If you are a Type A person like me, chance are you probably have a spreadsheet for your wedding day and most likely a separate one for the planning and the day itself. You think that if you are meticulous with your planning and preparations, that everything will go smoothly the day of the wedding, but guess what? As a wedding photographer, I can tell you that something ALWAYS goes wrong. As a Type A person, not having control over things is probably the most annoying part, so how do you survive your day with your sanity intact? Let me give you some tips.
First, I’m sure you’ve already thought of this and have a giant spreadsheet with these things in it, but make an emergency kit to keep with you that day. Put everything in it you possibly can think of to help with all the little one off incidentals that arise. This will help you have control over at least something. If you need help, I recently wrote a whole post on what to put in a wedding day emergency kit. The night before your wedding, triple check everything for everyone that you can. Ask the men if they have all the parts to their tuxedo. Make them bring it to the rehearsal dinner if you really want to be sure.
Designate one box/bag/whatever for all the things you will need the day of the wedding and make sure you have one person in charge of that box. Show them the box, so they know what it looks like and it might be a good idea to put a checklist in there so they can verify that everything is in there. The day of the wedding you won’t have the time or opportunity to go over things like you would want to because you will be busy getting ready and getting your picture taken, and you know, getting married. If you have different people in charge of different things, you run the risk of one of them forgetting something,so making it one trusted person’s responsibility cuts down on the chances something will be forgotten.
Make sure you eat something! Whether it’s just some protein and some small snacks, you need energy and chance are your eating schedule for the day will be all screwed up. Start your morning with whatever you can tolerate eating, but make sure it’s somewhat nutritious so your blood sugar doesn’t crash later. It’s never good to pass out on the altar. Besides scaring everyone in the church, it makes your fiance really nervous. (I’ve seen it happen and the reason is usually that they didn’t eat anything.) You probably won’t have time to sit and eat lunch, so pack protein rich snacks to eat in the limo either before the ceremony or on the way to the reception. Make sure it isn’t something messy like strawberry yogurt or something that can spill all over your dress. You’ll have bigger problems than your blood sugar if you spill that on your dress. Nuts and Dried fruits are a good choice. When they serve you dinner at the reception, at least try all the food. You’ve probably spent a good amount of time picking out the food and you’ve most likely paid a lot for it, so sit down and enjoy it! Your guests will be eating as well, so they won’t expect you to be walking around greeting them while they are shoving roast beef in their mouth.
Because you are Type A, you will have already called and confirmed and double checked all of the details with all of your vendors the week of the wedding, but if you haven’t that’s a good idea. Make sure you confirm times, locations, prices, money owed and any other details you’ve agreed on. Don’t assume that your vendor is clear about all of these details even if you’ve spoken to them about it when you booked them over a year ago. This will hopefully help any potential snafus that could arise from miscommunication.
Lastly, and this is probably the most important thing to realize. Once your wedding day begins, you have very little control over any aspect of it. It’s the vendors and the officiant that are now in charge of keeping your day on schedule and running smoothly. Once you set it in motion in the morning, the day just runs itself. Be prepared to just roll with the punches as they come. If you meditate, it might be a good idea to wake up and do that. Also important to note that no matter what goes wrong, keep in mind you are getting married to the person that you love and that is the important part. So many things went wrong with my wedding, starting with my aunt’s kid being hospitalized the day before, who were both part of my wedding party, to the venue having us double booked and having to scramble to find a place for us to have the reception, to my sister leaving my bag with all of my important things, including my ring and the checks for the vendors, at my mom’s house. Anything that could have went wrong that day did. My Dad locked himself out of his car and my brother had to drive them to the reception, go home to get their spare keys and then take him to go pick up the car afterwards. I got married in mid May and the day that we got married was an unseasonably warm 92 degrees. The air conditioner went out at the reception hall and ultimately overheated the DJs gear, so we didn’t have music for a while. In spite of all that, it was a day I will always remember fondly. All my family and friends were there, I was a sweaty mess, but it didn’t matter because we all were but we laughed, and danced and had fun anyway.
So, plan as much as you can, verify the week of and remember to just let things go and have fun the actual day of your wedding. (oh and choose an awesome wedding photographer that’s laid back and will help you through some of these issues as they arise.)