Seven Ways to Have A Stress Free Wedding Day by Sara-Lane & Stevie

7 Ways To Ensure a Stress-Free Wedding Day

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When you picture your wedding day, you think of it being the best day ever, right? It’s a romantic, magical day full of whimsy and smooches and happy tears. A celebration of love, surrounded by your biggest supporters and all the cake you want. It’s the day when you and your best friend commit your lives to each other forever. But just like anything worthwhile in life, it takes a village to pull off a smooth wedding day. I know it takes all the romance out of it to say you’re planning an event, but you kinda are. Weddings now-a-days are certainly quite the production. With long lists of vendors to coordinate with, decor galore to fill up your venue, and many people to remind (one thousand times) where to be and at what time. There is so much to plan for, it’s a wonder we don’t all elope!

Weddings are certainly worth all the scheming and dreaming though. And it’s my hope that I can give you a few things to think about ahead of time, in order to make the actual wedding day more enjoyable for you. You and your groom’s tasks on your wedding day should be to show up, be happy, and get married. That is absolutely it! And I promise if you do the work *before* the wedding, it will make your day so much more enjoyable, carefree and how you imagine it to be. Just how you deserve. I believe everyone’s wedding day should be a no-stress zone. With that goal in mind, here are 7 things you can take care of in the months before your wedding to make it stress free!

P.S. Scroll to the end for our free 8 Hour Sample Wedding Timeline!

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Bride and groom celebrating with a toast at wedding reception in Nashville, TN

1) HIRE A WEDDING COORDINATOR

If you’re looking for a one-stop shop to guaranteeing a stress free wedding day, I suggest hiring an experienced wedding planner. A wedding planner comes alongside you in the months before your wedding. Helping you make decisions, communicating with vendors, handling payments and keeping you on track as the big day approaches. For the more DIY/budget-conscious bride, hiring a wedding coordinator is a wonderful choice. A wedding coordinator is there for the *day of* the wedding. And most will start assisting you a few weeks prior to the wedding so that they can familiarize themselves with what’s needed on the wedding day and be the contact person for all your vendors. They are the one running around all day, keeping the wedding party on time. They’re showing vendors where to set up, and making sure everything goes off without a hitch. They are truly superheroes with clipboards.

We’ve worked with some incredible wedding coordinators and planners and are happy to give recommendations!

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Wedding photographers smiling with bride and groom during reception

2) WORK CLOSELY WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

Working closely with your photographer in the months leading up to your wedding is a must! Photographers can offer unique insight into your planning and suggest things that others may not think about. Photographers are the ones there to capture everything, so getting on the same page with them is so beneficial. They can help you decide what time to take certain photos based on lighting and how long different photo sets will take. Photographers can be strategic with what order things need to be shot in as well. Sharing as much as you want with them will help them be more prepared for your day too! Look for a photographer that not only takes amazeballs pictures, but also excels at communicating with you and serving you well before the big day even arrives.

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Husband and wife embrace during first look in Arrington, TN

3) SAY YES TO A FIRST LOOK

First looks are a game-changer when it comes to planning a smooth timeline. I’ve got a whole post about how awesome first looks are, that you should check out here! First looks basically allow all the portraits to be done in the same time frame since the bride and groom can see each other before the ceremony! Getting all the portraits done at once also leaves more time after the ceremony for you to be with wedding guests that you want to see! (It also gets you to the food sooner. Very Important.) We love shooting First Looks because they are so intimate. They provide brides and grooms a few moments of sacred alone time and make for the sweetest pictures ever.

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Bride and groom moments after being pronounced as husband and wife in Gatlinburg, TN

4) CHOOSE YOUR CEREMONY TIME WISELY

This may be sooo obvious. But the time of day you set your ceremony to be determines the time of EVERYTHING ELSE on your wedding day. For example, if you plan your indoor ceremony to be at 6PM in the winter, a first look may be a good option for you so that you have natural light to work with before the ceremony. Your ceremony time will make you think about when people will be hungry, when to take portraits, how late guests may be able to stay at the reception, etc. This may feel overwhelming, but it can all be nailed down with your wedding planner and photographer. It’s just important to note that once you set your ceremony time and send out those invitations, all other events of the day will be based off of it.

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Bride riding in golf cart to go take portraits with groom in Nashville, TN

5) PUT ALL THE BUFFERS INTO YOUR TIMELINE

If you’ve been part of a wedding in any capacity, you know the day flies by. Weddings are like another dimension where time moves so much faster and everything runs late! The best way to combat that is to incorporate extra buffer time throughout the day. If your ceremony and reception are at separate locations that are 15 minutes away, be sure to allot for that travel time in the timeline. And then double it! If your first look photos are set to take 30 minutes, be mindful that you may need extra time to walk to the photo location, do hair and makeup final touches, etc. And give yourself that space.

Even if you’re the most punctual person, you just can not anticipate some of the delays that may come up on your wedding day! Having that feeling that you’re in a big hurry is no fun, so do the work now to avoid it. Worst case is you didn’t need the extra time. Then, you can kick your heels up for an extra 5 minutes and eat a taco!

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Bride and groom exiting their reception with guests cheering around them

6) PUT SOME SPACE BETWEEN YOUR WEDDING AND YOUR HONEYMOON

Ok maybe I’m just a baby, but I don’t understand how people go from their wedding one day to their honeymoon the very next day. Jumping into a big trip and long travel day is just beyond me. Especially after one of the biggest, most emotional days of your life. Creating space with at least a couple of days in between your wedding and your honeymoon allows you to solely focus on getting ready for your wedding day. If you leave a few days in between the two, you can also use those days to relax with your new spouse, open weddings presents, pack together, and just have some down time before you jet off!

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Bride wiping away tears during an emotional moment at her wedding reception at Historic Rock Castle

7) HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

Life is all about perspective, and weddings are no different! Keep the main things the main things when you’re in the midst of wedding planning. Remember your why above everything, and don’t compare your wedding to other peoples. There is no perfect way to plan a wedding and everyone’s looks different. Have a thankful heart now and really count your blessings in this season. It will make road blocks or hiccups that come up seem so small and silly! You are getting to marry the love of your life. And as long as THAT goes off without a hitch, it will be the best day ever! 

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Want one less source of wedding stress? Check out our free 8 Hour Sample Wedding Timeline to see how we help our couples conquer their photo timeline!

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There you have it, peeps. 7 ways to have a stress-free wedding day. If you do these things in the months leading up to your wedding, it will 100% allow you to more fully soak up your wedding day and be completely invested in each blissful moment of it. Not only have I seen other brides incorporate these plans, but I also did them all myself as a bride. And they definitely paid off! What are some other things you can do to have a stress free wedding day? I would love to hear your suggestions in the comments.

XO,

Sara-Lane

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© saralane & stevie 2020

Sara-Lane & Stevie Boudreaux are Tennessee and Destination Wedding Photographers based out of Nashville, TN with a focus on capturing connections artfully and honestly.