So, you’re getting ready to plan your very own wedding. You may very well be looking forward to the process, but as many former brides will tell you, wedding planning isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, many will even tell you that when they never would have considered eloping previously, they definitely did at one point or another during the wedding planning process. So before you let wedding planning get the best of you, here are some tips for actually enjoying preparing for the big day.
Don’t try to please everyone. It’s a wedding. Chances are you’re going to disagree with, offend, or feel guilty about someone during this time. So rather than trying to please everyone as you plan your wedding, stick to what feels right to you and your soon-to-be spouse. After all, this is your day, and you’re ultimately paying for it. If you want a small wedding, then have a small wedding. (You can always have a giant, more informal party later to help people feel included if you want to.) If you and your spouse don’t like dancing, then don’t feel like you have to do a first dance. If the two of you are dreaming of a destination wedding, then go for that. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore people’s emotions altogether—especially those of close friends and family members—but you should definitely work to strike a balance that you and your spouse-to-be are happy with.
Don’t treat your wedding like a performance. This point ties in with the first point. Another important thing to keep in mind as you plan your wedding is that this is essentially a big party for the two of you. You, of all people, should enjoy your wedding day. So as you plan your wedding, keep in mind that yes, you will be the focal point, but you don’t have to spend your day entertaining the other guests. Imagine you and your spouse attending your wedding as well, rather than simply being the spectacle of it.
Keep it simple. If you’re finding yourself stressing nonstop over takeaway favors, save the dates, the guestbook, boutonnieres, centerpieces, the wedding website, and the engagement party, then maybe it’s time to stop and reassess. How many of these things do you actually need? Remember: all you technically need for your wedding is an officiant, plus a few close friends and family members if you’re not eloping. A pretty dress (though not necessarily white or expensive), some refreshments (though not necessarily catered), and some flowers (though not necessarily from a florist) can add a special touch to your day as well. Whatever you choose to invest in beyond that, be sure that you’re only investing in it because it’s important to you. Don’t feel pressured to spend money on things simply because they are tradition or because you have other people telling you that you absolutely need it. Make it you.
Stick to your budget. On a similar note, be sure to decide on a realistic budget from the get-go and to stick to it. Decide on a couple key things that are especially important to you, and from that determine what you don’t need to be spending a significant portion of your budget on. If a photographer and videographer are most important to you, for example, then decide that you will allow yourself to pay for what you want in these two areas, and then make it a point to save money in other areas, such as your dress, flowers, and refreshments. Stretching your budget will only stress you out more as you plan your wedding.
Delegate. Remember: you don’t have to do all of this yourself. There is stress-reducing power in delegation. Consider enlisting a few close friends and family members to help you nail out details that you can loosen the reins on, such as finding a bridesmaid dress, putting together the centerpieces, gathering dessert ideas that match your color palette, etc.
Outsource what needs to be outsourced. If you’re like so many of us out there, you probably have a Pinterest board full of DIY wedding ideas. But before you take on any do-it-yourself project, be sure to ask yourself, “Is the time it’s going to take me worth the reduced cost?” Sure, you might save a few bucks baking your own wedding cupcakes, but when you would have to do so the day before your wedding, when it would take a matter of hours, and when you can buy a beautiful set of cupcakes at your local bakery for a few dollars more, this is definitely something to consider outsourcing. When comparing costs between paying for a service and doing it yourself, don’t forget to factor in the costs of added time and stress on your end.
Plan from the guest list (and not the other way around). This is a good point taken fromthis article on staying sane while party planning. Instead of making overhead decisions about your wedding from the start, try to get a good idea of your guest list first, and then make your decisions from there. This will allow you to make more realistic decisions about things like catering, seating, and favors from the start. If you are suddenly having around 200 guests at your wedding, for example, when you’ve always envisioned having about 100, you might make more streamlined decisions about your catering and decide to forego wedding favors altogether.
By: Maurine Anderson