this would give you the most natural skin tone and look for your wedding photos. Make sure you have enough time to finish your hair and makeup before your ceremony starts.

Your Bridesmaids are your A Team

Accept help from your bridesmaids. It is their job to make sure that you are relaxed and that everything is organised. Any emergency items such as safety pins and tissues should be packed by your bridesmaids to ensure you aren’t left stressing about the small details. If your bridesmaids aren’t A-Type personalities, make sure you delegate and have them take charge of getting everything packed and prepared for the morning of your wedding. Be sure that your bridesmaids are aware that they need to help you even after the ceremony is over, fixing of your veil and hair during photos should be done by at least one of your bridesmaids.

Your bridesmaids are also a great help to your photographer. They will be able to gather family or props for photos while the bridal couple continue to have their couple portraits done, ensuring that every minute is well used.

Your bridesmaids should be committed to being by your side to help with any little detail on your wedding day.

Family Schedule

Family comes first on your wedding day. If you would like specific photos taken of your dad getting ready or seeing you in your dress before the ceremony, or perhaps the groom and his groomsmen preparing for your wedding day, everyone needs to be running on the same time schedule. If the groom is running late that means that your photographer could potentially miss out on important bridal photos. The same if the bride is running late photographer will be last minute in the church. 

I don’t recommend having any family photos done before the ceremony. This adds unnecessary stress to the bride and opens her up to potential disasters like her dress getting dirty and hair and makeup being compromised. Save the family photos for after the ceremony when everyone is relaxed and the formalities are over. This also saves time instead of rushing through photos before the ceremony.

Soak it all In

One common thing you will hear brides and grooms say is that their wedding day went by way to quickly. On your wedding day leave all of the stress at the door and allow your bridal party and professionals to handle the rest. Enjoy creating special moments and memories with your groom, take time to spend a few moments together really enjoying your wedding day.

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My Top Tips for a Stress Free Wedding Day

  • Don’t wait to have your makeup done last. The best is to leave one or two bridesmaids makeup after you.
  • Be honest with your photographer, show them your favourite images from their own portfolio instead of setting unrealistic expectations with Pinterest or Instagram images that weren’t taken by them.
  • Stop stressing about the small things, they don’t really matter at the end of the day.
  • Be in your wedding dress at least 50 minutes before your wedding ceremony. This will allow enough time for your family (and dad) to see you for the first time and for your photographer to capture some special photographs.
  • Walk slowly down the aisle! This allows everyone to catch a good glimpse of you in your wedding dress and your photographer to capture enough photos of you as you walk to your groom.
  • Choose only one location (if possible) for all of your wedding photos. This will eliminate the stress of travelling between locations and wasting time.
  • Have your wedding ceremony as early as possible to ensure that your photographer has enough light for photos afterwards. Sunset wedding photos are always the most beautiful and romantic.
  • After the wedding is too late to fix any problems. Hire the correct professionals to help you plan the day of your dreams. You cannot skimp on a professional, experienced wedding photographer and expect to fix the problems after the wedding.
  • Relax, have fun and enjoy your beautiful day!