When couples imagine their wedding day, they often think about walking down the aisle, saying their vows, or the first dance. A part of the day that normally doesn’t make the visualization cut? The morning of the wedding.
Every wedding has a “getting ready” time, often with the couple separated and preparing for the day with close friends and family. This time is precious, and can set the tone for the rest of the day. So, in my opinion, it’s important to plan this time intentionally so that the day starts in as stress-free a way as possible. Here are my five tips for ensuring a stress-free wedding morning:
Nothing amps up stress on a wedding day quite like a ticking clock, so I counsel my couples to allot more time that they “need” for every activity of the day so the likelihood of being pressed for time is low.
On the morning of the wedding, this advice is especially for the ladies. Many times on a wedding morning there will be hair and makeup happening for the bride, bridesmaids and mothers of the couple, and that takes time! The hair and makeup artists will typically provide an amount of time needed per service per person, and my recommendation is to add an additional 15 minutes per person to your hair and makeup schedule to account for any overages in time. If you pad your timeline with extra time, then even when overages occur, you (and your vendors) won’t feel rushed.
This advice is for everyone – you need to EAT on your wedding day. I recommend having a good breakfast with plenty of protein in the morning — this will keep you full and your blood sugar steady, which is key for keeping your nerves in check. Especially since hair and makeup time often includes some celebratory mimosas (which I am ALL for), it’s important to have something in your (and everyone else’s) stomach.
I recommend pre-arranging food service for getting ready time, whether it’s delivery of specialty items, or if you plan to bring food with you. Have an idea of what you want, and what will make you feel your best on your wedding day, and order it in advance. Leaving that decision to the morning of the wedding may result in eating something that doesn’t make you feel great, or not eating at all if there is no food immediately available. Pro-Tip: morning food and beverage procurement is a great job to give to a member of your wedding party who wants to help out!
At every wedding rehearsal, I hand out a copy of a detailed itinerary for the wedding party and family of the couple, and we go over it together. I do this so that everyone goes into the wedding day on the same page — knowing where they need to be, when they need to be there, and who to contact (me) if they have questions. This is crucial — nothing causes couples more stress on a wedding day than key people running late for photos or someone asking them questions because they don’t know where to go and when. Make sure you have a detailed, written plan for the day, and that everyone who needs it has access to it in advance of the wedding day.
On a similar note, get on the same page with your vendors. If you know your hair and makeup team need a table and 4 chairs, ask your wedding party to have that set up in advance of their arrival time. Make sure that the hair and makeup team know when you, your wedding party, and your family need to be ready to go, and share your hair and makeup schedule with your photographer so they know what to expect.
Good communication solves nearly 90% of all wedding issues that arise, so make sure to use your communication skills to get everyone on the same page.
Getting ready time is usually tremendously fun — you’re surrounded by your closest friends and family, everyone is excited and getting pampered to look their best. But there is such a thing as TOO much fun and energy on the morning of the wedding.
I’ve seen hotel rooms packed to the brim with hair and makeup stylists, bridesmaids, dresses, food and more. The air is stale with hairspray, everyone is sweating and talking over each other — not exactly the recipe for a peaceful, stress-free experience. So be mindful of the spaces where you are getting ready and arrange for larger spaces, or multiple rooms depending on how many people need to be together getting ready.
One couple I worked with had two hotel rooms set aside for getting ready time. One was where hair and makeup was taking place, and the other had some food and snacks and seating areas. This helped keep everyone “together” without crowding into one small space.
On a related note, make sure you take a moment or two during the morning to be by yourself and take a deep breath. Especially when you have a lot of people around you getting ready, this is crucial for keeping your nerves in check.
I recommend taking a few moments in the morning before any activities start to check in with yourself. Maybe journal to remember your feelings on this day, or just sit and enjoy a few quiet moments before the activity of the day starts. I also recommend having a place set aside if you need to take a break alone for a moment during getting ready time, whether it’s your own hotel room, or even an unused room in a house where you’re getting ready — just an accessible space that’s available to you if you need to breathe.
Wedding days are wonderful, and full of excitement, so it’s imperative to start them off on the right foot. Do you have some questions about how to schedule your wedding morning? Drop them in the comments!