I’m always looking for ways to reduce the stress in life. If a friend is feeling a bit frazzled, it makes sense to step up and give them a hand. And if you’ve got a lot on your plate, you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable about asking a friend for a bit of help. There are a lot of things that people our age go through that can be really stressful. But your own wedding shouldn’t be one of them. After all, it’s a day of celebration, and joining together. So how can you reduce the stress that comes with planning such an enormous (and important) event? I don’t have experience with this personally since I’m not married but I was a freelance wedding photographer for a couple of years, and these are all things most brides needed to do!

 

There’s An App For That

If you’ve never had a wedding before, chances are you’re not entirely sure what needs to be done. There are dedicated websites that detail the traditions that you might be interested in. And there are plenty of apps that help you make lists and get organised in time for the big day. There are so many tasks that need to be done that it makes sense to list them. That way, you can tick them off as you get to them. Best of all, you can see which ones can be delegated to friends and family that are keen to help. So many brides, in my experience, didn’t list anything and ended up forgetting something that was necessary for their big day. One forgot to buy shoes and ended up wearing her black work shoes with her dress!

Fiance

One of the most important things to do first is to have a frank discussion with your partner about the ceremony. There are so many different types of ceremony, although many people choose a simple, traditional exchange of vows. The legal parts take just a minute or two. The rest is up to you. Once you have verbally confirmed your ‘I do,’ you will also need to sign the register. You might choose to have a poem read by your celebrant or to sing a song for your partner. Religious ceremonies are a little different, so check with your partner what type of wedding will suit you both. I’ve seen the happy couple arguing about this AFTER their actual wedding, which I’m sure can’t be a good sign!

Guest List

Some people say that determining the guest list can be the most stressful part! Remember, the more guests you have, the more expensive the wedding. To reduce the financial pressure of the wedding, whittle your guest list down to close friends and family. Still, it is a special day of celebration, and you should do that with the people that mean the most to you. Also, try not to invite people you don’t like, it will make for a very awkward reception.

Venue

A wedding usually takes place in two parts. The first is the ceremony. The second is the reception. Many wedding venues offer to accommodate both. This is the simplest and easiest solution, and can sometimes be the cheapest. It means there is no extra travelling to worry about between venues, and no loss of guests along the way. And you’ll not have to worry that one of the venues may not be available on your preferred day. A large guest list will need to be accommodated by a bigger venue. Some ceremony rooms can only cater for a small number, so double check this detail with your venue of choice.

Invitations

Now you have your date, venue, license, and guest list, it’s time to send out the invitations. Some people like to send out a save the date card first. This is particularly handy if the date is still several months away or likely to fall in a holiday period. When it comes to the invitations themselves, you might choose something that blends well with your colour scheme or wedding theme. You can see dozens of Wedding invitation samples online that can help you here. Don’t forget to include some directions or a map for your venues. This will help ensure people can arrive comfortably on time without getting lost. Also, remember to actually send them! I photographed a nightmare wedding where only the immediate families of the wedding couple knew about the wedding in advance and their ‘other guests’ found out on Facebook the night before.

Take A Break

As the wedding draws near, it can be a good idea to take a break from all the planning and organising. After all, chances are you’re spending a lot of your spare time working on it. Perhaps you would like to spend some quality time with your fiance? A long weekend or a night in together could be just the thing to make sure you’re both relaxing enough. Why not indulge in a couple’s spa, or enjoy an activity together?

On The Day

When it comes to your big day, you need to let go of the reins. It’s time to let your maid of honour and best man take over the last minute checks and preparations. Now you can enjoy your day being a bride. Let someone else style your hair, do your makeup, and help you into your dress. Enjoy the ride in the wedding car to the ceremony, and relax as you see it has all come together beautifully. Most importantly, feel fabulous all day.

-Dana

 

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