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It’s a cliché, but remember it’s your day (Picture: Getty Images)
Weddings are famously stressful.
From managing the budget and getting everything sorted on time to trying to keep the different groups of family and friends happy, there are so many moving parts to sort.
And then the day itself arrives, which can be very busy if you don’t play your cards right.
How many times have we heard couples say that the day itself was so hectic they actually barely remember it?
That is, naturally, far from ideal, which is why wedding expert Simon Daukes, who’s the owner of The Ash Barton Wedding Estate, has put together his top tips for how to have a wedding that actually gives you room to breathe.
Pick and choose which traditions matter
Don’t feel like you have to do everything by the book – it’s your day and you get to pick what matters to you.
Simon said: ‘It’s easy to get caught up in a whole load of wedding traditions. But if you’re only doing them to please others or because you think you should, then don’t. Remember, this is your wedding. So only keep the traditions you want.
‘Some couples who don’t like cake are eschewing a wedding cake in favour of cheese stacks or doughnut walls. Others are not having a seating plan, either at the ceremony or at the reception and letting guests sit where they want.
‘If every part of your day feels like you, you’ll have a more relaxed day.’
Don’t feel like you have to do the ‘done’ thing (Picture: Getty Images)
Only invite guests you love
Yes, that nagging sense of obligation can be hard to ignore, but this is your time to celebrate you and your partner above all else.
‘This is a tough one,’ Simon conceded. ‘But if you want to ensure you have the most relaxing wedding day possible, only invite those friends and family members who mean the most to you and who you’re really looking forward to seeing.
‘It’s just not worth inviting members of your family who don’t get your vibe or who you haven’t seen in years. And think of the cost savings too.’
Delegate, delegate, delegate
We said it once, but it bears repeating – you don’t have to do everything yourself. In fact, you really shouldn’t, and that includes on the day itself.
‘On the day,’ said Simon, ‘give jobs to individual bridesmaids and groomsmen, or a specific circle of friends. Perhaps one of the bridesmaids is the keeper of your emergency kit, with another responsible for looking after the little ones.
‘One of the groomsmen could make sure everyone knows where to go and at what time. Your wedding squad is there to help you, so make sure you use them.
‘As the person responsible for making sure every element of your wedding runs smoothly, a wedding coordinator can be worth their weight in gold.
‘They can manage the timeline of the day, be the go-to person for the caterers and any other suppliers, handle any last-minute mishaps if they occur, and let you get on with enjoying the day.’
You don’t need to go big if you don’t want to (Picture: Getty Images)
Chose a photographer with a relaxed style
The photographer(s) will essentially be in charge of documenting the day, so check the vibe of how they document.
Simon said: ‘If the thought of endless formal group shots makes you stressed, choose a photographer who has a relaxed, reportage style instead who will capture the moments of the day as they happen. Choosing a photographer who already knows the venue is an advantage too.
‘Meet your photographer beforehand so you can let them know the kind of shots you want, and then on the day, you can relax and let them get on with job.’
Splurge on pampering the day before
If your budget allows, make sure you schedule in some you time to chill out.
Simon suggests: ‘Stay calm on the day by booking a couple of treatments for the day before.
‘You may opt to have a manicure or pedicure. Or even better, book yourself a full body massage. It will help you get rid of any anxiety and stress, and it will help you sleep well too.’
Consider breaking the ‘can’t see the bride’ rule
If you’re stressing about the big reveal walking down the isle, or just want a bit of reassuring face time with your betrothed, there’s no reason why you have to wait until the vows are exchanged.
‘Many brides feel anxious about seeing their beloved for the first time when they walk down the aisle,’ Simon said.
‘So, think about a “first look” instead. This is when the couples see each privately before the ceremony begins. It’s a really intimate moment between you and your partner (and your photographer) and can help steady the nerves.’
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