Excited to start planning your wedding or is the overwhelm kicking in? Looking for wedding planning tips to get you organised?
You’re in the right place.
Planning a wedding can be exciting, but also a stressful and overwhelming affair. Getting organised can help you manage the overwhelm and keep you looking forward to the big day.
It’s been a little over TEN years since I became a wedding photographer. Along the way, I’ve gotten to know the handy ways some of my couples have gotten organised. I thought I would share some of my favourite wedding planning tips with you. Sharing is caring after all.
Whether you are newly engaged, in the early process of planning your wedding, or just curious, I hope these tips help with a stress free journey to your wedding day.
ONE: Create a wedding email address.
This is one of my favourite tips for so many reasons. Often, you and your significant other will want to gather quotes and make various purchases for your wedding day. Keeping this all within a dedicated email address for your wedding journey will help you find important emails quickly. It’s also a handy way to keep all contracts, booking forms, invoices in one place where you can both access them.
One of my couples created different folders within their wedding email address. This ensured they kept all communication and contracts for each supplier in their own respective folder. They explained that it helped them to avoid missing key communication and confirmed details. The things they decided not to use the email address for included communication for their own outfits and any surprises they had in stall for each other.
TWO: Create a wedding budget spreadsheet.
This is probably the most important exercise you could do. Lets face it, weddings are costly celebrations and it is easy to spiral out of control with your spending. Take time to sit with your partner and tally up your wedding day budget. Weddings are classed as a luxury affair, so it’s important to be realistic with what you can afford and understanding the cost of things. The latter will come through research and speaking with suppliers to understand their services.
You can use a free tool, like Google Sheets, to create a budget spreadsheet. Having a ballpark figure displayed in bold will remind you of what you’re realistically willing to pay overall. You can create categories and different columns to break down the information. This budgeting exercise will not only allow you and your partner to be on the same page when it comes to discussing wedding finances, it will also help you prioritise what is most important to you for your wedding day. Is it your venue? your outfit? the entertainment or food? Is it having all the laughter, emotions and special memories preserved timelessly, to share with your future Grandchildren? 😉
*Remember, you will not be expected to pay the full quoted amount in a lump sum for some services. Most wedding suppliers take deposits first. You would then discuss an instalment plan that would break down your payments into smaller chunks.
THREE: Create a vision board for your wedding day.
This is where Pinterest is your best friend. Creating a vision board of your ideal wedding day will help you stay in line with your requirements. Plan this ahead of researching suppliers, so that when you do, you’re approaching the ones that fit criteria.
Many couples begin to feel overwhelmed with their wedding plans when they jump in with contacting suppliers but aren’t really sure of what they want. Do you want to get married in a religious venue, barn venue, have an outdoor wedding or marry in a stately home? Do you want a DJ, a live band, or both? Have you got a colour scheme or theme in mind?
Let me use photography as an example. My work is light, romantic and timeless. I’ve had couples contact me in the past asking me if I could do “vintage style photography” or dark, moody and posed images, using dramatic lighting. However, I clearly didn’t meet that criteria and have passed the couple on to a more suitable photographer. Asking a rock band to perform a set of rhythm & blues will only show that you haven’t done your research and aren’t really sure of what you want.
FOUR: Research around your budget.
So, you’ve nailed your vision down. Now it’s time to start contacting suppliers and getting your “actuals” column filled in on your spreadsheet. Visiting wedding fayres (post-pandemic), checking suppliers websites, reading reviews and following their social media feeds would be helpful in your search. When you find a supplier you love and can achieve your vision, communicate what your budget is. Agree what services you will book and get filling in your “actuals” column.
Your budget spreadsheet will allow you to recognise what your priorities are for your wedding day and what you can drop from the list. Do you really need fireworks on the night of your wedding, or could you do a sparkler exit? Do you really need those designer wedding shoes or could you go for an alternative like we discussed here? It’s amazing what you can create for your day if you get a little money savvy.
FIVE: Use a free online organisation tool.
When planning your wedding day, it’s natural to have 101 thoughts running through your mind. Transfer all your thoughts and ideas onto paper or on online. When you have a physical plan of action, crossing things off your list feels like a great achievement. It also makes you feel a step closer to your end goal.
A handful of my couples have mentioned they have treated their wedding planning journey like a little fun project. This helps them to outline a ‘to do’ list and a timeline of when they want to meet each part of that list by. Trello is a popular, free, online organisational tool that I have used for my own business and personal projects. I also know of friends who use it for their day jobs and couples that have used it to keep a tab on their wedding planning journey. Another handy tip is to set reminders in your phone calendar to alert you when a payment, appointment or contract is due. You don’t want to get penalised for late payments or missing an appointment. A free, quick reminder on your phone will help you avoid that.
HAPPY PLANNING LOVE BRIDS