Maybe you dreamed of your wedding day as a little girl—some girls do; and, if you didn’t, maybe it didn’t take long to start dreaming after you knew that he was The One. It didn’t stop the planning phase of the wedding from being any less difficult, though. Selecting vendors, bridesmaids and groomsmen, and the venue are just a few of the things you’ve had to check off of your longer-than-life list.
Never fear: After months, and maybe years, of planning, the day has drawn near. As the metaphorical sand timer counts down, The American Wedding wants to make sure that you take the time to enjoy the day that you’ve put so much time into planning.
So, before you stress out anymore in preparation for your wedding day, take a look at this list of 25 ways to make sure you enjoy the day that you’ve spent so much time preparing for. It’s only fair for you and the groom to also have some fun.
Continue to stay organized
Hopefully you’ve already been keeping copious notes and records of everything. Receipts, contracts, lists? Check. A few days in advance, check in with the vendors to review details. Reviewing details with vendors will help you twofold. First, it will reinforce the series of events and details for the day. Second, it will allow you to check for errors of missed details. The best way to make sure that as few mistakes as possible are made is to review details with everyone. Stay organized, and you’ll have fewer things to worry about on the day of your wedding.
Hire a consultant for the wedding day
While you’ve planned everything to go
smoothly the day of the wedding, who will make sure that everything runs accordingly while you are preparing to get married? A day-of coordinator will be able to tackle any unforeseen challenges, and a few more, such as dealing with wedding crashers, and unforeseen emergencies such as a missing tux shirt or late bandleader. They might direct
traffic to capture just the right photograph, or find your parents who have just disappeared right before you cut the cake. Random unforeseen events can happen to anyone at any time, so why not have someone tie up the loose strings of what you’ve already put so much work into? This way, you can have a little more fun, too.
Keep things in perspective
Ultimately, you’re achieving what you’ve already dreamed. You’ve planned an amazing wedding for an even more amazing marriage. Was that just a deep breath of relief? Well, this is what it is all for, and hold that thought near. Remember the point of it all so that when you see napkins that are hunter green instead of classic green, or have a bouquet that has poinsettias instead of peonies, understand that only you and those who had the biggest part in the planning process will know that this was a mistake. And, what happens when someone makes a mistake? As long as it’s small such as this, the show will go on. Just ask the legendary music group Queen. By the way, check out our personalized wedding napkins, which we guarantee will be the color that you request.
Recruit a trusted friend or relative
So, if a day-of coordinator is out of the budget, consider bringing a trusted friend or family member on board. If you have a day-of coordinator, still consider this option for smaller tasks such as handing out corsages or boutonnieres. If there are children, place this person in charge of the kids. These are small tasks, but lots of small tasks add up. Also, make sure that it’s someone that you trust to deliver so that, again, you can split some of the responsibility and enjoy yourself.
Laugh things off
Looking at the glass half full, we want you to anticipate a great and memorable day. However, we want you to leave an inch for the unexpected so that in the event that something goes unplanned—which it may not—you’re prepared with a smile, laugh, or some other positive way of handling anything that could ingenerate even a tad bit of annoyance. So, be beautiful and laugh it off. Let the world know the smile that he fell in love with in the first place, while cultivating your ability to stay calm under pressure.
Be around positive people
It doesn’t have to be your wedding day to know this, but the timbre of the company that you keep becomes more apparent on detail-oriented events that require lots of work, focus, and positivity when mishaps can easily occur. So, do yourself a favor and make a list beforehand of the people that you probably don’t want in your corner on your wedding day. This could include a friend or family member who has a reputation for worrying, or who might inadvertently say something that isn’t the most positive.
Have coffee with a friend the morning of your wedding day
In your jeans and t-shirt (or other weather-related ensemble), go to a coffee shop and blow off steam with a close friend. It will help you to normalize the day so that when you get your face on, and makeup and dress, it will be grounded by the levity of having had a “normal” moment with a friend. It helps to put things into perspective and can also take some of the stress out of the day.
Get enough sleep
We should always get enough sleep in general, but it’s no guarantee that you will always get between six and eight hours of sleep. However, the day before your wedding, get a full eight hours of sleep, and maybe even nine. We want your face to carry a natural glow throughout the day that makeup should really only enhance. You’re a pretty girl already, so look your best naturally with a full eight hours of sleep. Otherwise, you run the risk of looking tired or having to get rid of a puffy face.
Eat a healthy breakfast
You want a breakfast that will give you energy and make you feel like you’re just the right amount of full and not bloated. Yogurt, oatmeal, and berries is a great start, as is an omelet with a smoothie. Also, stay hydrated with water and add lemon for a natural cleanser and diuretic.
10 minutes to get your muscles and joints going will leave you starting out the day feeling refreshed. It’s a simple way to boost energy and give your body the preparation it needs for a busy day where you’ll be expending a lot of energy. Try 10 minutes of yoga or some light stretches of your choice. This time will also give your body time to calm down and breathe, relieving stress in the process.
Center yourself and remember why you’re there
#10 will be helpful with this, but centering one’s self can also be achieved through meditation. Who has time to meditate when the day is so busy? Well, we can do a bit of an abridged version by slipping away for a few minutes to a bathroom (let someone know, of course, since you are the star of this show), and taking even-paced deep breaths as you listen to the silence of your lungs moving up and down. Don’t you just love an oxymoron? But, no, a stress-free wedding day is not one of those, because, as this list suggests, it is possible. Now onto #13.
Hmmmm … so … just be relaxed about the wedding night, okay?
No need to say more.
Lay ground rules for groomsmen
Maybe you weren’t the best dancer at your junior high school chaperoned dance, but so what? There’s nothing more liberating than placing fun over perfection. So, forget about how you look and have a great time. The fun will be in knowing that you have placed having fun over all else on your wedding day. Don’t hesitate to throw out your slickest moves either, and encourage others to enjoy themselves in the process.
Don’t wear too much perfume or cologne
A gentle scent is beautiful and lingers as you look to see who that person is as he or she walks by, but too much and you do the same, only in a negative way. Luckily you are in a safe space where friends and family will probably share with each other when something is overdone, but still, when putting on scent, put on just enough to lightly smell it. Give it a few minutes, because sometimes a scent takes time to soak in and make itself known.
Break in your shoes in advance
Make sure that you’re comfortable in the shoes that you will be wearing on your wedding day. If you’re not barefoot on the beach, and you’ve opted for heels, breaking them in can be as simple as walking in them a couple of
days in advance. Wool socks help the process because they prevent blisters, but they should be thin enough for you to still fit your shoes. Do this in advance, and you’ve eliminated the worry associated with how you’ll walk in your shoes.
Give the DJ songs you want to hear in advance
First check to see the playlists that the DJ has for the ceremony and the reception. Also, will they take requests? Meld the list of songs you have with any songs that you like which they have; create a specific playlist
which includes songs you like and a separate list for songs they shouldn’t play – a Don’t Play List.
Have a moment with each of your parents
Take a minute to quickly hug your parents and tell them that you love them. The moment is pretty poetic in that you’re letting them know that the circle of life remains unbroken. With one small gesture, you’re showing your appreciation as you move forward in life, with their legacies as part of that.
Give yourself enough time to get ready
This does go without saying, but time is one of those things that seems like a commodity until there’s none left. So, plan accordingly, and make sure that you have enough time for every aspect of getting ready, from having a quick breakfast or cup of coffee with a friend to having enough time for getting on the dress, hair, and makeup, and even taking a minute to breathe for yourself just to keep
jitters at bay.
Lay ground rules for groomsmen
While the bride tends to be clear about the duties of the bridesmaids, the groom should be sure to lay the ground rules for groomsmen. That includes sharing information about financial obligations, important pre-wedding dates such as the rehearsal dinner, planning of any pre-wedding events … ahem … for the groom, and any other details that need to be shared. Groomsmen should have the groom’s back, just as the bridesmaids have the bride’s back.
The groom and groomsmen should coordinate one to three weeks in advance to go over details
Every detail should be accounted for, and that means that the groomsmen should have the back of their “boy” (or “bro”), meaning they should be able to flesh out remaining details leading up to the day and each party’s responsibilities, for groom and groomsmen, on the day of the wedding. This will keep both the bride and the groom on top of the details and changes, allowing things to run smoothly on the day of the wedding and making it an enjoyable day for everyone involved.
Watch the alcohol
Don’t drink too much, please. Don’t leave the guests with any negative thoughts about either of you. The last thing you need is unintended bad press for something that was supposed to be a 100% positive event. So, drink one or two glasses of wine max, but no more. We hope that you got that out during “pre-wedding festivities,” if you catch our drift.
Have group photos session
Set aside a minute to take a few photographs with everyone. Get a variety of photos so that you capture as many elements of this day as possible, including all people who had a hand in making it happen. This will also start to give you a stronger idea of all of the faces and who to remember to thank later for either giving a gift or attending.
Keep it together when the maid-of- honor or best man speaks
Hopefully they’ll know better than to reference any irreverence of days past, but, regardless, don’t go crazy if something unexpected is said. Some people have known you for years, and have seen you change and grow over the years. This day, as we know, is testament to that. So keep it together, although shedding a few tears is to be expected.
Give a thank you speech with your groom
Do a speech together where you thank everyone that’s had a part in this day. Thank the vendors, family, friends, and guests. It adds a personal touch to your day where you recognize everyone that made the day special. People will appreciate that.
Have a survival kit
A survival kit is a great way to be ready for anything, from chipped nails to food stuck in your pearly whites. Survival kits should include a host of necessary items such as sewing kits, tweezers, granola bars, mints, and toothpaste and floss, to name a few.
A lot of planning has already gone into your wedding, so we know that it is already in preparation to be as fabulous as you are. We suggest that you use this list for the last mile of what has probably felt like a marathon. These tips will make sure that your wedding day runs as smoothly as possible by anticipating any snags and taking care of them in advance. To that end, we wish you a lifetime of happiness with The One You Love, and hope your wedding day goes flawlessly.