Feeling a bit overwhelmed with wedding planning and nervous that you can’t get it all done? Follow these 6 steps to help ensure that your stress-free wedding day is even better than you ever imagined!
A Wedding Photographer’s Tips for a Stress-Free Wedding Day
1. Hire the Right Team.
After allocating your budget among your wedding items, the key to a stress-free wedding day starts from the beginning. Finding the right team of wedding professionals for your unique wedding will make all the difference. If you love and trust and your vendors, you can rest easy knowing each of the bigger pieces will be in place and carried out to perfection. (Check out my recent post on how to find your vendors.)
*Note: If possible, I highly recommend hiring a wedding planner, even for a small wedding. A planner can help you fine-tune your budget, save money, select the best vendors for your wedding, and coordinate all the pieces leading up to your wedding day. If the thought of planning a wedding overwhelms you, a planner can make it fun and easy. If a planner isn’t feasible, you may consider a wedding coordinator who can help you with logistics either the week or day of the wedding.
2. Put a Planning System in Place.
Whether you have a wedding planner or you’re going the DIY route, consolidating all of your info is a must. Most likely, your planner will already have a system in place to view, edit, and organize all of the information, such as: vendors, dates, logistics, payment plans/deadlines, vendor agreements, task checklists, and more.
If you don’t have a planner, consider an app or website to help you keep track of everything. Some even send reminders and notifications for your tasks. BRIDES published a great article consolidating some of the best digital tools for wedding planning: check it out here. Most notably, WeddingHappy is a free wedding planning app that provides checklists and alerts and allows you to share your event details with others so they can be on the same page throughout the planning process.
3. Create a Timeline
About a month before your wedding day, start putting together your wedding day timeline, which I am more than happy to help with! If you book with Dawn Marie Photography, I offer a personalized wedding timeline template. I have template options for multiple ceremony times, with or without a first look, large or small wedding party, reception options, etc. Get in touch with me to learn more.
Run your wedding timeline by a few trusted people to see if you’ve accounted for everything (make sure to include your planner and photographer when finalizing the timeline).
As you’re finalizing, go ahead and assign tasks. Make hard copies of your timeline with designated tasks that you can hand out to your vendors and wedding party.
4. Touch Base with Vendors + Wedding Team
Two to three weeks before the big day, check in with all of your vendors and wedding party to make sure everyone is good to go! Share your timeline and check that everyone has what they need to carry out their tasks. Don’t forget to consider a backup plan in case of bad weather or illness.
5. Pack + Organize at Least One Week Out
Pack your wedding day, wedding night, and honeymoon bags well in advance. The last thing you want to be doing the night before is trying to get it all packed. You need to get some rest! I love this super comprehensive packing list by Wedsites—it has items for your ceremony and reception too (you know, like your marriage license 😉).
I recommend packing your wedding invitation suite, ring boxes, perfume bottles, garter, cufflinks, and any sentimental items in a photo storage box for safe keeping and so your photographer has them for detail shots.
6. Roll with It!
Finally, with all the pieces in place and tasks assigned, I’d encourage you to let everything go and simply enjoy your day once it arrives. Focus on making memories above all else, and savor this sweet yet fleeting day. Trust your vendors and wedding party to keep things rolling, and don’t worry about the rest.
Be sure to save time for each other and don’t rush the priceless moments. Years from now, you won’t remember the centerpieces, but you will remember the happy tears in your parents eyes when they first saw you in your dress. You’ll remember that shared newlywed kiss right at sunset or dancing through the vineyard together. Make every moment count!