Wedding planning can be stressful and overwhelming, as well as chaotic at times.
Follow these tips, covering everything from budgeting to storage, to minimise wedding stress and stay organised while planning your big day (or helping a friend plan hers).
Determine your budget
Weddings can be very expensive, and this adds to the potential stress. The best approach is to start by taking some time to determine how much you’re prepared and able to spend.
A budget relieves stress by guarding against overspending. Once you have a clear budget in mind, you may find everything else becomes simpler too.
That’s because your budget will help determine the kind of wedding you’ll have, narrowing down the sorts of choices you need to make.
Once you know how much you have to spend on your wedding in total, start making a more detailed budget by writing down all foreseeable expenses.
Examples are the costs of printing invitations, buying wedding rings, hiring a reception venue, purchasing flowers and decorations, hiring transportation, buying outfits for the wedding party, providing favours for guests and hiring caterers, live entertainment and a photographer. You might also want to allocate part of your budget to a honeymoon.
One simple way to draw up a budget is to assign a percentage to each type of expense. Then calculate the value of the percentage, given your total funds.
If you’re not sure how to divide your funds between your list of expenses, consider breaking your budget down using these commonly recommended percentages:
- Invitations: 2%
- Engagement rings and wedding bands: 6%
- Reception: 40%
- Photography and videography: 10,5%
- Wedding outfits: 7%
- Flowers: 5%
- Music: 5%
- Honeymoon: 14,5%
- Miscellaneous: 10%.
Before you start shopping for a dress or sending out invitations, you should secure a venue and pick a date.
Remember that you might not be able to get the venue you want when you want it, so you might need to be flexible about the date, or be open to picking another venue.
Once you’ve finalised these details, you can make your guest list, send out your invitations, choose a theme and start planning your wedding attire and décor.
Plot your timeline
Once you have your date and venue secured and know how many months you have to plan, work backwards to lay out a complete timeline of what needs to be done when.
If you’re planning a large wedding, it may make sense to book your venue as much as 12 months before the wedding. For a smaller, less formal wedding, you might have very much shorter timeframes to work with.
Either way, register for gifts and plan your honeymoon well in advance of the big day.
Once you’ve created a detailed timeline, it’s also a good idea to keep a calendar of important dates, such as when payments are due, when dress fittings need to be scheduled and when the bridal shower will take place.
If you’re techno-savvy, consider downloading apps with checklists and reminders, to make sure you don’t miss any important payments or appointments.
Set up a filing system
When you’re planning a wedding, it’s vital to be systematic so nothing gets overlooked and nerves aren’t unnecessary stretched.
One of the best ways to do this is to create a wedding binder with tabs to hold checklists, receipts, fabric samples, vendor contact details and registry information.
It’s also a good idea to create a folder on your computer to use as a digital binder for storing receipts, dress design references, emails and other important documents.
Open a separate email account
Keep your emails organised and your standard inbox from becoming overly full by signing up for a new email account specifically for wedding-related communications.
Use your separate address to send invitations, order flowers, contact vendors and communicate with the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Get help from family and friends
A big part of staying sane when planning your wedding is to realise that you don’t need to do everything on your own. However, it can be even more stressful if friends and family “get in the way”, trying to help but stepping on one another’s toes and generally adding to the chaos.
The trick is proper delegation. Ask anyone who’s willing to help to handle one or more specific tasks.
For example, friends and family members could give a hand with assembling invitations, providing musical entertainment, arranging flowers or helping to create DIY favours. Just make sure you keep a list of who’s doing what!
Find off-site storage
One often overlooked tip for reducing the stress of wedding preparations is to find a secure place where you can store wedding essentials, from bridal and bridesmaids dresses to decorations, tablecloths, non-perishable food and wedding favours.
Knowing these items are safe and ready for the big day – but having them out of the way and out of sight – can help prevent you from stressing about the wedding 24/7.
At XtraSpace, we provide secure, affordable self-storage units, ideal for storing wedding and event catering items that might otherwise clutter up your home. Contact us for more information or browse to find a branch near you.