As a wedding photographer, I spend almost all day with the bride. I’m there in the morning for hair and makeup, I’m there for the fateful moment before you walk down the aisle, and I’m there for the last few minutes before you drive-off into newlywed bliss. I’ve seen it all, and I decided to pass on some day-of tips I’ve learned along the way. These are just a few of the things I see a lot, but you know what? They weren’t that big of a deal. Keep these things in mind, but more importantly, DON’T STRESS! Your day will be perfect because you’re marrying the love of your life. That’s all.
This point is extra important- make sure that you do not hand off the groom’s wedding band to his best man too early in the morning. Your photographer will want to photograph ALL THREE RINGS before the ceremony begins! Chasing down the groom’s band is probably the most common hiccup for me of most wedding mornings. It’s far from the end of the world, but it’s such a simple problem to avoid! Similarly, be sure to bring your full invitation suite with you the morning of the wedding. It’s probably been months since you sent them out, but invitations often reflect the mood of a wedding and should be documented! Pack these things together with your shoes, earrings, necklace, etc. so that your photographer can efficiently style them during the getting-ready time! Practical tip- pack a steamer! A quick fix for wrinkles that makes a big difference in photos.
2. Don’t forget to eat!
Now I realize this sounds pretty basic, and really, it is, but SO many brides and grooms forget to eat on their wedding day. Not only should you indulge in the menu you spent so many months creating, but also weddings are LONG days. You will need your energy! This begins early in the morning- don’t skimp out on breakfast. Have a bagel with your mimosa, ladies. It’s very realistic that you will be mixing and mingling during dinner hour, so if nothing else, have your maid of honor order in lunch during hair and makeup. Practical tip- have your caterer box up some cake to go or pre-order room service.
3. It’s okay if your dress gets dirty.
Gasp! I said it. I know, I know. You’ve been protecting that expensive, precious dress in a safe place for months on end. It’s beautiful, pristine, and perhaps most importantly, white. A lot of brides will go to great lengths to ensure that no speck of dirt touches the gown, and although I really do understand, I want to offer a different perspective. Here’s the thing- you will only wear it once. You have once chance to embrace that magical feeling and trust me, you want to feel fully alive, not walking on eggshells to avoid any grass stains. I confess, the photographer in me is extra passionate about this point. The best photos come from the most willing couples- if you have your heart set on that sunset photo in the field behind your venue, you may have to risk a little dirt on the train of your dress. But trust me- you probably won’t be able to see it in photographs, and if you can, who cares? It’s just a little proof that you enjoyed every last second of your wedding day. Practical tip- bring some heel-savers to keep you from sinking into the mud!
4. Have a getting ready playlist.
Okay, so maybe this is a job for your Maid of Honor, but you’ll want to set the mood for your day early in the morning. You’ll likely be nervous (that’s okay!) so let loose with some of your favorite songs to help calm you down and let out some energy. Your wedding day is supposed to be FUN! Enjoy the morning with your best friends and don’t let the nerves make you tense. It’s okay if everything doesn’t go as planned. In fact, you should expect some bumps in the road. But hey, shake-it-off, shake-shake-it-off. Practical tip- don’t forget a speaker!
5. Sneak away with your new spouse for a few minutes.
I saved the most important for last. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but you’ll have little alone time with your new groom on the day of the wedding. There are lots of people who want to love and celebrate you, and honestly there will be a lot of competition for your attention. Be intentional to have a few minutes where the two of you can take it all in. Remember the sights, the sounds, and bask in a room filled with your favorite people. Whether this is a little getaway for sunset photos with your photographer (always a good idea) or even just standing on the edge of the room for a moment, I promise you will be grateful for the breather and the chance to remember why you’re there in the first place. After all that planning, the day will be a blur. Don’t miss it. Practical tip- hold hands with your groom during the reception, you’ll have better chances of sticking together.
Hopefully these quick tips help to keep your day stress-free. Some of the best advice I ever heard was this: “Be a guest at your own wedding.” You’ve poured your heart and soul into this day- if anyone deserves to enjoy it, it’s you. The planning stages are behind you. Delegate to friends and family so you can be fully present on your big day.
Oh, and congratulations 🙂