For a wedding planner, the day of the wedding is everything. It’s the culmination of hundreds of hours of hard work and preparation. We always want everything to go according to plan, but we are ready if it doesn’t. Maybe it’s superstition or experience, but I find that over the years my behavior has become somewhat ritualized.
Here are 10 Things I Always Do on a Wedding Day:
BEFORE THE WEDDING
I am not one of those gals who can run around all day on an empty stomach. When I’m hungry, I am HANGRY, so I always start my day off with a full breakfast. Eggs, toast, juice and water do it for me. I save the caffeine for later in the day, when I will really need it. I also make sure to take all my vitamins and herbs. I pack some snacks and at least 2 large bottles of water.
2) Good morning!
After I’ve had breakfast, I always send my couple a “Happy Wedding Day” text message. I want to make sure they are running on schedule. If they are not, I don’t want to be surprised later in the day!
3) Organize my tech
I make sure I have my iPhone charger, extra mobile battery pack, extra cords, and my laptop and laptop charger. I also always have everything I need in a binder, just in case technology is not my friend at the venue.
4) Organize my emails
I have four email addresses that send emails to my iPhone. Only one of those inboxes is my work email. I use Inbox Pause (an app for Gmail) to literally shut off my other three inboxes for the day. It saves my phone battery, my sanity, and helps me focus. I don’t need to know about the new sale at Banana Republic on a wedding day. That can wait until tomorrow. If the day calls for a really complicated setup or schedule, I will also remove the Facebook app from my phone. I am a huge fan of minimizing distractions! I don’t turn anything back on until the next day. I am guilty of checking emails in the middle of the night (anyone else?), so I simply remove the option.
DURING THE CEREMONY & RECEPTION
The actual execution of a wedding day has so many moving parts! These are three things I do without fail at Every. Single. Wedding. In addition to the million or so other tasks that my team and I accomplish!
5) Emergency kits for the wedding party
In addition to a huge emergency kit that stays with me and my team, I also provide 2 smaller (and prettier) kits for my couple and their wedding party. You can see how I set them up here. I’ve found that giving them their own kits helps them be more self-sufficient, and minimizes the time my team needs to run around finding things for them. They have almost everything they need in the kit already!
Photography by Laura Ford Photo
6) Keep my feet fresh!
I’ve been doing this a long time, and I have yet to find the perfect wedding day shoes. I truly don’t think they exist. What I do is rotate through a few pairs of shoes as the day goes on. I start set up in running sneakers, switch to my nicest pair of flats for guest arrival, switch to another pair of flats after dinner, and then I end the night either back in sneakers or in Birkenstocks. I have at least three pairs of shoes with me on a wedding day. It sounds excessive but it works for me! My theory is that when I switch shoes I’m tricking my feet into thinking they aren’t burning.
7) Express gratitude
Wedding days are tough and the hours are long. The day isn’t always as perfect as we would like it to be. Nevertheless, I always lead with gratitude. I remind myself on every wedding day that everyone is on the same team – we all want a beautiful day for our client. I make a point to express my gratitude to all the vendors, point out small things they did that were noticed, and especially when things aren’t going 100% according to plan, THANK EVERYONE for doing their best.
END OF THE DAY
I have a very ritualized set of things I do when I get home from a wedding day.
I walk in the door to my home and immediately get into a long hot shower. I literally walk from the front door to the bathroom. If I stop and get a glass of water, or chat with my husband, or pet the dogs, I’ll get distracted. So, again, I minimize distractions.
9) Medicate and stretch
I either take 3 Advil or 2 Bayer back and body aspirin, depending on how much I hurt all over. I drink a huge glass of water. Then, I lay down on the floor (or on my bed, if I’m super exhausted) and do a bit of yoga.
10) Brain dump
The last thing I do before bed is take some notes on the day, while it’s still fresh in my mind. I keep it simple and just use the Notes App on my iPhone since it’s generally always with me anyway. I open 2 notes in my Notes app: Tidbits for Blog Post and Challenges & Opportunities.
Blog Post Tidbits are anything that happened during the day that I want to recall about the wedding or the couple for a future blog post or submission. Challenges & Opportunities are notes about my team, vendor workflow, and performance. I also jot down some notes on my own performance too. No one escapes my critical gaze, not even the Boss (that’s me)!
Then I sleep. I sleep for a million hours, or until my dogs, or husband, or hunger, wake me.
I hope my top 10 list gives you some new ideas of strategies you can implement to make your wedding day smoother and more enjoyable. Tell me, what is your #1 “must-do” on a wedding day? Let me know in the comments!
This is a guest post by Renée Dalo. Renee is the CEO and Lead Planner of Moxie Bright Events, a boutique wedding planning firm in Los Angeles, CA. Renée is also a Leader for The Rising Tide Society (Los Angeles-East) and a strong believer in “community over competition”. She will be speaking this July at the Let’s Plan Conference in Weston, Florida. She can’t say no to anything Kate Spade, a weekend getaway, or a well-made bellini. You can find Renée on Instagram at @moxiebrightevents and on FB in her group The Moxie Collective, exclusively for Planners with 2+ years in business. Join us!