Here are some solid wedding planning tips that we’ve picked up over time. Brides-to-be should commit to these stay-sane rules to make the wedding planning months ahead stress-free.
1. Your first wedding planning to-do? Set your wedding budget. Don’t start planning your wedding without a budget. This is one of the most stressful elements to wedding planning. Make sure you decide up front how much your total wedding budget is going to be, who will be contributing and how much. Plan your wedding budget and stick to it—from the dress to the reception: wedding budget calculator. Don’t spend more than your budget or what you can afford. Your wedding day is important, but it is only ONE day! Starting your new life together by going into serious debt from your wedding expenses and being strapped with that debt for the next five years isn’t worth it.
2. Don’t have unrealistic weight expectations. Choose a wedding dress you look gorgeous in at your regular weight. You’ll most likely shed a couple of pounds in the weeks leading up to the wedding due to stress and pre-wedding jitters, but consider that a bonus. Don’t try to lose any more weight. Crash dieting may make you tired and more bridezilla-ish, and too weak to handle the demands or enjoy your wedding celebrations.
3. Don’t try and do everything yourself. Planning a wedding can be a full time job in itself. So don’t try and take on such an enormous project alone. Delegate as much as you can! As a bride, it’s pretty much your inalienable right to micromanage every aspect of the wedding if you choose to. There are, however, some aspects of wedding planning that you can loosen up on—the rehearsal dinner, for instance. Don’t insist on having it your way all the time! If it’s being thrown for you by someone else, offer your input only when asked and on a few issues that are super-important to you.
4. Don’t get crazy over every detail. It can really take the pleasure out of the wedding planning process. Like obsessing over your wedding registry. Don’t second- and third-guess every registry decision. Giving yourself a deadline after which you’re not allowed to review and revise your registry—say, five months before the wedding—will help you stay sane. This way, you can start fixating on something else instead, like seating charts!
5. Don’t skimp on your photography, and make your photo album within one year of the wedding. For most couples, their wedding day is a blur! It goes by so fast, and after it’s over, all you have left is your memories and pictures. Wedding albums don’t come cheap, so it may be tempting to wait until your funds have been restored before purchasing yours. But, the years slip by quickly, and it’s all too easy to wind up with nothing. If there’s a photographer who’s out of your budget range, ask if he or she can do an abbreviated session, like all of the ceremony but only part of the reception. Then bite the bullet and order your album while the memories are fresh and you still have a little wedding planning momentum driving you forward.
6. Don’t forget to thank everyone involved in your wedding and those that gave you gifts. Writing your thank-you notes as the wedding gifts come in will prevent them from piling up and the list becoming that much more intimidating to tackle. Yes, you’re busy, but you can always find 10 minutes in your schedule to write a thank-you note. Send them out promptly after you receive a gift. If you let too much time pass before writing your thank-you notes, the giver may wonder if you received the gift.
7. Don’t schedule any wedding planning the day before your wedding. That is the day to relax and pamper yourself. You need some time to unwind from the rigors of wedding planning before the big day. Try to make the week before your wedding ceremony and reception fun!
8. Don’t expect perfection for your wedding day. Expect a “great” day and set reasonable expectations. Don’t forget what the real reason for all the wedding planning is—for you to get married.