Weddings are stressful. There's no getting around it, as much as I love to absorb a good dose of the chaos for my clients the reality is there will still be plenty you'll have whirring around your head the week before your wedding; so here I've rounded up some of the most common pre-big-day stresses along with my simplest ways to reduce them when you're on the final count down!
Stress #1: What do I do if the weather is bad on my wedding day?
Nothing like a bit of pre-wedding jeopardy, right? And what better way to raise the stakes than to opt for an outdoor wedding in the British summertime! Here the best thing to do is plan for the worst, hope for the best - having a plan b for your alfresco wedding will make you feel a lot calmer and know there's a backup if needed. If you're having an outside ceremony, make sure you have an alternative indoor option - if that means leaving space inside your marquee or venue for your guests to sit, before it being turned around into the dining area during the reception, then go for it! Room dividers, screens or furniture can help to break up a larger space so it still feels separate. Alternatively you could ask your guests to bring a brolly or hire a couple of gazebos that can be put up the morning of if needed (make sure your coordinator or helpers know how to do this and when if so). For outdoor receptions and food trucks, speak to your venue about their wet-weather backup plan, there may well be a space you can pile into with your guests during room turnarounds in your main space where needed - if you're in the middle of a field with one big marquee then talk to your coordinator about how to 'zone' the space and use it to it's full effect!
Stress #2: How can I make sure my wedding venue is decorated how I want?
You really don't want to be hanging up lights, signs and streamers on your own wedding day, or worrying about how it looks before you get there, so making sure you've got a really clear plan in advance for where everything needs to go and how you want it to look is essential. The easiest way to make sure this happens involves two simple steps:
Step 1: Go to your venue and photograph the space in detail (your phone is fine) plus also take a couple of slow walk-round videos. It's so much easier to show rather than tell where you want decor to go!
Step 2: Itemise all of your decorations in a list and make sure they're numbered, then create some super-simple images of the space with the relevant decoration numbers and notes, so it's homer-simpson proof! Make sure your coordinator or anybody helping with setup the morning of has this to hand.
Stress #3: My friends and family want to help at my wedding, but how do I get them organised?
On the note of friends and family helpers, it's always excellent if you have some willing participants, but it's also really important to make sure everyone knows what they need to do ahead of time! The best thing to do is to sit down and write out every element you can think of that either needs prepping/making, setting/moving or doing during the wedding itself - bear in mind the later the day goes on, the more people want to kick back and enjoy themselves so manage you're own expectations on what's achievable. Some useful things to put key party members in charge of are:
- Setting out favours/ guest entertainment items
- Moving decorations (eg flowers from a ceremony to the top table for dinner!)
- Announcements (A good MC is a gift - announcing dinner/ speeches/ first dances means things are a little more likely to run to time!)
- Being the point of contact for your suppliers (for example if you have a band arriving in the afternoon, who is making sure they're setup and good to go?)
Of course, if you have a coordinator- they'll do all of this for you, but it's still great to have an idea yourself and especially if you're flying solo!
Stress #4: How can I make sure my wedding runs on schedule?
Without a doubt the greatest wedding day worry, and easily the hardest to predict! The short answer is, you can't. But that's ok! One thing I always remind my clients is that they'll be so busy having a good time, they won't notice the odd slippage, however if you're still feeling worried, then a coordinator really is a no-brainer, as we've got the skills to magic time out of nowhere (trust me!) however if you're happy to roll with it a little more, then make sure your caterer and a couple of key wedding party players have a copy of your intended schedule to hand too.
Remember, you're (hopefully) only going to do this once - so delegate, prep and make sure you've put enough support around you so that on the day you're too busy having the time of your lives to worry about any of those finer details - you've got this!
Love, Kate x