I have been behind the scenes at a lot of weddings. The last couple of hours right before the wedding ceremony are always the most stressful for the bride. It always seems like so much needs to be done and the clock is ticking at a super sonic pace. Everyone handles stress differently. Some brides know how to roll with the stress and others completely lose it.
I do not handle stress well. At all. So it was incredibly important to me that I had as little stress as possible on my wedding day. I know this is something everyone always says, and it usually doesn't work out. Somehow, magically, the stars aligned and I was stress free on my wedding day.
Being behind the scenes at so many weddings gave me a unique insight. I applied everything that I had learned (mistakes and successes) from other peoples weddings to my own. Here are a few simple tricks to being stress free on your wedding day:
Some brides like to get ready with their bridesmaids. This usually ends up with a lot of running around and frantically trying to put on some last minute mascara. My advice is to have your hair and makeup done before you even meet up with your bridesmaids.
If you are having your hair done by a professional, it will stay entact for hours. Don't worry about your hair falling out if you have it done several hours before your wedding. It will stay, I promise. Your makeup will also last for hours. Do your makeup way ahead of time and just apply last minute touch ups about one hour before the ceremony. This will eliminate so much stress because you will already be looking beautiful and can enjoy watching your bridesmaids prepare for the day.
My wedding didn't start until 5:00pm, but I told all of my bridesmaids to arrive at 12:30pm and all of the groomsmen to arrive at 1:30pm. A lot of people thought I was crazy for making everyone (especially the groomsmen) arrive so early. It ended up saving me so much stress though.
If you tell everyone to arrive much earlier than necessary, then you won't freak out when people are late. Boys especially are notorious for not showing up on time or leaving their shoes at home. This allows time for these things to happen and won't add extra stress because there is plenty of time.
You have most likely hired all kinds of different wedding vendors ( photographers, DJs, a minister, caterers, etc) to help with your wedding. Make one of your bridesmaids the contact person for your wedding day. Give all of your wedding vendors their phone number and tell them if they have any questions the day of the wedding that they are the person to call. Also give your bridesmaid all of the vendors phone numbers and contact info. That way if anyone is late or gets lost, your bridesmaid will be able to get in touch with them without having to worry you.
Everyone should be completely dressed and ready to go one full hour before the ceremony. This is a perfect time to take photos of you with your bridesmaids. Getting these photos out of the way will make photos after the ceremony go much faster.
Don't second guess the people you hired to help with your big day. They are professionals who have been involved with tons of weddings. They know what they are doing, and they will work hard to make your big day everything you have ever wanted it to be.
For some reason weddings have a way of turning even the most laid back bride into a control freak. Brides want their wedding to be perfect, which is a ton of pressure. You need to accept that it is physically impossible for you to control everything, and you will drive yourself crazy trying to. Trust the people you hire to do their jobs. The food will be great, the flowers will be beautiful, and the DJ will play all of your favorite songs.
This is super cliché, but it's true. Your wedding isn't about the flowers or the centerpieces or the cake. It is about the love between you and your groom. Don't forget that. If something small goes wrong on your wedding day, don't let it stress you out. No one is going to notice if one of your bridesmaids is wearing different shoes than the others or that your bouquet isn't exactly what you wanted. It will be ok.
Don't let silly little details upset you or distract you from the bigger picture. Your wedding day will be one of the best days of your entire life, and you should enjoy every second of it.