Step One: Prioritize
Here is a great little experiment to do with your fiance in the early stages of planning. Each of you take a sheet of paper and, without talking to each other, rank the importance of each of the following categories from 1 to 10, 10 being most important to you, 1 being least. Photography, Videography, Venue, Transportation, Food, Entertainment, Attire, Decor & Flowers, Gifts (for your wedding party, parents, and thank yous for your guests,) Stationery (invites, programs, etc.)
Once you two have each made your own list, compare where your priorities match and clash. Discuss with each other why your picks are important, then find ways to compromise and come up with a new list together. If you’re two peas in a pod this will be easy, but if you’re more of an opposites-attract couple, you’ll be getting some great practice in open communication which is so essential to a great marriage! Win-win!
Step Two: Avengers Assemble!
The next step is to make like Nick Fury and recruit your super team. This is the step where you will get the biggest payoff on stress reduction in the whole process. By surrounding yourself with the best people for the jobs at hand, you are going to make your planning process so much easier. This is also a great place to listen to your gut when hiring your vendors. Did it take a week for that DJ to send you a contract? Does this coordinator seem to not really get your style? Those are great signs that maybe your hunt for the perfect team is not yet over. Finding people who are confident and professional, who get your vision and have produced work you love, will be able to take some of the burden of planning off your plate and free you up for more enjoyable tasks.
Step Three: Take a Break!
Planning ahead is crucial to a stress-free day, but the average engagement in the US is 14.5 months long. You can’t possibly spend every day planning, and if you do, you’re going to lose your brain! There’s this thing called analysis paralysis, where you become so overwhelmed by all the things you need to do and all the options you have, your brain just shuts down and refuses to make any decisions. The best way to overcome analysis paralysis is to log out of pinterest and instagram, take your honey and go out for a night on the town. Or a night on the couch watching Netflix, same diff. Just stop thinking about it for a while, or as I call it, let the ideas percolate. When you’ve taken some time away, you might find the perfect centerpiece idea comes to you out of nowhere or you see some wildflowers at the park that inspire the casual chic bouquet you really wanted but didn’t know you wanted. And I’m sure your fiance will enjoy spending non-wedding related time with you again.
Step Four: Wedding Day Timeline
A what, now? Yes, the wedding day timeline is your passport to an easy-breezy wedding day. I know some people really hate the idea of planning out every minute because it seems stressful and unspontaneous, but I find the results to be the exact opposite. It’s like the gears in a machine. If you take the time to put all the gears in the proper place, it’s going to run smoothly with little help from you. This holds true to a wedding day; if every person knows their job and what comes next, YOU won’t have to be constantly telling everyone what to do. Your wedding can go on autopilot and you are free to enjoy your wedding while all the details take care of themselves. This is why I offer timeline planning services to all my brides and grooms. I want my couples to be relaxed and happy on their wedding days and if I can help with that, I will.