Top Ten Tips for a Stress-Free Wedding Day

Your wedding is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life, but it can also be a source of stress for many people.  Here is a list of tips and tricks I learned as we planned our wedding this past year.  Enjoy every minute, because it goes fast! 🙂

10tips update

Photo by Spottswood Photography

Reduce Reuse Recycle
Centerpieces can be expensive, and most people don’t plan to reuse them after the wedding.  You’d be surprised by how much stuff you can find just by doing a quick search on the internet. Craigslist, Goodwill, and word of mouth can be the best resource for trying to collect all those decorative vases, beads, and ornaments needed to compliment your theme.  My mother-in-law was able to find all of our centerpieces from a friend who’s children had recently gotten married, and I made all the signs for the reception with frames I purchased from the Goodwill and some chalkboard paint.


Chalkboard signs were made from Goodwill frames and chalkboard paint! Photo by Spottswood Photography

Create a Shot List for the Photographer
If you’re like me, the wedding photos were the number one thing that I cared about when determining how we would spend our budget, so I wanted to make it

count!  Create a ‘must have’ photo shot list that you can give to your photographer beforehand. Include any friends and relative names that you especially want a photo with, and any fun poses that you may want to include in your album.  If possible, also include the seating chart, so they will know where everyone they need to photograph will be sitting.

All the guys received converse shoes as their 'thank you' gift.

All the guys received converse shoes as their ‘thank you’ gift. Photo by Spottswood Photography

Negotiate Where You Can

Most reception halls have set meal plans or bar options, but that doesn’t always mean you have to stick to them completely!  We wanted to have a a vegetarian lasagna instead of the meat option that was provided, so we negotiated additional cheese and cracker trays for the cocktail hour with the money we were saving them on the cost of beef.

Order Sheet Cake

This was a tip I received from a friend of mine and oh my gosh is it brilliant!! Instead of ordering all the cake from a specialty bakery, order a small tiered cake that be displayed for cutting, and order the rest as sheet cake from Costco!


Our Wedding Cake Photo by Spottswood Photography

Yes, you heard me correctly.  We originally had planned to order the additional sheet cakes from our bakery; however, after looking at how much the bakery was still going to charge for sheet cake?!?!, we changed our minds and went with Costco.  It was perfect, because not only were we able to order multiple flavors and save over $250!, but no one could even tell the difference!!

Let People Help!
Weddings are big affairs, and it takes a group of people to pull it off.  When someone offers to assemble the centerpieces, or transport supplies to the reception, let them! So many little tasks pop-up as you get closer to the big day, and people truly wan to help.  I had an especially difficult time with this, since I like feeling in control, and I never want to inconvenience anyone!

Make a Wedding Day Itinerary

This was probably the single best advice I was given, and can make the difference between a lot of unnecessary calls/texts on the wedding day,and smooth sailing!

I created a wedding day newspaper which included fun trivia about us and bios of the bridal party.

I created a wedding day newspaper which included fun trivia about us and bios of the bridal party. Photo by Spottswood Photography

Create a wedding day agenda outlining where all members of the wedding party need to be during each portion of the day. Include names, addresses, and times, so people can contact each other, instead of the bride and groom for questions. I printed copies and handed them out to everyone at the rehearsal dinner, just in case anyone would forget. 🙂

Lip Stain over Lipstick
Our photographer gave me this suggestion, and I would have never even thought about it. You’re going to be taking lots of pictures, and doing a lot of kissing! 😉 To help eliminate the need to constantly reapply lipstick, use a lip stain with some chap stick instead! Not only will this save time, but your groom will stay lipstick free all day! 🙂


Photo by Spottswood Photography

Get a Good Night of Sleep Two Days Before the Big Day

This is actually a method I use when prepping for big running events, but it worked perfectly for this situation as well.  The Wedding Day is a long day, and you probably won’t sleep well the night before from all the excitement, nerves, family visiting, ect.  That’s why it’s so important to get a good night sleep two days before the big day.  This will help ensure that you have the energy needed to enjoy every minute of it.

Leave for the Honeymoon Right Away

I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to roll onto the plane the next morning after our wedding, and escape for a full week together! You’ve just spent the last few months planning every detail of this day,now it’s time to just relax and finally enjoy being married! If you can, take advantage of the opportunity to go on a honeymoon right away, turn off your cellphones, forget about all the gusts, the planning, the chaos, and just enjoy your time together. 🙂

Write the Thank You Notes as You Open Your Gifts

My husband had this idea during our Honeymoon, and it worked out so well! Not only does writing the thank you notes as you open your gifts help with keeping all the names and information organized, but it’s a great motivator to help ensure that you write and send them out as soon as possible.


Photo by Spottswood Photography

Have a wonderful wedding day!

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