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How To Be Prepared For Anything In Your Wedding

When you’re planning your wedding, the word ‘hic-cup’ is not one that you want to hear. You want your wedding day to be nothing less than perfect and completely problem-free. And, whilst that’s totally understandable, it’s not actually all that helpful. To make sure that you have the very best wedding experience possible, you need to be prepared for anything and here’s how to do just that.

Let me start by explaining why chasing perfection isn’t a good idea. Firstly, you’re setting yourself up for a huge amount of extra stress, work and worry if you want nothing less than a perfect day. There are so many elements that are outside of your control that something, however small, is sure to crop up. Can you do anything about raindrops during your drinks reception, a plane flying over as you take your vows, stutters during the speeches, traffic jams, power cuts, children shouting things at the wrong moment or just those everyday life issues that could mean guests need to drop out or leave the party early?


Green and gold wedding styled shoot - Amanda Karen Photography - London wedding photography - orangery wedding - Holland Park wedding


Of course, I’m not suggesting that you don’t aim for brilliance or try to create the very best day possible but I’m definitely saying that you need to be realistic. We’re told so often that perfection simply doesn’t exist and yet we still expect it for our wedding days. Aim instead for perfectly imperfect, cherish the occasion, focus on the big picture and just be ridiculously overjoyed that you’re MARRIED. Does the position of the menus really matter?

So, now you know why you need to be prepared for anything, here are the things that you absolutely should consider before the big day. Working out your ‘plan b’ or deciding on your non-negotiables can make dealing with any little issues on the day that much easier. If you’re prepared for anything, whatever happens won’t be a problem and you’ll sail through your day with a smile and a heart that’s just full of love.


Green and gold wedding styled shoot - Amanda Karen Photography - London wedding photography - orangery wedding - Holland Park wedding


Confirm responsibilities

Confirming responsibilities with everyone well before the big day is crucial to the success of your day. Once you know who’s doing what and the person in question is sure what their responsibilities are, you’re on the right track. Assuming that things will be looked after or provided without actually confirming things is a sure-fire way to create problems. If you think that your venue will play your ceremony music for you or if you think that your caterers will provide a cake knife, check. Knowing in advance will allow you to think again if you have to and you’ll have time to decide on an alternative that’s right for you.


Create your schedule

Creating the schedule or running order for your day gives you the chance to make sure that everything you’ve planned is included and you can also be sure that you’ve got time for everything! Your schedule will also help on the day because instead of fielding continual questions from suppliers and even your own wedding party, you can point them in the direction of the schedule because this will contain everything they need. If you’re not sure that you’ve remembered everything or if you’d like some input on timings, speak to your venue, caterers, photographer and other suppliers such as hair and makeup artists and florists etc. Underestimating time needed to set-up and get ready is one of the commonest causes of stress on your wedding day so nail your schedule well in advance.


Control your budget

Nothing will upset your pre-wedding happiness quite like an unexpected bill or the arrival of an invoice that’s more than you thought it would be. Control your budget throughout the planning process and you’ll know exactly where you are financially at all times. Allow yourself a 10% contingency too so if anything does crop up, you’ve got some cash available to cover this payment.


Stay on top of admin

Again, admin is important and staying in touch with your suppliers, answering their questions and completing all the necessary paperwork means you’re totally prepped. You know that your suppliers have all the details for the day, you know that you’ve passed on all your requests and you can be sure that everything is dealt with. Wondering if a photographer will take that shot you want or hoping that the caterers will have extra food for supplier meals will just stress you out – confirm everything and then relax.


Think about the essentials

What’s really important? If you can answer that, you know where to focus your energies. Remember that not every element of your day needs the same amount of time and energy spent on it. What are the most important things to you? What areas really need your attention? Make sure that you nail the essentials before you spend time on those ‘nice to have’ areas. Working this way around will mean that if you run out of time or money closer to the wedding, you can be sure that the crucial areas are all covered.


Green and gold wedding styled shoot - Amanda Karen Photography - London wedding photography - orangery wedding - Holland Park wedding


Logical lists and careful checking

Lists are the ultimate wedding must-have. There’s no way that you can keep all the info for such a major event in your head and by writing lists, you can reassure yourself that everything’s been done. You’d be surprised at how many couples forget things for their big day and whether it’s something decorative or part of your outfit, it just doesn’t need to happen. Write a logical list, work through your day from start to finish and make sure that you have everything and everything is in control. But, don’t just write your list, use it! Use it as a checklist as you pack, use it to help you delegate and use it to put your mind at ease in the build-up to the day.


Your wedding day ‘plan B’

One of the commonest sources of wedding day stress comes from simply not having a ‘plan B’. Of course you’re hoping for a beautiful sunny day with drinks and canapes in the gardens but Mother Nature might have different ideas. Decide on your back-up plan in advance and agree this with your venue or wedding planner. Then, if you’re faced with less-than-favourable conditions on the day, your plan B can swing into action and, as it’s something you’ve decided on, you know that you’re still getting what you want. Go through your day and work out the areas that need a plan B and get that in place sooner rather than later.


Emergency kit

As practical tools go, this is the one to have by your side. Stuff your emergency kit with everything and anything you might need from insect repellent and indigestion remedy to spare hairgrips, deodorant, scissors and spare place cards. You’ll find loads of advice online about what to include in your kit and you’ll be surprised at how many times someone will be delving into this on the big day!


The one important thing

Now this one will absolutely help you be prepared for anything. Remember that as long as one important thing happens on your day, nothing else really matters. Yes, I’m talking about the marriage itself. This is the focus of the whole event, this is why you’re there and this is what really counts. If anything else doesn’t go to plan, if the heavens open, guests don’t turn up and a power cut plunges the venue into darkness, it won’t be ideal. If you get married to the person you love more than anything in the world, your day will have been perfect. The marriage is important, this is what counts. Everything else is lovely certainly but your marriage is what really makes your day special.


One of the things we get told time and time again by our couples is “we are more than just a photographer”, we really do our best on the day to help calm situations, prompt people along if timings are slipping and have been known to fix the odd wedding dress.  Now, this isn’t our sole focus as obviously capturing your wedding day is, and if you have a wedding planner then you’ll know you’re in super safe hands, but just in case, we are always on the lookout to make sure things go smoothly where we can.

If this sounds like the sort of photographer you want for your wedding day, then we’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Amanda x


Blog images from shoot at Holland Park Orangery planned by Always Andri Wedding Design and Flamboyant Invites – full shoot can be viewed here