Weddings, man.

There is nothing more beautiful, exciting and, let's be honest, stressful than a wedding. From the weeks, months, and even years of planning, to the unforeseen happening (hello, Covid-19) and little hiccups on your day, the whole thing can be extremely overwhelming. Stress steals joy. It robs us of our peace, happiness and excitement which are all things that should abound on your wedding day! But why have we let weddings become so stressful? Is it comparison? The pressure to have a "Pinterest-worthy" or "Instagram-worthy" day? As a photographer, I've compiled my best tips that you can utilize on your day to help minimize stress and ensure you have the best day of your life. Let me ask you a question before we get started: Why are you getting married? No, honestly think about it for me. When you arrive at your answer, keep it tucked in your mind while reading my tips below; you'll need it at Number 5!

1.Keep the Guest List Small!

I know this is so much easier said than done. I completely understand the pressure to invite everyone; from big families to Dad's business partners, it can get out of control. Yes, all these people want to be there to love and support you but consider who has been there for the two of you through your relationship? Who are "your people?" Who will champion and support your marriage? Ask those questions as you're making your guest list. Have conversations with your parents if they're helping you plan. Consider your budget as well and invite accordingly. On your wedding day, everyone is so supportive; everyone wants a chat and a hug and a photo. All of these things are so wonderful, but consider your time. Do you want to be pulled in all different directions? Keeping your guest list small means you have your nearest and dearest there, and are less likely to be on your feet all night when you're just ready to sit and have your desert! That also means when I take you two away from the party for your photo session there is less pressure on us to hurry back because you still haven't chatted to your guests. I find that intimate weddings take away so much pressure for you to have to feel like you're "entertaining" on your wedding day!

2.Have a Timeline - And Stick to it!

Have a specific timeline and follow it as closely as possible! Now. I'm not saying to the second or even to the minute, but as closely as possible. It will give you a sense of calm that you know what's coming next as well as everyone else. Make sure your family and bridal party know the timeline (print out copies for everyone if needed!). Especially if your ceremony and celebration are in two different locations, it is important that you can count on everyone being in the right place at the right time. Making sure everyone knows the timeline (vendors included! As your photographer, I will help you arrange your timeline a month before your day. That way I have a copy as well so you don't have to worry about me! Your timeline is also shareable with other vendors! This all brings me to my next tip...

3.Communicate!

Communicate communicate communicate! Communicate with your family, your bridal party and your vendors well leading up to the wedding! Trust me all of the above groups support you and want your wedding to be the BEST day ever for you and your partner! Do you have a specific timeline? Make sure your family and bridal party know! Do you have a certain vision for your day? GREAT! Make sure your vendors know! The majority of us are in this for YOU! Share with us your hopes for the day, certain elements you want and don't want. It is literally our job to make your day special - don't be afraid to reach out! More communication on the front end means a smoother, less stressful wedding day. Communicate with those of us in your corner. We want to lift any burdens from your shoulders! This leads me to the next tip...

4.Delegate!

That's right, girl (or guy), don't do this on your own! Remember that this day is for both of you. Divide up jobs and tasks between you two during the planning process. Keep that line of communication between you two open throughout the whole planning process so you're both clear on your collective vision for the day. Make sure your maid of honor or best man (or both!) have phone numbers of all your vendors (and vice versa!). If there is an issue on your day, make sure a family member or bridal party member is on board to deal with it first and only come to you if necessary. Enlist someone to move flowers or decorations from your ceremony location to your celebration location. If you have a planner or a coordinator ask that they use your delegated person as a contact with any issues instead of you! As your photographer, I take your maid of honor's and best man's contact information before your wedding day just in case of an emergency. If my car breaks down or something unforeseen happens, I'm calling them - not you! You have enough to deal with! When it comes time for family portraits, I have your maid of honor or best man be in charge of wrangling everyone up - that's not your job!

5.Remember Your Why

Remember that question I asked you at the beginning? WHY? This is my ultimate tip for ensuring you have a stress free wedding day! Remember to keep your love the main focus. Don't forget why you decided to get married in the first place! I always tell my couples, "As long as you wake up tomorrow married to your best friend, your day has been a success!" It shouldn't be about Pinterest, Instagram or competing for the most aesthetically pleasing party. Don't stress over the little things. Chances are your guests won't even notice if you've run out of white napkins and had to supplement with ivory. They won't notice if there are only two candles on one table and five at another. And chances are you won't notice either once the day gets going. Let any little thing go and focus on your love. Odds are that you would have married this person in your jogging bottoms if you had to so any other element about your day is just a bonus. I'll be there to remind you of this throughout your day. I make sure to keep bringing you back to each other. I shoot in a way that keeps you close to one another and ensures that you're connecting authentically. I love being able to take you two away from the crowd to revel in the fact that you've just done the darn thing. I love to create a space where you two can just be on your wedding day. No guests, not pressure. Just you two (me and my camera at a distance) and usually a killer sunset. Remember your "why." Odds are you won't need help, but I'm here to help you come back to each other continually during your day.

So there you have it, my friend. My top 5 tips for making your wedding day as "stress proof" as possible! Make sure to do the work and communication on the front end to make sure your day goes smoothly. There will always be hiccups or unforeseen circumstances but I know that if you remember your "why," and focus on each other only there will be nothing that can ruin your day! Not even a pandemic.

If you would like to chat about what it would look like to have me along as your photographer on your wedding day, simply click here and fill out my contact form! I'll be in touch within 24 hours and we can get planning your easy, stress free photography coverage!

-Kellie x