January 6, 2019

Baton Rouge Wedding Photographer | Tips for a Stress Free Wedding

FILED IN: Education, Wedding

Okay, small confession – the headline is a lie. There’s no such thing as a stress FREE wedding, per se – but you can come pretty close to achieving one by knowing a few things ahead of your wedding day, and planning accordingly. There will be many things outside of your control when you’re preparing to walk that aisle, but anticipating some of the potential problems ahead of time can save you a huge headache.

Wedding planning is pretty nuts

Let’s just get that right on out there. When we’re young, we have this vision of our big day in our heads, but no one tells you that it takes an obscene amount of work to make all of that happen, when you’re five. Maybe you thought Cinderella’s fairy godmother could wave that magic wand she seemed so fond of and make it all just happen for you, who knows. But, now that you’re engaged and that sparkly little jerk is nowhere to be found, so you’ve gotta get things handled if you want to do your inner 5-year old proud.

So, you’ve got your bling, and your planner, and all of the wedding advice from everyone in your life who’s ever been to a wedding. You’ve consulted The Google, and started a board on Pinterest. But how in the name of all that’s holy do you know where to start? And what if–God forbid–after putting in a crazy amount of work to make your dream wedding a reality, something goes WRONG?

I’ve been photographing weddings in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans area for years now, and I’ve seen a lot go “wrong”. Note that I put “wrong” in quotation marks, here. This is because I truly believe that everything that happens on your day is part of your story! The things that didn’t go according to plan are usually what you end up laughing about later.

Sometimes much later, but…later. It’ll happen, I promise.

Anyway, there are plenty of things that you can’t do a thing about on your wedding day. Weather can’t be controlled, traffic is even less predictable, and Lord knows you have zero control over the groomsmen’s alcohol tolerance levels. These topics, and more, belong firmly in the “It Is What It Is” category.

Others, though, you can get ahead of, and cut at least some degree of wedding day chaos off at the knees.

To that end, I’ve put together a few tips for lessening your odds of cray on your wedding day. I’m even including a handy-dandy graphic for you to stash in your (already overflowing) wedding binder!

Let’s get into it, shall we?

Tip #1 – Get what you can out of the way, early.

Baton Rouge Wedding Photographer Tips for a Stress Free Wedding Day 1

Stretching out things you need to “do” before leaving for the ceremony may seem like a good way to manage stress, but trust me – it’s way better to get things done early, and then just relax and enjoy your little Time Cushion of Happiness. You won’t be able to get everything done one right after the other, but plan on doing things like opening gifts or notes to one another, having that sweet first look with your dad, or giving gifts to your bridesmaids early on in the day. You never know which thing that you thought would go smoothly is going to end up taking way longer than expected. And when it does, you won’t sweat it, because: Time Cushion of Happiness.

Tip #2: Following up on tip #1: Plan for more time than you think you’ll need.

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Your wedding planner and/or wedding photographer is a great resource, here. I, for one, find myself constantly calculating the “time-to-be-there-but-also-allowing-for-time-to-run-late” equation in my head for my everyday life (it’s a problem). I’m going to go ahead and say that whatever time you’re imagining allowing for getting into your dress – double it. You’re welcome.

You never know what’s going to go sideways and when. Tacking an extra 15 minutes on here and there when you’re planning out your timeline can be a lifesaver! Let’s start a #TimeCushionOfHappiness hashtag, shall we?

Tip #3: Do a first look. If you wanna.

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Some wedding professionals will tell you that you NEED a first look. “It’s ESSENTIAL!” all the wedding blogs seem to say – but really, it’s not that serious. Yes, it can save time, but part of the reason you’re paying what you are for your wedding planner and photographer is that they have experience to guide you in planning your particular day so that you have the best shot possible of making it to the church on time.

If you have an action-packed day planned with not a lot of extra time available, first looks can be a great tool to help cut down on photo time later in the day. Once you’ve seen each other in all your wedding glory, you can take photos with the entire bridal party, together, as well as the bride and groom portraits that are usually done right after the ceremony.

There is no magic lost in seeing each other before you head down the aisle, I promise. THAT moment is real and exciting regardless of whether you’ve seen each other in wedding clothes or bath robes in the hours before. I’ve had couples want to do a first look SOLELY because they feel they need to see each other to calm jittery nerves before the ceremony. Sometimes they just want to enjoy the moment privately before a few hundred people spend an entire Mass worth of time staring at them. Other couples may have dreamed their whole lives of that Moment of Big Reveal, so an aisle-look is more their thing.

Whatever YOU want to do, do it – but don’t let the wedding trends sway you.

Tip #4: Family portraits – be a bossy pants

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If there’s one part of the day that is often complete chaos, it’s this one. You can get ahead of the disorder a bit by making a photo list of the family members and groups that are most important to you to have posed, frame-worthy images of. And–this is the important part–letting those people know that they need to stay after the ceremony. In other words, under no circumstances is Uncle Ronnie allowed to make a run for the open bar until he’s taken the photos you want.

It’s your day – you can be a bossy pants if you want to. Assigning a relative who knows family member names and relationships helps your photographer with this list and wins you ALL of the Favorite Client points, FYI.

Tip #5: Transportation – it’s kind of important

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Arranging for a party bus, trolley, or limo to keep your whole wedding party together on the trip to the ceremony can be a lifesaver. There’s a much smaller chance of anyone getting lost if your Plus, if your driver is the one confused, at least you’re all lost together–nothing will start without YOU, anyway. It’s also helpful if you assign a friend or relative the job of calling the transportation company ahead of their expected departure time, just to make sure everything is running on schedule. Put that eager-to-help relative to work! They’re usually happy to feel like they’re a part of your day’s success. They love when they can take a small burden off of your shoulders!

Tip #6: Schedule time to eat (and drink):

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Wedding days are often long affairs. If you do have a chance to grab food earlier in the day, a lot of times you’ll be too distracted or nervous to eat much. One thing leads to another, and suddenly it’s been hours since you’ve eaten! Now, you have everyone you’ve known in your entire life standing between you and the buffet, just waiting to wish you congratulations.

If you don’t schedule a time to eat, odds are high that you either won’t eat at all, or you’ll eat very little. Ask me how many brides I’ve had tell me that they’ve stopped at Taco Bell after leaving the wedding reception!

So, get with your wedding planner or venue coordinator and ask them to have a plate set aside for you and your honey before being announced in as man and wife. You can then enjoy mingling and opening the dance floor with plenty of carb-fuel!

Tip #7 – Prepare (even though you probably won’t need half of your kit)

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This one is on pretty much every “wedding tip” list out there, but for good reason. Packing things like:

  • A crochet hook for the (million) buttons on your dress
  • A sewing kit
  • Body glue to hold your garter up (why are they ALWAYS too big or too small, anyway?)
  • Safety pins for that thing that goes wrong with that one bridesmaid dress
  • More bobby pins than you think you’ll ever need in your life

These things can be lifesavers, and ease last-second panic.

There are a ton of lists out there, but this one is pretty thorough.


Tip #8: Trust your pros, and embrace your day–exactly as it is.

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By the time your day actually–finally–arrives, you’ve done pretty much all of what can be done. The rest is going to unfold as it will! If everything went exactly according to the fancy wedding planning guides’ specifications, every wedding day would look the exact same. Who wants that?!

Things are going to go sideways. Little things, probably–nothing to prevent you actually getting married. But you can pretty much depend on something happening. The best thing you can do to ensure a (relatively) stress-free wedding day is to let things go. Realize that at this point your only job should be enjoying your day and making some memories. You’ve done what you can, your tribe has done their thing. The professionals you’ve hired are all in place to get you down that aisle and officially off the market. Some of my happiest couples have been ones for whom everything has (seemingly) gone wrong! They laughed about it, said I do, and just made memories with their people.

So, there you have it! My best tips for rocking your wedding day, and having a low stress, fun day! I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you found it helpful and would like to talk to me more about your wedding photography needs, please shoot me an email, or {click here} to get in touch!

To download these tips, check out the link below.

Tips For a Stress Free Wedding

Bayou Rose Photography photographs weddings, birth and documentary family sessions in the Baton Rouge, Gonzales, New Orleans and surrounding areas

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