How to Plan a Wedding

How to Plan a Wedding While Keeping Stress at Bay (A Complete Guide)

Weddings are so much fun for people who come to celebrate the union of their loved ones. But, behind the scenes, it is a different story altogether. There is a crazy amount of work that needs to be done and everything seems urgent. We often hear the term bridezilla being thrown around. However, when you are the one going through it, it all makes sense. The overwhelming urge to make everything seamless and perfect is undeniable. 

Are you planning for your big day as well? Do not let the worries and pressure shadow the fun. We have curated a list of some “not to miss” guidelines from our top-rated top wedding professionals to help you. Without any delay, let’s get right into the intricacies of “how to plan for a wedding”. 

Guide to Plan a Wedding Without Stress

wedding planning guide

1. Organize, Make a Checklist and Go Digital!

For a smooth(er, comparatively!) sail through the wedding process, you need to make sure that you are organized. From caterers, florists, guests, venues and all the legal shabang! There are going to be tons of things that will require your attention. 

You need to keep your docs, lists, contacts and plans under one doc or place. Online tools like Trello, Google Keep, Evernote etc will come in handy. They are absolutely free and so easy to use. 

You can make separate lists under one board, assign tasks and much more. Not only that you should make sure that you have an app for budgeting as well. Create a “wedding planning checklist” label and track everything. Instead of keeping everything on calls, try to make groups on WhatsApp or keep it on emails. 

Take advantage of all these free tools available online. Tracking everything from the start is half battle won, not even kidding. 

2. Set Your Priorities Straight!

How much time to plan a wedding? The list for planning a wedding can be endless, but you need to work it out without being overwhelmed. You need to streamline everything by choosing the high priority tasks first.

Start with three to four tasks that can not be delayed at any cost or you know that you can complete it within a fixed time span. E.g. your wedding rings, dress and venue. These are the “ showstopper of your wedding, focus your energy here. You can even work on small tasks first and get them out of the way, eg. choosing a bouquet design. These small tasks take up 30-40% of the bandwidth. You’ll feel less burdened if you get them out of the way.

3. Decipher Wedding Testimonials

Reading reviews online or checking out the ratings for vendors before a wedding is lucrative but it is not the only parameter for which you should judge their work. In order to determine if they are worth your time, you should categorize them under different attributes e.g. budget, reviews and testimonials. 

Let us start with the case for the wedding videos. For hiring the best Bay Area wedding videographer, you need to check if they are ready to work with the budget you have in mind. Ask them to send test videos or previous work videos and lastly check their reviews by reading comments under their videos on social media. 

Why read comments and reviews? That will give you the inside information you need.

You will mainly find three types of comments: good, bad and best. “The wedding videographer was on time and did a good job with the latest wedding videography trends” falls under the good category. However, people mentioning special moments and the couple was beyond thrilled is what we are looking for. Keep an open eye and do not waste time on vendors you do not like.

4. Hire Wedding Pros You Can Trust

You need to research a lot before finalizing your vendors. Look for vendors within your vicinity e.g. best wedding videographers in San Francisco (check out some of our best work at Vimeo) or wedding cake decorators in the area and you’ll get tons of recommendations. 

The next step for you will be to shortlist the ones that you like and arrange them in order of things that you like about them. E.g. a vendor might give you free decorations for the outside area if you get everything done by them, someone might be professional but out of budget and you might want to give them a chance by talking to them once. You need to plan a wedding checklist.

Make a list of questions that you want to ask them and only choose the ones that you feel like you can trust. This segregation will not only help you prioritize your choices but help you in making the right decision as well.

5. Set Deadlines

Once you have finalized the team that you are going to hire, you need to share your ideas properly with them.  Planning a wedding yourself is a tough task, however, they will do a good job guiding you all the way. 

After sharing your vision, the first thing that you need to do is set deadlines and stick to them no matter what. As mentioned above, you need to plan a wedding checklist to take some burden off of your shoulders. Decide the priority with the vendors and establish non-negotiable dates by when you need things to be up and running. 

One thing that helps motivate brides is, give yourself a reward with every tick in your wedding checklist. Two birds with one arrow 😉

6. Schedule Regular Planning Meetings

To eliminate the wedding planning stress, proper communication is required. Do not forget about catching up with the vendors to check progress. 

Make a schedule to catch up with everything e.g. set a fortnightly meeting or thrice every month with your seamstress, best wedding videographers, caterers etc. make a list of pending tasks, tasks needed to be done before the next meeting, changes or modifications in plans etc. 

You can even set up mock trials for food and flower arrangements to check how it will all come together. To make sure that you all are on the same page about the events and the timelines, these meetings will play a very important role. 

7. Location Plays a Big Role, Choose it Carefully 

How to plan a wedding on a budget? Or need to keep the cost down? Your wedding venue will play a really big role so choose a location that is easier to manage. You need to find a location where you can accommodate the guests, hotels/motels near the venue as well as reception capabilities. 

If you can find a place where all the events can take place this is the most important thing that can help you save money. Logistics is also a very important part so make sure that the place is easily accessible for your vendors. Your wedding videographer, cake decorators, event manager etc. everyone will need to transport some things directly on the wedding day. Keep that in mind while selecting the venue. Do not go to an alienated place in order to have a themed or destination wedding.

Check out our another post to find the best wedding venues in the Bay Area.

8. How to Plan a Budget Wedding? Keep Shorter Timelines

People try to book venues 1 year before their decided dates. If you do not have a set date or If you're willing to be flexible, we suggest that you book a venue 5 or 6 months prior. Why? Because it will give you more bargaining power with a shorter timeline. 

Vendors are looking to fill up slots for cancelled bookings due to which you can save almost 50% on food, venue, wedding professionals etc. This will also give you an option to select between your favourite places and choose the one that’s within your budget and checks all your prerequisites at the same time. 

9. Wedding Gown Price and Deals

Need more tips on how to plan a budget wedding? Instead of going for big brand names for wedding dresses, try to go for custom made dresses from small businesses. Search for inspirations online and make boards for the type of dress that you want to wear for your wedding. You can also go for original designs from designers as they’ll offer a great deal along with freebies like belts, additional straps etc.

Do not ever buy a wedding gown at full price, you’ll wear it only once or maybe twice in your life. But it is still special so designers can help you customise your dress by making it a 2 piece set that you can wear separately and pair it with other garments. 

If you want to buy one from a high-end website or store then try to keep a separate budget email for your wedding dress. Subscribe to different websites that provide deals so that you get proper notifications and do not miss out on a good offer. 

10. Single Vendor Hiring is Also An Option You Should Explore

How to plan a wedding yourself? Get one person to do it or if you get the chance or option, book as many services as you can with a single vendor. For example, if your wedding planner or florist offers lighting, rentals and invitations, you can get a marginally bigger discount. Instead of hiring different vendors for each service, you can negotiate with one and get the issue sorted in just one go. 

Just make sure that your vendor understands what you want. Show them pictures, videos and links to guide them. Do not just go with verbal promises. Visuals speak louder than words.

11. Consider a Trial For Decor

As mentioned in the my previous point. Visuals speak louder than words. Show them what you want and ask the vendors to give you a trial. This goes for everything in your wedding checklist. From hair and makeup to food and decorations, consider having a trial for everything. 

This trial will give a scaled-back version of how things will look on your wedding day. Instead of asking for last-minute changes, it is better to be clear about things you do not like while playing at your wedding. Different textures and colours might look pretty separately but together they can ruin the whole feel. 

Keep this in the list while you plan your wedding checklist. No one wants to be disappointed with the execution of things you have spent a fortune on. 

12. No Pre-Wedding Phone Calls & Establish “No Wedding Talk” Time

The first step of how to plan a wedding without stress? Avoid last-minute phone calls just before the wedding. You should solely focus on your hair and makeup instead of being frantic about the centrepiece. You need peace of mind, not a piece of existential crisis. 

You need to make a plan about what to do and how to do things in case of emergencies. Ask the vendors to contact your maid of honour or someone from your family for last-minute questions. 

All the wedding stress can easily take over your life and you will need an occasional break from all the discussions. Make sure you spend quality time with your partner. In order to do that you should come up with a no wedding talk day. For example, Fridays can be Friyays with zero wedding stress. This way the wedding planning stress will not consume you and 24x7 of your time. 

13. Delegate Your Work, Please!

All these tips to plan a wedding yourself will go down the drain if you do not take help. It is not a one-man or woman operation. You need help, so please do not shy away from delegating work to your loved ones or friends who are willing to take some burden off of your shoulder. 

This will give you time to focus on things that are actually important and require your attention rather than wasting time on minor things. Look at the bigger picture, there is no need to micromanage everything. Breathe 🙂 

Conclusion- Don’t Second Guess Yourself

Weddings are important because you are marrying the person you love. You need to celebrate this and not focus on making it perfect for people attending the event. This is for you and your partner first and foremost. 

We hope this guide answers some of the questions you had before you searched for “How to plan a wedding?“ There is no need to second guess everything a week prior to your big day. This mental tug of war is not what we want in our life. Just trust your instincts and believe in yourself. People around you will help, don’t turn back.

Haven't booked a videographer yet for your wedding? We provide top-rated wedding videography services throughout the USA and other destinations around the globe. Feel free to reach out to us anytime for a free consultation. Happy planning!