I’m so excited to have Taia Alvarado of White Willow Events—a wedding planner based in Lafayette, Indiana—as a guest blogger once again!
Taia is one of my absolute favorite wedding planners to work with because she is this amazing combination of organized and creative. She brings weddings better than her couples ever could’ve imagined to life and bends over backwards to make sure brides and grooms enjoy every second of their big day.
Between navigating family dynamics, having budget conversations, trying to please loved ones, and actually planning a wedding, weddings have earned a reputation for being stressful, overwhelming, and emotionally draining.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case for you! Today, I’m excited to share 10 ways you can make sure your wedding day is stress free and nothing less than a day you wish you could relive over and over!
Arguably the most effective way to relieve stress on your big day is to invest in a wedding planner or day-of coordinator. (I recognize I’m saying this as a professional wedding planner, but as a wedding pro and former bride, I can tell you this is the truth!)
When you decide to work with a planner or coordinator, you’re hiring someone to manage and handle logistics, timelines, vendors, and any issues that may arise on your wedding day.
As a result, you, your fiancé, parents, and bridal party won’t have to worry about a thing and can simply focus on soaking up your celebration!
If a wedding planner or coordinator isn’t in the budget, at the very least, consider asking a family member or friend (who isn’t a parent or in your bridal party) to serve in this capacity for the day. Just having someone ready to be the go-to person and handle any last-minute or unexpected needs will relieve an immense amount of stress for you and your spouse to be.
The root cause of stress on wedding days is often failure to communicate expectations. When you think about how many people are involved in a wedding (you, your fiancé, bridal party, family, vendors, etc.), this isn’t surprising.
To make sure everyone knows exactly what is expected of them, you’ll want to create a day-of timeline that includes specific times, addresses, tasks, and responsibilities so the plan for the day is perfectly clear and in writing.
Then, approximately one month before your wedding, you’ll want to share this timeline with your family, bridal party, vendors, and anyone else who needs it. This will allow people to ask questions and get clarification if needed.
Side note: If you work with a wedding planner, he/she will take care of your timeline for you!
Chances are, you’ve asked your best gal and guy to be your maid of honor and best man. And, that’s great!
While you want to be able to celebrate your wedding with your closest friends, the maid of honor and best man typically have wedding-day responsibilities, and it’s important to communicate these tasks to your best guy and gal ahead of time.
For example, these responsibilities might include giving speeches at your reception, fluffing your train at the altar, getting the rings before the ceremony, having tissues on hand, preparing mimosas in the morning, having their phones on them in case someone needs to get in touch with you, or collecting money and keeping the line moving during the dollar dance. (Your best man and maid of honor might also help with showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties before your wedding day, but we’re just talking about day-of responsibilities at the moment.)
People rarely serve as a best man or maid of honor more than once, so it’s completely normal if your best friends aren’t familiar with all of these duties. To prevent stress and disappointment on your wedding day, simply let your best guy and gal know what you need from them. Remember, they love you and want to help make your day the best day!
Speaking of your best man and maid of honor, I highly recommend sharing their phone numbers with all of your wedding vendors.
You want to be able to thoroughly enjoy and focus on your wedding day, and one of the easiest ways to make sure you can do just that is to put your phone away for the day.
However, in case one of your vendors needs to get ahold of you or needs an update (Maybe you and your photographer get separated when heading downtown for photos or your wedding planner or DJ needs to know how far away you are from your reception venue so they can prepare for your grand entrance.), you’ll want to share your best man and maid of honor’s phone numbers with your vendors.
This will allow you to be phone free but still in communication.
If you can decorate your venue a day or two before your wedding, do it. (A wedding designer can also take care of this for you!) If you want to include Grandma’s handkerchief in your bouquet, drop this memento off with your florist before he/she starts working on your florals. If you can pick up tuxes the week before the big day, get that done.
Basically, aim to do as much as you can before the big day arrives, and if there are any remaining tasks by the time you get to your rehearsal dinner, delegate them to someone else or let them go.
I know it can be difficult to hand these tasks over to someone else, but if you’re running around trying to do all the things, you’ll never get a chance to take a deep breath and truly enjoy your wedding day. Trust me when I say that delegation is needed to have a stress-free wedding day!
One thing that you may not have thought about is the fact that tipping your wedding vendors is a polite and kind gesture and should be part of your wedding budget.
To make tipping as easy and efficient as possible, put each vendor’s tip in an envelope with the vendor’s name on it and asking your planner or coordinator (or the loved one filling this role for the day) to be in charge of distributing these envelopes throughout the day. (It will make sense to distribute most during the reception.)
Having tips ready to go in envelopes will allow you to easily designate this task to someone else so you and your fiancé don’t have to worry about tipping and can focus on one another and your celebration!
More likely than not, something unexpected will happen on your wedding day. With this in mind, putting an emergency kit together is a great way to plan ahead for unforeseen circumstances.
Your emergency kit might include:
Having these items on hand is an easy way to prevent something unexpected from becoming stressful.
Something else that might not be on your radar right now but can cause stress on the morning of your wedding is making sure that your dress is wrinkle free.
Before your wedding day, you’ll want to have both your veil and dress steamed. This is likely something that your seamstress or bridal boutique can do for you. If not, you’ll want to contact a dry cleaner.
To ensure your dress is wrinkle free and wedding ready, bringing a portable steamer to wherever you’re getting ready is also a great idea. This will allow someone (An aunt, cousin, or friend would likely be more than happy to take care of this for you!) to touch up your dress and bridesmaids’ dresses if needed. (If you have bridesmaids traveling with their dresses, their gowns might need extra attention!)
I can tell you from experience that few things make a bride more upset on her wedding day than having sore, aching feet—especially on the dance floor.
To combat this problem, make sure your shoes are broken in before your wedding. If you don’t have time to break them in or if they just aren’t comfortable to wear for hours and hours (Heels often aren’t!), bring an extra pair of shoes with you to slip on after photos.
This will allow you to dance freely, and if your dress is long, nobody will know anyway!
Last but not least, remember to focus on what’s most important on your wedding day: you and your new spouse.
Mamas have opinions, families have conflicts, and there’s usually someone with something to complain about. While you want to be kind and respectful, don’t allow yourself to get caught up in other people’s drama.
Instead, strive to focus on your fiancé and celebrating your first day of marriage. You’ll only get to experience this special day once, and you deserve to enjoy every moment!
Weddings might have a reputation for being stressful, but if you take action and these 10 tips to heart, you ensure that your wedding day is stress free, fun, and everything you and your fiancé want it to be!
Taia Alvarado is a certified wedding planner and the owner and operator of White Willow Events in Lafayette, Indiana.
Taia started out as a floral designer specializing in wedding and event floral design. Her favorite part of her job was working directly with clients, and as a result, her love for flowers, design, and couples grew into a love for planning weddings and events.
Taia only accepts a handful of clients per year to ensure that she can deliver exceptional and unparalleled service. As your wedding planner, she will be at your side at every turn, making sure each and every detail gets the attention it deserves.