Stress and weddings… Can one exist without the other? Well-meaning loved ones will remind you that your wedding day is a time for celebration, not a source of stress. But if you need practical, stress-free wedding advice, keep reading!
We asked wedding professionals from our Offbeat Wed vendor community to share their secrets for having a stress-free wedding day! After all, you want to be savoring every moment from start to finish, not sweating the small things. Let's get into it!
Tips and best practices for a stress-free wedding day
Take it from the experts! They gave us sooo much great advice we had to break it up into four major categories:
- Advice for the weeks leading up to your wedding
- Advice for the days leading up to your wedding
- Wedding timeline tips for a stress-free wedding day
- Tips to stay stress-free on your actual wedding day
Ready to feel like this cat on your wedding day? Here's what do you need to do to have the wedding day of your dreams.
Advice for the weeks leading up to your wedding
This category has stress-free wedding advice that will require you to plan ahead a bit. Sooner is better than later!
Stress-free wedding day tip #1: Cross things off your list
The last couple weeks before the wedding are the stress-iest. Once you've gotten to crunch time, take a look at your to-do list (and if you don't have one, make one!). Pick three items that aren't vital and just cross them off. Let them go and don't do them. Your guests won't know you didn't do them, and you can give yourself breathing room to get rest before the big day.Ashleigh Pritchard, Designer of CharmCat Creative
Stress-free wedding day tip #2: Have a back up plan for weather
Have a back up plan for weather, as it is one of the few things the pros you hired can't control ( as much as we would love to)!Fran Aycock, Wedding Coordinator of Green Dragonfly Events
Stress-free wedding day tip #3: Do money things ahead of time
Prep your cash tip envelopes 1-7 days before.Adaobi Kanu, Wedding Planner of Events in a Crunch
Advice for the days leading up to your wedding
T-minus a week?! This is stress-free wedding advice you should consider before the big day.
Stress-free wedding day tip #4: Delegate
Make sure you have a person/people who are responsible for taking everything home at the end of the night, including leftover alcohol and food from the caterer.Fran Aycock, Wedding Coordinator of Green Dragonfly Events
Stress-free wedding day tip #5: Save time greeting guests
Find a creative way to greet your guests individually without having to walk table-to-table at your reception.
My personal favorite is to have the newlyweds come back through the ceremony space and dismiss their guests row by row. Your guests know they can't catch up on 3 years of news at that moment, but are also able to hug you, congratulate you, and then let you eat in peace at your reception and you're freed from the obligation to hunt down anyone you haven't thanked yet!Emily Berg, Wedding Coordinator of Emily Berg Weddings
Stress-free wedding day tip #6: Pack accordingly
Adaobi Kanu, Events in a Crunch
- Limit your DIY items to 3 bins so it easily fits in a standard car trunk
- Bring a change of comfortable shoes
Timeline tips for a stress-free wedding day
Wedding planner Emily Berg shares expert stress-free wedding advice on creating a wedding timeline to alleviate chaos on the big day:
Stress-free wedding day tip #7: Adjust your ceremony timeline
The ceremony time is when people start walking down the aisle! Time and time again, I see people send out unclear wedding invitations, which results in guests showing up VERY EARLY or VERY LATE.
To avoid general awkwardness for your guests, list BOTH your musical prelude start time AND the time the processional will start.
Prelude 3:00 | Ceremony 3:30
Or, if you're not doing a musical prelude and opting for other pre-ceremony entertainment:
Cocktails & Lawn Games 5:00 | Ceremony 6:00
4:00 Trivia | 4:30 Ceremony
Stress-free wedding day tip #8: Assign 30 minutes for any task
When you (and hopefully your coordinator, because you've given yourself the gift of someone to advocate for you!) create your wedding day timeline, don't budget less time than 30 minutes for any task/moment/other item! It might seem like it should only take 5 minutes to get into your dress or pin on boutonnieres, but wedding day time is not like regular time. There are pauses for photos, hugs, wiping of tears . . . it might sound ridiculous, but that all adds up. Allotting 30 minutes for every item on your timeline will ensure you don't have to rush anything, and also creates extra time in case you end up needing it.
Tips for the day of your wedding
The big day is here! Our experts share things you can do on the day of that will help you have a stress-free wedding day.
Stress-free wedding day tip #9: Fck that sh*t!
Jonas Seaman of Jonas Seaman Photography shared a Youtube meditation to help a bride de-stress:
A few years ago, we had a wonderful bride named Angela who while getting ready had become increasingly overwhelmed with all that needed to be done. I suggested we all stop what we were doing, close our eyes, and listen to the guided “Fuck That: An Honest Meditation” by Jason Headley on YouTube. This meditation is not only funny and completely down to earth, but it truly works wonders. I have used it myself during particularly stressful periods of my life.
The “Fuck That” meditation encourages you to let go and quiet your mind, urging you to “breathe in strength and breathe out bullshit.” Each moment of this meditation is a priceless gem, as it prompts you to take a deep breath, “and just feel the fucking nonsense float away.” I've done a lot of guided meditations, and this one by far is the best at cutting through anxiety. It may seem like a joke, but it is very effective. So, “if your thoughts shift to the three-ring shit show of your life,” I wholeheartedly recommend giving “Fuck That” a try.
Jen Sulak, photographer of Weirdo Weddings shares these calming day-of tasks:
Stress-free wedding day tip #10: Have a first look
Another de-stresser for your day is a first look! Now, not every marrier will want to do this, but I also know that standing there with your partner and having a quiet (away from everyone) moment will be STELLAR in enhancing calm.
Stress-free wedding day tip #11: Relax in the morning
I’ve had some beautiful clients take their morning nice and chill by eating and watching movies. They worked at a pace that was less rushed (which adds to anxiety) and she was able to truly do things she ENJOYED working up to her ceremony.
Stress-free wedding day tip #12: Exchange gifts
Take some time to share gifts, notes and special trinkets with your partner, your wedding party or family. The pure joy I see when everyone gets presents (who doesn't like presents?) on the big day makes the energy level go up a bit more!
One example was a cute little photo book that someone gave the couple and they had the BIGGEST smiles looking through the memories! It was sweet, simple and wasn't something that took too much time.
Stress-free wedding day tip #13: Don't forget to EAT!
Lastly: EAT. Please eat both breakfast and lunch and also a snack. And if you're consuming alcohol, please alternate alcoholic drinks and water.Emily Berg, Wedding Coordinator of Emily Berg Weddings
#14, our final piece of stress-free wedding advice:
Fran Aycock, the wedding coordinator behind Green Dragonfly Events, leaves us with these wise words for a stress-free wedding day:
Understand that no day is going to be “perfect”. There are always going to be snafu's and that's ok.
Remember that at the end of the day it is about you and your partner(s). The wedding is one day of your life. When you remove all the bells and whistles, it's about the person/people across from you smiling at you and holding your for all the days after.
Take it from the experts!
A stress-free wedding day is possible with proper planning! Now that you know what you need to do to have the wedding day of your dreams, tell us which tips you plan on using. Or if you've already tied the knot, share some tips that helped maintain a stress-free wedding day.