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Note: This post is part of our "Learn Blog" for photographers. For workshops, coaching, and other resources designed to help grow your skills as a photographer click here (after you read the article, of course)! 

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Once you finish reading this post, you'll gain:

  • More confidence to handle wedding day stress
  • A list of supplements for natural, clean energy, better stress management, and faster recovery
  • Quick and easy ways to prepare yourself for creating best wedding experience possible for your clients 

Medical disclaimer: We ARE NOT medical professionals. Any information provided in this article in not intended to treat any disorder, and should not be taken as medical advice. All side effects and dangers associated with taking supplements or performing activities should be considered beforehand before attempting. Please consult a professional before taking any supplements.

How to Minimize and Recover from Post-Wedding Burnout

You and I probably agree--client experience is HUGE.

And giving your all is ESSENTIAL to nailing it!

But, In all honesty, it's best that we acknowledge that our body and mind gets tired and NEEDS to relax. The key to growth is often to come to terms with our weaknesses. To break limits, we need to first acknowledge them. 

So when mental, physical, and all sorts of fitness are required to navigate the emotionally, physically, socially, and mentally demanding environment of a wedding, taking certain steps can be the difference between a sub-par or "ok" client experience and an amazing "wow" experience.

If you've tried to provide that "wow" experience you've felt it--that "I feel like I just got ran over by a bus" feeling.

It's comprised of lingering mental fatigue matched only by acute and intense muscle soreness. What makes it even more intense is if you have to photograph two weddings in one weekend!

Michele and I have found that there are several ways to help prepare for weddings, both before, during, and after weddings to help mitigate, treat, and rebound from what we'll call "bus syndrome".

 So, without further ado, here's our lists of top ways to prepare for and prevent post-wedding "bus syndrome"!


1. Have a plan to deal with aches and pains as they arise: GET THIS instead of Ibuprophen/Pain Killers!

One of the biggest issues that we encounter during weddings is aches and pains from carrying gear, bending, standing, etc. If they aren't dealt with they quickly lead to mental fatigue which prevents you from exercising your creativity, interacting socially, and directing people for things like family formals, which require a lot of mental focus. 

Ibuprophen can sometimes be helpful, but it takes awhile to kick in. Plus, it can be hard on your insides, and for some, can cause stomach irritation.

So instead, we HIGHLY recommend Arnicare. It's is one of those things that JUST WORKS and works FAST for soothing aches and pains. We prefer it to things like Tylenol, aspirin, or ibuprofen because it's homeopathic, natural,  and is applied directly to the area you feel pain for quick relief. It's seriously a HUGE life-saver when it comes to dealing with pain during and after the wedding day. 

We use the gel, but there's cream, tablets, and even little packets with yummy pellets.


2. Don't just exercise and eat right, DE-STRESS exercising and eating right

Look, I know this is going to sound so cliche, but stick with us for some unique perspective for wedding photographers.

Don't eat foods that make you crash! Michele and I both have reactive blood sugar levels, and we tend to get super tired if we eat something that doesn't sustain. So, we make sure to eat things we know that OUR bodies handle well and provide with long-lasting energy.

Eating right and exercising can take a lot of time, so we try to simplify everything. We pick simple, non-stressful workouts like running on our elliptical. 

As far as food, one thing that we've really found super quick and easy is steel-cut oats with Kerrygold grass-fed butter and xylitol for sweetener (to avoid sugar-crashes!). We love steel-cut oats because they're loaded with nutrients, have pleasant texture, and are very filling. 

Also, sweet potatoes are GREAT for quick, sustaining energy. We use an Instant Pot to cook both oatmeal and sweet potatoes because of how quick and easy it is to use! 

3. Start relaxing at least a day or two before

We've found that beginning to wind down a bit and trying to give our systems a bit more rest a few days before weddings is a big help to avoiding burning out.


Getting a good night's sleep is so essential! However, sometimes that can be tough, especially with things like destination weddings. So, this is a "do your best but be prepared with other means" solution.

If you're anything like us and many other creatives, going to sleep early and then waking up early the next day can be sometimes impossible! On the nights where we're wired but need to sleep, we'll take a small amount of Magnesium Malate, Vitamin D, Lugol's Solution Iodine, Inositol (which comes in powder form and taste sweet like sugar!), and a small dose of Melatonin. Of course, it's probably better just to take one at a time, starting out. We've just found that to be a combination that works well for us. 

Melatonin should not be taken regularly since it will disrupt your bodies natural production, but taken with the other supplements on fairly irregularly can help give you an amazing deep sleep that leaves you feeling rested the next day.     

5. Stretch the day of!

Make sure to hit all your major muscle groups! We stretch our hamstrings, gluts, shoulders, chest and back mainly since we've found those to be the spots we get most sore and fatigued.  

6. Don't just take pain killers!!! Take specific supplements targeted at helping your body deal with mental and physical stress

We obviously don't recommend starting to take all these at once, but trying one at a time and figuring out what works best for you is a definite option for helping your body adapt to the stress of weddings.

We recommend supplements called adaptogens plus others such as ashwagandha and maca. Also one of our favorites, Reishi helps your body deal with stress while boosting immunity, reducing inflation, and helping with allergies (and even asthma!). 

If you have joint pain of any sort, taking something like Reishi and Tumeric to help deal with swelling is a great idea.  

For added endurance, we like Cordyceps. It helps to improve endurance by improving blood flow.

Taking Lugol's Iodine will also help with avoiding adrenal fatigue burnout and stress. If the liquid is off-putting like it is to Michele, we recommend using the Iodoral pills which eliminate the taste. 

For brain support take Lion's Mane! It's a great supplement that helps improve brain performance and supports your nerves--there's even been studies that show it can help alzeihmer's sufferers! It's definitely another favorite of ours. Also incredibly good for brain health and energy levels is Sunflower Lecithin. 

Another great supplement we keep on hand is Oscillococcinum . We swear by this stuff--it's made for flu symptoms, but we take it even if we're feeling run down, and it works wonders. If it's just placebo, it's a darn good one at that! These are also good to have on hand in case you start feeling like you're coming down with the flu.

7. Drink the right stuff!

On the day of, drink bulletproof coffee! We use virgin, cold-pressed organic coconut oil with Kerrygold grass fed butter. The flavor and consistency of these in coffee is just amazing. Because of it's robust, and full flavor, our coffee of choice is New England Coffee, although that's just us : ). Also worth noting, coconut oil helps give you energy and helps your brain deal with stress. It's great to take it by itself, too!

When we're in a rush, such as before, on the way to, and during the wedding, we drink Vita Coco Latte.  It's a great quick and easy solution for coffee with coconut water added for hydration and energy. If you don't like coffee, or you don't want to take a big scoop of coconut oil straight, try coconut water! It's full of electrolytes and will help your body deal with stress and help prevent dehydration. 

If you'd rather drink tea, our favorite, Yogi Teas Perfect Energy is FANTASTIC. It tastes great and gives a very noticeable and sustaining boost to our energy levels. They also have other energy teas such as Sweet Tangerine Positive Energy and Refreshing Mint Vital Energy, but we have yet to try them. I actually just found them while writing this, so I'm really pumped to try them all!

For wedding pros looking to avoid burnout, we DON'T recommend: 

  • Energy drinks or any quick energy boost with lots of sugars. 5 Hour Energy is a lot better, but we much prefer things like coconut with coffee over that. But hey! That's just us.
  • Coffee by itself. Plain coffee without something to help recharge your adrenals can contribute to adrenal fatique, which is a whole other problem. Sure, coffee tastes great (well, to a lot of us anyhow) and helps in the short term by providing a pick-me-up. But without supporting your adrenals, burnout will be right around the corner. 

8. The day after, treat yourself right!

The day relax, eat right, and stretch! It's not uncommon for us to feel worn down for a day or two after the wedding. But, getting plenty of rest and good food definitely helps. Planning for these things is definitely a must, as rest and relaxation doesn't happen without planning--although crashing does.  

If you're like us, you probably enjoy tea, not just for energy, but also for relaxation. We get Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief. It has a good taste, especially if you add just a little honey to it. 

    We'd love to hear from you! What are some other tips that you've used to prepare for and recover from weddings? Please like, share, and comment below so others can benefit from this info!