As little girls we dream of our wedding day playing dress up, pretending to make our dolls marry, practicing what your new last name written out. So the thought of staying calm on your wedding day when wedding day stress get’s the best of you isn’t even on the to-do list! This is the day you’ve dreamed of! No pressure, right?
We want our wedding to be amazing. It’s something symbolic of our relationship and worthy of the sacrament of marriage. It’s fine for us to have high hopes of the day. We want everything to go well, of course. And we hope it does. But at the same time, remember we are dealing with humans as our vendors and friends and family who are helping to make your day special. And no matter how hard we all try to do our best in life, mistakes happen. We can’t be expected to be perfect all the time, and your wedding day is no different.
One of my favorite pastors, Joyce Meyers, is quoted as asking us, “Is your problem really the problem, or your attitude toward the problem the real problem?”
I love this reminder that we are able to choose how to react when things don’t go as we had hoped. Sure, you have put a lot of time, effort, planning, and money into the wedding and there is a reasonable expectation for you to hope vendors adhere to their contracts and don’t make mistakes. If they show up with vanilla cake instead of marble cake or the centerpieces were forgotten, remind yourself the cake will still be delicious, and your guests will love the opportunity to be able to talk to one another across the table unencumbered by a decoration.
Have grace about yourself on your wedding day. A mistake does not have to ruin your day unless you choose to let it. In the end they are there to celebrate YOU. And a mistake in the day won’t change that.
Generally, monitoring your alcohol intake on your wedding day is classed as a good idea! It’s fine to have a little celebration, but too much alcohol, and you will soon be looking too much like Ginny Baker in Sixteen Candles. In all seriousness, being under the influence will make it more difficult to keep your emotions in check. Over-drinking never turns out well for anyone. No one needs the drama that can ensue when excess alcohol tints already stressed emotions on this day.
Maintaining control of your facilities will allow you to handle concerns with your vendors privately and discreetly. Address any problems, if necessary, afterwards and in a professional manner and ask if they can make amends for whatever needs to be corrected. The beauty of your wedding day is that everything can be fixed and dealt with later. Enjoy your time, have some fun, and don’t try to handle conflicts, with vendors or with your Aunt Sally who made your day extra complicated with family drama, especially when you’re under the influence of alcohol.
Prioritizing your day and communicating clearly with your vendors is key here. Working closely with a good, professional photographer and creating a solid wedding timeline can be indispensable in getting everything you want out of your wedding day. Build in plenty of buffers within your timeline and start your hair and makeup as soon as possible. Having this extra wiggle room means that no one is feeling rushed or frazzled if they’re running behind. Considering a first look before the ceremony can allow for beautiful intimate portraits and then later relaxed time mingling with guests during a cocktail hour. I can speak from personal experience from our wedding in 2006 that missing that time spent with your guests can be a big regret in hindsight. We didn’t get a chance to say “Hi” or “Thank you!” to all of our guests because we spent a good portion of our reception time taking photos…and we didn’t have a big guest list!
When working with me as your wedding photographer we will sit down and discuss your timeline from day one. This means the flow of your day and how we can make it as smooth as possible is at the top of our list.
By trusting me to assist you in planning your wedding timeline that means when you look back on your photographs, you will enjoy that we captured those fun, surprising, candid moments of you dancing with your flower girl, or a tender first look with your dad.
Understand the tradition of having a bridal party was to ensure the bride made it safely to her wedding. These days there’s little danger of your being snatched away on your way to the altar but remember your girls are among the closest of your family and friends and they are there to protect your sanity. Share your expectations of your day with your bridal party, and see where they may be able to step in and support you.
Enlist trusted members of your bridal party to help you with getting dressed (these also make some wonderful photo ops!), and checking your shoes, jewelry, and undergarments are readily available. She will be able to unpack them and help to steam them as you are finishing with your hair and makeup artist.
Consider having a friend with exquisite style set up a mock table and take a quick photo so others can be re-created in the same fashion on the day of the wedding. They may also be able to help direct the set-up of any special areas for signage or tables around the ceremony and reception sites. A Day-Of Coordinator may be another option to consider and can be a lifesaver for your sanity, if your budget allows.
This may seem like common sense, but your wedding day is not the day to test out your bargain shopping skills or to help a friend out with their new business venture. Do your due diligence here in researching and investing in trusted vendors. Websites, blogs, and social media accounts can give you a sense of the vendor’s presence in the industry and their level of professionalism. Do they answer questions online? How do they respond to reviews, both positive and negative? Ensure they accept responsibility for what they are able to control and attempt to correct whatever may be possible.
If you are local to your vendors, or if you are planning a destination wedding and able to travel beforehand, meet your potential vendors whenever possible. This extra step can allow you to make sure you vibe with your vendors, and that everyone will have the same goals and expectations for your event. Bonus points if you are able to attend an event where your potential vendors may be working, and this is particularly true of any entertainment. How is their communication? Are they able to keep the party running smoothly?
Ask your friends for referrals on vendors they may have worked with asking about both positive and negative experiences. You may learn valuable information from their experiences, both what they loved and what they wish they would have done differently.
Be sure to see if your wedding vendors can recommend other professionals they have worked with in the past and would recommend (or not). Is there someone they would be proud to place their reputation on recommending to others? What in their experience has made another vendor exemplary to work with?
A picture is worth a thousand words, and these days, everyone seems to have a phone handy ready to snap a picture and share on the nearest social media account. Make sure your wedding day photos – even those candids your friends may be snapping – show your best self. You are someone of beauty, celebrating marrying your best friend, on a day of joy surrounded by those who love you. Don’t let over-reaction and poor planning catch your less-than-best stressed, snippy, angry side.
Something I love to remind my clients is, “A happy bride is a stunning bride.” And it’s true! The more relaxed and happy you are on your wedding day, the more vibrant and stunning your wedding album will look. Let you (and your guests) remember the sweetness and beauty and fun of your wedding day, not that you caused a scene, every time you reminisce about your day.
I will be getting in touch with you initially by phone to connect with you and ask a few questions about your event and to see if we are a good fit to work together.
Typically, I respond within 24 hours during my regular office hours of Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 AM to 4:30pm. Sometimes I am out of the office on a shoot or out of town for a wedding or event. If you haven't heard from me and need to get in touch sooner please don't hesitate to call and leave me a message at (503) 957-6429. I will return your call as soon as I am able!
In the meantime, I'm sure you have lots of questions about the services I offer. Many of those questions can be answered in the FAQ sections on my wedding and photo booth pages of my website.
I look forward to connecting with you soon!
All my best,