Obviously if you're planning a wedding, you're doing a lot of planning, but one thing to be sure not to overlook is the morning of your wedding. No matter what time of day your wedding is, you'll want to have an easy, calming morning and today I've got a few tips to help you do just that.
FINISH EVERYTHING BEFOREHAND
The easiest way to not get stressed out the morning of your wedding is to make sure everything is already done. If you're prone to stress, acknowledge that in advance and plan accordingly. We made sure everything was done the Thursday before our Wednesday wedding because we were both out of town that weekend and family was here for the week. That made the entire week a lot more enjoyable, but also ensured that I wasn't stressing about anything the morning of. We got lucky and were able to set up at our venue the day before the wedding instead of the morning of, which helped a lot. It freed up the morning for both of us and allowed us to relax and enjoy the company of the wedding party. I would highly recommend avoiding doing any set up the day of if possible. If your venue won't allow you in before the day of, assign the job to someone you trust and give them detailed instructions on what you want. Get there a few minutes early to do a quick walk through. If something needs to be adjusted quickly, that's what you have a wedding party for.
ASK FOR WHAT YOU NEED
This is concept that blew my mind in life a few years ago. It's simple, but sometimes it can feel so difficult. Just remember that your wedding is your wedding and it's completely okay for you to ask for what you need. Here's what I mean. I had a fairly difficult time being the centre of attention for the week. There were a few ideas floated out that would have been lovely, but would have put the spotlight even more on me and I just wasn't comfortable with it, so I asked that those ideas not come to fruition. I was also getting asked every time I spoke to someone how I was feeling, if I was okay, if I needed anything. I hope this doesn't come across as rude, but it just got to be too much. The night before, I asked my mom and bridesmaids to please stop asking. I told them I would tell them if I wasn't okay or if I needed anything. The morning of the wedding, no one asked me any of those questions and it was fantastic and calming.
Scope out the space where you'll be getting ready as much as possible. If you're having photos done while you're getting ready, make sure there's plenty of natural light. Make sure there is a station (or however many you need) for hair and make up that includes mirrors and plenty of outlets. If the space isn't working, make it work for you. If the space isn't going to work, find a different location. When you know how you'll spend the morning of your wedding, you'll know what kind of space you need. And of course how big of a space you need to make sure people have plenty of room to get ready and no one is stepping on anyone's toes.
SET A TIMELINE
And designate someone to make you stick to it! My younger sister and bridesmaid did everyone's hair that morning so she and I worked out the timeline, working backward from when we needed to leave. She scheduled "appointments" for all the bridesmaids and our officiant and we distributed the list to everyone in advance. She padded the time slots a bit and made sure to discuss with everyone what they wanted beforehand so she was prepared. She came with her make up done already and made sure to schedule in enough time for us all to get dressed and do any necessary touch ups at the end. Most importantly, she scheduled me second to last so she wasn't rushing me and so I didn't have to be in full hair and make up all morning.
MAKE A PLAYLIST
If that's your thing, make it a priority in your planning process. I didn't, but I also didn't really care what we listened to that morning so two of my bridesmaids took turns choosing the music. If you know that music will calm you down and put you in the right state of mind, don't forget your morning of playlist. And if you can't be bothered to make your own, Spotify has some options that will do the trick!
BE SURE TO EAT
No matter what time your wedding is, no matter what you're serving to your guests, you have to eat the morning of your wedding. Consider what you want to have for breakfast and/or lunch and make sure it's something that will agree with you. Maybe don't eat anything that usually leaves you feeling stuffed and bloated. Maybe don't eat anything that's prone to food poisoning. You'll need more than "rabbit food", but you don't want to overeat. We set up a breakfast charcuterie board so everyone could snack throughout the morning. My mom put out fruit, bread and croissants, meat, cheese, etc. She also cooked eggs for whoever wanted them first thing in the morning. Our wedding wasn't until 3:00 with the dinner being at 5:00, but we had to leave the hotel by 12:15, so brunching basically all morning was perfect for me. I wasn't hungry and I wasn't overly full.
HAVE A DRINK OR TWO
But not too many! You know your limit and you know you probably don't want to be drunk--or even tipsy--when exchanging vows. It's the perfect occasion for a mimosa or a glass of prosecco to help you loosen up and relax, but you definitely don't want to overdo it.
DO A FIRST LOOK
I wanted to do a first look all along, mostly for the photo op so we didn't have to miss a lot of our cocktail party, but Luke needed a bit of convincing before he agreed. At my hen do (bachelorette party), I was talking to my friend about nerves because I was starting to freak out a little about being the centre of attention. She told me about how calm she felt after seeing her husband-to-be during their first look. A few days later, I knew exactly what she meant. Luke and I wrote letters to each other to read during our first look and our photographer, Brianne Haagenson, suggested we read them back to back and then turn around for the first look. Seeing Luke just washed everything else away and completely calmed my nerves. It helped me remember what the day was about and why were were there.
KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE
In other words, remember what this day is all about. It's inevitable that something will go wrong, but if you end up married to your partner at the end of the day, it was a smashing success! There were a couple of minor things that didn't go according to plan, but I wasn't too bothered about it. The thing is, if the decor is wrong, if everything is not absolutely perfect, you're the only one who will notice. Your guests won't know what your flowers were supposed to look like, so why ruin your day over it? Focus on the goal for the day and the rest won't seem to matter so much. (And this is coming from an incredibly detail-oriented person, by the way!
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Weddington Way (US)
Cake: Amerton Cakes (UK)
Cuff Links: Tesoro Jewelry (US)
DJ: Benny Smyth (UK)
My Dress: Allure Bridals via The Bridal Connection (CO)
Engagement Ring: ROX (UK)
Florist: Penny Johnson Flowers (UK)
Hair + Make Up: Sam Larson Hair (CO)
Paper Flowers: Lia Griffith (US)
Photo Booth: Peter Horrox (UK)
Photographer: Brianne Haagenson Photography (CO)
Ring Box: Amonie (AUS)
Robes: David's Bridal (US + UK)
My Shoes: Hobes (AUS)
Stationary: Minted (US)
Luke's Suit: Next (UK)
Venue (Catering & Alcohol): Shustoke Barn (UK)
Vow Books: Elmo Paperstories (UK)
My Wedding Band: Ernest Jones (UK)
Luke's Wedding Band: LuxuriaJewelers (US)
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All photos in this post, including the header photo by Brianne Haagenson Photography.