5 Tips For a Stress Free Wedding Day

Every wedding day will come with some element of craziness.  If it didn't, there wouldn't be so many entertaining stories to tell to your grandchildren.  However, the last thing you want on your wedding day is to be running around, constantly putting out fires that could have been avoided in the first place.  Here are a few tried and true tips to help your wedding day run smooth as butter:


1) Pad your schedule.

Every time I sit down to a timeline meeting with my couples, we have "the talk".  I explain to them that I add 15 minutes to the front and back end of each timeframe on their timeline just in case we need it.  Lots (dare I say most), of the time, we need it.  

Transportation for pictures is running late (add 20 minutes)

This wedding dress is a lot harder to put on than I remember...so many buttons. (add 20-30 minutes)

Trolley is stuck in traffic (add 20 minutes)

Limo got lost on the way to picture location (add 20 minutes)

Officiant got a little over zealous in explaining what TRUE LOVE really is (add 10-15 minutes)

Trying to herd cattle, I mean guests, for the grand exit (add 15 minutes)

Trying to find Uncle Lou for family pictures (add 10 minutes)

MOH forgot her purse with her speech in it back at the hotel, we HAVE to turn around (add 20 minutes)

Dinner. (add 30 minutes)

No matter how long you think everything will take, it will always take a little (or sometimes a lot) longer, so instead of causing yourself undue stress, just factor extra time into your day for each thing.  Sometimes things will be much quicker than you anticipated, and you don't need as much time as you thought you would, but then other things take much longer, and there is nothing more stressful than feeling like you are running out of time on your wedding day.  Don't worry, nothing will ever start without you, but the best solution to avoid that dreaded feeling altogether is just to overestimate how long everything will take.

2) Make a "Contact" list.

SCENE: It's noon on your wedding day, and your aunt comes barging into your room as you are trying to get out the door to head to the ceremony: "Your cousin can't find his tie.  He said you never gave it to him.  What should he do?" 

Well, for one, that cousin should learn how to problem solve.  And two, he should ask someone else, because that should be the furthest thought in your head.  This is where a contact list comes in REAL handy.  Have your MOH make a list of people that are appropriate to contact with all your family, friends, and bridal party's "burning" questions (eye roll harder than a 13 year old in her Avril Lavigne phase), and have them pass this list out at the rehearsal dinner.  I've seen some really cute/creative ways of making this contact sheet--you could do a physical copy or post it on your wedding website.  Either way, this eliminates you as their point of contact and is better than 55 Excedrin and a shot of tequila on the day of your wedding. 


Yea, this one is pretty self explanatory.  Your room will be your sanctuary the night before and the day of your wedding.  Think LONG AND HARD about who you want around you on your wedding day, and tell ONLY those people your room number.  Then swear them to absolute secrecy.  While it is amazing to be surrounded by so many loved ones at your wedding, it is exhausting and can make your wedding a total blur.  Your room should be somewhere you are able to escape to, have a glass of champagne, kick your feet up and recharge.  

4) Shut your phone off on your wedding day.

This one kind of goes with bullet number two.  If you don't have your phone, no one can get ahold of you or burden you with silly stressors.  It also helps you stay in the moment and not get distracted and overwhelmed.  Your wedding day goes by so quickly, so spend every second trying to take it all in with the people around you.  Get your face out of your phone.  You will be so much happier for it.

5) Hire a day of coordinator.

 I have gone on and on and on about day of coordinators and the amazing people they are.  Hiring one will be some of the best money you will spend on your wedding.  Your wedding day is not the day to be a hero.  Don't try to do it all.  Stop the DIY madness.  Let a professional step in and help you have an amazing day.  

If you incorporate even ONE of these tips, you will see a huge difference in the quality of your wedding day.  Let your energy be pure excitement.  Enjoy the result of many months of planning.  You deserve it!

In case you missed these:

Let's Talk About Scheduling

A Q&A with Chicago Wedding Coordinator, Jade Shimon

Your Personal Venue Checklist!


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