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Plan a wedding, they said. It will be fun, they said.
As much as we all love a good wedding, the fact remains: few things in life come with more logistical, financial and emotional pressures than this singular event! And while it’s tempting to dive headfirst into wedding planning, you may find yourself drowning in a sea of to-do list items.
Before you go straight from buttercream to burnout, check out our five tips below and set yourself up for a less-stressed wedding planning experience.
As you start planning your wedding, you’re going to collect endless ideas, checklists, venue and vendor favorites, photo inspiration, contracts, etc. etc. Figure out an organizational system early so that you can keep track of all your wedding-related collateral. It could be Google Drive, a dedicated Pinterest board, a wedding binder, a nifty new calendar app, a custom wedding website or a combination of several systems. Getting yourself organized before you begin the actual planning process will minimize stress and allow you to hit the ground running with those all-important wedding decisions.
Money is one of the most stressful subjects around, so make sure you and your fiancé are on the same page as far as how much you’re both willing to spend on the wedding. Consider your savings, any contributors to the big day and even things like your current debt. Then, have “the talk” with your significant other (and any other financiers) to come up with a ballpark wedding budget.
You’ll also want to keep in mind that with weddings, size matters! The cost of your wedding will be directly affected by your total guest count, so both of you need to agree on that number, as well.
A shorter guest list is easier on not only your budget but your sanity, too. Even if it’s unrealistic to whittle your list down to 20, chopping it from 300 to 150 will still help shift the balance from overwhelming to manageable.
You may not know your exact wedding date for a while, as it depends on many factors—including your dream venue’s availability. But settling on a general date range—like “Summer 2020” or “next fall”—will enable you to get your planning process in gear and give it some structure. Plus, it’ll be nice to have an answer when all your friends and family members start asking, “Sooooo, when’s the big day?!”
We’ve linked a couple of our checklists here, but actually recommend reviewing several different checklists—pulling things from them to create your own, custom to-do list. By piecing together the items applicable to you, you’ll have a personalized, super-focused guideline of what needs to be done—and when you need to do it—to accomplish your unique wedding #goals in the most stress-free way possible.
If you really want to de-stress your wedding planning, keep it simple, silly! By streamlining and delegating, you can easily manage even the biggest elements of your big day:
Embrace “All-Inclusive.” For maximum simplicity, we have one word for you: All-Inclusive. Venues with all-inclusive packages provide lots of amenities and services in addition to the event spaces, like on-site coordination, catering, alcohol, staff, rentals, cake, guest accommodations and more. Talk about a one-stop-shop.
Get married and have your reception in the same place. Choose a venue that can host your entire event. That way, you avoid the worry and logistical stress of having to shuttle guests from one place to another. Pick a venue or setting that looks great au naturel. A celebration on the beach or in a cool, industrial space requires very little décor—which means very little effort when it comes to selecting, purchasing, or DIY-ing your decorations. Natural beauty, for the win!
Focus on the stuff you care about—and ditch the rest. If you’re not a cake person, don’t splurge on a three-tier wedding cake. Obsessed with food trucks? Forget the pricey caterer! And that elaborate floral ceremony archway? Sure, it’s gorgeous—but will your guests notice if it’s not there? Nah! Dropping some big-ticket items will not only help trim down your to-do list, it’ll also trim down your budget and make your wedding planning less complex.
Hire a planner. A wedding planner’s job is to make the wedding process as stress-free as possible. You might be thinking of foregoing a coordinator in order to save some cash, but trust us…if you’re looking to simplify the wedding-planning process, then a hiring a wedding planner is your best bet. An experienced coordinator will handle all the little details and make sure things run smoothly on the day-of. Plus, they can actually end up saving you money in the long run by hooking you up with their extensive vendor network.
The best way to keep calm through the planning process? Don’t fight with your soon-to-be spouse. After all, you two are on the same team.
Our #1 tip is to keep the lines of communication open. It’s key to avoiding conflict while you’re making all these big decisions.
Sit down with your partner and figure out the tasks you’d like to do together, as well as the things you’d like to tackle separately. For example, obviously both of you will want to attend the cake tasting (duh!), but maybe your partner just isn’t as into music as you are. Or maybe they don’t care what flowers are used in the table arrangements. Divide and conquer when one of you is more enthusiastic about a task than the other, and be a team when you’d both like a say in the final outcome.
Also, be sure to schedule some regular date nights throughout the planning process. They’ll give you an opportunity to decompress and reconnect—and we strongly recommend a “no wedding talk allowed” rule.
And there you have it. With these five strategies, you’ll be able to reduce stress, keep calm, plan on, and hopefully even strengthen your relationship! Wedding planning is a great indicator of how well you and your partner will work together—so tackle it as a team and always remember: Wedding planning is supposed to be fun.
For more tips and tricks, wedding checklists, and ideas check out Here Comes the Guide.
To take the stress out of picking out your groomsmen, see what Generation Tux can do to make your union extraordinary.