After being in the wedding industry for many years, as a wedding photographer, I know how stressful weddings can be! There are so many moving pieces, and lots of vendors to think about. Sometimes it can make feel overwhelmed or frustrated. This is why I wanted to share my 6 tips to plan a stress-free wedding!
One of the most important parts of wedding planning is building a strong vendor team, and trusting them. I know it can be a little scary to trust a vendor you just met, but it is important that you do! By picking solid vendors, you know you will have a great team for your wedding day. Your vendor team has likely done dozens, if not hundreds, of weddings. Which means they know a thing or two about planning and executing!
To build a strong vendor team, start with a planner or photographer. They will be the two vendors you spend the most time with and they will also be able to refer the vendors they love most for your other areas. Trust their referrals. As a wedding photographer, I have vendors that I refer to time and time again. Not just because I love their work, but because I know they will be incredible at their job. I also refer to those who I know all work seamlessly together as a team for our couples. Meet with your large vendors, like the planner, photographer, and venue. Make sure it feels right, and you get along!
Remember, your team is there to do the work for you, so let them! By trusting your vendors to do their job, it will decrease your stress, and give the vendors confidence to make something amazing!
When you start planning, set 3-5 areas that are your priorities. Focus on making those things personalized and special and let them take the majority of your budget. And be okay with letting all the other things go.
So, you want the photographer of your dreams plus an awesome band but having custom made invitations doesn’t matter? Great! Focus your budget on your photographer and the band. Then get your invitations online, from a site like Minted, where you can get a great deal. Focus your budget on those 3-5 things that you and your spouse really love! And don’t forget to work together – this is about both of you!
Most importantly, don’t let friends or family pressure you into things that are not a good fit for you. Just because your best friend had a 7-course dinner, doesn’t mean you have to! Your wedding is about the two of you as a couple – and not your friends!
In order to have a stress-free wedding, it’s important to take a step back and re-focus on what the day is about. It can be easy to get swept into planning and forget what the focus should be: the two of you! Have a date together in order to relax and re-establish the priorities. If something is feeling difficult or stressful, it might mean letting that thing go.
The number of details in a wedding can be a lot! From stationary to napkins, to even the color of the table linens. There are a lot of decisions to make! But don’t sweat the small decisions. Trust your wedding planner to pick the right choices, especially if you are torn between two.
Save the dates are not always necessary! If most of your guest list is local and travel is not involved, there is no need to send save the dates. You can easily let them know through family and friends or with a quick email. Pro Tip: this can also be a sneaky way of keeping your guest count small. Don’t give extra notice! Your important people will already know your wedding date and will plan accordingly. Not sending a save the date will allow you to invite all the people you feel pressured to invite without the extra notice to attend.
Don’t let the internet convince you that you need every single thing! You don’t need custom cookies, personalized napkins or a chocolate fountain (unless you really want it!) Focus on what you two really want, to keep it a stress-free wedding planning process.
A lot of times, after getting engaged, you might want to dive right into planning. Maybe you even start planning that evening! But I recommend taking the time to really enjoy the moment before diving into planning. Planning a wedding can take 6 months to a year, sometimes even longer! That is a long time to be working on an event. So by taking some time off, even a few weeks, to really enjoy the engagement, you can go into planning with a clear mind. Remember, more time planning = less stress!
On your wedding day, remember to soak it all in and enjoy it! It’s important to go with the flow. Little things might go “wrong”, but remember to still enjoy it! As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen lots of things happen, like downpours, or your cake falling over. But take it all in stride! Laugh it off and know that you are making unforgettable memories.
Remember to take moments to stop during your wedding and actually take everything in. The day can fly by so fast! Have a special moment with your sister or mom during getting ready. Take a minute to look at all of your guests during your ceremony, and really be in the moment. And most importantly, make sure to spend quality alone time together as a couple to laugh and love on each other! This day is all about you two – so don’t forget to take some time alone and just enjoy the day, together.
While planning a wedding can seem like a daunting task, by focusing on the right vendors and the details that matter most to you, you can ensure a smooth planning process! Don’t forget to hire a wedding planner, so they can take care of the timeline, and smaller details. And always trust your vendors. They are here to help you!