How to Plan a Stress-Free Wedding


A wedding is a huge event with lots of planning to be done. There’s also the added stress of navigating family dynamics and expectations. It’s no wonder people get overwhelmed and it can lead to a whole lot of unnecessary stress.

While you probably want to impress your guests, remember that the true purpose of a wedding is to celebrate the marriage. If that’s not the case, a big celebration can quickly become an expensive vanity project.

Creating a budget before you start planning will help keep your costs under control and save you from overspending. A budget spreadsheet will help you list all major expenses, fees and services and provide a realistic look at what the entire day is likely to cost. It’s a good idea to include a 5-10% buffer for unexpected items.

Prioritizing your vendors will keep you on track with your spending and help you make sure everything you need is booked by the appropriate deadlines. We recommend starting with venues, florists, caterers and rental companies, as these are the most important to book early. Once those are taken care of, you can move on to fashion designers, stationers and niche entertainers (like a live painter or reception dancers).

Create a wedding website as soon as you’ve figured out your date so that your loved ones can mark their calendars. It’s a great place to include the most important info like dates and times, locations, dress codes, registries, travel and lodging information, and a day-of itinerary.

Then, make a list of everyone you’d like to invite. Be honest with yourself about who you can afford to accommodate and if parents are contributing to your wedding, factor in their budget as well as how many of their children you’ll be inviting. If you’re going over your guest count, consider limiting the number of children invited or having an adults-only ceremony.

Decide whether you’ll invite any out-of-town guests and how you’ll handle their travel and lodging expenses. Also, decide who gets to choose their own plus one and if you’ll allow single friends to bring dates.

Stylish tokens don’t have to be expensive, just meaningful. For example, this bride’s stepmother made rose-petal jelly and wrapped it in a simple fabric with twine to give guests a taste of the bride and groom’s special day.

When it comes to choosing a date, be flexible and take into account holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. Lastly, don’t forget to apply for your marriage license so that you can actually get married!

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