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Your bridesmaids, groomsmen and your family are there to support you. On the wedding day, things may run slightly crazy. You should not be the person to worry about that day, organise taxis, deal with emergencies, direct guests to their hotel/parking/venue etc. You may think people will jump to help on the day, but it may get overwhelming with lots of helpers but without clear roles assigned. Nominate a trusted person to direct any queries to, hand over the phone, to lessen last-minute panic and to take any pressure away from you.
Make a plan and a list of things to take care of. Delegate tasks to your wedding party members. One person can look after your bouquet (it can get left behind in a rush!), another to be assigned to look after your dress and veil when you walk and arrange it as needed when you arrive at the altar etc. Ask someone to carry your purse with essentials like make-up to touch up (do not forget to buy a sample or make-up of the same shade as your pro-make-up that day), tissues, hygienic products, deodorant, mini-hairspray etc.
Find someone to coordinate and usher guests during the day and for group photos. Your best man and groomsmen are not there only to make fun of you during speeches – assign clear roles to each of them. Make sure they know how and where to step in and what would you like them to help out with e.g. if it rains, hand out or protect you with umbrellas, be the point of information where toilets, exits, taxi numbers are,
Hire a day wedding coordinator/helper if you have lots of dry hire suppliers – they are invaluable and will free you from any headaches and constant supervision! If you cannot, make sure to ask somebody from your closest family/wedding party to be their point of contact.
Share the timeline with key people and ask for help to make the schedule run smoothly.
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Have your dress/outfit and hang out of any packaging the night before. Prepare your accessories, shoes, underwear, make-up, small purse for essentials on the day, tissues, small sewing kit, plasters, and favourite perfume to be ready to use the next day. Do not forget to carefully remove any labels, including the soles of your shoes.
Do you need any help getting the dress on? If you have a complicated dress – does your helper know how to tie/close it the way it should be? Ask the bridal shop in case of any worries and practice before (same for ‘boob taping’ if you plan on it – lift your arms, sit down, move around and see if it works as needed)
Do you know who goes first for make-up and hair? Make a list, so there is no confusion and you are not the last one! If you need to have rollers in, put yourself first and then get the make-up done while your hair is drying.
Prepare an easy-to-remove top like a dress shirt, or a robe for bridal prep.
Are your suit and shirt pressed or need touch-ups? Do you have an iron in your room and if you feel you do not want to risk it doing it yourself will there be anybody to help on the day? It is worth having a spare shirt, and my advice is to avoid close shave/razor shave close to putting it on. Why? Those hands might be less stable. Small cuts might open during the tie assembling session (see below) and a stained collar is the last thing you need to worry about. It happened.
Do you know how to tie a tie, bow tie (a spare one is worth having as those straps are delicate) or cravat if you wear one? If not, find tutorials on youtube and practice beforehand.
I find this is the most stressful point for many men – what might look easy, without a bit of practice, may actually turn into a task!
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A comfy bed and early bedtime will help to get a good night of sleep ahead of your big day. Anxious? Worried? Try Lavender oil, meditation/relaxation music, and earplugs! Treat yourself to a long bath. The day is long and you want to have lots of energy for the evening fun!
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It is common to feel no hunger but make sure to have a good and filling breakfast. There is a long time before you will sit down for a meal, and lots will happen meantime. You will need the energy! Porridge, bananas and protein snacks are a great source of fuel.
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Are you an introvert or a social animal? Think about how many people and who will be present with you during the preparations. Surround yourself with people that you need and will be helpful there. Remember you will have an additional few people (Make Up Artist, Hair stylist, Photographer, Videographer) and the room may fill up pretty quickly. If you do have ANY errands, supervision or last-minute decoration duties, make sure you know what you are doing when and by when you have to finish getting ready on time.
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Prepare a playlist of your favourite pick-me-up or calming songs. Make sure to have fun with your friends and family. It will help to calm any tension or anxiety you may have and get you in the mood for the best party of your life. Do not forget to bring portable speakers with you too and a bottle of bubbly if you fancy a toast with your squad!
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Aim to finish preparations 20-30 min before you must leave for the ceremony. This will give us a few minutes with you to take some pre-wedding portraits. It is also a buffer for when things run late. Your family and bridesmaids/groomsmen should be ready ahead of you. If you are planning to hand any gifts over, do a first look, have a reveal to your father/mother, or have some family photos then, ADD more time and tell us ahead.
The last 30 min is usually quite chaotic. Ask your family and friends to get ready earlier and give you space/leave the room for the last 15-30min to catch a breather, soak into the feeling of getting married to the love of your life, calm your nerves and compose yourself.
This is also a perfect time for us to create some stunning bridal photos.
Lastly, please ask your hair and make-up professionals to finish and pack their things up before that time (ask your wedding party to help so the room is clear), too. You should only need a touch-up of lipstick or powder before you go. If you are ok with content creation and that is what your professionals are doing, please be mindful of the time and ask them to start their service earlier. Sadly, this is a trend now (tik toks/reels) that seems to overtake the preparations and leaves no time for actual photography by a paid professional, aka me.
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Check travel conditions ahead of the day and plan accordingly, assuming traffic conditions for that time of the day – Saturday traffic is always heavier than on weekdays. Pre-book taxis (in Central London black cabs are great as they speed through bus lanes) and if you plan to catch one on the day, see point 1 above and delegate this job to someone else.
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Take (or see point 1- delegate) your flowers out of the water at least 30 min before the departure time and wrap stalks in paper towels to dry. You do not want any wet patches on your or your bridesmaids’ dresses. If you intend to carry your bouquet in front of you for the entrance, keep your hands at belly button level and your elbows slightly away from your body. When we feel stressed, we have a tendency to ‘hide’ behind the flowers, so this will help you to remember. Who will have and pin boutonnières in the morning? Ask the florist how to do it. I usually get to help with it, as it is not as easy as it might seem!
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Break in your shoes ahead of the wedding and practice walking if you do not normally wear this type of shoes. Worth having some emergency plasters on you anyway or spare shoes for later!
In case of bad weather, bring wellies/spare shoes with you, so this will not spoil an opportunity for wedding photos (giant umbrellas too!). Heel protectors are also a great idea if your venue offers garden use, and there is gravel or muddy grounds. Note, there are different sizes for a different type of heels.
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Not everything may go according to your plans, and that is ok! Do not fret about small things, and remember, your guests will not notice anything anyway. They come to witness your declaration of love and celebrate with you, so put a smile on your face and enjoy being with your family and friends.
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