A bride wipes away a happy tear during her wedding ceremony at The Meadows at Walnut Cove wedding venue in North Carolina.
It's Okay to Cry... Like, a Lot!

A minimally-stressful wedding starts with acknowledging that you will feel strong emotions, and that’s perfectly normal! Nervousness is bound to arise. Tears are guaranteed to fall. You’re human. Suppressing these “negative” emotions because you think you’re wrong to feel them creates a barrier around your heart, keeping the good stuff like joy and calm out. Expect to feel everything times a hundred, swipe on some waterproof mascara, and just go with it.

A photo of a bride holding her bouquet on her mountain wedding day in Boone, North Carolina.
Practice Self Care

Meditate. Dot your pillow with lavender oil at night. Make going for a morning run part of your routine, or some yoga (ps, you happen to have hired a wedding photographer who has also been teaching yoga for five years. I’m here to keep you breathing, and have paused more than one pre-wedding getting ready shoot to do a quick flow!). Being totally present at your wedding starts with being your healthiest, most centered self. A little pampering should be thought of as a necessity for staying well-balanced and focused, rather than indulgent. Have tactics in place long before you say “I do” that will help you remain more self-aware and conquer feeling overwhelmed.

Know Your Limitations

Acknowledging that you cannot do everything yourself and learning how to delegate tasks will ensure a successful wedding. Depending on the size and scale, weddings can be a major undertaking. Don’t think for a second that soliciting help from family and friends is an imposition. When the big day finally arrives, accept that unpredictability is part of the process. Keep in mind the bigger picture and don’t sweat the small stuff.

A father of the bride walks the bride down the aisle at her wedding at the Melrose Knitting Mill in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Show Up

When you’re standing at the altar on your wedding day, be there not just physically, but emotionally. Weddings should be about expressing yourself, not proving yourself. Remember that your true intent should be laying the groundwork for a healthy, happy marriage. When planning a wedding, don’t lose touch with the most important person – your spouse to-be. One of the things I love to say most when I get couples alone after the ceremony for photos is “oh my god, you’re married!” because as silly as it seems, sometimes they’re so caught up in the motions and making sure everything goes right that they don’t really let themselves process it!!!

A photo of a couple laughing at their beach engagement photography session in Charleston, South Carolina.
Take Time for Yourselves

Weddings go by fast. They’re an event that you will spend months planning, and in the blink of an eye, they’re over and you’re saying your goodbyes to your guests. Find a moment once the reception is in full swing to sneak away with your new spouse and bask in your newlywed bliss. If you have time in your schedule, I love to recommend that couples take some time in between photos + reception to sit down and have a little meal and a glass of wine away from their guests before their formal announcement into the reception. It gives you a chance to eat (very important) and also sit together without anyone, not even your photographer (ok I’ll be there for a minute or two) and really appreciate your happily ever after.