Top 6 Tips for Planning a Stress-Free Wedding Day

Stressed out brideYour wedding day should be one of the best days of your life, filled with laughter and tears of joy.  You should be surrounded by people you love who are having the time of their lives at your wedding – the wedding that they tell you is the best one they’ve ever been to!  However, your wedding could be one of the most stress-filled days of your life, filled with arguments and tears of anguish.

Fortunately, there are some simple steps that you can take to prepare for the stress-free wedding day that you deserve.

We have collected the top tips from a large number wedding professionals to help you have a wedding day with minimal worry and frustration.  Just follow our advice and you are sure to have the wedding day you’ve always dreamed you would.

Get Planning / Coordination Help

While not everyone has the budget for a wedding planner, almost anyone would have a smoother wedding day with a little help from a professional planner or at least a day-of coordinator.

You’re probably not a professional event planner so why put it all on yourself to plan the most important event of your life?  You’re already too busy with your job, dress hunting, honeymoon planning and (admit it) dieting!  A wedding planner can schedule meetings for you, attend them with you, help pick out invitations, linens and take care of all the details you just don’t have time for.

A professional planner knows the industry, they know the other vendors and they are simply very efficient and know where to find the best prices on everything.  You can very easily save money on your wedding by hiring a wedding planner.

A good wedding planner will work with your photographer to make sure your wedding day flows smoothly and you have all the time you need to get the gorgeous photographs you’ve been dreaming of.

DOUBLE the time you think you need – for EVERYTHING!

This is the most important tip of all.  Time seems to pass much more quickly on the wedding day.  No wedding vendor we know (and we know a MANY) can think of one bride who didn’t run late for just about everything.  This creates a huge amount of anxiety and stress for you and for your family and wedding party.  Then add booze to the mix and chaos will rule!

The solution is simple.  Double the amount of time you think you need for everything.  If you think hair will take an hour – give it two.  If you think makeup will take 30 minutes – give it an hour.  Wedding planners can really help with this but if you don’t have a planner, you must allow plenty of time or you will not have a stress-free wedding and you will not have time to get the gorgeous photos you saw on your photographer’s website!

One of the most common causes of wedding day delays is getting from one place to another.  If you will be in different locations for hair, makeup, getting dressed, ceremony, photographs, and reception, a lot of time can be chewed up getting around.  This is why a carefully thought out timeline is so valuable.  Having a limo is great because you don’t have to deal with parking but if you don’t have this luxury all day, select a designated driver to get you around.

Here are a few of the time-killing delays you can expect related to getting around…

  • Getting out of the bridal suite – you may have to find things to take with you, get others to come along and in a messy bridal suite, this can take time.
  • Getting from the bridal suite to the car – you may have a bit of a walk to the car and while you’re walking you are running into friends and relatives who want to greet you and chit chat.
  • Getting the car – your car may be in valet so make sure you call down before you leave the room.
  • Getting into the car – you may be wearing the largest garment you’ve ever worn and getting into a car may be difficult.
  • Finding your destination – you may not be familiar with the area or how to get to your destination.  Be sure to print directions to all destinations before the wedding day.
  • Traffic – what else is going on in town on your wedding day?  Any parades or big sporting events that might make traffic a nightmare?  Find out ahead of time by asking your hotel or checking a local events website.
  • Drive time – calculate the expected drive time taking into account the time of day and any other possible issues such as detours or weather.
  • Parking – scout out the parking situation ahead of time for every location you’ll be going to on your wedding day.   Use a limo or designated driver to avoid the parking dilemma.

Really take the time upfront to think through the flow of your day and pad the schedule.  It will make ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

Don’t Overdo the DIY on the DAY

If you are the Do-It-Yourself type, that’s awesome!  However, there is a time and a place for the bride do it herself.  That time is before the wedding day.  Get it out of your system or designate someone else to do it on the wedding day.   You should be getting pampered, sipping Champaign and laughing with the girls before you walk down the isle.  No glue sticks or step ladders for you!

Do as much preparation as possible BEFORE the Wedding Day

The more you can get done before the wedding day, the better.  This will free you up from running around like a headless chicken on your day.  You want to be able to relax and enjoy your wedding day.

Here are some of the last minute pitfalls that can be avoided by completing them in the weeks and days preceding the wedding day…

  • Confirm all details with your vendors the week before the wedding to avoid any last minute surprises.
  • Pay your vendors ahead of time so you’re not thinking about money on your wedding day.
  • Have all clothes cleaned and pressed and hanging in your closet ahead of time.
  • Distribute directions, parking information, schedules, etc. to your guests before the wedding day so you’re not acting as concierge all day.
  • Create a detailed timeline with your photographer and planner so you know how the day will flow and you’ll have time to get all the photos you really want.
  • Generally speaking, get as much completed as possible before you wake up on your wedding day!

Remove Yourself from the Chaos

Now this may be very difficult for you control freaks (and you know who you are) but the less you are involved in all of the wedding day operations, the better.  Let the Planner or Day-Of Coordinator deal with all of the little “emergencies” that arise or designate a family member or friend for this role.  Ask your family NOT to involve you in issue resolution on the wedding day unless is it absolutely necessary.  Ignorance is bliss and this should be a blissful day for you.

Stay Hydrated and Fed on the Wedding Day

The day will fly by and you can easily forget to eat and drink water – especially if you’re drinking any kind of alcohol.  Hungry becomes grumpy which leads to a downward spiral.  Don’t let it happen to you or the people around you!

Stock the bridal suite with plenty of water and healthy snacks for everyone.  This goes for the guys as well.  The groom should not be starting his hangover before the ceremony begins!

Start the Day Well Rested

This is one of the most important days of your life that you want to enjoy more than any other.  Don’t start it with a hangover and/or with bags under your eyes.  Ideally, you’d complete your own personal preparations two days before the wedding so you can take a pamper day the day before the wedding but if that’s not possible, make sure you get a good night’s rest on the eve of your wedding day.

Remind Yourself to Relax

Remind yourself throughout the day that this is YOUR day and it is only happening ONCE.  Take a little time out every so often to look around and appreciate all that is happening around you.  Think about the family and friends that have traveled to be with you.  Look into the eyes of your maid of honor and thank her with a hug.  Don’t miss the magical moments as they fly by.  Experience the full richness of the day and create the memories you will cherish for the rest of your days!

photo by Vetter Events

About Jim Vetter Photography

Jim Vetter Photography is a high-end, experience-driven wedding studio based in Fairfax, CA and serves California as well as destinations worldwide.

We specialize in sharing amazing experiences with our clients as we create the most beautiful images.  Our style has been described as intimate, elegant, emotional, and fun. We capture the essence of the relationships between you and your spouse and your guests because we believe that these types of images really tell the story of your day.

Our clients love and value great photography and fabulous experiences.  If this describes you, we’d love to hear from you!  Please contact us or give us a call at +1.415.789.6150.

Tips for an Amazing Wedding Dress Experience from a Bridal Couture Expert

This week’s guest blog post is from Bo Lee at BoLee Bridal Couture of Sunnyvale, California.  She owns and runs more than a beautiful showroom with plush changing rooms and amazing collections.  She has consulted with hundreds of brides to assist them in selecting the perfect wedding dress.  Her advice here today is a generous gift to us all. 

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Planning a wedding is undeniably one of the most stressful events in a girls’ life. For this reason, do yourself the favor of consulting with an experienced professional like BoLee Bridal Couture. Here are some helpful tips from Bo Lee for your journey in finding your dream dress!

It seems that every bride is waiting for that crying “this is the one” moment like we all see on TV, but in reality, not every bride has this experience; not every bride is the same.

If you’re a bride that tends to stress easily, our suggestion is to plan ahead. If you plan a good 10-12 months before your wedding date, this will significantly decrease your dress stress. Ten months to a year for a dress? Yes! It may seem a little crazy, but designer dresses are cut and made to order; they do not sit at a warehouse waiting to be shipped. And if you’re an easily stressed bride, you want to give yourself time.

On average, dresses take four to six months just to order. And of course no dress comes in and fits perfectly, so you will need alterations to give you that perfect fit for your day! This typically takes 2-3 months. If you plan on having accessories such as a veil or other hair pieces give yourself time to order that as well, about 2-3 months.

Seems simple, but what if you don’t have a year? There is always the option of buying a sample dress. These are dresses sold off the rack and are usually a great price for a designer gown. However, be prepared to have it altered because the standard sample sizes are 8, 10, 12 and not every lady’s body is the same!

Now, we’d like to address a somewhat sensitive issue… Weight! We all think about it, especially a bride-to-be. Obviously she wants to look her best for her wedding, and this may include the bridal diet. We see it often, and it is never a smart idea to order a dress too small and hope you’ll fit into it later. It is also not a good idea to wait until the last minute when you’ve lost weight to order a dress, because then you risk the chances of ordering your dress in time. Always order the size that fits you now and if you do lose weight, that is what alterations are for and kudos to you! If you don’t lose weight, not to worry, that is also what alterations are for! Either way you will look beautiful and have a perfect fit! Nothing is more gorgeous than a woman with confidence, who is sparkling from the inside out on her wedding day!

We know that all you ladies are busy conquering the world but when that special time in your life comes to start planning your wedding, take some time for yourself! Flip through bridal magazines, pin on your Pinterest wedding board and subscribe to wedding websites to reference the dresses you like. This is the best way to get an idea of what you want to look like for your special day. So when you do come across a dress that intrigues you fold the corner down, pin the picture, or save it to your mobile device so you can show your consultant when you go to your appointment.

You should think of what you want to look like on your wedding day, romantic, rustic, vintage, classic these are just some examples. If you find yourself completely unprepared for your appointment, don’t fret, just tell your consultant and she can take it from there. You will find out pretty quickly what you like and what you don’t like in just a handful of dresses. Remember, it is the consultant’s job to help you find the perfect dress and in order to do that, sometimes we have to start from scratch.

When you are at your appointment, the best mindset is to be open and decisive. If you loved the pictures of the dresses you brought in with you more than you actually like the dress on you, don’t feel defeated, be open! If you are open-minded to try different silhouettes or fabrics, this can be the best way to find your dress. Sometimes, dresses have no hanger appeal but they might look fabulous on you!

How do you know it’s “the one”? Some girls cry when they’ve found the dress, but most don’t! The best way we know of leading you to that moment when you say, “it’s the one” is by asking a couple of simple questions.

One: Can you see yourself getting married in this and walking down the aisle to your fiancé?

Two: Are you excited to put this dress on and do you get sad to take it off?

Three: If this dress were gone tomorrow and you could no longer get it how would you feel?

If you see yourself getting married in a dress, get excited to be in a dress or would feel totally crushed if a dress were gone, then you have found your dress! Congratulations!

Now that you’ve found a dress you love, be decisive! So many brides find their perfect dress on their first shot, but they feel like it is too easy and they need to keep shopping. That is not the case at all. Why would you want to make your dress shopping harder on yourself? It’s like falling in love with your fiancé; after you do, you don’t go looking for another guy.

On the other hand, if you don’t have that “it’s the one” moment, don’t be discouraged, just change your game plan. Obviously what you’ve been looking at hasn’t worked. So change it up by trying different fabrics, silhouettes, or you may need to change your mindset. Many brides can’t make a decision because they fear making a mistake or disappointing others. That’s okay, not everyone’s tastes in dresses are the same. You are not going to please everyone because the most import person to please is yourself! You are the one getting married in it, so you need to love it!

Another important point that many brides don’t think about is who they actually bring to their bridal appointments. It is not a good idea to bring everyone you know, too many opinions equal too many minds to please, and remember, the only mind to please is yours! Bring people that know your style and that won’t force their style on you. They may not love your dress for themselves but they love it for you, those are the people to bring! Remember; bring people who are supportive, not critical!

So by following these insightful tips, you too can have an amazing experience finding your dream dress!

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BoLee Bridal Couture is a high-end retailer of designer wedding dresses located at 542 Lawrence Expressway in Sunnyvale, CA. Their goal is to provide expert guidance to brides as they find the perfect dress! They offer a relaxed and open setting where a bride can take in the atmosphere and not feel overwhelmed. They also have great team of consultants who value customer satisfaction as their top priority and they strive to not only find the dream dress but to give their clients the best experience possible.

Also find BoLee Bridal Couture on Yelp or Facebook.

 

 

How to Reduce Wedding Day Stress – Tip #2

DOUBLE the time you think you need – for EVERYTHING!

This is the most important tip of all.  Time seems to pass much more quickly on the wedding day.  No wedding vendor we know (and we know a MANY) can think of one bride who didn’t run late for just about everything.  This creates a huge amount of anxiety and stress for you and for your family and wedding party.  Then add booze to the mix and chaos will rule!

The solution is simple.  Double the amount of time you think you need for everything.  If you think hair will take an hour – give it two.  If you think makeup will take 30 minutes – give it an hour.  Wedding planners can really help with this but if you don’t have a planner, you must allow plenty of time or you will not have a stress-free wedding and you will not have time to get the gorgeous photos you saw on your photographer’s website!

One of the most common causes of wedding day delays is getting from one place to another.  If you will be in different locations for hair, makeup, getting dressed, ceremony, photographs, and reception, a lot of time can be chewed up getting around.  This is why a carefully thought out timeline is so valuable.  Having a limo is great because you don’t have to deal with parking but if you don’t have this luxury all day, select a designated driver to get you around.

Here are a few of the time-killing delays you can expect related to getting around…

  • Getting out of the bridal suite – you may have to find things to take with you, get others to come along and in a messy bridal suite, this can take time.
  • Getting from the bridal suite to the car – you may have a bit of a walk to the car, in the big dress, and while you’re walking, you are running into friends and relatives who want to greet you and chit-chat.
  • Getting the car – your car may be in valet so make sure you call down before you leave the room.
  • Getting into the car – you may be wearing the largest garment you’ve ever worn and getting into a car may be difficult.
  • Finding your destination – you may not be familiar with the area or how to get to your destination.  Be sure to print directions to all destinations before the wedding day.
  • Traffic – what else is going on in town on your wedding day?  Any parades or big sporting events that might create a traffic nightmare?  Find out ahead of time by asking your hotel or checking a local events website.
  • Drive time – calculate the expected drive time taking into account the time of day and any other possible issues such as detours or weather.
  • Parking – scout out the parking situation ahead of time for every location you’ll be going to on your wedding day.   Use a limo or designated driver to avoid the parking dilemma.

Really take the time upfront to think through the flow of your day and pad the schedule.  It will make ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

Top 5 Tips for Entertainment at your Amazing Wedding

Today the guest post series continues with some fantastic tips from a highly respected figure in the San Francisco event entertainment arena.  Natasha Miller, president of Entire Productions, has been programming and supplying top class entertainment worldwide since 2000.

Tip #1 – Dare to be different! Take the road less traveled when selecting your music. Your guests will delight in the unexpected! Instead of a standard string ensemble, hire a special group like the Synchronicity String Quartet that can play classical repertoire and fine-tuned arrangements of your favorite Coldplay or Rihanna hit. The element of surprise is always welcome at a wedding.

Tip #2 – Make a special request repertoire known to the musician(s) as soon as possible! If you want a specific song played at your ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner or dancing, let it be known the MOMENT you know, preferably when signing the contract or at least 6 weeks before your wedding so that you give the musician(s) ample time to create an arrangement for their specific instrumentation in time. Artists will typically prepare one extra song and any additional arrangements usually cost extra depending on level of difficulty and instrumentation.

Tip #3 – If you want someone (a friend, family member, etc) to perform at your wedding with the musician(s) you’ve hired, PLEASE arrange for them to rehearse before. It will cost additional to have the professional musicians attend a rehearsal but it will make for a much better performance. Especially if your friend, family member is an amateur or even semi-professional musician. They tend to get nervous and sometimes don’t have the experience with performing with the particular instrumentation they’ll be expected to perform with. 

Tip #4 – Hire musicians from a reputable agency. Agencies handle all of the contracting–a must for both the client and the artists–details, communication with the artists, client and wedding planner, carry the necessary insurance for the artist AND the venue (most independent artists don’t carry this insurance), and hold the artist to a very strict timeline. Agencies can also assist on translating the clients needs and repertoire to the bandleader/artist making sure everyone is on the same page. Ask your wedding planner, caterer, photographer or other wedding vendor to recommend an agency.

Tip #5 – RELAX–After you’ve hired the best talent from a great agency, and have given them your schedule and repertoire, you can concentrate on everything else. Like how amazing you’re going to feel walking down the aisle and seeing all of your friends and family all night long!

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Natasha started Entire Productions in 2000, and has been booking talent for special events, producing corporate-sponsored concert series, handling publicity, and serving as a marketing and production consulting service ever since.

She is a classically trained violinist, accomplished songwriter and jazz vocalist. You might have caught her at the Monterey Jazz Festival, headlining at Yoshi’s, and performing in Teatro Zinzanni’s Cabaret Lunatique. She is a recording artist on the Poignant Records label, with 6 critically acclaimed CD’s under her belt. Natasha has had the honor of having her songs placed in feature films as well as on jazz radio stations all over the world.

Natasha has been the recipient of the Business & Professional Women “Women of Achievement in the Arts” award as well as the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award designated by the Alameda Chamber of Commerce.

Entire Productions is a San Francisco-based entertainment production company that programs and supplies musicians and other talent for corporate and social events all over the world.   Their full service A/V and production division provides sound, staging, and lighting, as well as back line, projection, and stage management.

Entertainment: http://www.entireProductions.com  |  Audio/Visual: http://www.entireProductionsAV.com