Planning your wedding, without the stress
Getting engaged and starting to plan your wedding is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times of your life, but there’s no denying it can also feel overwhelming, a bit daunting and a little bit stressful at times. Have a read of my tips to keep your planning on track and the stress at bay…
The ‘B’ word
Sorry to say it, but it really is true that you need to start with a budget. It’s so easy to get carried away and start researching fantastic venues and suppliers, but without a figure to work from, you might end up feeling disappointed or going way over budget right from the start.
Take the time as a couple to sit down and consider your finances. Think about how much you’re able to realistically spend on your wedding and bear in mind any contributions you may have from family. Have those tricky conversations first so you know where you stand and then the fun stuff can follow!
Once you have an overall figure, roughly allocate your budget to each supplier or aspect of your day based on what your priorities are. The ‘big’ costs are generally going to be the venue, photographer/videographer, caterers, flowers, entertainment and attire, but you can absolutely scale those up or down dependent on what really matters to you. It can be so tricky to guesstimate costs at this stage, so check out the Rock My Wedding guide on how to allocate your budget here – it’s hugely helpful.
Spread tasks out
When you’re just starting out on your planning journey, the sheer number of suppliers to research, choices to make and details to organise can seem intense. That’s why it’s so important to take things one step at a time, and to split things out into the ‘biggies’ and the ‘not so biggies’. So how do you decide what should be done first, and what can come later?
Once you have a clear idea of the total budget, the next task is a rough guest list. You’ll need to know how many guests you’re likely to have before you can start the all-important venue hunt. If you’re struggling with this one and your list is looking bigger than you’d hoped, take another look and decide who you absolutely MUST have there on your day, and who you’d like to have, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if they weren’t there. I know this sounds awful, but it does help to put things in perspective.
Budget and guest list in hand, you can officially kick off the search for the venue – take your time with the research and enjoy visiting your shortlist to get a feel for the venues. When you’ve nailed the venue and your date (hooray!), you can start cracking on with the key supplier search. As a general rule, start with the suppliers who are most important to your day and most likely to be booked up in advance – often this will be the officiant/church, photographer, videographer, caterer and florist. When you’ve ticked these ones off your list you should absolutely take a moment to celebrate, you’re well on your way to planning your big day (love a bit of accidental rhyming...)
Don’t forget insurance
Another boring one, sorry! But this one is absolutely key to keeping stress to a minimum. In the slim chance that something does go wrong in the lead up to your wedding day (*touch wood*), it’s always best to have the peace of mind that your wedding and finances are protected.
Consider a planner
It’s important to remember that every couple is different – some people will absolutely love every element of planning their wedding and some people would prefer to have overall control but hand the reigns over to someone else to deal with the nitty gritty.
A wedding planner can support you as much or as little as you’d like throughout your planning. It might be that you’ve enjoyed finding the venue, but when it comes to finding the florist and photographer, you’re a bit flummoxed and would love for someone else to guide you. Or perhaps you’re newly engaged and have a vision in mind but need someone with more time to help you bring that to life. Whatever or whenever you think you’d like the support, I’d be happy to have a chat about where you’re at and what I could help with.
Don’t underestimate the amount of work it takes to plan a wedding – a recent survey suggested the average modern wedding takes up to 528 hours to plan. That’s a hell of a lot of work if you’re going it alone! Of course, you know your wedding better than anyone, but that doesn’t mean others can’t help. Gratefully accept any offers for help wherever you can, and you’ll be so glad you did further down the line. Rope in bridesmaids, ushers, family and friends to help with the little tasks that seem to take forever, and you’ll be amazed how quickly you can get stuff done – many hands really do make light work!
Utilise talents wherever you can too, you’d be amazed how many people have skills you weren’t aware of. The sister with beautiful handwriting, the friend who makes jewellery, the auntie who bakes beautiful cakes…all incredibly useful people to have on your side!
Embrace the traditions you like, ignore the ones you don’t
This one is pretty self-explanatory and may seem obvious, but so many couples spend time stressing over the little traditions that really don’t matter to them. Don’t feel the need to include things in your wedding day because you ‘should’, focus on what you really want as a couple and feel free to ignore whatever you’re not bothered about. You don’t HAVE to have a sit-down meal, throw the bouquet or make a song and dance about cutting the cake – your day, your call.
Take time out
It sounds counterintuitive but remember that you can’t be constantly planning, and you do need a break. You’re likely working full time and planning your wedding during the evenings and weekends, so it does leave little time for normal life. But this is SO important.
Give yourself time at least once a week to genuinely chill out with your other half and resist the urge to use it as an opportunity to talk about the wedding. Switch off from the wedmin and enjoy a date night – it’s the perfect way to de-stress.
Most importantly, always remember that at the end of the planning comes the best bit. All the hard work and time will absolutely pay off and your wedding day will be one of the best days of your lives!