There are some things that you just can’t plan for on your wedding day. The florist can bring the wrong colored flowers; the food may be served late; and there’s a solid chance that someone in your bridal party will get too drunk and say something you really wish they didn’t.
When my husband and I got married in a provincial park, we reserved a secluded group campsite so that we could be married outside in private. It had a large open shelter that we could have used if it rained and a large private field dotted with fall foliage and mossy rocks for fantastic photos. On the side of the site, there was a gorgeous forest that had a small clearing where we were married.
That didn’t stop the unexpected from happening though. One of the neighboring sites was booked for very vocal army cadet training; there was a child’s birthday party squatting on our reserved site; and a dog ran up to us and barked during our vows. My husband, a metal music lover, had a separate playlist for our wedding ceremony, but somehow it switched to a metal song during our recessional.
Luckily, my husband-to-be (at the time) arrived at the site an hour prior in anticipation of potential issues. He was able to speak with the army cadets and ask for 30 minutes of silence, and the birthday squatters apologized for intruding and quickly left.
The dog and the metal music though? Well, that’s when flexibility and a sense of humor can really come in handy.
Thankfully, there are some things you can plan for. Here are just a few to make sure you have a stress-free wedding day.
1. Have Your Final Payments Ready
Many vendors require a retainer to reserve their services and expect final payment on the day of your wedding once the service is complete. To ensure a stress-free wedding day, keep a spreadsheet of all the vendors you’ve hired, any payments you have already made, and any payments that are still outstanding.
If a vendor is expecting payment on the day of your wedding, be sure to have a check or delayed email bank transfer ready. If you are writing checks, designate someone you trust to track down your vendors and pay them. The last thing you’ll want is to be stopped mid-party and asked to write a check!
2. Leave Some Wiggle Room
It may be tempting to plan out a wedding day schedule. While it is necessary to a point (you need to know the time of your ceremony, and guests should know the general outline of the evening), scheduling moments down to 15 minute increments will only set you up for a stressful day.
Looking back at your wedding day, it won’t matter to you if the speeches stretched 20 minutes longer than you allotted. Leave some room for some spontaneity and for some potentially unforgettable moments!
3. Bring a Second Pair of Shoes
Those gorgeous heels are going to feel like torture devices after a few hours of standing, taking pictures, and dancing. Don’t wait until you’re limping around—make sure to pack a pair of flats or something similar for when your feet are telling you they’ve had enough.
This goes for men too. Some men’s dress shoes can be downright uncomfortable, especially when you’re not used to wearing them. Don’t worry about how you look once the photography session is over. Dance the night away with your love, your family, and your friends in comfortable kicks.
4. Break in your shoes
Speaking of heels, all heels are at least a bit uncomfortable when you first buy them. To avoid blisters, wear them around the house in the weeks leading up to your wedding so that they have time to form to your feet.
Again, this goes for the fellas too! Wear your dress shoes around the house as much as you can to break them in a bit. (Ever watch “Friends”? Remember how Chandler slipped all over the dance floor at his wedding? Don’t be that groom!)
5. Hire a Day-of Coordinator
A day-of coordinator can be an absolute life saver. They can pick up your flowers, set up any remaining decorations, and make sure all deliveries are not only on time, but also are up to your expectations.
This coordinator will be your right-hand— someone to smooth out any concerns and disasters. You may be able to get away with having your bridal party do bits and pieces, but a day-of coordinator can really see the big picture know all the ins and outs like a pro so that you can have a stress-free wedding day.
6. Pack a Wedding Day Survival Bag
There are so many little things that might not be necessary, but that can make a world of difference if a crisis arises. Having a survival bag could make all the difference on your big day. Hair pins, extra make up, make up remover, a mini sewing kit, tweezers, super glue, floss, and eye drops are just some of the items that you may need for a stress-free wedding day (or at least a less stressful one). Here is a thread from the Wedding Bee forum of many more survival bag ideas!
7. Designated a Wedding Dress Helper
Putting on your wedding dress almost always takes longer than you anticipate, and it can take substantially longer if no one knows how to fasten your bodice or tie a corset back!
And, depending on your dress, you may have chosen to get a bustle. These can be as simple as a little loop that hooks onto a small button or as complex as a 25-point French bustle.
Be sure to have someone with you at your final fitting, or have a run through the weekend before the big day to avoid any unexpected dress stress.
8. Have Breakfast Served
Many brides and grooms get wrapped up in the excitement of their wedding day and forget to eat. You don’t want to be in a position where you are ready to go but have to scarf down a messy breakfast just as you’re about to head out the door. Tuxes and dresses alike could easily be ruined this way.
Plan to have breakfast delivered, or prepare it the night before. Hard boiled eggs, fruit, and overnight oatmeal are easy make-ahead options. After all, a stress-free wedding day starts with a good breakfast! Right?
9. Get a Massage
For a seriously stress-free wedding day, have a massage therapist work out some of those wedding day knots. It is not only luxurious, it is a super relaxing way to start your wedding day.