Avoidable Stress on Your Wedding Day

by Jessica DiBella in

Time Reserved for Getting Ready


It’s the beginning of the day and your chillin in your hotel room with your girls nibbling on bagels & sipping champagne, while jamming out to your favorite high school tunes. There’s SO MUCH TIME until your first look- there’s no way you’ll run behind or be late… right?

I’ve found that the beginning of the day usually sets the mood & stress level for the remainder of the day (or at least until your ceremony is over)… in a good way or bad. Making sure your hair and make up regiment is running on time and according to the timeline created by your coordinator and photographer is essential. Being behind schedule can turn a fun, exciting morning into a stressful one quickly- which quite honestly, it’s such a bummer! It breaks my heart every time I see bride’s realize how behind schedule they are and then their mood immediately shifts from joyful and playful to serious and quiet.

Seeing brides run into the same issues time and time again with staying on time with getting ready, I always give this advice ahead of time…

Easy steps to avoid stress, while getting ready and not following behind for the rest of your special day:

  1. Hire experienced professionals that you trust. 9 times out of 10, they know what they’re doing and know the amount of time needed to not only make you and your 8 bridesmaids look beautiful, but to also keep everything on time. (Check out my vendor recommendations for top notch vendors)

  2. Do a trial run prior to your wedding day. This avoids make up or hair mishaps or disappointments, and eases your mind to know what to expect.

  3. Cushion Time- the biggest advice I give my brides. Trust me- you would much rather have time to relax, sip some champagne, go over your vows and take some adorable robe photos with your girls than be rushing to jump into your dress or stressing out about getting to your First Look on time.

Time Reserved for Formal Family Photos


Family photos can be THE most stressful part of your wedding day— coming from a past bride bride myself and many brides I have talked to—but it doesn’t have to be! Your family is EXCITED for you two, which can come across in different ways post-ceremony and sometimes cause undue stress. Formal family photos will guaranteed be some of the most printed photos from your wedding, so it’s important to give them the time and attention needed, without robbing you of your joy, cloud 9 high and time left for your bride & groom portraits.

By using these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your family photos and have them done in a timely manner.

  1. Have a clear, agreed upon family photo list in advance. Make sure this list is communicated to your photographer in advance.

  2. If you’re not doing a first look, you’ll have less time for photos after family photos are done post ceremony. In this case, scale down your list and do immediate family (parents, siblings, grandparents). Set aside a time during your reception after events where you photographer can grab you and your extended family for some additional photos.

  3. Family photos tend to take a significant amount of time. In my wedding day questionnaire I send out to my couples prior to their wedding day, I let them know that on average, immediate family photos take 20-30 minutes minimum. For each additional family photo requested, add 5-10 minutes.

  4. Have a designated family member to grab family members who might wander off to the bar or to mingle post ceremony, so you’re not waiting around during family photos.

  5. Let family members know PRIOR to the end of the ceremony that they will be in formal family photos.

  6. Reassure family members that you will share the family photos with them after you receive your gallery, so they’re not concerned about hovering behind your photographer & snapping cellphone photos that can distract and cause family members to look in different directions.

  7. Let your photographer know the family dynamics in advance to help avoid embarrassing them or anyone in your family. Example: divorced parents, deceased parent, strained relationship or estranged immediate family member.

  8. Trust your photographer on the location they’ve chosen for family photos. They have your best interest at heart and want a clean, clear and solid backdrop for your formal family photos to be timeless for years to come.

Don’t know where to start with creating your family photo list?

Here’s a good basic list to work off of:

Jessica Di Bella Photography Family Photo List.jpg