Between coordinating the cake, the caterer, the flowers, the music, the venue, the dress, the tuxedos, the centerpieces, and everything else that needs to come together to make your dream wedding a reality, you may be feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and plain worn-out! There can be no dispute that planning a wedding can be challenging. It’s a lot of moving parts to orchestrate, and there’s a lot of pressure to feel like everything rests on your shoulders. All this stress is a recipe for a bad time. Surely there’s a way to make wedding planning fun!
Here, we’ll discuss strategies you can use to make planning and organizing your wedding a more joyful, magical experience. These tips will allow you to focus on the fun aspects of planning while removing many of the stressors that can make your anxiety run high.
Give Yourself Enough Time
We know you and your beloved are eager to start your new life together, and that’s beautiful! However, don’t make the classic mistake of setting a date that’s too close to allow you the time you need to get everything in order. While you don’t want to set your date too far out in advance, you should build in plenty of time to check out venues, vendors, and everything else you’ll need at a leisurely pace. This way, you avoid the time crunch that can make you choose vendors and products you don’t necessarily love just because they’re better than having nothing at all.
There is no hard-and-fast rule to this, but it’s a good rule of thumb that the bigger you want your wedding to be, the more time you’ll need to get everything set. You can plan a small, intimate wedding on relatively short notice, but if you set your date so that you’ll have to rush to meet it, you run the risk of your special day — and the memories you make from it — reflecting that rush. You’ll be much better off, and less stressed, if you take your time and don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself.
Don’t Do It All Yourself!
There’s a good chance that one half of the couple to be married is more interested in the organization and planning of the wedding than the other half. That’s natural, but it doesn’t make them solely responsible for preparations. If that person is you, you have every right (and reason) to ask your partner, and others, for help. At the end of the day, the wedding is for both of you, and the responsibility of planning it should be shared.
You want to avoid the extreme of taking over every aspect of planning and shutting out your partner’s ideas or contributions. You’re about to officially start a life partnership together, and railroading your future husband or bride in pursuit of the “perfect” wedding day doesn’t bode well for your future ability to compromise. Think of the wedding planning process as a “trial run” for your future partnership!
Also, don’t forget that you have other loved ones that are willing and able to help you throughout the process. Hiring a professional wedding planner is an excellent way to help you navigate the sea of vendors, venues, and wedding products, but your friends and family can also help. Even if they aren’t invested in the decision-making process, they can help run errands or make phone calls to confirm dates and services, taking some tasks off your plate. Working with others can help make planning your wedding a more fun, collaborative experience.
Get the Most from the Process
Most wedding vendors, whether catering companies or music resources or venues, know how stressful planning a wedding can be. They want you to have a good experience with them and allow them to serve you on one of the biggest days of your life, so they’re often willing to offer some extra services for free as you choose them for your celebration. This varies from service to service, but you’ll find that, more often than not, vendors are willing to offer freebies to help you make your decision.
For example, a hotel you’re considering for both your venue and guest accommodations might offer a free night’s stay to check out their amenities firsthand, or even a visit to the in-house spa. Catering companies generally offer a free tasting to demonstrate their abilities and offerings, as will bakeries. These little perks can add up to make the process of planning your wedding more enjoyable, and even fun!
Simplify Where You Can
No matter how carefully you’ve planned your wedding, one exhausting aspect is the constant coordination and communication between different companies, people, and groups. To minimize the number of “moving parts” you have to manage, seek out companies that offer multiple services in one business. For example, a catering service might also have a bakery in-house that can handle the cake, or your makeup artist might bring along a dedicated hair stylist.
This approach can simplify things for you and your new spouse because it cuts down the list of people you need to communicate with, taking stress off your shoulders while reducing the possibility for miscommunications. There is another hidden benefit: by limiting the amount of hiring you do yourself, you also ensure that everyone on your team works well together. This minimizes friction at your wedding itself and streamlines the process, allowing you to focus on the fun parts of planning your wedding.
Get Creative With It!
Planning your wedding shouldn’t be all coordinating schedules and breaking down budgets. You’re allowed (and encouraged!) to have fun with it and express what makes you, and your relationship, unique. While you don’t want to overwhelm yourself trying to DIY everything, try making some fun creative projects for yourself. These activities can help you keep the meaning behind all the madness fresh in your mind and make the wedding planning process more fun and enjoyable.
You don’t have to be a “creative” person to do this! Bring home some craft store flowers, tulle, and ribbon to create beautiful and unique centerpieces. Take some time with your partner to choreograph your first dance to your favorite song. Hash out the perfect text for your invitations over brunch at a new restaurant. Get together with your bridal party to make planning your seating chart a collaborative effort. However you choose to do it, give yourself permission to relax and enjoy the process — after all, this day is supposed to be joyful, and planning it should be too!