Less Stress in the Dress: Part 1
As a wedding planner and coordinator, I have run into all types of brides and all kinds of situations. Having been through it all as a bride myself, I feel like I can see things from every angle and I'm very well equipped to provide some advice on how to make sure you have the most stress free wedding day possible! While some of these tips may seem like common sense, I can tell you that a LOT of people neglect to do them!
1. Schedule your day...
If you have a wedding planner or coordinator, they should take care of this for you. Even if you have a professional's help, giving that person an idea of how you see the day running is very helpful! When a client gives me their timeline, it gives me a great springboard to go off and to make changes or recommendations as I see fit. I always make a point of making a hair and make up schedule. While the schedule often gets neglected (and that's totally fine!) at least I know we have a realistic timeline for everyone to have their hair and make up done so we're not rushing to get out the door. The general rule of thumb I use is 45 minutes for each hair and make up per person, and an extra 15 minutes on those for the bride. Confirm with your stylist and MUA that these times will work for them, but I've yet to work with one who has needed more!
When making your schedule, don't forget to account for traffic in your travel time. Account for more time for every item than you'll actually need - when moving around so many people, you will inevitably end up running a bit late. It's better to have extra time to catch your breath than to be on the run all day running late! Squeezing something into a short timeline may look like it will work on paper, but having unrealistic timing expectations will come back to bite you.
Once you have your schedule, assign a bridesmaid or someone who will be with you all day to check in and let you know where you are throughout the day, to give you peace of mind that things are running smoothly. The day will FLY by, so having a tangible list of the day's tasks and events will help to keep you calm and grounded.
2. Stay well nourished and hydrated...
I often run into this issue a lot - brides and grooms are too excited or nervous and don't end up eating or drinking enough. At some point, when the adrenaline wears off, it's going to hit you and hit you hard. I always have water and electrolytes (usually Gatorade) in my cooler in my car, as well as some granola bars in my emergency kit to take care of anyone who may be running low on steam. To avoid crashing and to keep going strong and stress free throughout the day, assign a bridesmaid or someone who will be with you all day to check in periodically with water and a small snack (fruit, veggies and protein like hummus, cheese or peanut butter are great!). Ideally, this person is not the same person as the one maintaining the schedule! Spread out the work... which brings us to our next tip!
3. ASK FOR HELP!
Seems pretty simple, right? No! I think that some (most) brides have a fear of being labelled "Bridezilla" and as a result, don't ask those around them for help. I get it, I very rarely ask for help. I didn't let anyone help me on my wedding day, and I was pretty calm until about 15 minutes before the ceremony when I snapped at my mom over the tiniest thing (sorry mom!) because I was so overwhelmed. While there is a definite line between asking and demanding, keep in mind that your wedding party and family are there with you because they love you, and they want to see you have the best day ever on the happiest day of your life. In my experience, the bridal party is usually falling over themselves to be helpful for the bride and groom, so accept their help! The same goes for your wedding coordinator. I can't tell you how many times a client has said something along the lines of, "Please don't hate me, but could you... (insert: grab me a bottle of water, go find my mom, add in a last minute speech, etc.)" when it's something that I would HAPPILY do - it's what I'm there for! I've done some pretty out of the ordinary things: made the groom's mom an earring back out of a hot glue stick, provided the MOH baby wipes to clean up a flower girl that had to relieve herself in the woods, helped a bride remove her stick-on bra during photos... When I say I form a special bond with my clients, I'm not lying! Be kind, be grateful, and be respectful, and you won't run the risk of being titled anything but a Blushing Bride.
If you've read this far - thank you! I hope you take these tips seriously and sincerely! Stay tuned for Part 2!