7 Secrets to take the Stress out of Wedding Planning

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You’ve got the ring on your finger, had an engagement party, and someone so generously gave you a giant book that is all about how to plan your wedding with proper etiquette and rules.

So now you’re thinking, “holy goodness, what in the world did I get myself into??”

It’s okay - I’ve got you.

This situation is so common and I hear it all the time. That’s why I’ve put together my list of 7 secrets to take the stress out of wedding planning.

Let’s get started!

1 - Traditions aren’t important

Okay, sometimes traditions are kind of important.  But only certain ones - the ones that matter to YOU. Like maybe having someone special walk you down the aisle, not necessarily your dad but maybe your dad and not because you’re his property that he’s handing over to this new property owner, but because you love this person and want them by your side as you walk into this new life that you are 100% choosing to enter into. There’s no right or wrong answer on what traditions are important and which ones aren’t, but you should definitely take a moment to ask yourself if you’re including things because you want to, or because someone else expects you to. And then make your decision from a place that makes you happiest.

2 - You are not alone

You’re sitting there with your budget and stacks of emails and quotes from a bunch of different vendors. There are so many decisions to make and you’re overwhelmed. Well, I have reassuring news. Everyone who has planned a wedding has been in your shoes. They’ve all sat where you are sitting in front of a pile of emails and brochures and thought, “Maybe we should just elope.” If it helps, you’re not alone and no one expects you to be an expert. All of your vendors know that you’ve never planned a wedding before and should do their best to answer any questions you have and ease your mind.

As a side note, if you decide you actually do want to elope, I can help you there too.

3 - Hire help that you trust

I know Auntie Joan and BFF Julie have fantastic ideas and really want to help plan your wedding because they’ve been to and in so many weddings they’ve lost count and have fantastic ideas. BUT (whoa, that’s a big one) - planning can put a strain on relationships with family and friends when their help doesn’t really turn out to be very helpful. You’re not only planning the wedding, but managing emotions of people you care about and don’t want to make feel unappreciated. The whole point is to take the stress out of wedding planning so why add additional stress?

Hiring an expert to help plan your wedding or at least coordinate the day of is one of the best things you’ll ever do for yourself and for your wedding. They can even save you money because they’re so familiar with working with budgets. They’ll save you time and so many headaches by providing you with names of the best vendors so you don’t have to wade through piles of mediocrity or options that are way over your budget. Once you’ve got your planner/coordinator locked down, follow that up by choosing vendors that you trust to make your day easy and beautiful.

4 - You come first

This one sounds obvious, but a lot of couples forget to take time enjoy their day fully and savor the moment. It’s so great to see everyone and you want to talk and hug each individual person, thanking them for coming all the way to your wedding. But - all the socializing can become a little draining and before you know it, the day is slipping away. I really don’t know where the time goes after the ceremony and the end of the evening, because it all goes by so quickly.

Any time that I spend with couples alone for portraits is intentionally planned so that you and your partner get to spend time together away from the rest of the wedding party and all the family. So that you can freeze time for just a little while, close your eyes, hold one another and imprint this moment onto your memory. Don’t feel as if you are taking time away from your family, because they are all rooting for you and will 100% understand that y’all need some time alone as a newly married couple.

5 - Focus on the stuff that matters most

Are we really back to talking about budgets again? Only a little bit.

When you’re looking at your budget and what The Knot, Wedding Wire, and every other wedding blog that was ever created tells you what percentage you should allot for each of your wedding vendors/needs - remember that there are a bunch of things that might not matter a whole lot to you. Super fancy cake? Maybe you hate cake. Have pie. Pie is delicious. Or cookies. Cookies don’t cost a whole bunch. See? You’re already saving money. Money that you can spend on stuff that matters more… like your venue, the band you both really really want, and a videographer. Maybe the cookies won’t get you all the way there, but I’m sure there are things that matter a lot and things that you will feel that your wedding can do without. So my advice to all of my couples is to make a list of the things that really matter most, the things you don’t want to compromise on. And then… try to find frugal ways to save on the things that matter less.

6 - Remember your “why”

When it all feels like a lot and you do start to think eloping is the better way to go, take a moment and remember why you chose to plan a wedding in the first place. You wanted to declare your love and devotion for your person in front of the world. At least, the world that matters the most to you. You had these moments in mind… these once in a lifetime moments with your family and friends. You thought about your parents, you thought about dancing the night away with everyone you love most in the whole world. You thought about celebrating and hugs and joy. When weddings get you down - go to dinner, take a break, and remember why you’re doing this.

7 - At the end of the day - you’re married!

I could give you a very opposite list - how to add so much stress to your wedding planning. I could tell you to worry about every little thing, imagine all the disasters that could (but probably won’t) happen. But I won’t. Because none of that stuff matters a bit when you remember that at the end of that day, YOU WILL BE MARRIED. As long as you walk away from the day with that ring on your finger and vows imprinted on your heart, you will have successfully done this whole wedding thing and move forward into all the adventures and blessings that a marriage brings.

So don’t stress - you’ve absolutely got this!


Next up -
How to hire a wedding photographer that’s almost like family.

I take a limited number of weddings each year so that I can serve my couples in the way they really deserve. So that I can get to know them, photograph their engagement sessions, turn their photos around quickly, and really just love on them and give them every bit of the attention and service that they (and their wedding) deserves.  

I know that wedding day photos aren’t like selfies or quick snapshots - these photos last for decades - if not almost forever.  I take great care with the responsibility that these will be handed down to your children and your family for generations and establish this visual legacy of the love that was the seed for it all. That should make us friends, if not almost family, right?

I’d love to help you on this wedding planning journey and document the moments that matter most to you.

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