How To Plan A Stress Free Wedding
Updated: Nov 8
It is almost damn near inevitable not to stress. Every single one of us has some relationship with stress, but almost all of us would be so better off without it. Take your average day to day life. You probably find yourself at times stressing over your work flow, bills and other finances you have an obligation to, and even family stuff. Honestly, just typing all of that out started making me feel anxious for what feels like the hundredth time today. But the reality is, we all stress to different degrees. Now, lets throw a wedding into it all! Why not?! It’ll be fun! Whats the worst that could happen?! If you’re reading this, Im going to take a shot in the dark and guess that you are either in the beginning stages of planning, or are thinking of popping the question here real soon. Whichever of the two, this is a conversation worth having because it just might save you from an ample amount of unnecessary stress.
Wedding planning, as we’ve discussed a numerous amount of times up until this point, has a lot of moving parts. It can go from feeling like you’re floating through a daydream, to suddenly waking up in the middle of the night on the verge of a panic attack. The reason being, is that honestly planning a wedding is exhausting when you’re shouldering all the work yourself. You’re dealing with multiple correspondence for days to weeks on end, relying on the efforts of others to make things happen, and not to mention as you get to the home stretch you’re needing to make sure vendors are paid, orders are placed in a timely matter, and all your T’s are crossed and I’s dotted. Believe me, I have watched people lose themselves in the planning process, to the point where they didn’t even know if they still wanted to get married. But I want to try and help you avoid getting to that point, at all costs. Because the reality is, it doesn’t have to feel that way at all. Here's some tips on how to plan a stress free wedding!
PLANNER/DAY OF COORDINATOR
Sometimes we need to ask for help. As the African proverb says “It takes a village” when it comes to raising a child, well.. Sorry kid, but it’s the same for weddings too. As a bride and groom might be the king and queen who sit on high above those in attendance of their court, the wedding planner is the god in which the bride, the groom, and all their people worship. Wedding Planners are literally earth angels in more ways than I can even count. They are there to ease the pain, lift the suffering, and make the day feel as light as a feather.
You tell them what you want, and baby they will make it happen at the snap of their fingers. They are your main support. Your front line when things start to get crazy. The will part the sea so that you can make a b-line for the restroom in the middle of your cocktail hour. Wedding Planners are truly an investment on your wedding day you will never regret. Especially if communicating, organizing, and executing are not some of your strong suits. Consider them the mediator between you, and all the vendors you will be working with. They will take the time to understand your needs, worries, desires. And they will turn around, tap their podium with their baton three times, raise their arms into the air, and orchestrate your every wish. Am I overhyping wedding coordinators? Absolutely not. When you have been doing this as long as I have, and have seen coordinators put the fire out on some crazy shit unfolding at weddings, you would be thinking the same thing.
But let’s say, you’ve had a relatively great experience with planning your wedding (after reading my blog on how to plan your wedding efficiently), and you just need someone to take the reins on your big day. Enter stage left: The Day Of Coordinator! A day of coordinator can be just as affective as having a full time coordinator. Day of coordinators can be someone who does it professionally, or even better, a close friend or family member with very high organization and communication skills! The purpose of these coordinators is to make sure the day unfolds on time and as close to your timeline as possible. You can take time to meet with them as often as you’d like prior to your wedding day, and make sure they have a full understanding of who needs to be where at what time, and what needs to go where at what stage of the day. Either way, having a planner or day of coordinator is a sure fire way of alleviating a substantial amount of unnecessary stress when it comes to your wedding day!
My fiancé is my biggest support and inspiration to so much of my life these days. She has this ability to bring my feet back to the ground, when my mind starts to race with endless worst case scenario situations that leave me stressed to my stomach. One thing she always reminds me of, is to control the things I can when it comes to stressful situations. And I now am passing on that knowledge to you. One of the biggest things I see couples do on their day, is pack way too many things in a small amount of time. From multiple first looks, trendy weird shit that is temporarily cool in the wedding industry at the moment, adding things to the timeline because it’s suddenly become their moms wedding, and so on.
When you try to jam pack this day with everything and anything wedding related under the sun, you are simultaneously taking away from the magic of the day. You are foregoing being present in the moment with your closest friends and family, because you are stressing out trying to keep up with a demanding timeline. Trust me when I say this; you will never regret keeping things as simple and organic as possible. If you are stressing out on your wedding day, its not only going to show on your face and in the photos you’re going to take. But it’s going to be felt by everyone. It will affect your mood, your tone, your energy. And no one person, or photo editing application, will be able to change that.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, when it comes to wedding planning, the best defense is a good offense! And what better way to build one, than with the team of vendors that will be by your side throughout the day. Something that I really take the time to do with my couples, is sit down and discuss everything. From what is most important to them, what they want to see and feel in their photos, where their biggest areas of worry are, and how I can help support them in that. That way when the wedding day rolls around and the DJ has no idea what’s going on, because the coordinator is trying to put out a fire (not literally) with the catering team, I can step in and make sure things are moving along and meeting the couples expectations. When you take the time to sit down with your vendors, and manage expectations, everyone wins. This alone can help alleviate the stress of the day, when every one of your vendors are on the same page, understanding what is expected of them and what they can do to support you. The more time and effort you put into building a relationship with your vendors, the more they are going to know exactly what to do without having to interrupt you enjoying your wedding day.
DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
Last but certainly not least, only you can really control how much you allow stress to affect you. But here is what I tell every single one of my couples right at the start of their day: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. You’re only going to live through this day (hopefully) once. And you already know that no wedding day ever goes off perfectly. So why worry? The more you worry, the more it takes away from you enjoying all the time and effort you’ve put into gathering everyone under one roof to celebrate the two of you. At this point, whatever happens is going to happen. But only you can manage your perspective on the situation, and decide if you want to let it ruin your day, or add to your day. A little while ago, I had a wedding down in San Diego where the bride and groom had their one year old apart of their celebration. During the cocktail hour, the bride has their daughter in her arms and was floating around the tables saying hi to various guests, bouncing her daughter on her hip to the background music, and just enjoying her moment fully. At one point, the appetizer treys came out, serving these little ravioli squares that were topped with a delicious red sauce. For one second, the bride handed one to her daughter thinking she was going to eat it, but instead her daughter squeezed and shook the ravioli, causing red sauce to splash across the top her the brides dress. In moment of sheer panic, I swear probably 8 different people nearby all sprung up with napkins and water to try and get the stain out and keep the bride calm. When I looked at the bride, I could tell she was definitely feeling the stress of the situation, mostly because of everyone else’s response. I calmly went up to her, held her hand and said “you know what this is, this is going to be a hilarious story years from now, when it’s your daughters turn to get married. You’re going to get to show her this dress, and you guys will probably be sitting on your bed, laughing about it together”. And almost immediately, I felt like she just snapped out of whatever road she was going down. Her entire energy shifted back into party bride. And it’s all because of perspective.
You, your partner, guests, vendors, anyone and everyone who is apart of your day. The one thing we are all going to have in common, is remembering how this day felt. We aren’t going to remember the table settings, the center pieces, if it was a wild flower bouquet arrangement, or if the groomsmen jackets were navy, grey, brown, steamed, or wrinkled. What we are going to remember, what is going to stick with us for a long, long time, is how it all felt. Do not let stress stop you, from having one of the best days you will ever have in your life. It has never, and will never be worth it. I promise.