7 Top Tips for Stress-Free Wedding Planning

Planning a wedding can be a stressful experience with many decisions that need to be made and lots of things (and people!) to organise. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by wedding planning, don’t worry – you’re not alone!

Here are a few top tips to help you get through the process with minimal stress.

Set yourself a budget

Budgets might not be the most fun things to think about when starting to plan your wedding, probably could do with being one of the first. Weddings are expensive occasions and it’s incredibly important to know how much you can afford to spend, look at the bigger picture and try not to get too carried away!

The value of your wedding day is priceless but that shouldn’t mean feeling that you need to spend any more than you can afford to on the day.

Your budget should include all of the costs associated with your wedding, from the dress to the cake. It’s important to be realistic when creating your budget and to allow for some flexibility in case of unexpected expenses.

If you’re planning on a budget, one way to save money on your wedding is to DIY as much as possible. You can make your own invitations, centerpieces, and even wedding cake. Another way to save money is to choose a less expensive venue and catering options – focusing instead on the day and people surrounding you. Depending on the venue, there’s sometimes also an opportunity to save some money by opting to get married on a weekday or outside of the peak summer months.

It’s not normally however worth looking to save money by booking the cheapest available photographer or videographer. Out of everything else for your day, photos and film are the things that are going to last long beyond your day itself. Your cake will be eaten, flowers & centrepieces disposed of and dresses often never worn again. You’ll however look back at your photos and wedding film to remember the day – and this is one area where the phrase “you get what you pay for” always rings true.

Whatever route you choose, it’s important to start planning early and to track your expenses along the way so you don’t end up with any unfortunate surprises at the end!

Make a timeline & list of everything you need to do

It’s important that you set yourself realistic expectations for the whole process, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of planning a wedding then it’s important to remember that things generally do move along at a rather fast pace. Before you begin to plan the wedding, make a timeline of the things that need to be completed.

Break down the big tasks into smaller ones and get your creative juices flowing.

When it comes to wedding planning, creating yourself a timeline is vital in order to help remain organised and on-track. Having a schedule will ensure that all of the necessary tasks are completed in a timely manner and that no detail is overlooked. There are many different types of timelines that can be used when planning a wedding, depending on the couple’s needs. A basic timeline usually includes months leading up to the wedding and the week of the event. It is important to start creating a timeline as soon as possible, working back from the date you’ve set so that there is plenty of time for everything that needs to be done. 

You may be thinking that the wedding’s not for a year or two and you’ve got plenty of time, but don’t forget that may suppliers can only attend one wedding at a time – and if you want your choice of vendors on your big day, you need to book things early rather than leaving them to the last minute.

Decide what’s important to you

For the most part, other people’s opinions are just that – other people’s opinions. It doesn’t hurt to ask but don’t base your wedding on what a few friends say. You may have a specific style or preference but that doesn’t mean that everyone else will think the same way. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s your big day – not someone else’s – so sticking true to what you want to do and your vision for how the day should flow is key.

Delegate, delegate, delegate!

This one’s a biggie – whatever you do, don’t try to do everything yourself. Instead, delegate tasks and responsibilities to other people. There are a lot of things to do and think about in the run up to your wedding day and often close family and friends will love to be invited to help with planning or perhaps even with organising some of the more practical aspects of the day.

Reach out to your existing suppliers too – they’re a potential mine of fabulously useful information about anything from what sort of cake to have to where to source wedding sparklers. Just ask if you need a hand!

Consider hiring a wedding planner?

If you’re not sure what you’d like your wedding to look like, or if you’d like a little help getting things organised or have just too much on your plate already, enlist the help of a wedding planner. A professional planner can help take care of all the details for you, so you can relax and enjoy your big day. They’ll work with you to create a custom plan that fits your needs and budget. Plus, they have years of experience and know how to avoid common wedding planning pitfalls.

A professional planner can also help reduce stress levels leading up to the wedding. They’ll handle all of the logistics so you don’t have to worry about a thing. This can be especially helpful if you’re dealing with a tight timeline or a complex budget.

Be Flexible

It’s perhaps one of the most understated tips of all, but being flexible throughout the wedding planning process can dramatically help reduce your stress levels. Things will change, so go with the flow and be prepared to make adjustments. This includes being open to different ideas and accommodating supplier requests whenever possible. Sometimes suppliers will have suggestions for your day which might help when it comes to planning out timelines, or finding the perfect time for photos. Talk to your key suppliers as you start to firm up timelines for the day – your venue team or caterers will have input around timings for food, speeches / toasts etc; photographers and videographers will tell you about light and sunsets to help coordinate you being available for photos during the best golden light of the day; and your hair / make-up artists will know how long you’re likely to need to get ready in the morning. Putting all of these together will help give you the bare bones of a plan for the day along with ensuring that nothing needs to be rushed.

It’s also worth remembering that you’re planning a real life event and people involved all still have to deal with the same day to day problems – things like work, family commitments, moving house, etc. These may often get in the way or mean plans need to change.

Don’t stress about it – have fun!

This is the most difficult bit of planning, but it’s also the most important.

When it comes to wedding planning, it’s important to have fun with it! After all, you’re going to be spending a lot of time on the details, so it’s worth trying to enjoy the process too!

In conclusion, don’t worry if wedding planning feels overwhelming – it’s normal! There are plenty of resources out there to help you, so take a deep breath and get started. And don’t forget to enjoy the process – after all, you’re getting married and that’s probably the most important tip of all!


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About Tim

Tim Stephenson is a multi award-winning creative Norfolk wedding photographer based just outside the beautiful city of Norwich, Norfolk. He photographs weddings across the East of England including of course Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex,  Cambridgeshire and is always happy to travel further afield.Tim specialises in photographing weddings in a relaxed, natural style without any need for formal posing or awkward moments. Get in touch to check his availability or to have a chat about your fabulous plans!