It’s no surprise that planning a wedding can be stressful. Whether you’ve planned one yourself or just watched them be planned on television, this multi-billion dollar industry can take some once loving couples to the wrestling ring during the planning stages. Blissful and beautiful in their own right, weddings have a long-running history of increasing the stress on pretty much everyone involved.
Although it may be overwhelming to plan your wedding — especially as time dwindles down — Nicole Sanchez, wedding planner and owner of Pavé Weddings By Nicole, confirmed to INSIDER that not every wedding has to be like that.
“Your wedding is one of the biggest parties that you’ll ever plan,” she said. With tasks such as finding the right vendors, creating your event design, and planning the timeline and logistics of the day, the stress quickly builds up. On your wedding day, you should be able to relax and enjoy being the guest of honor.
The key to a stress-free wedding day, of course, is knowing what to do to make things go as smoothly as possible both before and on your big day.
First and foremost, hire a wedding planner.
Although it can be tempting to save money by doing all the planning yourself, you may want to think twice before taking all of that on.
“A wedding planner can keep you organized, guide you through the design process, and offer expert advice on proper wedding etiquette,” Sanchez told INSIDER. “The goal is for you to see your design vision come to life without the stress of having to take part in the setup. Hire someone to finalize details with all vendors prior to the wedding day and then handle ceremony coordination, decor setup, and pacing of the day so that you can enjoy a stress-free wedding day.”
Determined to stick to the budget and not sure where a full wedding planner can fit in? Sanchez suggested investing in a month or day of coordinator at the very minimum. That will set you back less money, but still ensure that you have some help.
Set your budget.
Setting a budget for your wedding day may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many couples skip this step or — even worse — set unrealistic price goals and expectations.
“It is important to plan accordingly to ensure you stay within your allocated budget,” Sanchez told INSIDER. “Make a list of your wedding ‘needs’ versus ‘wants.’ Ensure that you secure all of your vendors and items in the ‘needs’ category (venue, photography, catering, DJ/band) before you move to the ‘wants’ (upgraded chairs, specialty linens, etc.). If you have additional money remaining in your budget, then you can begin to focus on the ‘wants.'”
Prioritizing your absolute must-haves prior to spending money on non-essential items can alleviate some of the financial stress that usually comes along with planning a wedding.
Don’t wait until the last minute to get your guests in order.
Although you may be undecided on table one or table five for your great aunt Lanora, the best thing to do is to get your seating arrangements together as soon as the RSVPs begin to flood in, according to Sanchez.
“Creating your seating layout can be stressful and time-consuming,” she said. “Instead of sitting down to do this tedious task all at once, create a spreadsheet and begin to organize guests (and note entrée selections) as RSVPs come in. You can continue to make tweaks prior to submitting your final seating layout.”
Number your RSVPs.
There’s always that one friend who will forget to RSVP when you ask them to. Fortunately, avoiding unnecessary frustrations when your RSVPs are returned is easier than you think.
“Place a small number on the back of each RSVP card that corresponds to each guest. Even if a guest forgets to write their name, you can easily determine who the unmarked RSVP is from,” said Sanchez.
Take a weekend away from wedding planning.
Planning a wedding can be exhausting, draining, and overwhelming. Taking a break to reset and regroup is important for your mental health.
“Take time off from wedding planning to just enjoy time with your fiancé,” Sanchez suggested. “Planning can consume every conversation and sometimes it’s nice to take a break just to enjoy each other’s company — without wedding talk — before picking up where you left off.”
Try taking a weekend off for a staycation or, if it’s not out of the way, reinvent your first road trip together.
Remember your “why.”
Although your wedding can be noted as one of the most important days of your life, don’t get so consumed with everything being perfect that those things become the main focus of your big day. According to Sanchez, you should be enjoying your wedding and not be sweating the small stuff.
“Even if it rains during your outdoor ceremony, the flower girl doesn’t make it down the aisle, or your centerpiece floral doesn’t match the exact shade of pink from your Pinterest board, remember that you’re marrying the love of your life and that’s what counts.”
A wedding is just a day, but a marriage (if you’re lucky) will last you a lifetime.
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