My goal for each of you is that you feel as prepared as possible leading up to one of the most important days of your life. Your wedding day is a day that deserves to be lived and should never feel like one big checklist to accomplish. With Pinterest, social media and in attempts to please everyone else, it can feel overwhelming attempting to have a perfect wedding, but at the end of the day, I want to share five of my favorite tips to help make sure you have the wedding of your dreams and actually live out all of the moments you’ve dreamed of.

1: Create A Timeline That Serves You

Create a wedding day timeline that serves you and allows you to live in each moment your wedding day without feeling rushed or feeling like you’re anxiously awaiting the next big thing. Talk with your planner or photographer about realistic timeframes and create a timeline that allows for a little extra wiggle room or even purposeful times of rest and enjoyment so that you don’t feel extremely crunched for time.

2: Consider A First Look

If you want to maximize your day, I strongly encourage you to consider a first look. A lot of couples say they don’t feel like they can fully relax and enjoy the day until the checklist is complete, so getting your formal portraits out of the way earlier allows you to feel more at ease for a greater portion of your day. Besides, you get to hang out with your new honey for longer if you opt for a first look!

3: Feel All The Feelings

We can’t photograph what doesn’t happen. If you feel anxious or stressed or worried about the rain or your in-laws or the decor, it’ll show in your face and will really make an impact on your expressions and ability to be present in the moment. Let it all go. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is marrying your best friend. All other details are just details.

4: Be Purposeful With Your Shot List

When creating a list for your photographer, be purposeful and talk with your photographer about realistic expectations in the lists you provide. A family formal list is so important and creating one that doesn’t feel too overwhelming is key. I always suggest immediate family only and all other photographs that would include extended family can be taken care of at the reception.

Also keep in mind that if you provide an extremely detailed ‘must have’ shot list, your photographer will be busy making sure the list is checked off and won’t be in the moment with you. I promise you, just live in your day, have an amazing photographer you trust, and you will love your images so much more than if you received a gallery full of posed portraits.

5: Hire Vendors That Feel Like Family

The vendors that you select for your wedding day will be so much more than just vendors. They will be the ones to put out fires without even letting you know they happened, they’ll be the ones drying off chairs because an unexpected rain came before the ceremony, they’ll be the ones tirelessly working to make sure that every single detail is perfect for you because you deserve it and because they don’t want you to stress over the little things. They put your genuine smiles and the smiles and joy of your family and friends above all and it’s just so important to find your people.

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