Listen, I know that wedding planning can be stressful AF. As someone who has helped countless couples plan their wedding, I’ve seen it all! This is exactly what inspired me to write this blog post, complete with tons of tips and tricks to have a stress-free wedding planning experience. Grab a glass of wine (or a shot of tequila) to kickstart the relaxation and get to reading!
I’m ALL for enjoying your engagement season, babe. Everyone is celebrating, you’re glowing just a little more than usual, and you can finally call yourself a FIANCE! However, I highly recommend not waiting until the last minute (or even the last few minutes) to start wedding planning. The longer you wait, the more pressure you’re going to feel, and the more stressful it’s going to be! If you want to spend time being freshly engaged and not immediately jump into wedding planning, then I’d recommend choosing a wedding date that’s pretty far in advance. Usually, 1-1 ½ years is standard, but more and more couples are planning amazing celebrations in less than a year. If you know you’re having a more intimate wedding, then you’ll have more wiggle room with the timeline.
Speaking of timelines… once you start planning, give yourself some deadlines! This will help you stay on track and ensure you have enough time to complete all of the necessary tasks. Break it down month by month (and even week by week) so that you know exactly what needs to get done and when.
Last, but MOST important, is hiring a fucking planner. This is the biggest tip I can give for achieving that seamless wedding planning experience. A planner is an experienced professional with tons of TRUSTED vendor connections that they can recommend to you later down the lane, saving you the time and trouble of having to source each vendor yourself. They provide day-of coordination (‘cause who wants to be worrying about anything on the DAY of their wedding??) and will be the point of contact for any and everyone. They’ll keep track of payments, keep you on budget, and be your go-to throughout the entire process. Planners are and forever will be worth their weight in gold.
Set a budget with your priorities in mind
Next up on the list is setting a fucking budget! I know it doesn’t sound fun, but setting a budget early on will help you avoid overspending (and impulse spending) and reduce financial stress overall. Out of all the types of stress, the financial type has one of the least enjoyable ones! Figure out how much you’re comfortable spending overall, and then allocate the necessary funds towards each aspect of your wedding. Know what you want to prioritize so that you don’t end up with an imbalanced budget! Do you want that $15K venue you’ve been eyeing since you got engaged? Is that all-inclusive with food and beverage? Do you want those heavy floral installations you’ve had saved on your Instagram for months? Do you want photography and videographer coverage for the whole wedding weekend of celebrations or just the day of the wedding? Be firm on your priorities while also knowing where you have a little wiggle room to be flexible and compromise when needed.
Bonus: Before setting a hard and fast overall budget, ask your planner (or do some general googling, ask your friends who just planned a wedding but for heaven’s sake don’t listen to what wedding Tik Tok is telling you lol) what the average cost or range of pricing for each vendor or service could be. Often, couples generally have no idea what a specific wedding vendor may cost so they get sticker shock when it’s not within the number range they had in their head. There is a reason wedding service providers charge what they charge so keep your priorities in mind and manage your expectations ahead of time.
Hire a team of professionals that you trust
Your wedding vendor team is literally responsible for bringing your vision to life, so it’s important to trust them enough to do that. If you don’t have the proper amount of trust and respect for your vendor team, you’re going to end up nitpicking and second-guessing almost everything. That sounds like the definition of stressful. Instead, hire a vendor team that will give you peace of mind and you feel comfortable letting them take control where they need to. This will save you so much time, reduce everyone’s stress, and ensure that your wedding day runs as smoothly as possible!
On another note, getting along with your vendors on a personal level is another factor to consider. This is especially important for your planner, photographer, and videographer given that they will be spending the most time with you on and/or before your wedding day. This is where consultation calls can be especially helpful because although it may be a video chat, you can get a good sense of what their personality looks like and what your gut is telling you. Beyond that, stalk their social media (before you ask, mine is right here. Observe how they show up on their Instagram, look at their tagged photos, and click through their stories and highlights!
And that leads me to our last point, which is to ask your wedding planner for a personalized list of vendor recommendations! Once you get that list, check out all reviews (on Google and on their website), browse their portfolio to get a feel for what their work looks like, and learn their values via their website and social profiles before booking. This will help avoid any sticky situations and conflicts later on when the contract is already signed!
Communicate with your partner
Wedding planning should never be the sole responsibility of just one partner. Both of you should be equally shouldering the weight of planning together! And if you’re the partner who has trouble letting others help you… this is not the time to try and take control and do everything yourself. That will only make you more stressed and frustrated in the moment and down the line. Which is exactly what we’re trying the hell to avoid! Create a shared, wedding-specific email account that you both check regularly. Be honest about what is really important to each of you – if your fiance is really into the music and the flavor of your cake, have that be their responsibility to manage conversations with the DJ about and bakery while keeping you in the loop about decisions.
Especially when it comes to finances, always be open and honest with your boo so that both of you are on the same page. No good marriage has started off with one or both parties making financial decisions without the other’s prior knowledge and/or approval!
And, lastly, don’t forget that patience, in general, will wear thin while planning a wedding. The added mental load of knowing you’re planning one of, if not THE biggest event of your life is enough to chip away at your patience levels. To compensate, regularly schedule intentional date nights to reconnect with each other.
Take care of yourself
Why is it that when we’re the most stressed, we forget to take care of ourselves MORE than usual?? I am officially giving your permission to spoil the fuck out of yourself during your wedding planning season. Book that spa day, pencil in that girls’ night, and HAVE SOME FUN. Give yourself the time and space to loosen up and take your mind off all things weddings. Take as many breaks as you need to and don’t stay up until dawn trying to get things done that can most definitely wait until tomorrow. Prioritize getting outside, taking walks, going on hikes (let’s go together if you’re local to San Diego!), and making time for your hobbies, babe. If you’re already an anxious girlie, then I’d recommend identifying your stress triggers and practicing relaxation techniques (we’re talkin’ breathwork, meditation, yoga, etc!) when you feel the tension coming on. You could even ask your partner or a friend to remind you to do these things when they can sense you’re getting stressed the fuck out!
Delegate tasks accordingly
This tip is geared more towards couples who choose not to have a planner, as your planner will typically be the one delegating instead of you! If you’re just hiring a day-of coordinator (which should be an absolute non-negotiable!) then you’re gonna have to get real comfortable delegating tasks to others. This will majorly reduce your workload and help you focus on what’s truly important! Figure out what tasks don’t need you to be directly involved in, and then choose reliable people you trust to get shit done. Don’t forget to clearly communicate your expectations and provide prompt feedback, support, and gratitude for your tribe! Family and friends will be constantly asking you if you need help with anything so take them up on their offer!
Ready to have the most chill wedding planning experience ever?
The answer is an obvious yes! And if you’re not already on my books, head on over to my contact form and send me an inquiry for your big day. If you’ve gotten this far into the blog, you already know that I have a passion for serving couples who want to have a badass wedding experience without all the stress that comes with it. I’d love to be on your team and document the fuck out of your day.