Planning a wedding is one of the most enjoyable, stress-free experiences of your life, amirite?!
Are you laughing with me right now? Even I got a good chuckle out of that! Or maybe that brought a few tears to your eyes because you feel like wedding planning should be going a lot smoother than it actually is. Don’t fret, babe! We’ve been there and we get it. Wedding planning is, generally, so much fun. Shopping for your wedding dress, bridesmaid proposals, and planning brunches galore! But then there are times when tasks seem so overwhelming, especially coupled with your work life, home life, family time, and ‘you’ time.
A couple planning their wedding, sans full-time coordinator, can expect on average to spend 300-500 hours bringing their dream day to life, or twelve 40-hour workweeks. It’s no wonder many are starting the wedding planning process at 12-18 months out!
Today we’ve pulled together some of our top tips and tricks to simplify and streamline the wedding planning process. These wedding planning hacks will help you save time, money, and your sanity! 😉
1. Hire A Wedding Planner
Ok, yes. I know this seems too simple and like we have to say it. But we do! When we’re talking about simplifying your wedding planning, the top hack really does have to be hiring a full or partial wedding planner. Your wedding planner knows how to best break out your to-do list to eliminate some of that stress generally associated with the “What next, What now” of your Checklist. Plus, depending on the level of lovely planning you choose, your wedding planner will also curate and source your vendor team and manage much of the communication and details. This can save you hundreds of planning hours!
2. Calendar and To-do Lists
Secondly, we recommend having a streamlined system in place to organize your calendar and tasks. We use Google because it syncs so seamlessly across all our devices. There’s nothing like relaxing on the couch almost asleep for a nap when Alexa suddenly calls out and reminds you of a meeting happening in an hour.
This is why we will always tell y’all to assign notifications to your tasks and appointments! There’s been a time or two something has slipped my mind, but thank goodness that in the moment of putting it in my calendar I assigned a reminder notification. We also mark appointments as starting 15 minutes earlier than their actual start time so we will hopefully never be late.
Just remember to write everything down immediately, and all in one place. If it’s not on the calendar or the to-do list, it doesn’t exist!
3. Well-defined Tasks
One of the most anxiety-inducing things for me is open-ended tasks. Writing down something vague like “Finish wedding planning” may seem like the motivator you need to get planning, but can quickly turn to stress and anxiety as that task continues to roll over each week. Alleviate some of that by breaking your calendar down into specific action items. Tasks like “Contact Whatever Is Lovely Events to plan my wedding” are clear, well defined, and much easier to cross off the checklist while working towards the wedding planning finish line. 😉
If it’s a simple task, do it right away! Anything that takes less than two minutes, just go ahead and do in that moment. Why add that stress and bulk to your to-do list when you could have just completed it in the same amount of time.
Another tip to create well-defined tasks is to color code. (I know….my Type A is showing here…🤓) But for real! At a quick glance to your calendar, you’ll know exactly what to plan for. Assign colors for Work, Wedding Planning, Personal (friends & family) Time, Home Tasks, and Free Time.
4. Be Disciplined
“Well that’s easier said than done, Rach!” And that’s true. I’m a firm believer that knowing is half the battle; the other half is holding ourselves accountable. Since saying ‘Be disciplined’ is one of those vague task assignments, here are some actionable items to break that down:
- Block out time each day or week dedicated to specific to-do’s, like wedding planning. Use our Checklist to map out what items to cover or follow up on during the time block.
- Delegate tasks to your wedding planner, fiancé, or bridal party. Trying to do it all ourselves can crowd the to-do list and never give us the chance to relax and step away.
- Clearly communicate information. If we’re not overcommunicating, we’re not communicating. Batch relay info to your guests by utilizing a wedding website. Joy is one of our favorites!
- We have to repeat this one— Save everything in one place. We use Google, but apps like Dropbox, OneNote and Evernote work well too!
- Assign end dates to all your tasks. If not, things will continue to roll over on your to-do list which can quickly become a stress or anxiety inducer.
- Plan beyond the task. Include things like travel time, just in case time, parking, etc. I always Google Maps my appointment locations when setting calendar appointments, and add a bit of buffer time in between in case something doesn’t start on time.
5. Keep it Simple!
And finally, Keep It Simple, Sis. While these hacks are here to help simplify the process for you, don’t let the takeaway be that you have to plan out every minute of your calendar or that you must be accomplishing large tasks every week. I’d actually recommend the opposite! Break tasks down into 20 minute or fewer increments. Again, that “Finish wedding planning” on the to-do list is just not an achievable item. Break this down into smaller sections which are much less overwhelming. Not sure where to start? Utilize our planning portal checklist to help!
Try to use the smallest number of tools: ie— using Google calendar which syncs with your email, backs up to cloud/Drive and supports external calendars so you can organize all in one space.
6. Create a Wedding Email
Speaking of organizing all in one space, make sure to create an email address specifically for the wedding. This will give you the opportunity to batch all of your wedding tasks and communication together. Try using your last name + the word wedding – i.e. email@example.com or if that’s taken, add the year – i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, we’ve been there and we get it babe.
If this still seems too overwhelming, we are a holler away! We’d love to help establish a good system for you and ease the anxiety associated with wedding planning. Not sure where to start? We got you.