How to have a relaxed wedding day

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Janelle D'Ambrosia

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November 16, 2023

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Your wedding or elopement only happens once and trust me, the day flies by quick. You deserve to be able to feel calm, present, and relaxed the entire day so you can look back on your memories of the day and smile – no regrets here. In order to get candid, laid-back photos that capture the essence of your wedding day, you need to set yourself up to have a relaxed and not super rushed day. If you’re stressed out and upset with how things are going on the day of, it can sometimes result in forced poses, rushed photos, and feeling “eh” at the end of the day. Your day isn’t going to be perfect and that’s okay – these ten tips will help you achieve the relaxed wedding day you deserve.

Flexible timeline

Build a wedding or elopement timeline that allows you to experience each portion of the day. Add in extra time so that way you have a  buffer in case things get side tracked or delayed, which they sometimes do. Try not to pack too many events into a short amount of time, do what is most important to you. 

Get ready with your partner

This is something that many couples are starting to embrace and to be honest, I LOVE IT! I love it so much I wish I had done it myself during my own elopement. By getting ready with your partner you get to hang out with your favorite person all day long. I don’t know about you but being around my partner helps me feel grounded and calm – why wouldn’t you want to start your day that way!? It also allows for more one-on-one time with each other before you have to be around lots of family and friends. 

First look

Maybe getting ready with your partner isn’t your jam but I alwaaaays recommend couples do a first look. I’ve never seen anyone regret it. It not only helps your wedding day feel less rushed but it also allows you to actually hang out and relax with your partner. You’ll be able to actually get those candid photos you want with your guests and partner when you’re not rushing off to do portraits after your ceremony and missing cocktail hour. 

Small/no wedding party

This may be a hot take but you probably don’t need eighteen people in your wedding party. Consider a small wedding party of only your few closest friends or better yet, no wedding party at all! The more folks that are in your wedding party, the more chaotic your day can feel. That’s a lot of personalities to manage and deal with not only on your wedding day but also in the time leading up to your wedding day. Less people in your wedding party = less drama, period. 

Be picky about who you allow in your getting ready space

If you can’t stand the comments you get from your Aunt Debbie, don’t let her kill the vibe in your getting ready space. Protect your energy and set yourself up for a chill morning by only having a few people hang out with you while you get ready (if you’re not getting ready with your partner). You deserve to start your day off feeling good and if a certain family member or friend ain’t it, don’t let them. 

Incorporate your favorite activities into your wedding day

Stay true to yourselves as a couple and be intentional with how you fill your time on your wedding day. Maybe you love reading poetry or visiting your favorite cocktail bar or playing cornhole, do it! Whether it’s by yourselves or with your guests, create a day that feels like your favorite day so when you look back on your photos you can say “yup, we did that, that’s so US!”

Hire vendors you feel comfortable around

This one is an important one. You should love the vendors you hire for your wedding. If anyone gives you the ick, please don’t hire them – otherwise you’ll be super focused on their annoying behaviors or worried about what your guests think of them. Pick out vendors you vibe with – especially the vendors that will be with you all day (aka photographers, videographers, and planners). 

Hire a planner or at least a day-of coordinator

You need someone doing your dirty work for you. You should NOT be worried about setting up centerpieces, organizing place cards, or coordinating the events of the day – and dare I say: your family members and friends shouldn’t be either. When you hire someone to do the planning and coordination of your day, it allows you and all of your guests to stay fully present and actually enjoy the day. You shouldn’t be delegating tasks to your friends while getting your hair and makeup done – that’s no way to spend your day and also no way for your friends and family to spend the day. Invest the money into a planner so you can sit back and enjoy each and every moment.

Have a weather back up

Have we not learned anything from the 2023 wedding season?? Seriously, plan for unfavorable weather – and plan in advance. You don’t want to wait until the week of to start thinking of a rain plan. This should be a conversation to have with your planner or venue ahead of time so that way you have a plan you feel good about and won’t feel disappointed if you end up having to use it. 

Let go of expectations

Some things are going to go wrong on the day of your wedding and that’s okay. They will end up making for really good stories and memories that you’ll look back on for years to come. Let go of any super high expectations you set for yourself or other people. Remind yourself of the reason for your wedding – you’re marrying your favorite person! As long as you and your guests are having fun, it’s going to be okay. 

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Feeling present during your celebrations, staying connected to your partner and the people you love most, and absolutely not worried about how your photos are coming out is what you deserve on your wedding day. I'm here to document your day as it unfolds and support you when you need it. No two love stories are the same and yours should live on forever. 


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