Feeling stressed? Local wedding experts offer their top tips for staying cool, calm and collected.
by Madeline Buiano
Nicole Bailey, founder of Elevee Events, and JoAnne Hewlett, owner of Make a Memory, are well versed in the pre-wedding stress arena. Both women have worked in the event planning business for over twenty years and offer their top tips for brides and grooms to stay relaxed before the big day.
1. Plan ahead
Hewlett believes the first step to minimizing pre-wedding stress is to hire a wedding planner. Hewlett gives her brides a 12-month checklist. The checklist acts as a guide to keep brides on schedule. “We oversee every detail,” she says.
2. Leave work at the office
Take off from work a few days leading up to the wedding to soak up some last minute relaxation. “Stock up on vacation days,” Bailey says. “People usually just take off for their honeymoon.”
3. Limit DIY décor
“The worst thing you can do is have a lot of D.I.Y,” Bailey says. D.I.Y projects eat away at a bride’s timeline because the décor has to be set up at the venue the day of the wedding. “My goal is for brides to enjoy every minute of their wedding day,” she says. “Be at the salon with your family and friends, not setting up your wedding.”
4. Grab your yoga mat
Both planners recommend that their brides take a yoga class. Yoga is a way to get active without injuring yourself before the wedding. Bailey recommends going to Dimitra Yoga in Lewes or Rehoboth. Dimitra Yoga can schedule private classes for you and your wedding party.
5. Stay organized
The big-ticket items like the band and the venue are usually booked early. It’s the small things like place cards and packing for your honeymoon that cause last minute stress. Hewlett says the key is to stay organized. Get everything you’ll need the day of your wedding and “put everything into a big box,” she says. “Label it with your name and wedding date and boom—it’s done a month ahead.”
6. Conduct trial runs
If you’re stressing about how you’ll look for the big day, Hewlett suggests a trial run. “Get your hair done a couple of weeks before. And if you’re planning to get a spray tan don’t do it the day of,” she warns.
7. Get in touch with nature
Enjoying fresh air is the perfect way to unwind. A unique activity that Bailey sets up for wedding parties is kayaking. Ecobay Kayak in Ocean View offers private kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding tours. “This is a great [ice-breaker] if people in the wedding party don’t know everyone,” Bailey says.
8. Get a massage
If you’re tense before you say “I do,” a massage has to be on the list. Hewlett suggests visiting Terri Dalton at Relax Delaware in Newark. “She always works with brides and gives their first massage at a discounted price,” Hewlett says.
9. Make the most of downtime
Take advantage of any free time you have, in particular, those long winter days and nights. Bailey recommends using this free time to work on any D.I.Y projects. “Snow days are perfect D.I.Y days,” she says. “Instead of going to the grocery store when it snows, run to Michaels.”
10. Create a timeline—and stick to it
Hewlett encounters many brides who are stressed about money. One solution is to follow a strict timeline. If the wedding party spends an extra 15 minutes in the limousine, then dinner will run late and photos will run late. “Stay on time,” she emphasizes.