Let’s talk about the wedding schedule for a moment. If you’re deep into wedding planning then you’ve probably got multiple flowcharts, Excel spreadsheets, colour­-coded documents, and a desktop of carefully titled stickies going on in earnest. You’ve also probably used the phrases ‘military operation’ and ‘carefully-orchestrated precision’ a little more often than usual. The best way to measure how much you’re gonna enjoy your wedding day is by how many times the word ‘schedule’ comes up.

A high ’schedule’ count usually means low enjoyability, and vice versa. So what to do? It’s pretty simple: do less. Strip away the complication. Don’t plan a precisely timed event that goes without a hitch. Rather, plan your wedding day: a once­-in-­a-­lifetime day you can thrive in and remember for decades. The less you’re saying the word ‘schedule’ when you’re talking about your wedding day, the more likely you are to enjoy it.

There’s many ways to de­-stress the day. Here are a few goodies:


i. Eliminate as much travel as possible. Travel is the enemy of feeling relaxed. You and your guests don’t want to be driving or sitting in traffic on your wedding day. Think about having the ceremony and reception at the same location - it saves on stress, expense, and means you don’t have to move all of your guests so they can get the party cranking. Consider getting ready as close to the ceremony location as you can, maybe even getting ready at the same house, but staying out of each other’s way. It makes for wonderful energy in the house.

ii. Have realistic timings for things. It’s a great rule to just add 30 mins on to most ‘deadlines’. Running 30-­60 mins late is very standard and it’s usually because of things outside of your control (think: little kids having a melt­down, heavy traffic, herding the bridal party, general losing track of time, etc). Even if you’re normally an extremely punctual person, the fact is a wedding day is a very unusual beast. It’s a collision of family, friends, different locations, high emotion, a whole bunch of new and crazy experiences, and all of these things conspire to make a lot of time turn into no time at all. Fact. Things’ll run late. And it’s okay. Just allow plenty of time for it.

iii. Delegate well. Entrust the crucial responsibilities on your day to good people. There’s no need to be worrying all day about what your MC-aka-over-indulgent-cousin is going to blurt out at speech time, or having your good friend (who has a habit of bailing when it counts) in charge of the pack down. You know who they are: find the key people in your squad you can rely on and get them on board.