Photo: Kristyn Hogan
You spent a lot of time planning your wedding day. So it's only reasonable that you want to actually enjoy it — especially in the moment. But stress and worry can take precedence over enjoying the fruits of your labor, warns Jaclyn Fisher, owner of Two Little Birds Planning, if you're not careful to stay present.
“At the end of the day, the most important part of a wedding is the celebration of your love and beginning of your life together,” she says. “Brides need to remember that when they start to get distracted and stressed. If they don't stay present, their wedding day will go by in a flash without the bride actually experiencing or enjoying it.” With that in mind, here are seven expert-approved tips to help you stay in the moment:
1. Break in your shoes before the big day.
If you're used to wearing flats, your wedding could be a real pain — and we mean that literally — making it tough to think about anything other than your aching feet. But beyond breaking in your shoes, Fisher recommends making sure you'll feel comfortable from head-to-toe at your wedding. “It will be impossible to enjoy your first dance if you can't stop thinking about your strapless bra that's digging into your chest or the painful blister on the back of your foot,” she warns.
2. Don't plan to do too much the week of your wedding.
There is so much to do in the days leading up to your wedding. But rather than leave them to the last minute, Fisher recommends tackling them as early as possible so that the stress of your last-minute DIY projects doesn't linger on your wedding day. “Make sure your programs, escort cards, welcome bags, and DIY projects are done well before the week of your wedding,” she says. “Setting the tone with a calm, restful week will put you in the right mindset to be stress-free and present on your wedding day.”
3. No matter what, you must eat.
A wedding day is a very long day indeed. And you don't want your growling stomach to steal the show. “Start the day with a good breakfast, and take a short break before you put on your dress to nosh on some protein and light carbs or fruit,” recommends Amy Nichols, owner of Amy Nichols Special Events and co-founder of The Poppy Group.
4. Take time to yourselves after the ceremony.
You may be surprised to hear that you'll have very little alone time with your spouse on your big day. So be sure to take a moment after the ceremony for some QT. “Retreat to the bridal suite or another private area with your groom to bask in the newlywed bliss,” Fisher recommends. “Enjoy calling him your husband for the first time, admire your new wedding bands, and steal a few smooches. And let your planner and caterer know about your plan ahead of time so they can have champagne, water, and a sampling of your hors d'oeuvres ready for you.”
5. Hug your parents.
Your mom has been by your side from the start of your wedding planning. So, “take a special moment with your mom to thank her,” recommends Nichols. After all, no one will keep you grounded like your mom. But don't leave your dad in the dust, either. “Some brides even choose to do a first look with their dads, where the photographer captures the moment that a dad sees his daughter in a wedding dress for the first time,” she says.
6. Leave your phone in your purse, or give it to your maid of honor.
We all know that phones are a daily distraction, and it will be on your wedding day, too, if you don't put it away. “On your wedding day, you definitely don't need something else pulling your attention away,” says Fisher. Put it in your clutch, or ask a family member or friend to carry it for emergencies only. “You've hired a professional photographer, so you don't need to take photos, and anyone you'd think to call or text will be there in person,” she says. “If there was ever a time to disconnect, your wedding day is it.”
7. Hire a great team.
If you really want to relax on your wedding day, then you must trust the team you've put in place to execute it. “Bringing on vendors that are reliable, experienced and talented will remove so much of the worry about what's happening behind the scenes,” Nichols explains. “Your wedding planner will be handling all of the details and logistics of the wedding day with your vendors. This will allow you to walk into the ceremony and reception knowing that everything and everyone are in their place and ready to have a good time.”