bride and groom walking in garden getting pictures taken after wedding smiling

Easy ways to reduce stress on your wedding day.

If you’re planning a wedding, your world is probably full of to-do lists right now. It may feel like the tasks will never end, as you coordinate everything from the guest list to table centerpieces. For months you’ve been working hard to make the ceremony and reception as perfect as possible. But what about you and your special day? You want to make sure you can stop planning and start having fun once the big day arrives. To help you do that, we’ve put together a list of ways to help prevent stress on your wedding day. 

Ask someone to be your point person.
Murphy’s law is the enemy of any wedding: what can go wrong, will go wrong. When surprises come up, you don’t have to be the person to handle them. If you identify a friend or relative – who isn’t in the wedding party – to help as needed, you’ll be able to rest a little easier knowing someone is there to put out fires (hopefully not literally). If the chairs are delivered to the wrong address or the rings are left at home, you can trust that they’ll take care of it. 

Outline a schedule for the day.
As you get closer to the big day, you might start obsessively running through the day’s events in your head. To help ease your mind, list out everything that needs to happen throughout the day. Create a schedule that clearly identifies what is happening when. Print and distribute copies for your wedding party , vendors and key family members to refer to throughout the day.

Write a packing list.
Depending on your plans, you may make a few costume changes throughout the day. If you’re changing in between the wedding ceremony and the reception, write down the items you’ll need to pack. A packing list is especially useful if you’re heading straight to your honeymoon the day after your wedding. Write out everything you need in advance to help ease the stress of packing and ensure you have everything you need.

Plan meals for your wedding party.
As you hustle from the nail salon to your hair appointment, don’t forget lunch! Help keep your wedding party’s energy up by providing food throughout the day. Come up with a plan for food ahead of time, even if it’s something as simple as a party-size deli sandwich. Your friends will be in a better mood throughout the day, and you won’t have to scramble to place an order last minute when you all get hungry. 

Tip your vendors with cash or a gift card.
Tipping is not mandatory, but it is a good way to show appreciation to the vendors helping to make your day special. If you plan to tip, figure out how much each vendor will receive, and place their tip in sealed, clearly labeled envelopes. Ask someone you trust to distribute them. You can provide cash, or you might consider buying Visa® pre-paid gift cards in specific amounts. For a guide to tipping vendors, check out The Knot’s Wedding Vendor Tipping Cheat Sheet.

Have a back-up location for photos.
If you’re planning to take photos outside, it’s a good idea to identify a back-up location. Weather surprises are never fun, but they don’t have to be as much of a disappointment if you have a strong back-up choice in mind. 

Manage your checklist from your mobile phone.
The Knot offers a Checklist mobile app that helps you check off tasks as they're completed. You can customize your to-do list, organize tasks by their due date and make notes as you go. With a checklist in your hand, you can feel confident you’re on top of all the moving pieces. If you don’t want to be looking at your phone throughout the day, you might consider handing your checklist over to your point person.  

For months you’ve been working toward one goal: making your wedding meaningful and memorable. On the day of the wedding, if you’re fussing over details and feeling stressed, it will only distract from the beautiful day you’ve planned for you and your partner. It can be hard to let go, but the people around you want the day to be special for you, and they’re there to help. Handle as much as you can before the wedding, hand off the rest and focus on what’s important: creating last memories with your loved ones.