"Wedding planning was the most stress-free period of my life," said no bride ever. Putting on a huge event on top of everything else you've got going on is sure to feel overwhelming, even for the most organized person. But the best way to manage stress is to know what's likely to trigger it — and how to work through the problem. We asked three wedding planners to share some of the major common stressors they see and their advice on how not to let it get out of hand.
The budget "The budget determines everything," says Katie Webb, owner of Intertwined Events. "You don't want to start off your marriage in debt so you need to take a realistic look at the numbers, see what can be done and then stick to it. Shop around until you find someone you are comfortable with and that can work within your budget. It's always tougher to stay within your limits, but you will be much happier at the end of the day not to land on the wrong financial foot."
Decision making paralysis Couples have a ton of options at every stage of wedding planning, which is great for customizing their big day, but can also quickly become overwhelming. If you're find it difficult to narrow down your choices, planner Shannon Dexter of All You Need is Love Events recommends making a timeline of to-dos and then sticking to the decision-making schedule.
Trying too hard to please everyone "Many couples value hospitality toward their guests over almost anything else — which is gracious and amazing, but has one flaw: you can't please everyone, especially in one whirlwind evening," says wedding planner Calder Clark. "Let go of the small stuff and focus on the big picture: your marriage, your future, and the fun party you'll have to fête it."
Family members "helping" "Family dynamics can sometimes be the one of the biggest stressors during the wedding planning process. "You might find that your parents or in-laws want to 'lend a hand' or somehow get involved with planning," says Dexter. "If that's causing some unneeded stress, try finding a small task for them to do."
The day you get married you'll be debuting a beauty look that, thanks to your wedding photos, will remain an indelible part of your history for, um, forever! Looking fab in your big-day photos isn't just about striking the right pose, it's also dependent on the makeup you wear (and don't wear). Here, celebrity makeup artist Ramy Gafni shares his top beauty tips to looking like amazing in your wedding portraits.
Lighten that hand. Contrary to popular belief, more is not better when it comes to bridal makeup, says Gafni. The most important thing is to create an even canvas so any imperfections won't be emphasized in photos. "The type of foundation that works best depends on the individual and her complexion," he says.
Matte is your friend. Shimmery products have a tendency to reflect back in flash photography. Steer clear of an illuminating foundation and instead, use a highlighter strategically — high on the cheekbones, under the brows, or on the collarbone. "Matte eye shadows are the most flattering on film, but if you're set on wearing a shimmery shadow, test it out in photos first," says Gafni.
Contour like you mean it. "Getting those cheekbones to stand out, particularly in black and white, is all about the art of contouring," says Gafni. The easiest technique is to suck in your cheeks and apply a powder along the hollows. Add a highlighter on top of the cheekbones, and then sweep your blush to the apples of the cheeks blending upward toward your ears. "Flash photography can wash you out, so choose a blush that's saturated enough to look good under flash without seeming like too much blush in person," says Gafni.
So fresh and so clean. An outdoor wedding boasts the truest lighting, but all that honestly means every little nook and cranny on your face will show. "Keep your makeup natural," says Gafni. Opt for neutral eye shadow shades like taupe and champagne, and a lighter blush in pale pink or apricot; anything darker will seem too harsh.
Empower your brows. If there's one feature that frames your face more than any other, it's your eyebrows. Have them shaped by a pro six months before your wedding and then again a week to a day before. Enhance the shape and fill in any gaps with a wax-based pen.
No matter what type of calming pre-wedding rituals a bride does before her wedding, the day itself is often a flurry of excitement and nerves. However, a perfect wedding day doesn't just materialize if you don't take the time to slow down and appreciate it. Here are six things every bride forgets to do on her wedding day.
Unless you want to be remembered by your friends and fiancé as a frantic bride, it's absolutely essential to take a breather at select moments during the day.
2. Appreciate the Moment
It can be easy to get lost in the minutiae during your wedding day, but remember to enjoy and appreciate your walk down the aisle, wedding vows, first dance, and cake cutting. These are moments you will wish to remember, and if you miss them due to an argument with your caterer or disappointment at a relative's absence, you'll miss the chance to relish the details of your wedding that make it truly special.
3. Take a Snack Break
Chatting with friends and family may be one of the highlights of any wedding, but it is impossible to hold a conversation when your only meal of the day was a spoonful of yogurt at breakfast. Place your groom and maid of honor on snack duty so you remember to eat periodically throughout the day.
4. Remember What the Day Is About
In the midst of dancing, dining, and drinking, it can be incredibly simple to forget that your wedding day is about your marriage and partnership with your husband.
5. Spend Time with Your Parents
As momentous a day as a wedding is for a newlywed couple, the event is equally pivotal for the bride and groom's parents. Take a moment to acknowledge their support and love.
6. Take Some Time for Yourself
A bride is surrounded by her bridesmaids, family, new husband, and guests during her nuptials, but a moment alone is an important facet of any wedding. If you feel as though you need the time to mentally prepare for your vows or take a peek at your wedding venue solo before your ceremony commences, do so; after all, your wedding marks the first time in your life when you'll be subsequently part of a pair.