Though it may not seem as pressing as finalizing the catering menu or deciding on the floral arrangements for your ceremony, planning out the details of the morning of your wedding day is an important, and often overlooked, part of creating an enjoyable and stress-free wedding experience. For a morning that you’ll remember for years to come, follow these five simple tips to make the hours before your big “I Do’s” as magical as the rest of your day.
Tip #1: Arrange The Ambiance. It may sound trivial now, but creating the perfect atmosphere in your preparation space can seriously affect your mood and, for better or worse, set the tone for the rest of your day. Whether you’re getting ready in a hotel suite or a church’s “bridal chamber,” make sure your room is spacious enough to comfortably accommodate everyone – this means you, your mother, your mother-in-law, your sisters, your bridesmaids, your photographer, your hair and makeup artists, and any random guests that decide to drop in to wish you luck – and has lots of natural light to ensure your makeup and photographs turn out beautifully. Delegate the task of bringing snacks and drinks to a few of your bridesmaids, and appoint one person to act as “room-tidier” so your half-eaten muffins and discarded clothes don’t show up in your pictures. Finally, take some time to create a playlist of your favorite songs a week or so before your wedding day; music can drastically affect your mood and alter the atmosphere of a room, so don’t forget to include plenty of upbeat dance music and Katy Perry ballads.
Tip #2. Mind The Time. As a bride, setting realistic timelines on the morning of your wedding can be paramount in helping you avoid unnecessary anxiety. A wedding planner can help you and your bridal party stay on track, time-wise, but if you don’t have the budget for one, follow these suggestions to make sure you don’t find yourself scrambling to get things done at the last minute:
- Guestimate the ” activity time blocks” of your pre-wedding activities – including taking photos at the venue, driving to the venue, getting dressed, hair, makeup, breakfast, showering, etc. – and add 15-20 minutes to the estimated time for each activity, just to be safe. Working backwards, subtract each “activity time block” from the start time of your wedding ceremony to figure out what time you need to wake up on the morning of your wedding day.
- You want your hair and makeup to be perfect, so leave plenty of time for your artist and stylist to get it right. Remember: Hair and makeup each take about 45 minutes per bridesmaid and 90 minutes for the bride, so if you have only one makeup artist and 10 bridesmaids, plan your morning accordingly. Plan on doing your own hair and makeup? Be sure to do at least one “trial run” a few days before the wedding so you know exactly how long it will take.
- Write everything down. Though you may feel like a control freak or “bridezilla” emailing schedules to everyone and taping itinerary print-outs on all the mirrors, having a constant visual reminder will help you, and everyone else, stick to your timeline.
Tip #3: Dress For Success. You should be comfortable the morning before your wedding, of course, but you should also spend some time deciding what you and your bridesmaids are going to wear for your “getting ready” photographs. Matching robes – either silk or fluffy, hotel-room style – and slippers are a great way to indulge while still looking stylish, and you should try to coordinate your changing schedule so you and your bridesmaids look similarly-dressed in all your pictures. Also, don’t forget to hang up your wedding gown (preferably away from the food and makeup) first thing; this will allow the small wrinkles in the fabric to settle, and will also make for some beautiful photographs later.
Tip#4: Prepare For Anything. A few weeks before your wedding day, sit down with your bridesmaids and make a list of anything and everything you might need on the morning of your wedding. Think of hang-ups and make contingency plans, imagine worst-case scenarios and jot down ways to resolve them. The wedding coordinators at Imperial Palace Banquet Hall recommend following our Wedding Day Emergency Checklist to make sure that you have everything covered. As the old saying goes: “Better to be safe than sorry!”
If nothing else, remember is this simple fact: You’re the bride, and you can do whatever you want.
Tip #5: RELAX! Regardless of how much time and energy you spend meticulously organizing every minute detail of your wedding day, we can guarantee one thing: something will not go according to plan. Knowing this – and telling yourself, repeatedly, that “everything will work out in the end” – is the best way to have a great morning on the day of your wedding. More than anything else, the most important thing to remember is this simple fact: You’re the bride, and you can do whatever you want.