Leading up to the wedding day, we know brides spend so much time and energy thinking through every last detail of the main event that they often forget to plan for what will happen in the hours before they walk down the aisle. The morning of the wedding can be such a special time, but it can also be stressful if you aren’t prepared. We asked real brides to share their own wedding morning must-haves and what advice they would give now, plus a few recommendations of our own!
What’s the one thing you’re so glad you had the morning of your wedding?
“Must haves 1. Champagne! And lots of snacks (it’s a long day) 2. A steamer 3. Phone chargers 4. A speaker with good playlists” – Kristina, married July 2018
“Fun music! I needed fun music going all morning to keep the vibe strong. On a more sentimental note – I took 15 minutes alone upstairs to write a “day-of” note to my husband capturing all of my thoughts and feelings that morning. It was nice to step away from the craziness of the glam zone and focus on the purpose of the day for a few minutes, I’ll never forget how zen that felt for me.” – Deanna, married October 2017
“a GOOD breakfast — the day gets so busy, and you’ll be glad you’re not hangry later. quiet time to get ready with whoever is most important in your life. And send the bridesmaid crew and larger wedding party elsewhere so it’s just you and your closest loved ones there for that super special moment of getting dressed and really feeling like “the bride” for the first time. Schedule LOTS of extra time in the morning. You won’t regret it. Even if everyone’s ready early, it gives you extra time to hangout with your bridal party that you love so dearly.” Megan, Married August 2017
“Time scheduled in with loved ones! knew once we had our first look, the wedding day would start to move quickly so I made sure to schedule in time with my mom and dad before heading out for the first look. This alone time with my parents was one of the most special parts of the day. I’ll never forget my dad’s reaction when he saw me in my wedding dress for the first time! But we did run out of time for a few things like exchanging presents. I had gifts prepared for all of the bridesmaids, my mom, and my mother in law and we suddenly ran out of time and my bridesmaids opened up their gifts after I left for the first look. I was disappointed I didn’t get to see their faces opening the presents since I put a lot of time and energy in writing them meaningful cards and selecting special gifts for them.” – Samantha, married September 2018
What advice would you give to another bride planning her own wedding morning?
“Organize whatever you can the night before — gifts, cocktail ingredients, hair supplies, accessories, etc. You don’t want to be scrambling around the morning of. The week before, clearly outline to everyone, and I mean everyone, even Dad, their roles and expectations of them the morning of. Do your best to create a relaxed environment — everyone else feeds off of you. I really loved that I had a nice big open space for everyone to mingle and relax together that morning. We ate breakfast together, had cocktails, danced and were silly together — got everyone and the whole day off on the right foot.” – Megan, married August 2017
“Have a schedule and clearly communicate when everyone needs to be where, there’s so many moving parts it’s going to be hard to answer everyone asking the bride “what time are the guys coming” “what time is my hair appt” “are we getting lunch”. I printed out a schedule and taped it to the wall so if anyone had questions, they could check themselves. Outside of that, breathe! As mentioned above, someone else will handle all of your fire drills before you even know they’re happening – aka your wedding planner, photographer, MOH or mom.” – Deanna, married October 2018
“Don’t stay out late the night before! It was so hard to pull myself away from Welcome Drinks after the rehearsal because it was so exciting to see all of our friends and family together in one room. However, staying up late will only cause you to be extra tired the morning of your wedding day which is a feeling no bride wants! Also, it’s important to lay off the alcohol the night before the wedding. Stick to 1-2 drinks max to ensure you look and feel amazing!” – Samantha, Married September 2018
“I’d say put down your phone, let the little hiccups roll off and SOAK IT IN! You’re marrying the love of your life. You’re surrounded by your girls. You family is there to celebrate you. You have everyone you love under one roof which may never happen again in your life. Don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy the moment.” – Mindy, married September 2017
But first, coffee
We’ve all seen the Starbucks cups with the handwritten “bride” and girl – today is your day to rock it. But with so many couples choosing remote or nontraditional venues, ensuring you have coffee and breakfast at the ready takes a little more planning. Make sure you put someone in charge of the morning coffee run and collect orders in advance so the start to the day is seamless and caffeinated.
Be on the same page
Your wedding planner and beauty team should help you with this, but make sure you’ve got a clear schedule of the who, what, when, where (and wear) on your wedding day. Communicate expectations with your bride tribe at least a week in advance so that everyone is where they need to be on time or better yet, early. Always ask for an arrival time at least 15 minutes earlier than the scheduled start time because as they say – if you’re not early, you’re late! The morning of, post the schedule on the wall of your getting ready space to avoid questions and confusion and keep everyone literally on the same page.
From head to toe
This one is a very small but helpful hint! All too often we’ve seen adorable getting ready outfits ruined by mismatched socks or shoes. Depending on when and where you’re getting married, chances are you’re going to want something on your feet for that getting ready morning. You can always ask the hotel to send up extra pairs of slippers to the room or consider giving your girls their dance floor flip flops a few hours early. You’ll be more comfortable and the photo opps just got even better.
Rips (and wrinkles) happen
So sad but so true. No matter how many fittings you had it’s possible that something will go wrong with your dress or a bridesmaid’s the morning of the wedding. Make sure you’ve got a needle and thread on hand in case a strap tears, an applique comes loose or a seam pops. Consider a few no-sew solutions as well like double sided tape, iron-on adhesive and good old-fashioned fabric glue. Something else to consider? A hand-held steamer. Most bridal fabrics are super sensitive and easily wrinkled and you don’t want to risk scalding satin or silk with an iron!
Take a moment
When building a day-of schedule, think through the milestones that will happen the morning of their wedding and think of who they want to be there for the moments that will turn into their favorite memories. Whether that’s one-on-one time with the MOH as you put on your wedding dress, a few minutes set aside for a first look with the Father of the Bride, or even quiet time alone to reflect and write, be sure to make time on your wedding morning to enjoy those moments that mean the most.
Kelsey Dulac is a wedding planner and designer based in Coastal Maine with a passion for creating beautiful, personal and thoughtfully detailed events all over New England with her company, Back Bay Bride. She loves sharing her expertise in event design, planning and execution to ensure couples have well-organized and visually-inspired weddings that are a meaningful reflection of their story.