Imagine this: You’re working full-time, or in a master’s/ doctor’s degree program and trying to keep some life balance. Then, suddenly, the love of your lives proposes. After the excitement and congratulations subside, you finally sit down and search Google for ideas on how to plan your wedding. Realizing that you have no idea where to begin and don’t have time to spend searching for the answers, you realize how much you need to plan. You are not the only one, my friend. This realization was shared by many of my wedding photography clients. Here are seven top wedding planning tips for busy DIY brides:
1. You need to find the right resources
A busy bride doesn’t have time to waste. You wouldn’t go to a grocery store just to look for clothes, would you? No! It doesn’t matter where you start your wedding search. Two things are common reasons brides lose time: they don’t know what they want or where to look. Pinterest is one great place to find inspiration and shop but it can be difficult to find vendors that specialize in the type of wedding you want. Some photographers are not qualified to shoot every type of wedding. Some specialize in elopement photography, while others are specialized in church photography. It’s much easier to find the unknown if you know where to look.
2. Every time you plan your wedding, be sure to remember your priorities
You are doing busy work until you have a plan for your wedding. We ask couples to take a moment to reflect on what is most important to their lives. “It is important to take some time to reflect on your vision for the day. You may want to have time with your guests and be active at the event. You may have always imagined it as a private event, with just your closest friends. Perhaps a particular location is what has caught your attention and it is your top priority.”
No matter what your priority may be, choose two or three and place emphasis on those. You can then focus on the cost of these things, when they can be achieved, and how. Once you have decided on your top priorities, write them down.
3. One organizational tool
Although some people are naturally inclined to order, we believe that it is something that can be mastered. Your best habit when it comes to wedding planning (even more important than remembering your priorities), is to keep everything in one place. It is amazing how many times things have been lost in translation between the bride (or insert-name of her delegate) because everything wasn’t in an organized, easily accessible system. Milanote is our number one recommendation to brides! Milanote is the visual planning website and app.
4. Divide and conquer
This is one of the best ways to keep your sanity when planning your wedding. This one we consider as a habit, because it is something that you don’t do naturally. It is important to trust that the help you seek will be granted. It takes a village to do this, and we can assure you that not all tasks will need to be done by you.
5. Connect often
It’s not about the wedding. It’s all about the marriage. You need to slow down if wedding planning takes precedence over building a relationship with your spouse-to be. You are challenged to make time for intentional connection every day, or at the very least, weekly. This time is not for talking about the wedding, but rather for creating deeper connections and new memories. To dig deeper emotionally, or to plan a fun event to build happy memories, you can use a game such as We’re Not Really Strangers. It is sad to see how many people go through the whole planning process without any dates or conversations other than wedding-related. Continue to repeat: I will make it possible for us to connect every day by *insert challenge to self*.
6. Less expextations
Relax. Take a deep breath. It’s not the end. It’s easy to get carried away with expectations, especially when there are Pinterest and movie magic at our disposal. It is the weddings where couples are just excited to be there that are most enjoyable.
It doesn’t matter whether someone forgot to place the sign for ‘sweet treats’ next to the cupcakes, or if your hair is a bit wild from an hour of open dance. It’s a habit that has been established long before the wedding day. This is taking every decision in the planning process and reminding yourself that it’s not the main thing.
You have made the big decision and it can’t be changed. Each day, take a look at your spouse and think: “I get to marry you.”
“By the seventh Day, God had completed all his work. God also rested on the seventh day.” He actually rested and was content with what He had accomplished. It is a fact that you can’t run a business on empty tank. Although it may seem like many things, the main point is that rest actually restores you. Perhaps rest is about getting more sleep than planning to work into the wee hours. Rest is as simple as getting a massage once per month to ease tension in the shoulders. Maybe it’s planning a hike together with your future spouse to help you recharge in the great outdoors. Make it a regular part of your life.
You don’t have to make wedding planning stressful or overwhelming. There is much to be learned, but you’re not the only one. These seven tips will help you have more fun planning your wedding.