1. Brides, have your hair and makeup done by a professional
Yes, it’s true that you’ve been doing your own hair and makeup for the last 10+ years, and no, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to do it yourself. But hiring a professional to do it for you takes both the stress and guesswork out of the equation and will make you feel that much more beautiful on your wedding day. The best pro tip I can give is to do a trial run (or two) to make sure the person doing your hair and makeup knows exactly what you want before the big day.
2. Grooms, get a haircut before the wedding (A mistake made by yours truly)
Don’t get the haircut right before the big day, and don’t choose this time to test out a new barber. Getting your haircut a week prior to the wedding is the sweet spot - it’s close enough that you’ll look polished but far enough away that you’ll have time to get it fixed or let it grow a little if it doesn’t meet your expectations.
3. Get your dress steamed
Most bridal shops will give you a complementary steaming when you purchase your dress, often allowing you to schedule it on a future date if you ask. Take them up on it! It may seem like such a minor detail, but that simple step will help ensure you’re looking your best on the big day, which will be documented forever in photos and video.
The last thing you want to do on your wedding day is run around trying to solve every potential issue that might arise. Put people you trust in charge of all those tasks so you can enjoy the day you spent so long planning. Your Maid of Honor can answer your calls, and the Best Man can tell the band when it’s time for speeches and the first dance. Better yet - hire a wedding coordinator to do it for you!
5. Work closely with your photographer to design a timeline for great photos!
Those gorgeous portraits that you’ve been pinning on Pinterest? They likely weren’t snapped randomly throughout the night by guests holding iPhones. Work some time into the wedding day to take photos and make sure you book a great photographer. Are there certain photos that are “must haves”? Give your photographer a list ahead of time so he/she can be sure to capture them.
6. Bring a wooden hanger for your dress
Most dresses will come with a felt or plastic hanger, but they are not nearly as beautiful as a wooden hanger for those detail photos! Bonus tip: You can also personalize it however you want for the wedding day. Although you wont be wearing your dress again, it's fun to be able to use the hanger every day long after you say "I do".
7. Think ahead about the speeches
Schedule speeches to happen at the beginning of the reception. Most people get nervous talking in front of crowds and will be anxious until it’s finally over. Give them a break by moving the speeches up in the schedule so that everyone can relax and enjoy the reception! Another tip - keep the number of speeches and their length to a minimum. A great alternative to numerous, lengthy speeches is to ask that they write a handwritten letter you can display at the reception...and keep as a priceless memento.
8. Choose carefully when deciding where to put the cake table
Cakes don't hold up well in heat and that buttercream icing will melt faster in the sunshine than your Aunt Betty can talk. Put the cake table in the shade and don't put it in a corner - unless you want that boring white wall as your background. Pulling the table out will give your guests a better view and allow the photographer to capture you two cutting the cake with your family and loved ones all around you!
You’ll be so busy being whisked from place to place on your wedding day that you may forget about food all together. Delegate someone to bring you food throughout the day to keep you nourished and hydrated - although feeling faint because the day seems surreal is a good thing, feeling faint because you forgot to eat is definitely not. Also be sure to enjoy some of the delicious reception food that you spent so much time and money on!
10. Natural light + clean room = amazing getting ready shots!
When thinking about where to get ready, be sure to find a space that has a ton of natural light. Large windows and big space always sets you up for beautiful portraits before the ceremony begins!
Bonus Tip: Enjoy the day and live in the moment! The event you spent months (or even years!) planning will fly by in the blink of an eye. Savor it and remember why it’s happening - you’re marrying the love of your life! If that happens by the end of the day, even if everything else didn’t go exactly as planned, then it was a success.