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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Wedding Planning 101: 4 Tips for Stress Free Wedding Planning

So you just got engaged?  First of all, congratulations!  How exciting to start wedding planning.  It's so easy to get overwhelmed at the thought of planning this big event.  If you're anything like me, I didn't already have my perfect wedding on cue for when I got engaged.  I had no idea what I wanted and was starting from square one in the wedding planning process.  Yes, I had plenty of friends that had gotten married in recent years and I had been to plenty of weddings prior to getting engaged, but that didn't equate to my Pinterest board being ready to go and my venue picked out. Here are my tips and trips to getting through the planning process stress-free (almost!):

Don't Feel Rushed

It doesn't take long after your engagement for the questions to begin on locations, dates, venues, so it's easy to feel like you need to have all of the answers right off the bat.  Enjoy being engaged.  Once you start planning the wedding, it starts to snowball into having to make all of the decisions and every little detail everything falling into place.  Before you even start planning, enjoy the engagement phase.  Get used to calling each other "fiance" for a little while.  Unless you're someone that already knew your wedding venue, then go ahead and book a date, but if you're like we were and couldn't even nail down a city, take your time.  Don't feel the rush and panic, because things will fall into place as they should and when they should.  We got engaged right before the holidays which was great, because it meant that we didn't get a million questions about when we were getting engaged, instead we got a million questions about when and where our wedding would be. Don't let this pressure make you feel like you need to have all of the answers.  I have friends that had short engagements and friends that had long engagements, and guess what.. they're all married regardless of how long it took for them to walk down the aisle.  You'll figure out how much time is right for you, but don't feel like you need to have all of the answers.

Decide What Matters Together as a Couple

There are literally a million different ways and locations to get married and to spend money on a wedding.  At some point you'll have to prioritize where you want your time, money and resources to be dedicated. It's best to have those tough conversations with your spouse before the planning process begins.  When we first started planning, we threw everything on the table:  Destination vs. Local, Band vs. DJ, Big vs Small.  There is no right answer to any of these and ultimately, I think we would have been happy with any of these, but we had to have the conversation so that we could understand what the other person wanted.  We ended up deciding to have our wedding in Chicago, local to where we lived, and an easy city to travel to for all of our out of town guests.  We decided to have a band, because we love the vibe and energy that a band brings to an event.  We decided to have a fairly large wedding (large to us, about 150 people), because we really wanted all of our close friends and family to be there. But all of those decisions didn't come easy or without thorough discussion.  Keep in mind that these are decisions between you and your future spouse, and should be a joint decision.

Remember the Why

You make a lot of big decisions when wedding planning and it's easy to get caught up in trying to please everyone.  It's easy to start thinking about what location or timeline would be the easiest for everyone else.  You can easily forget that ultimately this is about you and your new husband and everything else will fall into place.  This applies to everything when wedding planning: city, church, food, date.  It's nice to be accommodating to friends and family, but ultimately, they will be happy if you're happy. It's easy to get stressed about every little detail, but that's not what you're going to remember in 5 years.  This is especially important to keep in mind in those last few weeks before the wedding and the actual day of. It can feel overwhelming and it's easy to get caught up in making sure everything runs smoothly, but remember that at the end of the day, regardless of all the little details, you'll be married, and that's what matters.


Have Fun with the Details

It's so easy to get caught up in the details and forget that they're supposed to be fun and it's supposed to be a celebration.  You can do a little or as much as you want when it comes to the little things at a wedding.  For instance, it's easy to stress about wanting little touches at the wedding to reflect you as a couple, but there should be fun in that.  I was stressed about having love quotes on chalk boards throughout the venue, and probably spent too much time than I needed to to make this happen.  Remember that the details are tiny, and not what you will remember about the event.  If it isn't fun for you to plan or coordinate, then just don't do it. You'll have enough to stress about that you don't need to add unnecessary stress to what should be a really positive day.

Here are a few more pictures of the details from our wedding!  


Vendor List:

Photographer: Olivia Leigh Photographie | www.olivialeighweddings.com

Venue:  IVY ROOM at TREE STUDIOS Chrissy Dwyer |  www.ivyroomchicago.com

Florist: Fleur de Lis Florist, Danielle Wisdom | www.fleurdelischicago.com

Lighting: Frost Chicago, Daneila Saporito | www.frostchicago.com

Videographer: One Fine Day Productions,  Amy Johnson | www.onefinedayproductions.com/

Band: Arlen Music Productions, Entourage, Leslie Hunt | www.arlenmusic.com

Chalkboard Rental: Lauren Hanson | letradesignstudio.com

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