01 THINGS ARE GOING TO GO WRONG.
That’s right. Things are going to go wrong, and there’s nothing you can do about it – except let it ruin your day for you.
Something during your “special day” will happen that isn’t part of your meticulous plan. It’s okay. The sky will not fall. You’re not going to die an embarrassing death of a thousand judging eyes. In fact, no one will probably notice except for you, because you’re one of the few people there that actually knows the plan. The rest of your guests will simply think this is part of the plan. So, if the animal trainer you hired to launch doves during your recessional fails to get them to actually form a heart pattern in the sky, it’s okay. No one will care, and you shouldn’t either, unless you just really want to feel upset on your wedding day.
02 GROOMSMEN ARE GENERALLY STUPID, BUT HELFPUL.
Yes, I’m fully aware I might be talking about your brother or cousin or your future husband’s best friends, but it’s true. Groomsmen, in general, are stupid. They’re usually young men, and young men can’t help being stupid on a regular basis. It’s just how we evolve.
So, to combat the stupid, be prepared.
Make an emergency kit for the groom’s dressingroom that includes the following items:
2 pair of black dress socks, because someone will forget their socks or have mismatched socks. I promise.
Wet wipes to clean off faces and hands.
1 pre-washed white cotton handkerchief for the groom and each of the groomsmen in the party with a note that tells them to put these in their inner jacket pocket (or back pocket if you’re not wearing jackets). Your groomsmen will get sweaty at your wedding, and they’ll love you for it.
1 pack of decent-sized safety pins. Someone will need them.
1 disposable razor and a travel-sized bottle of shaving cream. I’ve worked with grooms that were so nervous they missed a patch of man-fur on their neck on their wedding day. The razor and cream will give the option to take care of that right away.
Make sure that every one of the groomsmen tries on every piece of their wardrobe (including shoes) when they pick it up. If it’s not right, get them to fix it right then.
Make a schedule for the day, and make sure every groomsman gets a copy the day of the rehearsal.
While groomsmen are generally stupid, they can be quite helpful, and they do dress fast. If you need help moving flowers or chairs or anything else you don’t mind being slightly damaged before the wedding, this is your team. Use them. They will gladly jump in and lend a hand, because they’re probably already bored anyway.
03 STOP WORRYING ABOUT YOUR DAMN DRESS.
Once you’ve said ‘I do’, and you’re actually married, stop worrying about your dress. It’s going to drag the ground, and it’s going to get dirty. It’s inevitable. Your wedding is not a contest to see just how clean you can keep your wedding dress. It’s a day of celebration and usually a raucous party. Treat it like a party, and forget about your dress. You’re never going to wear it again. You’re never going to do anything with it again, except maybe pull it out of the closet once in a while to look at. I promise you’re going to be a thousand times happier if each little smudge of dirt around the hem and tiny spot of wine remind you of the great party and great fun that happened after you said your vows.
04 PEOPLE WILL BE MORE WILLING TO HELP YOU AND HAVE A BETTER TIME AT YOUR WEDDING IF YOU DON’T ACT LIKE A DEMANDING LITTLE PRINCESS.
Yes, I get it. You’ve been waiting for this day since you were a little girl. You’ve dreamed about how perfect it’s going to be for years. You’ve fantasized about it and planned it all out in your mind, and now it’s finally here: your wedding day. It is, after all, your special day, but that doesn’t give you the right to act like an uptight, spoiled little princess who demands that her subjects do as she commands. It doesn’t give you the right to be a bride who throws epic tantrums when things don’t quite as planned.
Frankly, acting like that just makes people think you’re a brat, and it doesn’t make them want to help you. In fact, it only makes the people around you uncomfortable and feel sorry for your groom. Be kind and accommodating. Smile and enjoy it. If you do, you’ll find that everyone will sincerely want to help make your day the best day ever. If not, then they’ll probably just see you as another tyrannical bitch and go out of their way to avoid helping you.
Ask yourself this question. When you look back on your wedding day, do you want to remember your wedding day as a day that your friends and family came together to celebrate the beginning of your new life with your groom, or do you want to remember your wedding as a day you got to order people around?
05 YOU HIRED PROFESSIONALS FOR A REASON. LISTEN TO THEM.
You didn’t hire a professional photographer because you wanted to be an art director. You hired a professional photographer to preserve the memories of your wedding day in the best way possible. In fact, he probably has far more experience with weddings than you will ever dream of having, and he definitely has far more knowledge of photography than you do. When he gives you advice about how you will achieve the best images, listen to him. You don’t know better. If you did, you’d be a wedding photographer.
And the same goes for the rest of the professionals you’ve hired to help you celebrate your wedding. They’re experts, and they normally don’t give advice because they want to control your wedding. They give advice because they have years of experience that helps them understand best practices for best outcomes.
Don’t get me wrong. This is your day, but when your cake maker tells you a five-tier cake at a reception on a boat is a bad idea, listen. There’s a reason your professional is telling you something.
Andy Armstrong is a 12-time international award-winning Master photographer based in Knoxville, Tennessee. He has photographed weddings in his region and in Denver, Boston, Canada and St. Croix. He always brings an extra pair of black socks to a wedding, because someone usually needs them. http://www.andyarmstrongphoto.com