Getting engaged was one of the most magical moments of my life–the speech, the ring, the kisses and realizing I would be spending my life with the one I love. There’s nothing quite like that moment. To the newly engaged, savor and enjoy it because soon enough you’ll begin planning all of the wedding details which, depending on what kind and size of wedding you want can mean months of planning. Planning a wedding is special but it can also be super stressful! As someone who recently planned her own wedding (trust me, all the hard work is worth it!) I’ve been there. It’s not always Instagram-worthy posts with your engagement ring and a “Future Wifey” mug.
The word stress is often associated with wedding planning and while there are stressful aspects of the process, you can reduce some of it using these tips I learned through my own wedding planning process:
Start planning as early as you can and secure major vendors as soon as possible; decide on your venue, photographer, DJ or band, florist, and caterer (and wedding coordinator and videographer if you have these) for example. Make a few lists of your favorites for each vendor but don’t go overboard looking at hundreds of options. Ask friends and your coordinator for recommendations. The best vendors I used were recommended to me by people I trusted. Booking these vendors upfront may mean you will have more pricing options since most will still be available on your wedding day!
If you are a paper and pen kind of gal, get a binder with dividers and separate everything out in whatever way works best for you. Don’t just write things on a random piece of paper and shove it in your purse–you’ll freak out when you can’t find it later. If you prefer the computer, use Google Docs and Sheets to make spreadsheets and documents you can easily share with your vendors to make planning smoother. Start your spreadsheets early so you don’t have to rush to organize it all at the end (e.g. write down contact info, phone number, money owed, etc. for each vendor as you book them).
DIY WHEN YOU CAN
DIY may be time consuming but if budget is an issue, it can save you stress by saving some money. I’m the Etsy queen, but sometimes you come across something on Etsy or on any site that you know you could make yourself. If you are crafty or know someone who is, go for it! For example, try printing some of your own documents like your wedding program, invitations and menus.
I made the mistake of taking on too much by myself. I highly recommend you delegate those things you feel comfortable having others help or do for you. If you have trouble relinquishing control, this may not be easy but you’ll need to do it at the end. So get used to not being in control of everything and trust your fiance, family, and wedding party to help.
DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
Details make a wedding unique, but some of those details are more important than others. I once spent three days deciding between two shades of yellow pom-poms that were basically next to one another on a color swatch. Nobody but me would have noticed a difference between those shades of yellow. Save your effort for the bigger things that people (and you!) will actually notice on the big day.
COMPROMISE IS TRICKY
It can be hard to compromise on certain aspects of your wedding, and I’m a big supporter of doing what YOU want. I mean, it’s your wedding after all. People may try to push their desires on you, and if it’s someone you love and you are willing to compromise then do so. My advice: Don’t compromise on the things you will look back on and think, “I should have done what I wanted.”