5 Wedding Planning Tips
If you haven't already figured it out, I love the swirl that surrounds weddings (if anything, I thrive off of it!)! I also know that unless you have a ton of coverage and time at your venue, the day and even the planning can feel a bit hectic for the bridal party. The best tip I can give you is to make sure that you take time out of that swirl to smell the roses and enjoy the view during the wedding day. To help you accomplish that, here are five tips that sometimes get overlooked but that may help you out on your big day!:
(1) Buffer Your Timeline. Add buffer time into any schedule or timeline that you're making. Weddings are a bit like Forest Gump's chocolate box adage -- "Life is [Weddings are] like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get." Anything and everything can happen, and sometimes that puts a wrench into your timing. If you add 5-10 minutes between every major "item" on your timeline, usually that helps alleviate scheduling concerns for the day, and it makes it less likely that you will be running behind for whatever reason. And if we're lucky, that means some breathing time. A good wedding planner/coordinator will already know to do this for your day in general; many photographers will also help you with this (I will!), as well, to help ensure that you're getting enough time in each area for a good variety of photographs to be taken. The earlier you have your schedule figured out, the better, but everything should be pretty settled by 2 weeks before the event.
(2) Wear Your Shoes. I don't mean wear your fabulous new shoes on your wedding day. I mean, wear them BEFORE your wedding day. This is true for both gals and guys! There is nothing quite as painful while you're standing up at the altar or under the chuppah or between the evergreens than new shoes that haven't been broken in and are now giving you blisters and digging into the back of your heels. Who wants to think about that while you're gazing into your love's eyes and saying your "I do"s? Take some time in the weeks before the wedding date to wear your shoes a few times to lightly break them in. By lightly, I mean, let your feet get a feel for them and break up the super stiffness of a new shoe -- but do not get them dirty (clean feet for those heels, ladies!) or make them look worn-in. If you have a special design or wording on the bottom of the shoe that you're worried about ruining, don't walk in the shoes -- just wear them while you're sitting.
(3) Designate Details. My couples receive a list of items I suggest gathering up for the detail shots I take at the beginning of my time with you -- these are the "small" details that actually end up creating the larger picture and aesthetic to your wedding... and often items that you will later keep as mementos or keepsakes (bouquet, veil, cufflinks, etc.). Choose a responsible bridesmaid or a close friend who will be with the bride while getting ready to hold the rings, ensure the details are all together for your photographer, and then distribute the details to where they belong afterwards (such as getting the bride's wedding band back to the best man). The same holds true for any DIY details that you're adding to the ceremony or reception that the venue isn't handling -- designate someone to oversee this. If you have this planned out beforehand, it is one less thing for you to have to think about (and possibly stress over) on your wedding date.
(4) Brides -- Practice Dressing. That may sound a little silly, but wedding gowns are serious business! Unless your dress is truly just a slip-on-over-the-head-and-that's-it dress, you should practice getting into your dress at least once before your wedding. If it is a complicated ordeal, practice a few times. Do practice with at least one of the people (usually your mother or bridesmaids) who will be with you to help you get ready on the wedding date. While doing this, consider how dressing may effect your hair and makeup, since those will already be in place once you start getting into your gown on your wedding date. If you have a bustle, you should also let whomever will be helping you with it practice that ahead of time (bustles can be pretty intricate affairs, and you don't want to be stuck working on getting it put up for 20 minutes while your reception is in full-swing... yes, I've seen it take that long!). Getting dressed should be an easy, breezy Cover Girl part of getting ready, and this is just one way to help make that process smooth for you and your helpers.
(5) Love Notes. There is one lesser-promoted type of communication that you might consider partaking in during the wedding day but one that can provide a breath fresh air while the day is moving along -- love notes. Some couples write each other a letter or note prior to the ceremony day -- anything from a stroll down memory lane to hopes for the future to vows to just plain feelings of excitement -- and then have it hand-delivered via proxy to their bride/groom on the wedding date. These can then be read while getting ready, while opening any special couples gifts you may have prepared for each other, or just before the "tap" of the First Look while you're standing next to one another. This isn't for everyone, but it is a way to write down what you're feeling before your wedding date and then give your spouse-to-be a few moments of private joy whilst he/she is reading it in midst of the wedding day bustle.
Hopefully these tips are helpful to you and give you a little something more to think about (like you need more to think about, right?) for your wedding day planning!