5 Ways to Make Wedding Planning Less Stressful

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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.

1. Get Organized

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.

Swatches from Generation Tux.

2. Ballpark Your Budget and Guest List

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.

bride and groom with fireworks

3. Figure Out Your Timeline

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?!”

You’ll also get an idea of how long your plan­ning process will be. Hav­ing just ​90 days to plan your wed­ding will look a lot dif­fer­ent than hav­ing a full ​12-month timeline​.

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.

Bride and Groom in blue suit sharing a kiss.

4. Take The Headache Out Of Big Ticket Items

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:

Venue

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!

Food and Décor

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.

Vendors

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.

Bride and Groom in blue suit posing in front of fun old bus photo booth

5. Nurture Your Relationship

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.

laughing bride and groom in blue suit

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.

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