10 Ways To Plan A Stress-Free Wedding

Your wedding day is coming! Cue ALL THE PLANNING. This doesn't have to mean you have to be stressed until you say "I do", though. Read these 10 tips to stay stress-free during this planning phase of your wedding.

Closeup photo of a bride with brown hair, a white wedding dress and veil, tilting her head up and laughing with her eyes closed.

Photography by Peach & Honey

1. Start planning early: 

Whether or not you are a methodical planner, planning your wedding early benefits everyone involved, including you and your spouse to-be, the bridal party, vendors, and even your guests. It takes at least 2-3 months to plan a successful wedding, and that's with an extremely organized team, the vision has already been established, and you're willing to get crafty when necessary. For the best experience, giving yourself a full year to plan, coordinate, and execute your wedding is more realistic.

Advantages of Early Wedding Planning:

Availability of Preferred Venues and Vendors:

One of the key advantages of planning your wedding early is having a wider range of options for venues and vendors. Popular wedding locations and talented vendors tend to get booked quickly, especially during peak wedding seasons. By starting the planning process early, you increase your chances of securing your dream venue and booking the best vendors who align with your vision.

Lower Costs:

Planning ahead allows you to take advantage of potential discounts and early bird offers from vendors. Many vendors offer discounted rates or special packages for couples who book their services in advance. By securing vendors early, you can potentially save money on services such as catering, photography, and flowers.

Reduced Stress Levels:

Wedding planning can be a stressful endeavor, especially as the big day approaches. Starting early gives you ample time to tackle each task gradually, avoiding last-minute rushes. You can create a realistic timeline, prioritize tasks, and allocate resources effectively, which reduces stress and allows for a smoother planning process. This is true as well for the bridal party, giving them time to save and budget for expenses and to coordinate their schedules. This is a consideration that fosters a more positive and stress-free experience for everyone involved.

Enhanced Creativity:

Early planning gives you the freedom to explore different wedding themes, styles, and decor ideas. You can take your time to research and gather inspiration, and work closely with vendors to bring your vision to life. With ample time, you can explore unique elements that reflect your personality as a couple, resulting in a more personalized and memorable wedding experience.

Increased Availability for Guests:

When you announce your wedding date well in advance, your guests can plan their schedules accordingly. This is especially beneficial for out-of-town guests who may need to make travel arrangements, book accommodations, or take time off work. Early planning allows your loved ones to be present on your special day, ensuring that more guests can attend and celebrate with you.

2. Set a realistic budget:

Define a budget from the beginning and stick to it. Financial stress can add unnecessary pressure, so plan your wedding within your means. Prioritize the aspects that are most important to you and allocate funds accordingly.

How To Set A Realistic Budget:

Prioritize Key Elements:

Identify the most important elements of the wedding for both of you. Discuss what aspects you are willing to spend more on and what areas you can cut back on. 

Research Average Costs:

Research the average costs of weddings in your area or the region where you plan to have the wedding. This will give you a rough idea of what to expect and help you set realistic expectations for your own budget.

Set a Maximum Budget:

Based on your financial situation and the research you've done, set a maximum budget that you are comfortable spending on the wedding. 

Build in a Buffer:

Weddings can have unexpected expenses, so it's wise to build in a buffer of around 5-10% of your total budget to account for any unforeseen costs.

Consider DIY and Borrowing:

Explore do-it-yourself (DIY) options for certain aspects of the wedding, such as decorations or wedding favors, which can save money.

Review and Adjust Regularly:

Periodically review your wedding budget and spending to ensure you are staying on track. If needed, make adjustments to avoid overspending.

Off-centered photo of a bride and part of her bridal party gathered around on a sidewalk. The bridal party is wearing varying shades of pink and peach, while the bride is wearing a white wedding gown and veil.

Photography by Peach & Honey

3. Delegate tasks:

Don't hesitate to ask for help from friends, family, or a wedding coordinator. From choosing the perfect venue to coordinating with vendors and managing intricate details, it's easy to feel lost in a sea of decisions. That's where the invaluable services of a wedding coordinator come into play. 

Advantages of Hiring a Wedding Coordinator:

Expertise and Experience:

One of the primary advantages of hiring a wedding coordinator is the experience and wealth of knowledge, not to mention the connections they have in the community, that together make your experience more personalized and stress free. They have the expertise to guide you through every step of the planning process, providing valuable insights and recommendations based on their years of experience. They curate personalized recommendations, offer design expertise, and ensure that your wedding reflects your individuality. With their guidance, you can focus on enjoying the journey while they handle the intricate logistics.

Time and Stress Management:

Adding wedding planning on top of your regular daily responsibilities might have you feeling burnt out. A wedding coordinator takes on the burden of managing the logistics, timelines, and coordination, allowing you to focus on enjoying your engagement and spending quality time with your loved ones.

Budget Management:

Weddings can quickly become expensive affairs, but a skilled wedding coordinator can help you navigate your budget effectively. They have extensive knowledge of vendor costs and negotiation skills to secure the best deals. By keeping track of expenses and providing cost-saving strategies, they can help you stay within your budget while still achieving your dream wedding.

Enhanced Guest Experience:

Wedding coordinators go above and beyond to create a memorable experience for your guests. When something doesn't go to plan, your wedding coordinator is able to step in and come up with new solutions on the fly. Thing like seating arrangements, guest transportation, and ensuring guests are well-informed about the event schedule might be some areas your wedding coordinator are able to support your guests. By providing a well-executed and enjoyable experience, they contribute to the overall satisfaction of your event. Ultimately, investing in their services allows you to create a magical, stress-free wedding day filled with cherished memories for both you and your loved ones.

P​sst: We know a few great wedding coordinators 😉 

4. Use a checklist:

Maintain a comprehensive checklist to stay organized and keep track of essential tasks. Break down the planning process into smaller, manageable steps, and tick them off as you go. This will help you stay on top of things and minimize any last-minute panics.

I​n fact, we created a template for exactly this reason. Our Complete Wedding Planning Template boasts features like a budget and expense tracker, guest list and vendor management list, a wedding day timeline, and a smart planner that automates due dates according to your to-do list.

Purchase and instantly d​ownload this template to your Google Drive so you can have easy access to it at every vendor meeting and planning session.

Instant Download, all-in-one google sheet. This digital download offers a to-do list, a budget tracker, a wedding day timeline, and vendor and guest management lists. Provided by www.andersoncoweddings.com
The budget and expense tracker: a portion of the digital download. Weddings are expensive and difficult to financially control, so use our easy to use budget tracker that manages and tracks your budget and expenses throughout your entire planning process.
Vendor and Guest Management List: a portion of the digital download. The guest list manager tracks and organizes information from initial invite list to the final thank you note sent. Track if you sent a Save the Date and record RSVP status.
To-do List: a portion of the digital download. Our wedding planning to-do list includes all of the essential planning tasks to get you from "Yes" to "I Do". Its tasks are broken down into phases and suggested due dates are automatically generated. Simply check them off as you go.
Day-Of Timeline: a portion of the digital download. We included a Day-Of Timeline so that you don't have to guess how to manage Day-Of logistics.

5. Communicate openly with your partner:

Amidst the chaos of organizing the perfect day, maintaining intimacy and open communication with your partner will keep you grounded and focused on what important. Clear and open communication will help avoid misunderstandings and reduce unnecessary stress.

H​ow To Maintain Intimacy In A Stressful Planning Process:

Schedule Regular "Wedding-Free" Quality Time:

Set aside designated moments each week when you and your partner can connect without any wedding-related discussions. Whether it's a cozy dinner at home, a date night out, or a leisurely walk in the park, dedicating time exclusively to each other fosters a sense of intimacy. By temporarily stepping away from the wedding planning stress, you can rekindle emotional connections and remember what makes your relationship special.

Establish an Open Communication Channel:

It's not uncommon for wedding planning to cause some emotional turbulence, leading to misunderstandings and conflicts. Establish an open and safe communication channel where you can express your feelings without judgment. Active listening and empathetic understanding play a crucial role here. By being attentive to each other's needs and concerns, you can create a nurturing environment that promotes intimacy.

Share Responsibilities and Work as a Team:

Approach this planning season as an opportunity for you to work as a team and strengthen your bond. Divide tasks and responsibilities evenly, taking into consideration each other's strengths and interests. Collaborating on the wedding preparations not only reduces individual stress but also fosters a sense of unity and togetherness, deepening the emotional connection.

Embrace Vulnerability and Express Appreciation:

Remember to express gratitude and appreciation for each other. You both bring different strengths, visions, and tastes to the table, and it's important to be mindful and kind when you have differing opinions. Everyone wants to feel seen and heard, especially for a huge moment like this, so find new ways of acknowledging your partner's support and contributions.

Attend Pre-Marital Counseling or Workshops:

Invest in premarital counseling or workshops that focus on communication and intimacy. These professional sessions can equip you with essential tools to navigate challenges effectively and understand each other's communication styles.Through guided exercises and discussions, you can explore your emotions and develop a deeper connection, ensuring a strong foundation for your future together.

6. Take breaks and self-care:

Amidst the wedding planning chaos, remember to take breaks and prioritize self-care. Schedule regular downtime to relax, indulge in activities you enjoy, and spend quality time with your partner. Taking care of your physical and mental well-being is crucial to staying stress-free.

Self-Care Ideas:

Embrace Mindful Morning Rituals:

Start your day with a mindful morning ritual. This can include activities like prayer and meditation, gentle stretching, or journaling. Try setting aside at least 15-30 minutes each morning to focus on personal well-being before diving into wedding-related tasks. This intentional break can help center your mind, reduce stress, and set a positive tone for the day ahead.

Plan Mini Getaways or Day Trips:

Plan occasional mini getaways or day trips during the wedding planning process. Escape the wedding-related hustle and bustle by spending time in nature, visiting a spa, or exploring nearby attractions. These short breaks can provide a much-needed respite, giving you time to recharge and gain a fresh perspective when you return to your wedding tasks.

Pick Up A Hobby:

Finding something that brings out your creativity that's completely non-wedding related can allow your mind to rest in a way that truly rejuvenates you. Mindless activities like Netflix and scrolling on your phone may feel relaxing in the moment, but they aren't filling you back up with renewed energy. Pick a low-investment hobby you've been thinking about for a while. If you love thrillers, find  a new book (or an old favorite) and give yourself an evening of uninterrupted reading. Set the scene with a glass of something cozy, dim the lights, grab slippers and a blanket, and prepare your favorite snacks. Or maybe dig out an old hobby, like crocheting, and make some progress on an old project you started. The key here is to pick something with low stakes so your joy comes from the creative or relaxing process itself, and not on the outcome.

A blurry, sepia photograph of the bride and groom holding hands and walking away from the camera.

Photography by Peach & Honey

7. Choose reliable vendors:

Research and select reputable vendors who have positive reviews and a good track record. This will give you confidence that everything will run smoothly on your wedding day, reducing potential stressors. Clearly communicate your expectations with vendors to avoid any misunderstandings.

T​hings To Consider When Choosing Vendors:

Seek Recommendations:

Ask family members, friends, or coworkers who have recently tied the knot for vendor recommendations. Personal referrals can provide valuable insights into the reliability and quality of services. Utilize social media platforms, wedding forums, and online communities where brides share their experiences and recommend vendors they loved. Your wedding coordinator likely has great relationships with some vendors they have worked with in the past, and they can also be a reputable source to find a company that suits you.

Read Reviews and Testimonials:

Check online reviews and testimonials for vendors you are considering. Websites like WeddingWire, The Knot, and Yelp often feature honest reviews from previous clients, which can help you gauge their reputation and reliability. Pay attention to recurring themes in the reviews. Consistent positive feedback on punctuality, responsiveness, and professionalism are essential qualities to look for.

Attend Bridal Expos and Wedding Fairs:

Bridal expos and wedding fairs are excellent opportunities to meet vendors in person, see their work, and have one-on-one conversations. You can assess their personalities and see if they align with your wedding vision.

Schedule Consultations:

Once you have a shortlist of potential vendors, schedule consultations with each of them. This allows you to discuss your vision for the wedding and evaluate their level of expertise and creativity. During the consultations, ask about their experience, availability on your wedding date, pricing, and any other concerns you may have.

Verify Credentials and Insurance:

Before finalizing any vendor contracts, verify their credentials and licenses. For instance, ensure that the venue has all the necessary permits, the caterer has the required health and safety certifications, and the photographer has a professional portfolio. Confirm that each vendor carries liability insurance. This provides protection in case of unforeseen incidents or accidents during the wedding.

An empty but set dining room of a wedding venue, featuring disco balls and tropical leaves as decoration.

Photography by Peach & Honey

8. Keep a contingency plan:

Having a contingency plan while planning a wedding is crucial because weddings involve numerous moving parts and unpredictable factors. Despite meticulous planning, unexpected circumstances can arise, and having a well-thought-out backup plan can save the day and ensure a smooth and stress-free event.

S​tart thinking of back-ups for:

-Weather uncertainties
-Vendor issues
-Travel complications
-Health emergencies
-Venue-related issues
-Personal emergencies
-Legal or administrative matters
-Vendor no-shows or poor performance
-Guest management

9. Prioritize and simplify:

Focus on what truly matters to you and let go of unnecessary details. Trying to have a perfect wedding can lead to unnecessary stress. Simplify where possible, and prioritize spending time with loved ones and creating meaningful memories.

A​reas To Consider Simplifying:

-​Use online tools or wedding planning apps to manage the guest list.
-Create a wedding website to provide guests with all the essential information, such as the venue location, accommodation options, schedule, and registry details.
-Opt for an all-inclusive wedding venue. Either the venue handles all the details, like catering, decorations, and other essentials, or you do with individual vendors. The costs and the stress all add up.
-Hire a wedding coordinator to handle to logistics and details of your event.
-Send out digital invitations instead of traditional paper ones, which saves time and streamlines RSVP's.


A close up photograph of the bride and groom facing away from the camera but looking at each other. They are smiling and embracing each other.

Photography by Peach & Honey

10. Practice mindfulness and enjoy the process:

Throughout the planning process and on your wedding day, practice mindfulness techniques to stay present in the moment. Take time to appreciate the love and joy surrounding you. Remember that the purpose of the day is to celebrate your commitment to your partner, and everything else is secondary.

By implementing these tips, you can minimize stress and create a more relaxed atmosphere for your wedding day. Remember, it's important to embrace the imperfections and focus on the love and happiness that brought you to this special day.


X​O,
The A&Co. Team

P​.S. Did we miss anything?
We want to hear about your favorite stress-free tips for wedding planning. Find us on Instagram or send us an email, we love connecting with you!

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@andersoncoweddings

madelyn@andersoncoweddings.com

A close up photograph of a woman in her early 20's smiling at the camera.

Photography by Roamy Oak Photo

Meet Madelyn, Lead Coordinator

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