Planning a wedding is hard work, and there are so many pieces to the day that need to fall in place at the last minute. While I am not a wedding planner, I have certainly seen my fair share of things going wrong on a wedding day! What I have realized is that a lot of it boils down to one thing: (most) brides have never planned a wedding before. And unfortunately, you don't know what you don't know until you get to the big day!
In an effort to be helpful to brides everywhere, whether you're getting married in Hampton Roads or somewhere else, here are 5 things you need to know for your wedding day - and probably have not already thought of! Feel free to share this with a bride who is planning her wedding now!
1) Day-of coordinators are worth their weight in gold. If I got married all over again, the one thing I would add to my budget is a day-of coordinator - and yet, so many people don't hire one! I completely understand how expensive weddings are, but not having a coordinator adds lots of unnecessary stress both to the bride and her family/friends. At the very least, have someone who is not related to you to make sure the day is running smoothly. With flower deliveries, groomsmen arriving, hair and makeup, ceremony events, reception timelines, and more, a third party is an absolute must on your wedding day. If you are looking for a day-of coordinator, I have several recommendations - just ask!
2) Hotels are NOT good spaces to get ready. Yep, this is a big one. Hotels seem like the perfect location to get ready, but finding an alternative is a great idea. These rooms are often very small (and become even smaller when filled with people) and can be very dark. If you cannot find an alternate getting ready space, ask for a suite so you can put any clutter in one room and keep another space free for people and for all the beautiful pictures you'll want on your big day.
3) Tanning beforehand can be a great idea - or a terrible one! I am definitely all for having a natural glow on your wedding day. While I personally do not tan, I know this is important to a lot of people. But something to think about (especially for summer brides) are your tan lines. You are most likely wearing a dress that shows your chest and back at least a little - so keep in mind how your tan lines will look in your dress before you head to the beach.
4) Have your bridal details ready in advance. This is incredibly helpful to get your day started out right. Set aside (or have your day-of coordinator set aside) all the details you want photographed. This includes perfume, shoes, wedding invitations, any jewelry, both weddings rings and your engagement ring, garters, the dress and veil, and anything else that is special to you. That way I can get started shooting these as soon as I arrive.
5) Hair and makeup WILL run behind. I completely get it. There may be half a dozen people who need their hair and makeup done on the wedding day. Be sure to keep in communication with your hair and makeup artists, but add at least 30 minutes to their estimate - if not an hour! It is generally not anyone's fault (especially the artists!) when the timeline runs behind, but it tends to happen more often than not. Being done early will only help you, and too many weddings have run behind because the makeup needs fixing or something else happens. Also, be sure you (the bride) get your beauty done before everyone else so you won't run behind on your wedding day!
Wedding planning can be stressful, especially when it’s your first time doing it! My biggest piece of advice is to hire professional vendors who know how to guide you every step of the way, and remember that your marriage is far more important than the actual wedding day. Put your time and effort into building your relationship during this unique and beautiful time in your lives, and let professionals handle the rest. You’ll be thankful you did that for the rest of your life!