1. Book a wedding planner.
  • Although you may think you can do everything yourself, your wedding day should not be one of those. The most stressful and unorganized weddings that I have been apart of lacked a wedding planner or day of coordinator. Wedding planners are a huge asset to your day and they truly allow you to take a large weight off of your shoulders.

2. Be clear about what is important to you and verbalize it

  • The hardest thing that I have seen couple’s deal with is clearly communicating to their vendors what is the most important elements to them and what are not.
  • This day happens once and ensuring your wedding team understands you as a human and what you want out of your day will give you peace of mind about things.

3. Vet your vendors

  • This is an extremely crucial piece of having a stress-free wedding planning experience and day. Without your vendors, your day cannot happen the way you want. Therefore, you need to do your research and ensure the vendors you choose are punctual, professional and trustworthy. You also need to make sure that you jive with them and they understand exactly what you want and do not want. Your vendors need to know your values and who you are as a person so they can serve you in the best ways.
  • So hop on the phone with each of them, or grab a cup of coffee….do whatever you need to do to feel 100% comfortable in putting your trust in them
  • If you have the right vendors under your belt, man will your wedding be a dream and more!

4. Get your hair and makeup done professionally

  • If you are someone who is planning to do hair and makeup for your wedding….Unless you do hair and makeup professionally, hire someone who can!! The last thing you want to do is over analyze and stress about what your hair and makeup looks like in person and in pictures. Let the pros work their magic and enjoy the extra pampering.
  • Also, I highly recommend doing a trial run months before your wedding so you know exactly what you are getting and if you need to make changes, you can!

5. Set aside time for self care

  • You can easily forget the reason why you are having a wedding in the first place with being go go go and non stop thinking and planning for your wedding. So block out time to unplug with your partner or by yourself – get a massage, go on a hike, read a book, take a bath … whatever gives your mind and body a break from any stress.
  • This will also allow you to refocus your mind and heart on the only reason you are planning a wedding – you love your partner and you get to spend forever with that person.

6. Set the right expectations

  • Pinterest can be good and bad. The good thing is Pinterest is a monster of a platform and will inspire you, give you creative ideas and help you plan your dream wedding.
  • However, it can also cause unrealistic expectations. I have couple send me inspiration pictures of moments they want to be captured. I will tell you from experience, no wedding is the same, no expression is the same, no lighting will be the same – every single wedding is different. And as a photographer I crave that because that means my work is ever evolving.
  • So when you save pins to your wedding board, just know you will not be able to recreate any of them exactly. Depending on your venue, location, time of day, weather, lighting, details and everything else your pictures will tell your story exactly how it happened – which will still be Pinterest worthy!

7. Make it about memories not materials

  • We can get so caught up in comparing ourselves to others. Just because your sister’s friend had xyz at their wedding, does not mean you have to. Just because you saw someone post all these epic pictures of their wedding does not mean your day has to look like that.
  • I challenge you to not make it about all the materials you are going to have at the wedding, but all the lifetime memories you will cherish.
  • It is not everyday you have your most favorite people all in one place, make it about that and enjoy every second of it.

8. Invite the people you want on your day

  • I saved the best for last!!! The most difficult thing I hear from my couples is “so and so is making me invite so and so” or “our guest list is so long because so and so has to have so and so there” or “I don’t even know 10 of my guest because my mom has to invite all her friends that I have never met”
  • This is not about them, it is about you and your partner. This comes back to clearly communicating what you want. Do not be afraid to cut down your guest list so you have only your most closest friends and family there. Heck – you will save a lot of money by curating your wedding guest list.

Have questions?! I am here to help . . . Charlotte Wedding Photographer, Stephanie Bailey Photography

How to have a stress-free wedding