Stress Free Bride: The 6 things NOT to stress about on your wedding day!
As wedding photographers, one of the greatest gifts we are given during a wedding day is the gift of observation. There are wedding days where we will spend all morning with a bride and groom as well as on in to the night all the way to their exit. We are there to document the little moments, details, laughs, tears, you a name it! Having this kind of perspective on a wedding day also allows us to experience all the emotions on a wedding day as well. Everything from a bride and her mother sharing an emotional hug before she takes her father’s hand to walk down the aisle, to the joy in a groom’s smile when he sees his bride walking down the aisle for the first time, we get to experience it all. Of course with all of the wonderful things during a wedding we get to experience, there also comes some of the unfortunate things. The number one thing I think we see and experience that can really put a damper on a beautiful wedding day is the bride stressing out. We will preface this by saying all of us at sometime or another can end up on the stress train before we even know it, so it’s important to plan ahead when possible to prevent your wedding day celebration turning into something you associate with feelings of angst (check out our blog here on How to Plan for the best wedding ever). This being said we know that even sometimes with the best laid plans, stress can rear it’s ugly little head, which is why we’ve put together a list of 6 things to NOT stress about on your wedding day! The goal isn’t just to ‘avoid stress’ but to help you focus on the things that matter most on your wedding day. You’re getting married to the love of you life, and your closest family and friends are here to celebrate that occasion with you, and that’s something that nothing should get in the way of!
There’s sometimes just no way around it. You can have the best planner at the best venue on the most amazing day of the year with all the best vendors and the timeline can still find a way to get thrown off by about 5-15 minutes. Whether your mom and dad got stuck at a train, or it snowed 9 inches the day before your wedding when the weather called for a light dusting, things happen and sometimes the timeline has to be adjusted to allow everyone to get there. We remember one time where we were going to shoot a mountain wedding and as we climbed the steep gravel road to get to the venue, we noticed the van in front of us wasn’t as fortunate and had slid off the road when it lost traction. Once we got up to it we realized it was the caterer! After stopping to see if they needed help they explained that their boss was on the way with a more capable vehicle, and the end of that story is, they were a little later than anticipated due to some unforeseen issues with transportation, but the food ultimately made it to the wedding, it was delicious, and just goes to show, if it can go wrong, sometimes it will on your wedding day, but at the end of the day, it will be okay. Take home message here, it’s totally normal for the timeline to get thrown off a little bit, most reputable professional wedding vendors are savvy enough to make adjustments on the fly, so don’t stress, you should be in good hands and your special day will still be awesome!
Your dress getting dirty
Your dress is going to get a little dirty on your wedding day. You’re still going to look beautiful in it, it’s still going to look great on you! Now we’re definitely not saying you should throw all precaution to the wind, obviously nobody wants an entire glass of red wine spilled on their dress 20 minutes before they're about to walk down the aisle (brutal!). But don’t be afraid to move (lol). Obviously you’ll want to avoid certain hazards before the ceremony like mud, messy nieces and nephews with their juice cups in hand, etc. At the end of the day hardly anyone is looking at that bottom 1-2% of your train that may get a little dirt on the bottom of it and after photographing countless weddings in the past 6 years, we can tell you that it rarely shows up in photos. So if you want to climb up on the rocks and get some beautiful bridals before the ceremony, climb your little heart out! If you want to go across downtown 3 or 4 blocks to get a beautiful city-scape backdrop, grab your girls, have them grab your dress and go! In our experience, brides who aren’t too worried about their dress tend to enjoy their wedding day more than those who can’t stop focusing on the ‘what ifs?’, so trust us when we say, it’s going to be okay, have fun, move around, dance, and don’t stress about the bottom of your dress.
One of our favorite quotes is by Tony Robbins and it has a way of putting things into perspective. That quote is “Most people major in minor things.” From our experience and observations throughout a wedding day, we would say the same can be said for stress. It’s easy to get caught up and stress out about the little things. We’re here to tell you with a smile, it will still be okay! Maybe the bouquet only had 7 different flowers instead of the 8 you requested? (plan to take it up with the florist after the wedding) Maybe your planning company brought regular wine glasses instead of the ones with a gold rim? (plan to address it after the wedding) I could come up with dozens of scenarios we’ve seen, and in some cases your displease may even be completely justified! The point is not to blow it out of proportion to the extent that you can’t enjoy the experience of your wedding day. I remember vividly an out of town wedding earlier this year (no names!) where the florist laid out a beautiful floral arrangement for the ceremony from the chandeliers to the floor lining the aisle. The welcome table for guests was complimented perfectly by the layout of flowers. There were grand vases outside the doors of the ceremony venue welcoming everyone on their way in. There was just one problem. They forgot one of the bridesmaid bouquets. There were a couple of solutions to troubleshoot this problem and ultimately the florist realized one of their team members simply didn’t grab one of the the bouquets from their van and it was still in there. They immediately rushed back to get it to the bridesmaid before the ceremony, but that wasn’t before the bride’s stress level went through the roof (no details, you can imagine) which was unfortunate because it really was a beautiful ceremony and the stress tends to spread to those around you so it can certainly put a weird vibe on the day. We suggest designating someone close to you (mom or maid of honor if you don’t have a planner/coordinator) to handle these little things that could arise on your day, so that you don’t have to stress about it.
Worrying if everyone is having a good time
We totally understand this one, and we know it comes from a good place. You genuinely want your guests to enjoy the venue, enjoy the festivities, enjoy the company, and enjoy the wedding! We are people pleasers ourselves but one thing we’ve learned as we’ve grown in life, love, marriage, and business, you’re never going to be able to fully please everyone. It's the same when it comes to your wedding, so don’t worry about it. Instead focus on what’s really important, you two and having fun! We can tell you from firsthand experience, there’s always that one guest or relative (you already know who they are) who will complain about the food, or the DJ, or the weather, or basically anything they can in order to get attention or try to get their way. Don’t pay any mind to this person, and if you’re sort of stuck with them like let’s say your mother in law or mom starting to get a bit to controlling for your liking, kindly remind her this is your wedding day and everything is going to be okay. At worst, let them know, you need them to get on board, or get out. It’s a little harsh, but we firmly believe all of our brides deserve an amazing wedding day experience and if family or friend drama gets in the way of that, someone needs to squash it.
Weather is one of those things that is out of your control so it’s a little different. In all of the above situations you at least have some control over most of those things, and you at least have the ability to plan ahead to minimize stressing about any one of them. With weather, all the best laid plans can still not prevent rain on your wedding day or a blizzard hitting the night before/day of. Instead, we’re here to tell you to embrace it! Rain on the way? Perfect, that means the cloudy skies are going to make for soft lighting which is gorgeous for portraits! Pouring rain already and you’re worried you won’t get any good photos? Don’t be! Your photographer likely has a plan to create something cool with the rain by adding some lighting effects! I know we personally show up to every wedding with rain potential with 10 matching umbrellas just incase! What’s more romantic than rainy day photos!? Also, one of the cool things we’ve noticed in our lifetime is that it seems the best sunsets always come after a good rain, so embrace the rain, and hopefully it will let up just in time to capture a colorful sky as you hold each other close!
We know it’s easier said than done but keeping this in mind, being present in the moment, and focusing on what’s important on your wedding day can help reduce your stress and increase the amount of joy you experience on your big day! We’ve seen how excited friends, family, and clients can be as they start the initial planning stages of their wedding! They are bright eyed, enthusiastic, and hopeful and this same person can get to a few days before the wedding and they are just ready for it to be over with! While no plan is 100% full proof, do your best to plan ahead, consider your tendencies, and try to put a plan in place to where you prevent stress from ever bothering you at your wedding, and if it does show up, remember, at the end of all of this, you will be happily married and that’s what matters most!
Joe & Jenny