So, you’ve booked the date, secured the venue, even got your dress/suit and shoes ready for the big day. Wedding planning takes up a lot of time, but some things that don’t seem important to think about before the day actually matter more than you realize. Here’s 8 things you must do on your wedding day:
1. Be in the moment
It is so so easy to fall into the trap of wanting to be the main person planning and organizing on the day itself. After all, you are the one who has been dreaming of this day since forever. You know in your mind exactly how you want every little detail to be and you want to make sure that it all looks perfect. But please spend some time just taking the day in, exactly how it is. Your wedding day goes by so quickly, I’d hate for you to regret not remembering the words that were spoken or the real meaningful hugs you got from your family as your mind was too preoccupied with details.
2. Frequently find your spouse
I relate to this point so much. At my own wedding reception I feel like my husband and I only bumped into each other once, as we had spent the entire evening ‘doing the rounds’ saying hello to all of the guests that we barely spoke to each other except for giving each other a high-five mid way through the doorway!
Take some time at various points throughout the day to go and be alone together, to check that both of you are feeling good and to debrief any things you want to tell each other without anyone else getting in the way. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it.
3. Drink water and eat something
You might think that this is a ‘D’oh well of course we will’ thing. But honestly, the day goes by so fast that it’s so easy to forget. I can remember hardly wanting to eat my meal because I was too focused on everyone enjoying themselves and me getting nervous about the speeches. Well, when those speeches came around and we were toasting with the fizz, it went straight to my head! Drink. Water. Lots. Throughout the entire day. If you are worried about needing the bathroom, get your wedding party people to help you out with that, they’ve got your back!
4. Find vendors that will do all the work for you
If you’ve got a budget that allows, then invest in a Wedding Planner. They are worth their weight in gold. Wedding Planners are seasoned pros when it comes to everything wedding related. They know how to work with timelines, they know how to coordinate vendors and locations and how much time is needed for certain aspects of the day. They save so much time that YOU would otherwise end up using up on YOUR wedding day.
Even I, as a Wedding Photographer & Videographer am there to help you with timelines and shot lists to make sure that we are utilizing our time on the day as best as we can. We are professionals and are used to knowing what’s what when it comes to a wedding timeline. This is why I find it so important to do a consultation call with my couples to make sure that we are the best fit for each other.
5. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to people
If you don’t have the budget for a planner, then make sure that your wedding party people know exactly what is what and what is expected of them on the day. Don’t let them think that their main role is to just stand there and look pretty- they are your tribe. They are there to help you on the day to make things easier for you, so you can spend more time doing the things that brides are meant to do [see point 1.]
6. Spend time with your grandparents
You will never know how much they appreciate you spending that time with them. Remember, they were the bride and groom once. They have gone through it all, and are now looking at it from the other end of the spectrum. They are older and wiser and it’s easy to want to just party the night away with your friends. I’m not expecting you to sit with them all night, but definitely spend some quality time with them by yourselves so that they can take it all in. You never know, your wedding day might be the last big family event they go to.
7. Make somebody a ‘runner’ for your group pictures
Similar to point 5, this relates specifically to group pictures. They are probably the most stressful part of a wedding day, as straight after the ceremony [which is typically when group pictures are taken] many people just wander off if there’s no direction.
I always ask my couples to write me a list before the day so that I know, in priority order who you want group pictures of. I would also always give a copy of the same list to a trustworthy person who knows many if not all of the people needed for said pictures. They can be running around to get people in the groups ready for the next shot. It saves SO much time and your guests will appreciate that.
8. Spend some time dancing!
Seeing newlywed couples dancing on their wedding day is one of my favourite things!
To really see everything come to fruition at the end of the night and to see you let your hair down is so rewarding. Aside from the DJ who is a hugely impactful person to have at any wedding reception, ultimately, if you, the bride and groom are on that dance floor, your guests will want to join you too. So go for it!
I hope those points have helped to make you see a wedding day from a different perspective, and I wish I’d had the chance to read something like this before the big day.
The Person Behind The Lens
If you like unconventional, honest, friendly and real photos, I’m your person.
Sam Wildridge is a lifestyle photographer / filmmaker based in Wainwright, Alberta. Sam has been capturing wedding, family + corporate photos for 9 years and defines her style as "organic storytelling".