Congratulations! You’re now engaged.
But as soon you put that beautiful, sparkly ring on your finger, you’ll quickly be swept away in all things wedding planning. Believe me, I know. Within 24 hours after I got engaged to my now husband, I had bought my first wedding magazine, set up a “My Wedding” Pinterest board and changed my Facebook status to engaged.
It’s no wonder brides feel overwhelmed and stressed when planning the best day of their lives. You only get one wedding (well, that’s the plan for most couples anyway!) so you feel the pressure to make it perfect.
From the flowers to the decorations to the dress (oh the dress!), planning a wedding is a full-time job in itself. For busy brides it’s hard to find the balance between work, life and a wedding (not to mention if you have a family, or you’re studying or you’re moving house!)
Use these Wedding Planning Tips to help you prioritise and plan your big day. Make the most of every moment and try to enjoy the process!
1. PLAN YOUR PLANNING
You can easily let planning a wedding take over your life. There are so many moving parts and more intricate details than you would ever think. Avoid the overwhelm by setting side aside time to plan your wedding whether that be a couple of hours every Tuesday night or Saturday mornings over brunch with your fiancé.
Create a running to-do list in your diary
, your notebook
or on your phone as items pop into your head and use this allocated time to tick these items off your list.
2. PRIORITISE YOUR GUEST LIST
Often the most stressful part of wedding planning is choosing who you’re going to invite but it’s the most important thing to do in the early stages. There’s no point getting quotes for venues for 80 people when your guest list is closer to 150.
Create your guest list in order of priority with your immediate family and bridal party at the top, followed by close friends (who you actually catch up with regularly) and then your extended family and other friends/colleagues. If you need to cull, you can work your way up from the bottom.
3. FOLLOW UPS NOTED
Do you need to provide your venue with exact dates two weeks out from the wedding? Or maybe you need to book in a trial with your make-up artist? Rather than keep these future follow-ups in your head, write them down in your diary or calendar.
As you get close to the wedding these items will start to pile up, so keep a list of things to follow up closer to the date so you don’t miss anything. You’ll also be freeing your mind up for the decisions you need to make now.
4. GET ORGANISED
Keep all of your wedding related documents in one place like a box or a folder. Once you start your planning you’ll start to collect a whole lot of brochures, receipts, colour swatches, invite samples and clippings from magazines so it’s really helpful to keep these in one place.
Also, think about creating a wedding only email address so you can keep all of your supplier information in one place and ensure you can keep track of who you still need to respond to.
5. BOOK TIME OFF FROM WORK
You’ll likely need to take some time off before and after the wedding so I recommend you do this as soon as you have your date confirmed with your venue. The sooner you do this, the sooner you get that big looming request off your back and your boss will appreciate it too!
Make sure you allow a day or two before the wedding to tidy up any last to-do items, book in your beauty appointments and allow yourself some time to relax. Your body will thank you for it!
6. SIMPLIFY YOUR BUDGET
When you’re told to set a budget for your wedding, it’s hard to know where to even start. The biggest cost is going to be your reception venue so once you lock this in, think of this as 40% of your total budget.
Then allow for 5% for flowers, 10% for the dress, 10% for groom and bridal party attire, 5% for music, 5% for invites, 5% for cars, 10% for photographer, 2% for gifts and 8% for miscellaneous expenses. It’s important to have a bit of a buffer for any emergency items that need to be purchased or booked in (like a marquee if it rains or a reprint of your invites).
7. RECRUIT SOME HELPERS
Yes, it’s your big day but that doesn’t mean you have to go at it alone! There will be close friends and family members who would jump at the opportunity to help you which will free you up big time.
Think about giving 3 – 5 people you’re closest to like your Mum or your bridesmaids a task to own. This could be researching and engaging florists or coordinating the hair and make-up for the day. Share some photos of what you like and let them run with it.
8. DO YOUR RESEARCH
When you’re booking your suppliers for your day, make sure you read through reviews of their service and look out for ones that say they made their day so easy and carefree. These are the types of suppliers you want!
Whether they’ve got 100k followers on Instagram or not isn’t an important factor when it comes down to making your wedding planning stress-free. You want them to be able to take your brief and run with it without much handholding throughout the process.
9. FIND TIME WHERE YOU CAN
If you don’t want wedding planning to eat into all of your free time, make the most of the spare moments you get in your work week. Make some follow-up calls in your lunch break or send in a quote request for a florist on the train into work.
Most suppliers won’t require you to meet them in person so consider using Skype if you need some face-to-face time. Also make sure if you do meet with suppliers you’re prepared with questions you want to ask so you don’t have to go back and forth.
10. DON’T BOTHER SHREDDING FOR THE WEDDING
At the end of the day, your partner loves you for who you are right now. Who cares if you lose an extra couple of kilos between now and the big day? Only you.
Don’t add this extra pressure to an already overwhelming time in your life. Obviously still maintain a healthy diet and exercise schedule but don’t succumb to quick fixes like juice cleanses or fitness challenges that will just leave you feeling exhausted.
11. PAY EARLY
As you get closer to the wedding day you will realise that the balance of all of your suppliers’ quotes will be due at the same time. And guess what, the balance is often between 50% and 80% of the original quote!
Try to pay these off one at a time and earlier than the deadline to relieve some of that last-minute money pressure. You may also find that extra costs pop up last minute, so you want to make sure you have enough funds for these too.
12. CREATE A WEDDING TIMELINE
Be realistic about how long things will take on the day and allow some room for error like your photos taking longer than expected or your bridal cars running late to the venue.
Give this timeline (complete with a contacts list) to your bridal party so they are fully across what’s expected of them throughout the day, to your parents and maybe even another super organised friend. If something needs to be attended to, trust that one of these people will easily be able to sort it out.
13. SCHEDULE TIME FOR YOU
You’re only going to do this once so take some time to enjoy the process! You know how important it is to switch off from work, so why don’t you all yourself to switch off from your wedding planning.
Allocate time in your schedule to do something you enjoy whether that’s going for brunch with your girlfriends or booking in a massage. You’ll be calmer throughout the process, make better decisions and stay healthy for your perfect day.
YOUR ULTIMATE WEDDING PLANNING TOOL
Half to-do list, half notebook, your Get Shit Done is small enough to take with you wherever you go. To make sure you don’t forget anything, add in the weekly dates at the top of each page so you can keep track of any future follow-ups or tasks closer to the wedding. You can also use this as a place to keep track of any new ideas or inspirations that pop up throughout your journey.
About the author:
As a marketing consultant embracing the side hustle, Kate works with one-on-one clients to build bespoke marketing an content strategies and thrives off building connections. She's completely obsessed with helping business owners develop strategies to take their business to the next level which she does through free educational content on her YouTube Channel and intimate workshops.