Planning a wedding is a little bit like running a marathon — it takes a lot of preparation and endurance, but in the end it’s such an incredible accomplishment! But before you get to the finish line, there are so many details to remember that some of them might slip through the cracks … and that can lead to a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety for you as the bride. One of our biggest goals is that our brides never feel stressed on their wedding day, that’s why we’ve gathered this list of ten wedding planning details that are going to ease your mind, take the weight off your shoulders, and help you to be stress-free on the day of your wedding. Banish the stress and get ready for the chill-fest!
Of course having a schedule can’t guarantee a day with no hiccups, but a clear timeline of events will set your mind at ease & keep your guests informed. Create a detailed timeline of the day that includes hour-by-hour details so that bridal party, family, and vendors always know what’s going on. Some important things to consider and include are accurate travel time, buffers throughout the day (to account for a missing uncle bob during family portraits, or the bouquet forgotten in the bridal suite during portraits, or anything else that may happen during your day), and a good flow for your guests to move throughout each portion of the day (you don’t want them restless and starving by the time dinner comes around). If you’re a Cameron & Tia Bride, you know that we make timeline creation easy on you by working together to create a detailed timeline that kicks booty!
Or snow plan (yes, we photographed a wedding on October 27th, 2017 that snowed). Here in Minnesota, weather can be unpredictable. If your wedding is completely outdoors, a rain plan is a must-have. Make sure you have a back-up plan for your ceremony and reception if it rains. It’s also a good idea to double-check with your photographer to see if they have a good plan for adjusting to rain when it comes to portraits. We always make sure to have some cute clear umbrellas on hand for just such a time. Having a rain plan in place means that you don’t have to fear the weather! Your wedding can be lovely, rain or shine.
Often the bride and groom feel that because it’s their wedding, they must do everything themselves. Not so! Your bridal party, family, and vendors are there to help! Don’t hesitate to delegate jobs and responsibilities for the big day. Not only will this take away a lot of your stress, it will also help things run more smoothly — you’re not Wonder Woman after all! You can assign someone to be in charge of loading gifts, taking home any décor you plan to keep, bagging your wedding gown when the day is over… all kinds of important little tasks that you don’t need to be worrying about on your wedding day!
There’s nothing worse than a hangry bride (or groomsmen)! Don’t forget about lunch. It’s an important meal to squeeze in before things get crazy and portraits begin. Jimmy John’s is a tried and true meal for wedding lunch because they will deliver and you can get some good sustenance. Even during cocktail hour and the reception, guests and loved ones will want to congratulate you and catch up. Having a bridesmaids (delegation!) on hand to grab you and your new hubby some h’dourves is a lifesaver!
While tips are always appreciated and never expected by vendors, if you have vendors that have gone above and beyond, tip envelopes will totally simplify this task. Prepare tip envelopes for the vendors ahead of time and give them to someone you trust (this is another one of those tasks to delegate). Clearly label each one and have the designated person hand them out when it’s appropriate. Knowing that the tips are taken care of ahead of time means that you can enjoy your wedding day without stressing about tips and gratuities.
Emergency Kit & Touch Up Bag
Weddings are all-day events and it’s common for something — however small — to go wrong. Have an emergency kit prepared with all the essentials, just in case that something happens to be your dress. This might include stain remover, a sewing kit, safety pins, double-sided tape, etc. And if your hair and make-up artists won’t be present all day, pack a little bag for touch ups and entrust it to one of your bridesmaids (can we stress delegation enough?).
Most brides’ wedding shoes are gorgeous, but not super comfy. And since you’ll probably be on your feet a LOT on your wedding day, having an extra pair of flats or comfortable shoes can be essential to your sanity! Make sure you have some cushy shoes on hand to change into for dancing or at the very least when you hop in the getaway card. Band-Aids and insoles can be helpful, as well. Oh, and that’s another good tip! Take the time to break in your shoes before the wedding. Your feet will thank you later!
Vendors are people too! Don’t forget to feed the amazing team behind your big day. Check in with your vendors to determine how many meals they will need, and then budget for those meals. Remember a place for them to sit as well.
Overnight Bag & Next-Day Plan
When all of your attention is on the wedding, it might be difficult to remember that life goes on AFTER the big day! If you’re staying at a hotel after the wedding, make sure you have an overnight bag packed with all your essentials. If you’re heading out to your honeymoon, packing your vacation suitcase well ahead of time will mean one less thing to worry about as the wedding nears. It’s also a good idea to arrange transportation to the hotel and airport ahead of time. This way you won’t be standing in your wedding gown, waiting for Uber! This was by far our wedding’s greatest downfall. We had a fabulous reception, hopped in the getaway car and realized…we had nothing. No phones, no pajamas, and no makeup for the next day. Rookie mistake!
The exit can be almost as important as the entrance! Don’t forget to think about what kind of send-off you want for your wedding day. If your photographer won’t be staying for the entire night, you could arrange a fun exit from the ceremony instead of from the reception. Walking out of the church doors is always a classic send-off photo. If you have your photographer stay for the whole night, sparklers are a popular way to end the night. You definitely don’t NEED to have formal send-off, but putting some thought into how you want to wrap up the night is a good idea either way. Other ideas: throwing leaves, confetti, silly spray, and shaken champagne.
The Most Important Things
Whew! That was a long list! If it seems a little overwhelming, there are two things to keep in mind. First, if you hire an experienced wedding planner, he or she will remember many of these things FOR you! The wedding planner’s main job is to take worries and work off your plate so that the wedding runs smoothly with less effort from you! Second, you will probably need to roll with the punches at least a little bit on your wedding day. All the lists and preparation in the world can’t guarantee a completely perfect day. But if you plan ahead and are willing to be flexible, you can enjoy an amazing, memorable day despite any little hiccups that may occur.
Playful and warm photography with full-belly laughs (at no extra charge) brought to you by two high school sweethearts always game for an adventure. Wedding and senior photography for the joyful. Based in Minneapolis, MN.