Planning your big day should be exciting, not overwhelming. These tips will help you stay stress-free during wedding planning, so you can truly enjoy the process.
Will and I are getting married exactly one year from today. Yep! On Cinco de Mayo 2018, this gal’s getting hitched.
I’m not the type of girl that always dreamed about her wedding day. When I started wedding planning, I didn’t have a grand vision in my head of what the day should look like. I didn’t have a dress or a venue or even a date in mind. Honestly, if someone wanted to plan my whole wedding for me, I’d just show up for the party.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the type of cash to shell out to a wedding planner who will do it all, so Will and I have been semi-DIYing this whole shebang. While I’d be lying if I said the whole process has been totally stress-free so far, I do have some tips for what helps me chillax when I do feel stressed and a game plan for how to avoid stress over the course of the next year.
1. Give yourself time to enjoy the engagement
The second Will and I got engaged, we got bombarded with questions. When is the wedding? Where will it be? What are your colors?
Slow. Your. Roll. Homie.
Will and I were engaged for five months before we started wedding planning. Granted, a huge reason for that was because we were dealing with moving from New York City to Austin, Texas, but I really believe newly engaged couples should just enjoy being engaged for at least a few weeks before diving into wedding planning. Let the love and excitement sink in. I know so many couples that get engaged and have a date and venue picked out within a week. If that’s how you want to roll, roll away my friends, but a little time to enjoy this new life stage is pretty nice. When people ask you all the wedding questions (which they will) just respond with a simple, “We’re just enjoying being engaged right now.”
2. Talk with the important players early
Whether you’re paying for the wedding on your own or have some financial backers (re: the parentals), be sure to sit down and chat with wedding stakeholders about what matters to them. Will it mean a lot to your mom if you wear her veil? Are there any religious or cultural customs they’d like involved in the ceremony or reception? What family members and friends absolutely, positively must be invited. Getting all of this out of the way early will help prevent any misunderstandings, issues and drama down the line. If there is anything the two sides of the family disagree with or that you disagree with, chat it out and try to come to a compromise before all the planning really begins. At the end of the day, this is wedding is about the couple, so be sure whatever decisions you come to, they make you and your husband/wife-to-be happy.
3. Care about a few things
Now it’s time to get into the planning! YAHOO! First things first, sit down with your fiancé and decide what elements of the wedding are the most important to you. Is having the best food of all time a top priority? Is the band the most important thing? Are decorations something you want to devote a lot of time to? These 2-3 things should be the things you spend the most time on and should potentially be the things you spend the bulk of your budget on. As an example, Will and I are making the venue and the band the top priority. We’re willing to pay less for other things so that we can pay more for a good space and good music.
4. Ignore everything else
Ok, so you know what you really care about. You know all that other stuff? The napkin colors and the chair drapes and the type of ties the groomsmen wear? FORGET ABOUT THEM. If you decide that you don’t care about place settings, why would you ever let yourself stress out about place settings? Of course, you’re planning a party and will have to give these things some thought at some point, but you shouldn’t spend a lot of time or effort on the elements of the wedding that aren’t super important to you. When these things come up, make a quick decision (either go with your gut on what you like the best or simply go with the least expensive option) and move on.
5. Remind yourself of 3 & 4 often
Seriously. Remind yourself what you care about, and remind yourself what you don’t care about. If you find yourself getting worked up over centerpieces, and centerpieces weren’t on your most-important-things list, take a step back, remember that this is not an important part of your big day, and either make a decision and let it go or simply come back to it when you’re in a better state of mind.
6. Create a wedding website
As I mentioned earlier, you’ll start getting questions about your wedding the moment you get engaged. Having a website allows you to direct people to one place that will not only answer their questions,but it will also save you from having to have the same conversation 50 times. To be honest, I put off creating a site for the longest time. For one, we didn’t have any details nailed down, but another reason I put it off is because I thought it’d be stressful. I work on a website all the time (re: this blog), so I know what a pain they can be to set up, but when GoDaddy offered me their GoCentral services to create our wedding site, I figured, why not?
Guys. It was the easiest thing! Will and I sat down together and had the whole thing created in under an hour. We picked a template, made a few customized adjustments and boom! Website created. Our site has a section about us, a photo gallery highlighting some of the best moments we’ve had together, details about the big day, a contact from to collect RSVPs (Saving on stamps! Holler!) and a section for our registry (we still have to set that up, but now I know it will be a breeze). It was a totally stress-free experience.
Oh, and one of the best features? It’s optimized for mobile, so now people can check it out and RSVP from anywhere. Modern day wedding vibes to the max.
7. Ask for help
You are only one person. You can’t do it all, nor should you! Don’t hesitate to enlist help. Ask your fiancé to help you send emails to vendors. Ask your bridesmaids to help you with DIY projects. Ask family members to help you send out invites. The people you’re inviting to your wedding are people you love and who, I assume, love you, too. I’m sure they’d be happy to help.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for professional help. Look for a full-service venue (meaning they provide catering and music and maybe even décor), and if your venue isn’t full-service, think about finding an events company that is. We found a great company that pulled together different vendors for us. They are helping us do all the planning and, because it’s a packaged deal, saved us a ton of money. Also, day of coordinators are a thing, and I highly recommend getting one. A day-of coordinator is the #1 person you want at your wedding. They’ll make sure all the vendors arrive and do what they’re supposed to do and make sure the entire event flows smoothly.
8. Don’t try to do it all at once
Wedding planning takes time. Don’t try to find a venue and a dress and a band and go to food tastings all in one weekend. Make yourself a checklist (there are a ton of great ones online) and slowly make your way through it. Write down what needs to be done 9 months out, then 6 months out, then 3 months out, etc, so you know when certain things need to get done and what you can put off to a later time.
9. Remember to smile!
Your wedding day is going to be amazing. It’s going to be fun. You’re going to be surrounded with people you love. No matter what. Remember to sit back, relax, smile and enjoy some non-wedding-planning activities over the next few months.
Before you go, don’t forget to join the Fit & Fashionable Friday Link Up (full link up rules here).
How do you stay stress free when planning a big event?
Any tips I should add to the list?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.