Ah, your wedding day – one of the happiest days of your life…

But then why are you feeling nervous as you’re getting ready for your big day?

Before you start feeling that something is definitely wrong with you, I’m here to tell you that planning a wedding is no easy task. And that’s especially true if it’s your wedding we’re talking about, where you’re the bride or groom.

So, experiencing at least some level of wedding-day anxiety is entirely normal. I mean, if the fact that you’re getting married wasn’t enough, all the unchecked items on your list of things to do, plus the assumed social pressure related to hosting so many people can make even the calmest of souls freak out a little.

So, I’m here as your favorite wedding photographer from North Carolina to give you my top tips for handling all the stress on the last few days leading up to your wedding.

Because while some feeling some anxiety around your big day is a normal part of the process, your wedding is also a day of love, joy, and laughter. And nothing should ruin that for you.

1. Finish your wedding planning process a week before

Okay, so I know your wedding is super important, but let’s be real here. Do you really want to spend every waking minute before your fairytale day obsessing over flower arrangements and table settings?

Like… really?

So, why not aim to finish planning your wedding a week before instead?

By finishing up with your wedding planning early, you can really enjoy every second of the week leading up to the day you get married. You can just sit back and relax, you can go on a date with your soulmate, or you can do whatever the heck you want.

Sure, speeding up your planning process might turn out to be a lot of stress on its own. But at least you won’t have to deal with last-minute panic attacks or late-night googling of “emergency wedding planners”. Besides, nothing says “I’m a badass bride” quite like being one step ahead of the game….

And after you’re done planning everything – and this is important – it’s time to try on your clothes one last time to make sure everything fits perfectly. With one week to go, you’ll still have time to make last-minute adjustments, but you probably won’t have time to gain or lose enough weight to make a difference.Afterwards, you can relax knowing that you’re done with your wedding planning, your clothes fit perfectly
– and you still have an entire week before your wedding to focus on the love of your life.

2. Have your “details box” ready for your wedding day

What in the world is a “details box”?
– you might be asking.

Well, it’s some sort of container – be it a box, a bag, or even a suitcase – with everything you want to include on your flat lay photo.

You can include things like your rings, ring boxes, or any other jewelry or heirlooms. You can pack your dresses, hangers, and shoes. A gorgeous hair accessory, a special perfume, your invitation suites, or vow books – anything goes. Even flowers – so feel free to toss in your bouquets, boutonnières, or some loose flowers, too.

But whatever you put in your details box, make sure you actually want to include that in at least some of your wedding photos. Try on your jewelry before packing it, make sure you actually like the perfume you’re packing, and don’t toss in extra hangers just for the thrill of it.

After all, the whole point is to have everything you want (and nothing else) in one convenient place. This will help you stay sane, as you’ll be sure that you’re not leaving anything at home. And as a huge bonus, your vendors (myself included) won’t have to scramble to find your things for the key moments of the biggest day of your life.

Sounds like a win-win, doesn’t it?

3. Step away & delegate to reduce stress

Your family members and friends – and probably every other one of your guests – want you to have the best wedding ever.

So, they’ll most likely be happy to help you cross a few things off your to-do list, and help you ease your wedding planning stress (this is still true even if you’ve hired a professional full-service wedding planner), or the nerves you feel on your actual wedding day. After all, nobody wants you to be stressed-out and exhausted on your big day.

With that being said, nobody can read your mind…

So, don’t hesitate to speak up and ask for help when you actually need it. A friend or family member might be able to help you pick up some last minute things, plan the last few details of your wedding party, or help you transport your wedding dress to the location you’ll get ready at.

Gift your closest loved ones the experience of being involved in all the magic of getting ready for your big day. Trust me, they’ll have a good time and feel appreciated and included in your love story too.Plus, doing so will not only make them even more excited around your big day. But having less things to worry about will also alleviate some of your wedding anxiety, helping you feel more relaxed as well.

4. Don’t let wrinkles be your source of anxiety

Wrinkles kinda suck, don’t they?

Well, imagine planning every second of your wedding day perfectly, only to realize that some of your clothes are wrinkled – or even worse: dirty. Imagine doing everything right to make your dream wedding a reality – only to go crazy at the last second over a few wrinkles on your clothes.

Now that would definitely suck, wouldn’t it?

I mean, not only do they look bad in real life. But wrinkled robes, pajamas, or shirts look awful in photos too, no matter how much your wedding photographer tries to “iron them out” with Photoshop.

So, the best way to avoid such a frustrating situation is to make sure all your getting ready outfits (and wedding clothes) are clean and wrinkle free prior to your wedding. Wash them, air dry them, or even steam them if needed. And once they’re as good as new, make sure to pack them in a way that ensures they’ll stay that way, too.

Knowing all your clothes will look amazing will help you feel calm in the morning – and set you up for a stress-free wedding later in the day.

5. Create a relaxing atmosphere to manage wedding day stress

I’ve already written an article on how you can make the most of the day (and night) before your wedding, and some of those tips apply here as well.

After all, the atmosphere you create before and on your wedding day will affect your entire wedding experience.

So remember why you’re here in the first place: because you’ve found your person, your soulmate, your forever dance partner – and you’re ready to embark on a beautiful journey called marriage. You’re here to celebrate your love story with the people who mean the world to you.

And no tiny detail, no worry, or stress should be able to prevent you from having the most heartfelt, the most romantic, and the most epic wedding experience ever. Because no matter what happens, your wedding – your once-in-a-lifetime beautiful experience – will be over in a blink of an eye.

And until that happens, you should give yourself the gift of enjoying every second of it.

So surround yourself with positive vibes and people who uplift you. Be present, immerse yourself fully in the magic of the day, and soak in every single moment – the nervous excitement, the butterflies in your stomach, all the laughter & the tears of joy.

And even if something goes a bit sideways, take a deep breath and embrace those imperfections. After all, perfection is overrated, and these unique moments are all part of life’s beautiful journey. So loosen up and welcome all the unexpected moments, the little mishaps, and hilarious surprises that may come your way.

Choose laughter & love as your superpowers  – and you truly will be invincible.

Take a few seconds to breathe deeply – you’ve got this! While simply telling you not to stress on your wedding day may not be enough to do the trick, I hope these quick tips will help you take the brunt of stress and problems around your wedding off your shoulders, and help you manage stress a lot better on your wedding day.

But before you leave, I have one last tip for you. Make sure you work with vendors who actually see your vision, and are willing to go the extra mile to help you bring it all to life. Your wedding planner, your photographer, your contact at your venue, and your celebrant all play a key role in making sure your day goes as smoothly as possible.

And while I can’t always vouch for your other vendors, I can be that wedding photographer. I can be your photographer. So, feel free to reach out if you’d like me to help you fill your day with magic

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