PEI

10 tips for a less stressful wedding day

Along with the fun of guest lists and table plans, many couples are now taking on paying for and planning their own nuptials — everything from creating centrepieces to coming up with a signature cocktail, or even pre-cooking food for the event. Sound stressful? It doesn't have to be.

'Take a minute to yourself before walking down the aisle and breathe'

'Plan your wedding just like you would a good party, with a few more logistical details thrown in,' advises Paige Matthie, who wed Richard Campanaro last summer. (JK Murphy Photography)

Along with the fun of guest lists and table plans, many couples are now taking on paying for and planning their own nuptials — everything from creating centrepieces to coming up with a signature cocktail, or even pre-cooking food for the event.

Sound stressful? It doesn't have to be.

Marly Anderson of P.E.I.'s newest wedding venue, The Grand Victorian in Victoria, P.E.I., offered some tips for creating a less stressful wedding day, as did Maribeth Roberts of Clinton Hills Weddings and Events in Clinton, P.E.I., and some of you, via Facebook

"I have been married five years and still remember the perfect memories of our day, also remembering the things I stressed about that did not matter," recalls Anderson. 

"Take a minute to yourself before walking down the aisle and breathe — your day will go by like a flash. Enjoy it and have fun!" she said. 

1. Hire a day-of coordinator

People feel the "pressure of having that dream wedding," said Anderson.

Both Anderson and Roberts advise hiring a day-of coordinator to look after everything so the couple or their families don't have to.

"Money well spent so you have the good memories and the other stuff is looked after," said Anderson. 

2. Keep plans minimal

"Try to keep your schedule clear the morning of the wedding," advises Roberts. "Stick to the absolutes like hair and make up but don't try to plan too much."

3. Ditch the phone

Ditch your phone on your wedding day, advises Roberts, so you can enjoy the day.

4. No peeking

Don't check in on the venue beforehand," advises Roberts. Couples may be tempted to jump in and tweak the work in progress. 

Clinton Hills's rustic barn nestled in quiet, rolling green hills relaxes guests and wedding parties, owner Maribeth Roberts says. (Submitted by Maribeth Roberts)

"You've planned everything for this moment, let the professionals do the rest," she stressed. 

5. Delegate tasks

"Delegate tasks to family and friends you do not have to do it all yourself," advises Roberts. "People want to help, they just need to know what to do!" 

6. Don't strive for perfection

"Don't read any bridal magazines! They perpetuate a standard of perfection that isn't possible in reality," urged P.E.I. writer and blogger Paige Matthie, who wed Richard Campanaro last summer. 

'Stay in check as a couple,' reminds Marly Anderson of The Grand Victorian, recalling her own wedding day a few years ago. (Submitted by Marly Anderson)

"Plan your wedding just like you would a good party, with a few more logistical details thrown in, and stay on budget," she urged. Matthie and her groom got married at home and kept things simple.

"You can't control everything, zippers will break, flowers girls/ring bearers may not go down the aisle, what matters is the marriage — not that a candle didn't get lit," added Roberts.

7. Remember to eat

"Make sure you eat a great breakfast/lunch and drink lots of water," on the wedding day, reminds Roberts, pointing out that forgetting to eat make you more vulnerable to stress.

8. Make sure your gown fits

Make sure your wedding clothes fit and are altered properly, Roberts reminds couples.

Put on your wedding dress before the big day to make sure it fits and alterations are complete. (Sara Fraser/CBC)

She recalls a bride from Edmonton, who slipped on her dress at Clinton Hills on her wedding day and one side of it fell apart.

"I don't think the seamstress finished it, it was just pinned. She had to leave and get her dress sewn," said Roberts. The guests didn't even know about the hitch, she said, since they were artfully distracted with hors d'oeuvres and cocktails (see tip #1, having a day-of coordinator to take charge.)

She also reminds couples to break in their wedding shoes before the big day, and bring comfy shoes to dance in.

9. 'Don't go broke'

Nothing's less romantic than thinking about how much everything cost and the debt you'll have to pay off later. 

'You've planned for a long time, now focus on the love of your life and your family and friends,' advises Maribeth Roberts of Clinton Hills Wedding Venue and Events. (Nicole Anne Photography)

"Don't go broke hosting a wedding; think of creative ways to reach the same end result," suggested Dave Stewart, who wed Dave Morrow a few years ago in Charlottetown. 

"Do any of your guests have special skills that they could give to you in service of your wedding as their wedding gift to you — food prep, musicians, flower arrangements, design work, etc.?"

10. No wedding night pressure

"Don't think your wedding night is going to be filled with Barry White's throaty vocals, chances are you'll be so exhausted you'll just want to go to sleep," quipped Stewart.
'Forget about everyone else's wishes when planning,' says Dave Stewart (left) who wed Dave Morrow a few years ago. (Submitted by Dave Stewart)

If just the idea of coordinating such a big event starts your brain spinning, you could just skip it. 

"Go to Vegas! We had so much fun. Not a moment of stress," shared Courtney Sudsbury on Facebook. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara Fraser

Web Journalist

Sara is a P.E.I. native who graduated from the University of King's College in Halifax. N.S., with a bachelor of journalism (honours) degree. She's worked with CBC Radio and Television since 1988, moving to the CBC P.E.I. web team in 2015, focusing on weekend features. email sara.fraser@cbc.ca

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