Even though the concept of a stress free wedding may seem like fantasy, it is not impossible. As much as you’re looking forward to your big day, you just know your extensive and meticulous plans are never going to guarantee a stress free wedding. For all of those couples who are looking for ways to make their day be as special as in their dreams, here are 20 Tips for a Stress Free Wedding:
1. Decide What You Want as a Couple
Sit down together once you start your stress free wedding planning and discuss both of your ideas of what kind of event you would like. Are you going to go with a formal ceremony, a beach wedding, a large reception, a live band or are you just going to elope? (The best advice you will ever get is to elope.) Whatever you choose, go to your planner with a firm idea in your head; don’t start umming and ahhhing about it 3 months down the line.
2. Pick Your Venue First
It can be difficult to know where to start when planning your wedding and the best place would be the venue. Finding a venue that can accommodate your date, fits your budget and is exactly what you are looking for it no small feat, so choosing a gorgeous venue can actually dictate (or at least add some control) your other decisions. Once you have found it, you can send out your save the date and start budgeting for numbers.
3. Keep the Details to Yourselves
You won’t have a hassle free wedding if you trying to communicate plans that change every day. It is very tempting to discuss the details of your plans with your friends and family, but take into account that you and your fiancé could very well be changing your mind a few times still. Discussing it with well-meaning family members who then go ahead and start steam rolling projects to try and help you, will drive you insane.
4. Less is More
Weddings are expensive, so it is important to work out what is really important and what is not. Nobody remembers the flowers on the table, that’s a promise, and nobody remembers the décor either. They remember the bride and the party, and for the rest there are photos. Don’t spend thousands on flowers, and décor, and favours; you can have a striking stress free wedding with a few simple and tasteful ideas.
5. Give Everybody a Job
Delegate, delegate, delegate. This means that not only do you not have to do everything yourself, but nobody feels shunted and left out. Family members quickly feel unimportant if you don’t give them something to do, even if it is only making sure the confetti gets there on time. Give jobs out at the start, and you will have less interfering altogether.
6. Make Decisions Together
Another tempting thing to do is discuss things with friends, and leave your fiancé out of the decision making process altogether. Even if he protests he doesn’t want to be involved – he does! Make a rule, right up front, that no decisions will be made with other people, and that every aspect needs to be discussed and decided by the bride and groom only. This will be very helpful down the line when people start interfering, and will be one of the biggest ingredients in getting you that anxiety free wedding.
7. Have a Wedding Free Day
Even though you may not think so now, the wedding planning is going to start becoming overwhelming, never mind downright mundane, and at some point you will start to tire of it – honestly! Have one day and one night, where you pack away the planners and the wedding books, the photographs, the cake choices, switch your phones off and spend an entire 24 hours together reminding yourselves of why you are doing this in the first place. And no mention of the wedding whatsoever!
8. Stick to Your Budget
Unless you are marrying a Sheik, chances are you are going to have a budget. Things can catapult out of control very quickly, especially towards the end, when you are just so tired of all of this and saying, yes followed by whatever, to everything. Post wedding, you are going to regret that. Follow your budget religiously, and do make sure there is a bit extra for last minute things, but be strict, a financially stress free wedding means you don’t start your married life in debt.
9. Keep Yourselves Happy
What so many family members forget is that this is all about you and your fiancé, when in fact they think it is all about them. Emotional blackmail, snide remarks, subtle threats, thin lips and fake tears to get their own way, really does work, so brace yourself and decide from the start to be selfish and learn to say no. Sitting with a whole lot of other people at the wedding to keep other people happy will make you really upset afterwards. Don’t give in.
10. Hire a Wedding Planner
If you haven’t taken the best piece of advice and eloped then take the next best piece of advice and get a planner. Leave everybody out of it, blame everything on the planner and let them handle the family drama – they are the professionals, they are not emotionally involved and they will protect you from your family. Have the wedding you want, and worry about nothing. This is the ultimate decision for a stress free wedding.
11. Ignore the Drama
If you haven’t got a planner, even if you have, there is going to be drama. Weddings are a bit like Christmas, throwing all sorts of family together who have been saving up all their gripes and grievances since the previous event, for the next special occasion – your wedding. Just add booze and your nightmare is complete. Rise above it, make sure none of them are sitting together and don’t have a cash bar.
12. The Destination Wedding
The perfect drama free wedding. This one is like having a planner and eloping, and before you think this is an expensive option think again. Wedding packages in places like Mauritius and the Maldives, Mexico and the Caribbean include lots of complimentary extras for the bridal couple, and chances are only the very important people will travel all that way, so you could save a lot of money, not have the headache, and soak up the sun on a tropical island once all your guests have left.
13. Pick Your Battles
Frustrations and nerves run high during the wedding planning. Even the most level headed families start getting a bit rattled at some point. Stay calm when people close to you start giving you a hard time, tell them you hear them and you understand, and then do your own thing anyway. Save your energy for the vendor who wants to charge to double for half the flowers you ordered.
14. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Is it really that important that you can only get your flowers you want in off white and not ivory? Actually is doesn’t matter at all, look at the bigger picture, what are the things that really matter? Your fiancé needs to show up, your minister needs to pitch and there needs to be wine afterwards to go with the music. How many extra centimetres the place cards are going to be, or if the red flowers went on the blue table instead of the red one are trivial. For a stress free wedding, let it go, don’t drive yourself and those around you mad.
15. Keep Your Feet on the Ground
Even the most logical and level headed people lose it at some point, really. It is the one and only time you are planning an event like this (hopefully), and let’s face it that doesn’t’ make us professionals. It is stressful, but you can manage it. Don’t let all the chaos go to your head, remind yourself that it is not about the wedding it is about the celebration of a future life between you and your fiancé; it is about spending the rest of your life with someone you love.
16. Be Realistic
There are just some things that you are not going to have any control over, like the weather, if the wrong colour table cloths arrive, if the cake gets dropped, or if one of your bridesmaids is sick on the day. Be prepared to expect the unexpected and roll with the punches. Don’t panic and be realistic enough to know there are going to be a few things that don’t go exactly as planned, but what a cool story to tell later.
17. Don’t Leave Things until the Last Minute
Make a list and tick things off, go back to the beginning and check that those things have actually been done, and don’t leave anything to the last minute. Vendors like music and bands, caterers, car hire, hairdressers, make up and photographers, to name but a few should be booked no less than 3 months in advance, and even that is cutting it fine. Your venue, no less than 12 months, as you would be surprised how quickly things get booked up.
18. Pre-Marital Counselling
So you have lived together for ages, you may even have children together already, so why do you need to go for pre-marital counselling? Isn’t that for very young couples who don’t know each other very well? Not necessarily. So many couples have expectations about married life that they don’t ever really think to discuss it. Clearing the air together with a perfect stress free wedding is a good way to start a marriage, so that you know for sure that you are both on the same page.
Are you not going to have a stress free wedding because you, yourself are stressed? The mood of the bride and groom set the scene for the entire wedding day, and the feelings during the planning of the wedding. In order to have a no-drama wedding, you and your fiancé will need to stay cool, calm and relaxed and everyone will follow your example. If you are both going to be agitated, expect that to reflect on those around you. Set the scene, take a deep breath and smile.
Looking back, people remember their weddings as a blur, exhausted and full of champagne, the bridal couple get so wrapped up in the schedule of events, the timing, the dance, the cake, the everything, that they forget that this is their party, and they must just forget about everything on the day, focus on each other and enjoy. Nothing else matters.
There are just a few basic ingredients for a drama free wedding day, and not being able to see the bigger picture will be your downfall. For a stress free wedding, remember, it is about you and your loved one and the start of a new life together, the celebration of your love and the joining of two families. Don’t be the bride and groom that miss the point altogether and make it more about the party than the couple, as then you will never have an anxiety free wedding.
Any more tips for a stress free wedding, ladies?
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