Planning a wedding can be a long, stressful, and expensive process. This can make the whole event seem more like a chore than a celebration. If you’re currently feeling more anxiety than excitement when you think about your upcoming nuptials, making adjustments to your wedding planning process can help you renew your enthusiasm.
There is no golden rule or catch-all guidelines for a stress-free wedding planning process, but there are some tips you can follow as a couple to ensure that the process enhances your big day.
Explore five of the best planning tips to create a stress free wedding day.
Even small weddings can be big productions, and many elements must be booked or arranged in advance. Booking early is an easy way to reduce planning stress while providing more availability and cheaper options.
Book your venue, catering team, wedding photographer, and other entertainment as early as possible. Many venues and wedding staff require you to book their services at least six months in advance, if not longer.
Even if you have all the big items secure and reserved, don’t procrastinate on the smaller details either. Finalize your guest list ASAP, especially if you’re having a destination wedding, so your guests can set up travel plans and accommodations. Select your flowers in advance so your florist can order your blooms on schedule.
If you or your groomsmen are renting tuxes, order early because you may need to get them altered. If you’re giving a speech or a toast, jot down some notes beforehand. Trust us; improvisation is harder than it sounds, no matter how hilarious you think you are.
A good goal is to have all the details ready and finalized at least 90 days before the wedding. If this seems unrealistic, you may want to invest in a wedding planner to help you stay on track.
Weddings should be as personal as possible. The most fun and memorable weddings reflect the unique personalities of the bride and groom and focus on what makes them special as a couple. However, too many personal elements can turn your wedding into a spiraling, complicated affair with too many moving parts.
Simplify your plan by selecting a few personalized non-negotiables to focus on, like placing a flower to honor a loved one, including a beloved pet in your wedding party, or adding in a unique ritual like a sand ceremony. Some couples opt for alternate colors for their wedding clothes or select non-traditional venues like the beach or backyard to showcase their individuality cost-efficiently.
If certain wedding traditions seem overly-complicated or costly, or you just don’t like them, ignore them. Make it your own, with your tastes, music, wedding ceremony type, and unique ways of celebrating the day as a couple. It will be much easier to plan a stress-free wedding if you aren’t trying to live up to others’ expectations. Plan for you, and it will be an easier process.
Planning as much as possible is essential in the months and weeks leading up to your wedding. Discuss roles and responsibilities with your bridal party, track RSVPs from friends and family, and reconfirm everything with all vendors and venues. Spending time on planning helps reduce your stress on the important day itself.
If you need extra help with planning, you may want to hire a wedding planner or day-of coordinator. An experienced wedding planner can help you stick to your timeline and budget and help you address any problems that may arise. A day-of coordinator handles the nitty-gritty of the wedding day, like telling the musicians when the bride is coming down the aisle or making sure there are enough chairs for your guests.
If you’re planning a larger wedding that requires microphones or a PA system, your wedding planner or day-of coordinator will ensure everything is tested and working so there are no awkward pauses at the altar.
It’s not a bad idea for you and your partner to sit down with your wedding planner, get on the same page, and troubleshoot any possible problems in advance. If, for example, you already know your venue has no wheelchair ramp or one of your guests has a severe nut allergy, making an alternative plan in advance is crucial. Your wedding planner ideally has the experience that can help.
As unromantic as it may sound, the budget is one of the biggest issues and sources of wedding planning stress. It is crucially important that the very first thing you do when planning your wedding is set a budget. This will inform and affect every decision you make.
The average wedding cost $28,000 in 2021, with prices expected to rise by $1,000-3,000 in 2022 due to inflation. Unfortunately, prices sometimes rise due to unforeseen circumstances, meaning you may need to make changes to stay within your budget. Sit down with your bride and discuss your priorities. For example, a beautiful wedding venue might be worth cutting out an expensive cocktail hour.
Having a non-negotiable budget for wedding spending automatically limits your venue and entertainment options, so you can make the best choice without getting caught up in the “what ifs.” An organized budget helps you visualize your top expenses and determine where you want to prioritize your spending. Additionally, wedding planner Jennifer Hardiman, CEO of Fabuluxe Events, stresses having a conversation with the parents about expectations and boundaries at the very beginning of the planning process. “Establish who is paying for what, and stick to that plan. Clear communication will save a lot of stress and assumptions.”
When you get married, you and your spouse officially become a partnership, a team of two. So why not get a head start? Planning for your wedding can be excellent practice for married life, allowing you to learn about each other’s thought processes, stressors, and ways of working through issues.
If you approach every problem or at least the big ones, as a team, neither of you will feel resentful that the other isn’t shouldering the wedding planning burden. If your partner offers to handle an issue alone, still offer assistance and be a sounding board for their ideas. Many hands make for light work, and two heads are much better at planning than one.
View the planning process not just as a tedious task to complete but as an opportunity to grow in love and understanding. No matter how strong your relationship is, you will still disagree and have different priorities for the wedding. Your bride may love reggae and guacamole, while you’re more of a rap and queso guy.
You may discover that certain outdated wedding traditions mean a lot to your future wife or her family members and may be worth including.
Practice compromise and understanding throughout the process. It may help you prepare for married life.
No matter how well you follow these tips, your wedding planning process is bound to have at least some stress. Planning such a special day will make you overthink things, worry more, and increase your stress level, but this is entirely natural. In fact, it shows that you care. You’re planning one of the most important and memorable days of your life after all; of course, it will cause some stress.
This stress, though, is an opportunity. Use it as motivation to plan well in advance, to think everything through, to make your plan as personal as possible, and to grow in love and understanding of your partner.
For more tips on how to be your best groom, the Groom Club has got you covered from proposal to honeymoon, bachelor party included. Subscribe to our newsletter for more TGC content.