Feeling like your brain has too many tabs open? You're not alone.
Planning a wedding is (for most) an unfamiliar experience. One minute it's thrilling and you can barely contain your excitement, the next you've sunk into a deep hole of doubt, confusion and overwhelm.
It's not surprising that most engaged couples feel lost at some point in the planning process. After all, how many brides and grooms have ever planned an event bigger than a dinner party or birthday bash before?
And planning is just half the task. It's hard enough tackling all the logistics like budgets, contracts and run sheets let alone sifting through styling options ...all the while trying to fit everything in with your personality, venue and budget.
If you're drowning in a sea of pretty inspiration, well-meant yet confusing opinions and hundreds of options for everything, take a quick break from poring over that Pinterest board and have a little rest. This post is for you.
1. Go back to the beginning
Confusion often comes from losing sight of what's most important - easy to do in all the madness and mayhem.
Remember what your original objectives were for your day (or nut them out if with your partner you haven't already done so). What where the top 5-10 must haves that you thought you would never negotiate on?
Now, take a step back and look at where you are. Are you working towards the important things? Or wasting time and energy on something that's not really so vital?
If you both decided early on that you just had to get married in a country garden, don't go booking a rooftop city venue - it's probably not really you. If you both adore pancakes and decided that they should be part of your day but switched to a lolly bar because everyone else is doing it then stop right there!
If you've spent 20 hours trying to find the right shade of chevron striped straw (because you saw them in someone elses wedding and decided you suddently needed them) when you didn't even plan on having drink straws in the first place, you need to stop and reboot. Remember, stay true to who you are and what you really want.
Now that you've got your top 5-10 most important must haves sorted, you need to start working towards them. Make a to-do list that prioritises tasks depending on the following:
- How early that element needs to be booked or locked in (some elements, like the venue, need to be booked early)
- How essential that task is to your day actually happening at all (e.g. venue, guest list, dress and food are essentials ... matching bridesmaid dressing gowns are not - although they are lovely).
- How important that task is when it comes to achieving your 5-10 top 'must haves'.
Don't panic! Yes, that to-do list is probably looking mighty daunting, but that's normal. If it's not a long list you're either having a very simple, relaxed occasion or you've forgotten a few things.
There might be a lot to do, but don't go into a stress frenzy - your family, friends and bridal party are usually more than willing (and often feel honoured) to help. Invite them in and get them involved! They will feel more included and closer to you as a result.
4. Work with what you have
It's easy to fall in love with an image in a magazine or blog ..there's so much pretty out there. However, it's important to remember that inspiration is meant to be just that - inspiration. Styled shoots have been created by professionals who make weddings picture perfect for a living and it's rarely possible to recreate a scene detail for detail.
Even if you can source the items featured in a shoot, ask yourself the following: Does you budget allow for them? Do you have the skills to put them all together? Would it work with your venue?
A vintage sofa that looks divine in one venue will look ridiculous in another. A table configuration that works in one space will be awkward in the next.
To avoid countless hours of frustration, consider your venue, budget, overall vision and the vendors, products and suppliers available before you start. Then, when you see some inspiration you love, you can just file away the parts that suit your concept and leave the rest. That way, you can create a day that's cohesive, achievable and uniquely you.
5. Enforce a Pinterest ban
Once you've settled on your overall vision and started working towards it, you will begin to lock in some of the details. When you do, it's time to stop looking at the thousands of other options available. Found your dress? Stop peeking at other gorgeous gowns. Hired a venue? Stop thinking about that other venue you visited and passed on three months before.
Constantly looking at what everyone else is doing is torture - and for those of us who are perfectionists, there's always another 'better option' (rest assured, most of the time it's not better at all!). If your decisions have been based on your venue, vision, budget and 'must haves', you've most likely made the perfect choice already - go forth with confidence.
6. Have fun
In the midst of all that planning, remember to enjoy the process. It might sound simple, but it's an easy tip to forget! Being engaged is a very special time and before you know it, it will be all over. Soak in every second of this unique experience - weddings are meant to be fun!
Even if you follow all of the above steps, the wedding planning process is still likely to have daunting, frustrating and challenging moments.
Creating the celebration of a lifetime takes bucket-loads of time, effort and focus. In fact, the average wedding takes 200-250 hours to plan (that's equal to 6 weeks full time work!). For many, planning a wedding is either impossibly time consuming, overly stressful or just not something they feel confident with (or enjoy).
More and more couples are bringing in an expert to help them with some or all of the tasks in front of them. It's no wonder. Couples are increasingly time-poor and a wedding is likely to be the biggest event they will ever plan. They invest so much time, money and effort into their wedding, so it's logical that they want to make their big day worth it - no regrets.
If you're looking to create a day that's utterly gorgeous, fabulously fun and totally you, Oh Perfect Day can make it happen. We offer styling, planning, on the day coordination services and more and we are here to make sure you have the wedding you really want (and enjoy every second of it). Have a peek at our services to learn more, or get in touch and tell us what perfect means to you. We can't wait to get to know you!
What's your top tip for simplifying the wedding planning process?
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