The more you do something the better you get. The sage ol' wisdom of "You get better with practice."
I am a wedding photographer. I've been to a lot of weddings. I've seen a lot of brides struggle and not enjoy their wedding day and it breaks my heart every time.
Here are a couple of tips to help save you headache on your big day.
Structuring The Wedding Day Timeline
I shot a wedding in Sumner Texas where they had the whole day planned out in thirty-minute increments. The whole day was spent rushing from one thing to the next, trying to keep up with the timeline. The poor bride was bombarded with questions and reminders of the time the entire day.
I shot another wedding at Lake Crook in Paris Texas where the bride told me "The wedding is from two to six, there is going to be the first look, ceremony and reception" Guess what? The wedding went perfectly to plan, the bride was calm and relaxed the whole time.
Don't worry about being exactly on time, there are a lot of things going on during your wedding and a lot of people to wrangle and manage. Getting lost in details of it will stress you out!
Everyone at your wedding has booked the whole day out, just for your wedding. If the ceremony is half an hour late, they have nowhere else to be. Make a list of what you would like done that day, getting ready, bridal photos, ceremony, and reception. Then, on the day of the wedding just start checking stuff off, don't worry if you are a little behind on time.
My specialty as a wedding photographer is adapting and working with what I have. We can always move family photos or bridals till after the ceremony when things have calmed down. I can take bridals in fifteen minutes if it's about to rain.
Don't worry if you are a few minutes behind schedule.
Getting Lost in the Details
I've seen brides get hung up on the smallest things and have it ruin their mood.
During one rehearsal, I'm sitting in the benches watching the bridal party run through how the entrances are going to go. They start getting caught up in the smallest things, asking which exact stair the bridesmaids and groomsmen should split apart to get on the stage. They were putting pieces of tape on the stage where the bridesmaids and groomsmen were supposed to stand, but couldn't decide. The entire bridal party spent an hour going back and forth on these little wedding details that no one would care about the next day. It caused everyone to get stressed and worked up.
That level of detail is the least important on your wedding day. Don't lose sight of how big and grand your wedding day is and don't get lost in the details.
Outsourcing the Planning
Unless you have a lot of experience planning large events, I highly recommend outsourcing the majority of the planning. I see bride after bride attempt to plan their perfect day and get lost in the process. Trust me, if you've never done this before it won't go perfectly. The good news is you'll get it right by your second or third marriage. However, if you plan on only having one, outsource the planning.
If you can't afford a wedding planner, don't sweat it. Get your family and friends involved and task them with anything they are willing to do. Task someone with getting the tent set up, task someone with decorating the venue, task someone with organizing the food. Sit down with them and discuss colors, flowers, vibe, budget, and diets, and then WALK AWAY. Even the days before the wedding will get crazy and overwhelming if everyone is coming to you.
The hard part about this is giving up control. Most brides expect to have 100% control over their wedding day. The sacrifice for that control is lot of stress.
At the very least hire a coordinator or get a friend to take care of ALL of the details the day of. That way, the day of the wedding, all questions, issues and comments are directed to this coordinator. This allows you to enjoy the day as you should.
If you are looking for a wedding photographer whose goal is to make your wedding as easy as possible, give me a shout!