Often times the biggest thing missing from wedding days is peace. A sense of calmness. Wedding days can become such a stressful coordination of things that people forget the bigger picture of the day. So what are some things you can do to create a stress free wedding? After over 100 weddings, here are the common threads that I found you can change to most effectively create a stress free wedding.
1. Choose an intentional wedding party – or none at all.
This is an area that a lot of people struggle with initially when it comes to their wedding. They feel that they have so many friends and family who love them, they can’t imagine having to choose between them for a wedding party. And while this is a dilemma – it’s a good dilemma. Your wedding party is there, by your side, the entire day. Literally, the whole day. They usually even sit next to you at dinner. So you need to be sure you’re intentional with who you choose to join you – because if they are chaos, that is what they will bring.
Choose a team that’s dependable, and have calming voices of reason. A team that’s usually prepared, and can take care of themselves. Often times one of the biggest stresses on a wedding day is a lost groomsman or bridesmaid, and this can throw the whole timeline off track and the entire vibe of the day. Make sure the team you choose can manage themselves – because it’s not your job to do so. Because when it comes down to it, that’s what your wedding party is – a team. And if you feel like your favorite people may cause more chaos than good, consider having them help you get ready – but attend the wedding with the guests.
2. Delegate, everything.
There are very few things on your wedding day that you should actually be doing. The more you put on your own plate, the more stressed out you’ll be. I see so many couples who spend all of their energy planning their way down to the last detail – and then have to execute it all themselves, only to burn out. Their day becomes such a blur that when they come to their image reveal, they tell me they barely remember parts of their wedding day. They’ll be watching their reveal and they’ll laugh and cry over things they don’t remember happening – and that’s not fair to them. Or you. So hire a coordinator just for the day, or even a reliable team of family. Don’t put everything on yourself.
3. Do things because you want to – not because you have to.
Going hand-in-hand with delegating is the idea of simplifying. Does the idea of feeding your future spouse cake gross you out? Then don’t do it. There should be nothing that you do on your wedding day that doesn’t spark joy for you (Marie Kondo, I’m looking at you). There are so many “traditions” that you could remove from your wedding simply because you don’t understand why you’re doing them or you have no desire to. Do you have complicated parent relationships? Skip the parent dances – if you feel awkward, the photos will look awkward. Not into entering the reception with a big show? Skip the grand entrance. Don’t care for making images of your parents seeing you? Skip the first looks. Only do things that will bring you joy, and you’ll find your stress going down.
Unsure about what values you have when it comes to your event? Check out my free values workbook to help you hone in on what matters most to you, and to find the vendors that will help you most succeed.
4. Schedule quiet time/ empty room time.
You will literally be surrounded by people all day at all hours. Add an extra 20/30 minutes here and there to just sneak away and be alone – whether just with you, or with your new spouse. This little bit of time may be just enough to recharge and to jump back into greeting your reception guests: allowing your energy to deplete helps nobody, so leave time for self-care on your day.
Are you on your way to a stress free wedding?
Remember that above all else, creating an event based on the things that matter to you is what’s going to reduce your stress the most. Keep your event simple, straightforward, and filled with love and all the things that matter to you. Everything else will fall into place.
Hey! I'm Makayla, a wedding photojournalist based in Duluth, MN and Saint Paul, MN.
I believe that stories are best told untouched, undirected, and with intentionality and meaning.
This blog is a space to share advice for couples about weddings, advice for photographers about witnessing events with intention, and steps to create decisions based on your values and what matters most to you.
Grab your favorite beverage, pull up a chair, and let's get to know each other.
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