Planning a wedding is no small task. You are most likely juggling it on top of an already very busy day job, social calendar, and family commitments and then there’s the pressure that you want it to be perfect. With so much fun to be had in the anticipation and build up to your wedding (think of it a bit like getting ready as the best part of a night out…) it is a shame to let stress ruin the enjoyment. Here are some tips on how to better relish in the wedding planning bubble and avoid burning out ahead of the big day!
Give yourself plenty of time
it takes on average 250 hours to plan a wedding and that is a lot of time; 18 weeks in total if you spent 2 hours planning every day (and who has 2 hours spare every single day of the week?). Added to this is the fact that many venues and suppliers get booked well in advance and you don’t want to be disappointed if your first choice isn’t available. A good planning window is 12-18 months out.
Write a plan before you start
It seems an obvious point but it is really easy to get carried away in the early stages (booking dress appointments, searching the web for venues, wading through Instagram feeds for ideas) and then get to the stage of feeling overwhelmed or realising you’ve missed the boat on doing something important. I would write a plan early, list all the things you need to do and draw up a timeline of when it needs to happen. There are some great planning tools and blog posts out there to help you get started.
Chose Brilliant Suppliers
Having brilliant suppliers ‘on your team’ is worth its weight in gold. Do your research, ask people for recommendations, ask lots of questions, look at their websites. And choosing excellent suppliers doesn’t need to equal going for the most expensive; for every supplier type there will be some who operate at the higher, middle and lower end of the budget spectrum, but what you are looking for is the quality, service, expertise and help they can offer within the quote. You delegate a good deal of the responsibility to your suppliers and you want to be able to relax knowing they will do a first rate job.
Put the Pinterest down (eventually)
Pinterest is fantastic planning tool for getting inspiration, ideas, creating style/mood boards and sharing your vision of your wedding look with key suppliers but there is too much of a good thing. I’d advise using it to get your main ideas and then stop! Otherwise those 250 planning hours could easily creep closer to 350 and you could find yourself going in circles with inspiration overload. If you are struggling to whittle your ideas down, a good wedding stylist can help you pull together your wedding look from your initial ideas and they will also help hone in on those ideas that will work for your venue (and budget) and those that won’t!
Consider getting help
One certain way of making life easier is to enlist the help of a professional wedding planner (I have to write this, I am one!). But, it is true, a good planner will save you valuable time, money and wasted effort and the best ones will ensure you get to enjoy the fun parts of planning without any of thestress. There are lots of elements to planning a wedding: deciding on and managing your budget; finding and shortlisting suppliers; finding a venue; working out timings for the day; co-ordinating all the suppliers; reviewing all your supplier contracts; writing a table plan; deciding on wedding favours; picking hymns, music or readings; styling your wedding day; arranging transport between venues; arranging accommodation options for guests; sourcing props, decorations or tableware items; managing your RSVPs; setting up on the day. If, after drawing up your list, it all seems a bit too much to handle, consider a planner that can help with all, some or just a little part of it.
Enjoy the experience
You (hopefully) only get married once so if you do start to feel the pressure, try and relax and focus on enjoying the whole experience! Take time to indulge in things you would never normally do: spend a whole day dress shopping and drinking champagne; make a day of your food tasting; learn something new like calligraphy to personalise your invites or how to make homemade macarons; take dance lessons; make a big deal of your wine tasting or, failing all of the above, book a weekend off where wedding planning is a no go zone and enjoy time with your other half to be!
image credits : Meg Catherine Flowers, Hikari Photography, Taylor Lord.