Five Tips for (Relatively) Stress-Free Wedding Planning

Tai_Jordan_VeilI know I haven’t posted in forever but today is my six month halfiversary! It’s hard to believe we’ve been married for half a year but this has been a great learning experience so far.

I can tell you that the weekend before our wedding was the most stressful one either of us have ever had. Between running last minute errands and signing for our first apartment, it was insane. But we made it through to tell the tale. Since I’ve successfully survived planning my own wedding, I want to share some tips to ensure your big day is relatively stress-free.

Stick to budget at all costs. The wedding industry is great at showing us all the fabulous things we (allegedly) need to have to have an amazing day, specifically a great reception. While ice sculptures and photobooths are great, the most important things are food and music. Everything else being marketed to you via bridal magazines is nice but not required. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up and stray from your budget. Sit down with your significant other and rank the items from most to least important and then see how they fit into your budget. Don’t deviate from this budget to ensure you’re not scrambling to pay vendors the day of or, worse yet, dealing with debt months after your big day.

Don’t try to plan the wedding of the year. Regardless of how intimate an affair you’re planning, everyone wants their big day to be fantastic. The most important thing to determine is what you consider fantastic and stay within those guidelines. Regardless of what David Tutera does on My Fair Wedding, stay in your lane. You don’t have to follow every new trend or use the color palette of the year; decide what makes you and your significant other happy. It doesn’t need to be the wedding of the year as long as you’re satisfied with the outcome.

Bargaining is not off limits. I’m not accustomed to discussing prices but I regret not negotiating with my vendors. This is not to say that everyone is going to be able (or willing) to work with you but it doesn’t hurt to ask. My maid-of-honor snagged a discount for my DJ simply because asked for a friends and family rate. I likely could have bargained with my rental hall for an even better price but I didn’t ask. While it seems that the vendors have all the power (especially those who are high in demand), don’t be afraid to shop around and bring better quotes to the company of your choice. The worst thing you can hear is “no,” right?

Weddings bring out the best (and worst) in people. I’m not entirely sure what is so polarizing about nuptials but I guarantee you once you’re engaged, people will start showing their true colors. This can mean your besties jumping into action to help you pick a theme while others throw sycamore-tree level shade. Either way, you’ll need to decide how you handle it. While you may have minor blow ups with friends and family (because, stress), you will invariably move past it. People who are ride or die won’t push your buttons on purpose. If you find that you’re constantly butting heads and feeling stressed out, don’t be afraid to weed out people. Your wedding day is a temporary stressor but your friends and family are permanent, loving fixtures in your life.

Maximize the people in your network. The phrase DIY will either cause your eyes to shine with excitement or make you shudder in disgust. I’m in the second camp. Glue guns freak me out and I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. Thankfully, I have people in my life who are able to do pretty much everything. Once I started accepting offers for help instead of trying to do it all myself, I felt much better. Asking people who are naturally gifted at something to contribute to your big day will bring them joy and save you aggravation.

Which tip is your favorite? Do you have any to share for people currently planning their wedding? How far along are you in your wedding planning?