Creating a stress-free wedding timeline seems to be an impossible task for a lot of Brides. There are so many moving pieces and it’s your first large-scale event that you are planning in your entire life. With so many unknowns I’m sure it can get very stressful. That’s why I’ve decided to write this blog post to let you know by making a few small tweaks you can enjoy the biggest day of your life STRESS-FREE.
Once you have decided when the hair & makeup are going to be done, it’s time to make sure you and the makeup artist are going to stick with it. In fact, letting your makeup artist know when the deadline is one of the most important pieces of information you’ll need to decide well before your wedding day.
The reason why? Because finishing up your hair and makeup on time will set the tone for your whole wedding day. If your hair & makeup are not done on time that means the photographers cannot start on time, wedding party and family formal photos will need to be pushed back, and worse, you may be short on time to get ready for the ceremony!
Therefore, make sure you and your makeup artist know exactly how long it’ll take to complete your hair and makeup. If your makeup artist is also doing your bridesmaid’s hair/makeup make sure you leave enough cushion time as well. I also, recommend doing a trial makeup session with your makeup artist so both of you know exactly what to do on the wedding day.
Lastly, stick with the hair and makeup you choose when you did your trial makeup session. The last thing a MUA/Hair artist wants to hear on your wedding day is a sudden spark of inspiration to try a new, untested hairstyle not know if you will like the outcome nor how long it will take to complete.
2) HAVE ALL YOUR “DETAIL ITEMS” READY IN A BOX
Having all your “detail items” ready in a box such as wedding rings, earrings, necklaces, invitations, gifts will help you organize a lot better on your wedding day. Not only will you get a much cleaner bridal suite, but doing this will also save you time when I arrive.
Why does this matter? Usually, I will start off by taking the detail photos as soon as I arrive. You’d want to just quickly hand off the detail items so you can get back to do your makeup. If you have already packed everything then it is going to save a lot of time and stress on your wedding day.
Also, for your wedding gown, make sure it’s out of the bag and ready on a WOODEN HANGER. This ensures your wedding gown looks pretty with a wooden hanger in the pictures.
3) HAVE AN EMERGENCY TOOLKIT BAG READY
While you certainly hope there won’t be any problem on your wedding day, you’ll still want to be extra prepared in case of unforeseen circumstances. Having an emergency toolkit bag is something you must have on your wedding day! Don’t carry it yourself but instead, have a trusted friend or your maid of honor do that for you.
What should be in the bag? Sewing needles, safety pins, small pair of scissors, hem tape, thread in a color that matches your wedding dress, your bridesmaid dresses as well as the groom’s clothing.
4) BRIDESMAIDS SHOULD GET DRESSED BEFORE YOU
You may think as the bride you should be the one getting ready first. In contrast, you want everyone to be ready before you so that once you are ready everyone is good to go. That includes all your bridesmaids, flower girls, and even the ring bearer, etc.
Doing so you have two advantages. First, that means everyone is ready for photographs as soon as you are ready. Once you are in your wedding dress it’ll be the time to start taking your individual portraits, bride and bridesmaid photos, etc. Second, if there is anyone that needs more time to get ready then they’ll have enough time to do so.
Doing the first look lowers the stress of your wedding day timeline by MILES. Yes, not just a little but MILES. That is because once you get to see the groom you both can begin doing the family formal photos, wedding party photos, as well as the bride and groom portraits before the ceremony.
Don’t you want to socialize with your friends that came so far ways to see you? Don’t you want to eat before the reception entrance? Aren’t you afraid of a scenario where you are so rushed with family formals that you missed a photo with your grandma!
If you are worried about losing emotions because of seeing the groom before the ceremony, don’t be! Doing the First Look during a private setup where no one is watching you both and seeing each other again during the ceremony is in front of the public where hundreds of eyes are watching you. These are two totally different scenarios.
If you are traditional and would not want to do the FIRST LOOK, I completely understand and I have a solution for the same as well.
5) DO FIRST LOOK
The fewer places you have to travel the less complicated the logistics are going to be. One of the main advantages is that you get more photo opportunities. Since I am going to spend 30-60 minutes traveling on your wedding day you may as well have me take more photos instead. So, If your wedding venue has a bridal suite, a ceremony and reception all in one place, then take advantage of this venue and do everything in the same place.
7) DO AN ENGAGEMENT SESSION WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
I highly encourage all my brides to do their engagement session with me way before their big day. I always do this at least 6-8 months ahead of the wedding day. Doing the engagement session allows you to work with me before the big day so you’ll know what to expect. The more you know what to expect the more natural you get in front of the camera. I won’t be a random person anymore and that’s the secret of having awesome photos on your wedding day.
During family formal photos, I most likely am not going to be able to identify all the people in your family shot list. That’s why it’s important to have a trusted friend or one of your Bridesmaid that knows the family well to help in this situation.
Also, make sure to let your officiant announces that “immediate family to stay behind for photos” after the ceremony. Otherwise once the ceremony is over everyone will start scattering around catching up with friends. Trust me it’s hard to gather people back once they left the area.
Having a Wedding Planner is one of the best investments for your time. It is important to distinguish between a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator. A wedding planner works with you before the wedding and often does the research and goes venue hunting with you. On the other hand, a wedding coordinator usually is from the wedding venue and he/she is only responsible for making sure everything is running smoothly on the day of your wedding.
If you want to make the best decision and work with someone that knows weddings inside out then I’d suggest you spend the money to hire a good wedding planner. That way you can save a lot of time and stress of ‘not knowing what you don’t know. On the other hand, if you want to plan part of the wedding yourself and have the flexibility to plan/organize your own wedding then the wedding coordinator is almost always available when you book the venue.
9) HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER
Last but not least, if your wedding is outdoors you must have a PLAN B. There is no excuse not to have one and the venue should give you this option (make sure to ask them). We never want PLAN B to happen but it’s always good to know that you have an option and plan in place in case of inclement weather or an unforeseen situation.
Even though it is easy to say there is a PLAN B, make sure you do like PLAN B before booking the venue. If you love the outdoor setting and PLAN B is just at having a tent at an open field with no view under the rain. Then maybe it’s better to keep looking around until you find a good PLAN B option.
So, there you go, my 10 tips on planning a Stress-Free Wedding You Won’t Regret! I hope you find this blog valuable and that it helps you create a stress-free wedding timeline. Do not hesitate to ask me questions because this is one of the biggest days of your lives and I want you to enjoy this special day!