How to have a super relaxed wedding day
We’re taking a look at weddings, traditions and mental health over the coming weeks, and I asked a few experts if we could share their tips with you lovely lot! First up is Cambridge wedding photographer Damien Vickers, whose images have that effortlessly lovely, authentic feel. And here’s the thing: Damien’s reviews from his couples often mention how comfortable they and their guests felt with him, and the relaxed vibe he created around their wedding day and photographs.
Damien’s written a lovely blog with 10 tips for a super chilled wedding – and we wanted to share those tips – in a nutshell – with you here today!
1. Pick and choose the right traditions for you!
If you can’t be fussed with the performance of cake cutting or the pressure of a first dance, you absolutely don’t need to! But it’s fine to include any traditions the two of you love – being walked down the aisle by a parent, for example.
2. Unplug your ceremony.
If you’re nervous about being the centre of attention, ask your guests to keep their phones (and cameras) in their bags in the ceremony room. You shouldn’t have to get papped by all your cousins if you’re not comfortable with it!
3. Informal eating
Because seating plans are stressful! Just allow plenty of seating space so no one’s left standing. Benches are great for this, and extra seating around the edge of the room helps too! For sunny days, think catering (pizza) trucks and festival-style open air seating.
4. Music sets the vibe.
It’s subtle, and lovely! Imagine an acoustic wedding singer playing guitar during the afternoon, or a lively wedding band to get the party going in the evening – both will help you and your guests feel relaxed while you celebrate!
5. Only invite people you love.
It’s just harder to relax around people you don’t know. Choose your guest list together, and if anxiety on the day might be a worry for either of you, make sure you feel safe with, and loved by everyone who’ll be there.
“Allow yourselves time to mingle with the people that mean the most to you and will be cherished most when you look back at your photos through the years.If you are choosing to go a little left-field and non-traditional your closest friends and family are much more likely to ‘get it’ and enjoy than those family members that you rarely see and don’t know so well.” ~ Damien Vickers
6. Make it fun.
Offer your guests games and entertainment – from space hoppers to giant jenga. Having that playful side to your wedding will make it memorable for all the right reasons!
Don’t get too hung up on the details. Trust your team to set things up on the day, and keep timings and logistics as easy as you can.
“When you look back at your wedding it will be the experiences and interactions with your loved ones that you remember not the design of the favours or the colour of the fairy lights.It may be that that the small creative details are important to you in which case then indulge yourself, just don’t let it stress you out. The golden rule when planning is, if you enjoy it and it gives you pleasure then go with it – if it’s causing you any kind of headache then re-assess how important it actually is in the grand scheme of the day.” ~ Damien Vickers
8. Find your loveliest venue!
There’s a venue for every couple, and there’s one out there which is wonderfully YOU – it fits like a glove. It might be more relaxed and informal than others; it might be super vegan friendly, or have a small team of lovely people who genuinely care. If your venue feels like you have to be on best behaviour all day long, perhaps it’s not ideal for your relaxed wedding day! There’ll be a better one!
“Many venues operate with a military precision and will plan and organise everything for you which can be reassuring if you feel overwhelmed by choice. Alternatively other venues offer freedom and flexibility letting you have as much input as you wish.“
9. Make a weekend of it
(or a few days midweek) Take time before The Big Day to relax with your friends, to catch up and chat. It will take the pressure off having to squeeze in a hundred conversations with your favourite people in limited time!
10. Take time out.
This one’s most important of all – because weddings go by in a blur. Sneaking away for ten minutes, just the two of you, sharing that ‘we did it’ moment and a little quiet time, will set you up for the rest of the day. If you’re comfortable doing so, let your photographer know (in advance, if you like) and they can be somewhere nearby, capturing the moment which you’re likely to remember as the best bit of your relaxed wedding day!
We’ll be following up this article with more advice on stress free weddings and wedding planning, but for now, I absolutely recommend you head over to Damien’s wedding photography blog and read the full article he shared there: A Relaxed Wedding Day: 10 Tips For A Super Chilled Wedding