We have said it many times in our newsletters. Your wedding day will go by fast and you won't remember it all. Here are some tips to help you slow down on your big day and hopefully take it all in!
Start the Day with a Little Relaxation
If you’re getting married in the evening, take some time to read a few chapters of a book, take a long, relaxing bath, or just do your morning rituals. If you’re getting married in the morning, pick people you love to surround you as you get ready (including your partner, if you want).
Put the Screens Away
Phones, tablets, iPods, all of it! You shouldn't be the one taking phone calls on your wedding day. That is the job of your wedding planner! No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest - NONE! Those will just distract you and take you out of the moment.
Make Sure You Eat
Eat healthy options like nuts, fruit, veggies. Make sure you drink water as well, especially if you are getting married in the summer.
Realize that Stuff Happens
There will be things that you won't be able to control, and that's OK. The weather might not be perfect, someone may step on your dress, the flower girl or ring bearer may be too shy to walk down the isle, the wedding schedule could be delayed by thirty minutes, guests get lost on the way to the ceremony. There are always things that can go wrong. Don't expect that you can control everything.
Put Someone You Trust in Charge
You did hire that wedding planner, didn't you? If not, you don’t have to have a maid of honor or best person, but it’s worth having a wing person who has your back, whether or not he or she is standing at the altar with you. This person is the designated point for phone calls, the person who can make a final décor call, the person who keeps tabs on all the little details of the wedding, the person who makes sure everything is lined up so you can focus on the more meaningful moments that are happening around you. Sounds a lot like a wedding planner, doesn't it?
Wear Something You Can Move in
Restrictive clothing can make you more tense and less able to relax. Choose clothing that you can move around in, allows you to take a deep breath, and can dance the night away in!
Lock Eyes with Those Who Ground You
Make sure to make eye contact with someone who can ground you like no one else. If eye contact isn't your thing, hugs work just as well.
Have a Few Minutes Totally Alone with Your Partner
There is a Jewish tradition known as the “yichud” —after the ceremony, the two of you go off, totally by yourselves (no photographer, no one) just to bask in the fact that you’re married. Professional photographers and videographers will respect that you need some time alone. Have your wedding planner stand guard if needed.
You Can Affect the Moment
It is OK to say “I’m going to hang out with people before the ceremony,” or to insist that your brand-new partner pay attention to you. In other words, don’t let your wedding day happen around you.
Take Care of Your Emotional Well-Being
Sure, you want to say hi to everyone, but you also want to sit down and have a snack, breathe, and just giggle together in a corner. Don’t forget to do that.
Don’t Stop the Feelings
Your wedding day is the day to just feel every single feeling possible. All of those feelings might not be love, bliss, and joy. You may have moments of moments where you fell out of sorts, on top of the world, and totally emotionally raw… sometimes all in the same five minutes. It can be a roller coaster, so ride it.
If You’re Dancing, Go All Out
If dancing is your release, do it. Have that dance party, and love every second of it. Literally dance like nobody is watching (or like everyone is). After all, you hired a great DJ or band, so you might as well enjoy the entertainment!
Assign Emotional Bodyguards
Nobody has problematic family members, right? Assign people to be your emotional bodyguards, or whatever you want to call them. If people come at you with problems, from “The DJ is late” to “Your Aunt appears to have fallen off the wagon,” empower these folks to cut these people off at the pass and give you six hours of peace. (And if you have a particularly difficult person showing up at your wedding, feel free to assign one person to be on “Keep them away from me” duty.) Again, you did hire that wedding planner, right? That's who can do all of this and remain completely neutral.
Just Step Back and Observe
Every hour or so, try to take a minute to stop, look around, and take it all in.
Realize It’s OK if You’re Not in the Moment
You can’t be totally present every single second of every day. That is even more true on a day as momentous as your wedding day. There will be moments when you’re overwhelmed and that's OK.
Most Venue Coordinators do not Coordinate Weddings!
A venue coordinator's job is to manage the venue, keep the kitchen operating smoothly, and prevent any rule breaking. Some might also help with overall setup and decor, but not all of them. What they generally don’t do is answer all the miscellaneous questions that pop up throughout the day. Such as:
- What time will the makeup artist arrive?
- When and where will the flowers be delivered?
- Who will arrange the table settings?
- Who will hit “play” on the iPod for our processional? What about the recessional?
- Where should the families go for formal pictures? And what time should they arrive?
- What time should the DJ announce dinner after the cocktail party?
- Who’s going to release tables for dinner?
- Who should sit where?
- When and where will the other wedding vendors eat?
- Who’s going to cut the cake after the bride and groom take the first slice?
- When should the DJ open the dance floor?
- Who will gather our guests for our sparkler send off?
- Who will make sure all our vendors are paid their balances at the end of the night?
Any wedding planner that you hire, not affiliated with the venue, should answer all these questions for you and then some. Here's why:Working For You
A wedding planner's obligation is to you and no one else. They are on your team and not the venue’s team. While they will respect the venue's rules and regulations (because they will review your contract with the venue beforehand, as that is part of their job in taking care of you), they will also do whatever they possibly can to execute your day, according to how you dreamed.
You don’t have to take my word for it, and of course, there are some notable exceptions in the St. Louis area. But, generally speaking, venue coordinators are not really coordinators. They’re managers, and they’re great at managing!
Weddings are unpredictable, fast-paced, chaotic events. Just like all couples, each one is unique. So if you can hire someone who knows exactly what you want and isn’t afraid to take on an array of uniquely chosen tasks, isn’t that just the person you want to coordinate your day?Questions to Ask the Venue
If you are thinking about using the venue’s coordinator, ask them questions that will tell you exactly whether or not they will be able to support you in the way you need on the one day you’ll need it most.
- Can we email you before our wedding and how long can we expect to wait between responses?
- Will you send us a timeline that we can review with you before our wedding?
- Will you be there for our rehearsal the day before?
- How accessible will you be on the day of our wedding? Will you always be available or where can we find you, if we need you?
Feel free to ask them any of the questions mentioned earlier, as well. Ask them anything you feel is really important to you! If you don't get the answers you want, then it might be time to consider hiring a wedding planner.Research, Research, Research!
In the beginning stages of planning your wedding, don’t assume every service your venue suggests is the best for you. Whether it’s a service they offer or something on their “preferred vendors” list, research other options. Ask your married friends about their wedding experience. They will let you know if they would do anything differently.
Talk to your photographer, videographer, and DJ! They’re loaded with experience, knowledge, and can tip you off to some of their favorite wedding professionals, ones they know who provide quality service and take excellent care of their clients. Most of them will recommend hiring a wedding planner, and for good reason. Weddings that have wedding planners are the best ones to work as a vendor. Going in you know everything will be smooth and on-time.Teamwork is Required
Build your team! One that is truly enthusiastic about every part of who you are and what you’re hoping to experience at your wedding. Begin your marriage journey by surrounding yourself with all those who love and affirm this incredible decision you’re making, including all the people you’ve hired to be there. Because they could turn out to be good friends, too.From Josh & Heather
Josh has been the DJ at hundreds of wedding receptions and ceremonies. Whenever the couple has a wedding planner he knows it will be a good day. We always recommend hiring a wedding planner, no matter how small the wedding. The planner will remove much of the stress of the day and allow you to really enjoy it!