7 Tips for A Smooth Sailing Wedding Day
A guest article by Liam Collard Photography
Your wedding day is FINALLY here! You’re wearing a gorgeous gown, your husband or wife is looking absolutely stunning, the guests are abuzz and laughter fills the air. But somehow, things don’t turn out as you had hoped. As a London wedding photographer, I have seen this far too often.
What was meant to be a day filled with blissful moments has been riddled with a gazillion questions and fiascos thrown your way. Then just like that, the day ends and you don’t know where all the time went.
This is probably every bride and groom’s nightmare, right? To basically be working during their own wedding day.
We agree that you deserve better. Do you know how to avoid that nightmare scenario? All it takes is some good planning.
If you’re looking to avoid a chaotic wedding day, here are 8 foolproof ways to make sure your wedding is smooth sailing.
PRECISION IS KEY…
Your wedding day is not something you can shrug off and say you’ll “wing it.” Being as precise with the details of your wedding as possible is key to a breezy wedding day.
Don’t fall for the trap of thinking that planning your wedding is all about what to do before. A lot of planning for the day itself needs to take place, as well.
You might not think these things are significant, but on your wedding day, they surely are: How long will it take you to get dressed? How long are your vows? Who will be in charge of your dress or outfit? How will you keep the kids relatively calm and entertained?
Create a list considering all of these small details and run them by your wedding planner and your family. This way, there’s a point person for everything and your wedding won’t be a series of unfortunate events.
…BUT DON’T THINK YOU CAN CONTROL EVERYTHING.
I should make it clear that we’re not saying your wedding will be perfect as long as you precisely time and assign every single thing, though. There are many things that will be beyond your control, as well.
For example, you can’t really tell for sure how long your wedding photos will take. And when the time comes to say hello to your guests, some will take longer than others. Let’s not forget those who will arrive late, as well as other small unavoidable mishaps.
Take deep breaths throughout the wedding and let things slow down every now and then. If you are constantly rushing, you’ll end up as stressed as when you didn’t have all those on-the-day details nailed down.
DON’T LET YOUR NERVES GET THE BEST OF YOU.
Pre-wedding jitters have existed ever since weddings itself. But will you seriously let your nerves take away all the joy you could feel as you marry the love of your life?
As London wedding photographers, we have seen several modern couples try this neat trick: See each other before the ceremony. For the more superstitious of us, this idea sounds preposterous. But we have seen many times how seeing your partner on the day itself calms down your nerves and reminds you of what the purpose of this day is, in the first place.
This also makes for amazing photos: That first look, the flow of emotions as the significance of this day dawns on you two, and that sweet moment when nothing else matters — and suddenly, you’re not so nervous anymore.
Having a really great wedding photographer means you get to keep these memories to relive over and over again. Did you read The Most Important Questions You Need to Ask Wedding Photographers Before Hiring Them?
MAKE A PLAN FOR YOUR WEDDING PARTY PHOTOSHOOT.
Another thing that happens all too often to couples and their London wedding photographer is the never-ending search for the one or two persons missing for the wedding party photoshoot. Luckily, you can plan this in advance to ensure your brother-in-law doesn’t go straight to the bar while everyone waits elsewhere.
Before your wedding day, create a plan on where your wedding party needs to be after the ceremony. Choose whether everyone should meet in front of the church, under a tree or any other conspicuous spot. Then share this plan with everyone. Make sure everyone knows. This way, you can avoid people wandering off, creating a hassle and pissing off all the other guests.
Another great tip: You can choose one or two family members or good friends who will be in charge of shepherding your wedding party to the right place at the right time.
GIVE THEM A MAP OR A CAR
On the subject of wandering off and getting lost, some people might even have a hard time making it to your wedding or reception. At all costs, avoid the hassle of being bombarded with texts on the day from folks asking where exactly your venue is.
This starts with giving very clear directions to the venue. Do not simply rely on Google Maps and create an actual map for your guests. Include alternative routes, landmarks and all the important details.
It would benefit both you as a couple and your wedding party to have a car arranged for bridesmaids, groomsmen and everyone you need so you could walk down the aisle. Book a private car in advance or maybe even hire a party bus! The important thing is they all get to the wedding on time.
MAKE THE PLEASANTRIES FUN
Do you know which wedding tradition will eat up time unnecessarily during your big day? It’s shaking every single guest’s hand. Really, we have seen how brides, grooms and guests all wished this moment would just speed up and everyone can move on.
Of course, you still want to show all your guests your appreciation. So instead of shaking hands all day, why not try a little meet-and-greet at cocktail hour? Better yet, you can do all this the night before – or even the day after your wedding. Simply plan the moment in advance and let your guests know.
Make yourself and your guests as comfortable as possible with a relaxed atmosphere and some delicious cocktails. Everyone wins!
HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER
Maybe you’ve wanted to plan your wedding day ever since you were 7. We totally get it. But all that nostalgia can actually get in the way of having a smooth sailing wedding.
Ask any bride or groom who did all the planning themselves and I bet most of them will tell you that you should pass on most, if not all, of the dirty work to a wedding planner.
In your fantasies, planning a wedding may have been fun and oh, so simple. But in reality, there are too many things to consider: The venue, the flowers, the guest list, your decor, bridesmaids’ dresses, choosing between a DJ and a band—the list goes on and on. Didn’t thinking about all that just give you a headache?
Doing all the homework to find the right suppliers is honestly no joke. Google won’t be your ally. And what will you do when a supplier cancels or simply doesn’t show up? The wedding industry is a profitable business, and crooks abound.
Fortunately, there are many amazing wedding planners all over the world who are excellent at what they do. All you need is to brainstorm ideas and let him or her know what you need. They are professionals for a reason: Wedding planners are better connected, have more resources and experience, and simply LIVE to make the wedding of your dreams come true.
And come on, you deserve it!
No wedding will ever be 100% perfect. But isn’t it good to know that there are many things you can do to make sure you won’t drown in stress and will actually enjoy your wedding day?
We hope you have the wedding of your dreams! If you’d like more advice from us, check out the Wedding Planning Guide we published on our website.