Imagine: You’re engaged to the love of your life and you’re planning this big day together. You start the journey thinking about all the things that will be amazing about this day.
After all, a day built on love should be something to enjoy (because nobody goes to a wedding to be mad about it, am I right?).
If you’ve read anything about wedding planning, or if you’ve talked to someone who has recently been through the process, you’ll know that despite this initial vision, most people find wedding planning stressful.
There are reasons for that: you’re about to spend a lot of money; your parents or friends may have priorities that compete with your own; your partner isn’t really into trying to plan things; or you’re busy with other life things like work or school.
At the heart of it, even if you are typically the event planner for your group of friends, this is likely the biggest (and one of the most important) events you will ever plan. That’s a lot, and you’re walking into the situation blind with no idea where to go first.
Okay, that’s the hard stuff, but there is good news! Despite all the potential stress factors, wedding planning should still be a lot of fun! However, the only way to truly enjoy it is to approach it from the right perspective. I wanted to share some tips on how to enjoy the wedding planning process as well as the wedding day.
Hey, you’re about to spend a lot of money! How much? Only you can decide what’s reasonable and right for you but start by doing some research on the average amount of money spent in your area.
Now, averages are just that (so you can end up above or below), but it will at least give you a ballpark figure to start from. Walking in blind can leave you shell-shocked, stressed, and annoyed.
Once you have that number, realize that about half of it needs to be allocated to venue, food, and beverage. The more people you have, the less you’ll be able to do (or, you’ll have to go back and increase the budget). Give some thought to who must be on the guest list and come up with a size that makes you happy.
Budget and guest count are the first of many places that you are likely to do battle with your parents. Perhaps you want to keep it small because you are an introvert and not a fan of large crowds, or perhaps you are simply not interested in spending thousands of dollars on people you don’t know. Either way, it’s time to have a real conversation about what you can and can’t do with everyone who is chipping in for the wedding.
I hear a lot of parents say, “we’ll pay for more people,” but they often don’t realize that it isn’t just the cost of food that is going to go up: it’s flowers, stationery, favors, and time, too. It also potentially changes your venue options.
Kick the stress of initial sticker shock and parent expectations to the curb by being open, honest, and upfront about your priorities (and do just a little bit of homework). Once you’ve set expectations, you can move on to the fun stuff: shopping.
Go Shopping (with assistance)
Admit it: getting new stuff is fun for everyone. Now, perhaps the items that are being purchased aren’t of interest, and that’ the next way you can make wedding planning fun.
Decide (together, as a couple) what your top priorities are and shop for those things first. It will make it more fun if everyone is getting the new thing that they wanted before anything else happens.
If the thought of having to look through all those Facebook groups, websites, Tik Toks, or Instagram pages is making you rethink the entirety of wedding planning, this is the part where you want to talk to a planner.
I help couples make informed decisions and simplify all the data they have to sift through. Think about it like adding elements you like to the cart as opposed to having to walk the whole store, perhaps never finding what you’re looking for.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
If you’ve followed steps one and two, you’re in a good place to enjoy wedding planning, but there’s one more big thing: remember that this (really important) party is for fun. Life isn’t perfect, so you shouldn’t expect your wedding to be, either.
If you’ve done all the work (and hired a planner to take care of the details), know that you’re going to have a great time at your wedding. Let the details go and enjoy the moment, enjoy the process, and enjoy your wedding.
Wedding planning can be a lot to handle, so be sure you’re also scheduling breaks to just enjoy your engagement and each other and remember what it’s all for.