Your wedding day won't be perfect. Are you surprised I said that? Now, wait, let me explain. Perfection doesn't exist, and holding yourself to that perfect standard takes away all possibilities for spontaneity and authentic moments. But if you're like me, you still aim for a pretty high standard. And you should. But you should also keep in mind these things, which are often overlooked, when preparing for your wedding day.
Bride & Groom
Your guests can only have as much fun as you are having. A huge part of your job is to be as relaxed and well rested as possible. When I say relaxed, of course I know that butterflies in the tummy feeling comes along with being a bride or groom and making one the biggest public commitments of your lives. That's all part of the process, but combine that with sleep deprivation and short nerves and you've got a formula for disaster. Invest in your experience (and your future memories) by taking one week off work prior to your wedding. I know times are hard and vacation days are slim. But 5, 10 15 years form now you won't give a second thought to losing those days. But you will still remember how you felt on your wedding day. Work with your wedding planner (or bridal party if you don't have one) so that you aren't doing more than one wedding related task per day that week. Why? You need this mental pause to be able to refresh internally. Plan to get plenty of fresh air, sunshine, nutritious foods and exercise. All of these things help balance your body and mind and make it more possible for you to be open to the hidden joys and surprises that come along with any wedding day.
My job is also to be as well rested, prepared and forward thinking as possible. Since we've been planning together for at least the last few months, I should know what you and your partner are most excited about (i.e. that organic menu you've been planning with the chef or seeing your best friend from college who now lives in Australia) and also what you are most anxious about (your dad giving a long winded embarrassing toast or your brother taking the mic from the band to do a little karaoke). This way I am able to cut off any potential problems before they start, and trouble shoot any unforeseen issues that come up on your wedding day. I will also show up early, staffed appropriately and be a support to you, your family and bridal party, and be a resource to all your hired professionals to trouble shoot any unforseen issues.
Your job is easy! Show up on time (and this means 15-20 minutes before the ceremony is scheduled to begin), leave your day to day stresses at home, and be prepared to fully celebrate the love of this couple and the shared bond they have with you. Congratulate the couple heartily at your earliest opportunity. Get up on that dance floor at the first invitation, and bring as much joy as you can to this unique day in their lives. Want to go above & beyond? Buy a copy of the local paper to add to your gift as a topper and keepsake of your big day. Since you probably won't get a chance to talk much with the bride & groom, send them a hand written note along with a print out of your favorite snapshot you took that day and send it out right after the wedding. Planning on taking lots of pictures on the wedding day? Great! Just remember that the couple has likely paid thousands of dollars for their professional photographer, so just don't get in the way of their shots. Depending on how many photographers there are, below is a list of shots that are often not captured at weddings. Try for these shots and be adored by your friends!
- Parents / Bridal Party reactions to the bride & grooms first kiss, first dance and speeches and toasts
- Your table setting before the food gets served
- Kids playing away from the main action of the party
- Late night dance shots after the photographer has left of grandma getting her groove on!
Want more advice that you won't find on any checklist? Visit my friend Ron's blog for a great post on the invisible moments that make a great wedding.
Happy Wedding Season!
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