I see it all the time. A soon-to-be bride meets with me for her initial consultation and she is elated. Glowing, really. She has her list of to-do’s, her vision for her day, and her plan for making it all happen. She has questions for me, and wonders aloud if I know which caterers are the best. Together we go over my services, talk about the details, and that happy and excited bride leaves our first meeting somehow even more energetic than she came into it.
This is a woman with a plan. A woman who cannot wait to see her dream wedding come to fruition.
I see her again at the engagement shoot we booked. It’s often the first time I’ve met her fiancé, and while he seems great, it’s clear this is her show to run. He watches at her adoringly as she and I discuss various details of this shoot, and then we get to work. The two beam at each other and I take the pictures that capture their love.
The end result is flawless, and I get their engagement photos off to them in time to use for their save-the-dates. Then, I don’t hear much from the bride until shortly before the wedding. My part in the pre-wedding planning is over. I’m not expected again until the big day.
We might exchange a few text messages or e-mails, of course. I always follow up, just to make sure everything is still set for the wedding day. She’s happy to hear from me, not because I’ve given her a reason to doubt I’ll be showing up, but because she’s just that type; on top of this, following up to make sure everything goes exactly as planned on her big day.
Her communications are a little more frantic than they were initially, but that’s to be expected, right? Planning a wedding is hard work. Clearly she just has a lot to do.
It’s not usually until I arrive on the day of the wedding that I realize just how much certain brides have taken on, though. That once-elated woman I first met with is now a bundle of nerves. She’s going through checklists even as she gets her makeup done. She bites her lip as she reviews details with me, absentmindedly asking her bridesmaids to check on various aspects of the day as well while we talk.
She’s still happy, still in love. But she’s also stressed. We’re only a few hours from the wedding, and there are still things that need to be done for the reception. Centerpieces the bridesmaids are diligently working on in the corner, even as the bride herself has some of that work in her hands as well. Chairs that weren’t delivered on time, which has the bride in a panic as she makes call after call. Concern over whether or not enough booze was ordered.
Mind you, this doesn’t happen to every bride I’ve ever worked with. But I’ve seen it enough to know that the biggest mistake a bride can make almost always comes down to one thing: Taking too much of the planning on herself.
The thing is, a wedding is a big deal. And planning a successful event for a hundred (or more) people is a skill it takes professionals years to hone. Yet too many brides get that ring on their finger and then assume they are capable of doing the task all on their own.
And you know what? They probably are. But at what cost? Is that stress on the big day really worth it?
In a perfect world, all weddings would have a wedding planner attached to them. This is simply the best solution for ensuring you get the big day of your dreams, while also being able to enjoy it. But for those who aren’t able to (or interested in) hiring a wedding planner, for whatever reason, I still have one simple request:
Delegate. Don’t try to take it all on yourself. At the very least, assign some of the responsibilities to that husband-to-be of yours. And whatever you do, don’t leave anything to still be done on your wedding day. Waiting until the last minute will only stress you out. It’s not worth it.
Don’t be the bride who looks back on her wedding day and remembers only the frantic push to get everything done on time.
No, its much better to feel like a guest at your own wedding.