Are you planning to walk down the aisle soon? If you’ve been spending your free hours thinking and dreaming about your ideal wedding, you’re probably getting close to the actualization stage, you’re your dreams become reality. Of course, for many people, it takes a lot of pressure off to go hire a wedding planner to help make sure their wedding is a big success. However, if you’re the cost conscious type, that may not feel like a feasible option. While acting as your own wedding planner is a good way to keep costs under control, it comes with plenty of added stress. If you’ve decided to be your own planner, keep the stress low by starting to plan and organize way ahead of time—much sooner than you think you need to.
Making the Crucial Decisions
As you start to plan your own wedding, the first and most important step is to form a realistic image of what you can feasibly achieve yourself. Start with your image of your perfect wedding and consider it in light of the amount of time left until your wedding. From there, you’ll probably start to see things that you realize you just can’t do on your own. Start making compromises with yourself. Figure out which things matter to you most and which things are not as important. This will help you to pair things down, make the planning a bit simpler, and keep your priorities straight so you know where to invest your time and energy.
Figure Out a Timeline
You will need to design a timeline for everything that you need to do with an expected completion date at least one month before the wedding for everything. The last month is when things will start to get crazy, so you will want to make sure you’ve left yourself plenty of time to deal with the last minute emergencies. The last thing you’ll want to be doing then is to be working on your craft projects. One of the main aspects you need to quickly figure out is what your guest list will look like. This will indicate how big your wedding will be and, therefore, how big your budget will be. Have a parent help you decide which relatives to invite and help you decide on which family friends to invite. Having someone to help you will make this process much easier. Design your save-the-dates yourself and have a friend or two help you organize and mail them out.
Maintaining Realistic Expectations
Once you have a pretty good idea of how you’d like your wedding to look, whether it’s based on pictures in magazines, a scene from a movie, or the wedding ideas you’ve had since you were a little girl, it’s time to start setting realistic expectations for what you as an individual can do. If you really loved how your sister had her buffet table covered with yellow paper flowers, ask yourself if you on your own can make all of those flowers for your own table or if you will need to hire someone or ask your friends for help. As you start to develop your schedule, try to get a sense of which allocations of your time are really reasonable. If you find that preparing all of these paper flowers alone is going to take up 25% of your wedding planning time, it is probably not worth it!
If you feel like some of your ideas are just too time-intensive but you really had your heart set on them, know when and how to start compromising. If you really wanted those yellow flowers, start making some of your own, but also start keeping an eye out for sales at craft and wedding planning stores on different kinds of real and fake flowers, so you can supplement your handmade kind. If you really wanted to spoil each bridesmaid with her special and sentimental gifts, take the pressure off yourself by doing just one unique item per bridesmaid and supplementing their bigger gifts with something easier like tiny bottles of champagne that you can order to be sent directly to your bachelorette party location. If you really wanted a certain band but they’re out of your price range, have a talented music loving friend handle things instead and keep it low-key.
Distribute Your Talent
You most likely already have a good network around you of supportive friends and family who want to see your wedding day go beautifully. While you certainly don’t want to overwhelm anyone by giving them lots of work and ordering them around, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Think about what each of your friends and relatives is really good at and assign tasks accordingly. Have a friend who’s pretty bossy? Ask her to be the coordinator on the wedding day to make sure everyone is going down the aisle at the right time and that everyone has their cues. Have a friend who’s too shy to be in the ceremony but still wants to help? Have her help you make the decorations and assign her to organize a setup and tear down crew.
Ideally, you only have one wedding, so you should make sure you are taking the time to enjoy every step of it. Planning a wedding can and should be fun for you, your soon-to-be husband, your friends, and your family. So if you find that stress is starting to get the better of you, take a step back and remember that if you’re not enjoying it, you might be approaching it the wrong way.