There’s a quote from the ancient Greek poet Archilochus that says, “We don't rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training.”
Now, you aren’t exactly going into battle on your wedding day (hopefully), but the sentiment stands. Your wedding day will be filled with nerves and excitement, so the more prepared you are, the less chaotic things will be.
Now, don’t get us wrong. There will be some chaos at your wedding. It’s to be expected, and some traditions dictate that certain chaos can be good. Some contradict that directly. It’s really hard to say. The point is that it will be hectic, and that’s okay. If you’re prepped and ready, you’ll be able to ride out the storms (if they come).
1. Lay Out Everything Ahead of Time
Just like your mom told you to do with your school clothes back in the day if you lay your suit, shoes, watch, and everything else out the night before, you don’t have to scramble in the morning.
If you had your bachelor party the night before, it might take a few minutes for you to be a fully functioning human being again. Let’s take the guesswork out of your wedding morning.
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2. Start Early
The last thing you want to do is rush to put on your suit and run to photos. You don’t have to get up before the sun, but make sure to leave yourself 30 more minutes than you think you need. Something will come up, and you’ll be grateful you did.
3. Lean on Your Best Man
For starters, he’s likely the guy who’s holding onto your his-and-hers wedding ring set. If you trust him with your rings, it’s fair to trust him with whatever else comes along. He knows what he’s in for and is happy to take it on because he’s your friend. You got him a nice present, so it’s a fair trade.
You’ll find it’s often recommended that you keep an eye on all your groomsmen and make sure they’re prepped and ready to go.
Get your groomsmen involved. Have someone in charge of bringing breakfast and coffee. Have someone in charge of bringing an emergency kit of extra buttons, shoelaces, Advil, etc. Have someone keep your (soon-to-be) mother-in-law from barging in and asking, “Are you going to be there on time?”
It could also be helpful to have someone (preferably the most organized of the bunch) watch the clock and ensure everything runs smoothly. Everything will go much faster if you can make it a team effort.
5. Don’t Forget About the Bride
Yes, it’s bad luck to see the bride ahead of time. So, slip a handwritten note under the door or send over a care package or flowers. Whatever you do, do something.
It’s easy to forget about your fiancée on a day that seems so packed with things to do, but it’s sort of why you’re all here, so keep that in the back of your mind.
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6. Don’t Make Any Major Changes
Don’t plan a haircut for the morning of your wedding. Don’t do it. Five to seven days ahead or so is probably the sweet spot.
If you’re rocking a beard, shape it a few days before the wedding and leave it. Unless your hair grows like a pomeranian, you shouldn’t need to do any touch-ups after just two or three days.
If you’re going clean-shaven, you’ll have to do that the morning of. No way around it. Opt for a professional shave if possible. Not only does it reduce the likelihood of accidentally cutting yourself, but it’ll also make you feel great.
7. Have a Fixer
No, not like in a mob kind of way. You don’t need someone to make the problems “disappear.” However, you need someone who can re-center you if you start to spiral. Likely this is your best man or maybe a close family member.
Regardless, make sure they know their role beforehand and look for them whenever you need a reset on your wedding day.
A good fixer knows how to keep you calm but also remains calm themselves. If you’re bad about not sweating the small stuff, make sure you have someone even-keeled in your corner.
8. Drink Water
This is probably king on top of all cliché self-care tips, but seriously — drink water. The last thing you need to be is dehydrated on your wedding day (especially by the time the reception rolls around).
It’s going to go by so fast, so take a moment to breathe. Enjoy the moment and try to take it all in. If you’ve prepped well and you have solid groomsmen around you, this is all you’ll have to worry about.