Wedding planning is fun if you like organising, have a clear wedding vision and have the time for wedmin, but, it can also be stressful particularly if you're busy in life.
Photography by Daniel Ackerley
You start planning, you choose and book your venue and it is all going great; you start looking for key wedding suppliers. You research, spend hours on Instagram and Pinterest, your partner does a spreadsheet and you tentatively work out your budget and allocations within the budget. You contact suppliers take recommendations and start making calls, request pricing and begin having design consultations. You are bombarded by information and have lots of decisions to make. You worry you'll miss out on suppliers if you don't secure their services 2 years in advance and the process of searching for suppliers is already taking up too much of your time. It starts to be less fun and a bit laborious. Does this sound like your wedding planning journey so far?
All of the above is totally normal. Don't beat yourself up. There will probably be times when you don't enjoy wedding planning. Then there will be times when you are so excited you could burst. Each time you visit your venue, you'll fall in love with it that little more and the excitement builds, when you choose your dress or the groomsmen's attire, it will all start to feel more real. You'll enjoy tasting sessions, choosing menus and your wedding cake sample; seeing the designing process that goes on when you chat to a stylist, florist, cake maker or stationer a picture will be forming in your head of how everything will be coming together.
So, how do you avoid stress in wedding planning?
Tip One - Save Time
If you're not involving a professional wedding planner in the process, think about how to save yourself time in the planning process. Your time is valuable and if you can delegate jobs to others that don't involve big decisions that you want to keep to yourself. Delegating jobs to family members or friends is a good start, but managing them to undertake these jobs could get tricky, choose jobs to delegate carefully and consider paying professionals to undertake certain tasks so the responsibility is completely theirs. For example; a wedding stationer may provide a service to post invites or collate replies on your behalf
Tip Two - Nail Your Wedding Vision
A sure fire way to add stress to your wedding planning, is to not have a clear vision from day one. I'm not saying you have to choose exactly what everything is going to look like but if you're not clear on what you want your wedding to look and feel like, your visual suppliers won't either; you'll be sending a confusing message to lots of different people and you could end up with a wedding that isn't cohesive. If you're feeling stuck and need ideas consider employing a wedding stylist. They can listen to your ideas and cut through the noise, order your Pinterest board and produce a visual look book which you can share with your suppliers, easily communicating your vision.
Tip Three - Too Many Cooks
I can't say this enough, the more people you involve in ideas and decision making, the harder it becomes. Politely listen to everyone's ideas then, the two of you make the final decision and ignore others' personal opinions.
Tip Four - Stick to Your Budget
There is nothing more stressful than spending money you don't have. When you are starting to allocate budgets you can seek examples in blogs and online, but your budget will be different to the next persons as you'll have different priorities. You might want to spend £2.5K on flowers but your partner, not so much. You'll have to bend and flex and re-allocate according to priorities, but keep it fair and stick within your agreed spend.
Tip Five - Save Money
This is a tricky one. There's a myth that just because you mention wedding the price goes up. It is just a myth, but there are ways to save money and it isn't through DIY'ing everything. One of the best ways to save money is to involve least amount of suppliers as possible. This is simply a logisitics thing. Less suppliers = less delivery and collection charges, less deposits, less security deposits etc. Adding lots of different decor companies who each have one item you want is much more expensive than approaching one 'best fit' supplier and asking them to supply everything. Most suppliers cross hire from each other anyway.
Tip Six - Ask Yourself 'What are the must haves?'
They'll be some elements of your wedding that you wouldn't want to be without. A wedding photographer might be a must have or an arch outside the church you've dreamed about getting married in for all those years, that dress that makes you feel like the most beautiful you've ever felt or the wedding rings you want to design yourselves. Everything else will be a luxury item and you won't be able to have them all. Write a list of the must haves and the luxury items and be strict about what is included and what isn't.
Tip Seven - Shop Local
This one is obvious, you can meet people easier, face to face meetings enable you to get to know and trust suppliers and you can get things ironed out quickly. You'll probably have a knowledge of them as they are local and they may have worked at your venue already. Sole traders and small business work tirelessly to build a reputation and every job is important to them. Again, delivery and collection charges may be lower than out of town suppliers.
Tip Eight - Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
If wedding planning is starting to take over your life and you're not enjoying it, take a break and reassess what's important. You've got time.
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