Couples face many difficulties while planning their wedding. Let’s face it, not many know the amount of time, organization, communication, and therapy hours it takes to plan a wedding. No joke, brides have gone to therapy sessions because of the stress they put themselves through to have the perfect wedding. I bet those pricey therapy sessions weren’t in the wedding budget. Here are a few issues that usually come up during the planning process and how to handle those problems.
1. Not enough $$$ to have the wedding of your dreams.
Pinterest has caused many couples to believe they can afford the lavish weddings even if they have a tight budget. Okay, its usually not Pinterest it’s the wedding professionals show casing their amazing talents through mock set ups. Unfortunately, with amazing talent comes a hefty price tag. The average cost for a wedding has been sitting around $22,000 for the last 5 years. Even that price tag can become constricting for Pinterest inspire couples. Nothing is more disappointing than having to forgo the amazing floral arrangements, beautiful invitations, or not being able to afford the matching wedding band to that gorgeous engagement ring.
Setting your budget should be the first thing on your to do list. Once you have a budget, separate it into categories of attire, venue, catering, entertainment, photography, décor, cake, stationary and everything else in between. Yes, don’t forget the cost of stamps and all those invitations.
Second, keep your head count small. The less people you have the more you can splurge on other things like the dress, catering, or fresh florals like all those Pinterest pictures.
Finally, STICK TO YOUR BUDGET! This is important. Once you go over a certain amount planned for your wedding dress or the five-course meal, you have to take from something else and that may be those amazing floral arrangements or the wonderful photographer. If you have a small budget 1/2 or even 1/3 of the national average, plan to use Pinterest as inspiration but do not expect the exact designs. Many floral centerpieces on Pinterest can get up into $500 each! You could settle for a dress that isn’t designer but still makes you look beautiful. Offer a partial bar instead of the full service. Cutting back is OKAY! Your sanity and love for your partner is more important than the material items.
2. Communication issues
So many times, I hear the story of the mother in law who over stepped her boundaries or the groom who would not budge on the armadillo wedding cake (thanks Steel Magnolias). Setting boundaries in the beginning is important. Giving your family members, who are helping in the planning process, certain areas to help with can save your most precious sanity. If your mother in law is very traditional and you’re not, allow her to help with aspects of the wedding that are still following traditions.
Money seems to cause the most problems. Mom and Dad promised to pay for the entire wedding, but your expectations exceeded the amount they would be able to contribute. Get to the nitty gritty earlier in the process avoid missed communications later during the planning process.
If bridesmaids aren’t paying for their dresses or getting fittings on time? Talk to each person in your bridal party and ask what they are comfortable paying for a dress or tux. Give them a timeline they have to have their dress or tux paid for and fittings done. WRITE IT DOWN, EMAIL, OR TEXT IT! Make it some place they cannot lose it. Check in frequently but not every day, remember they also have jobs and lives to live too. If a bridesmaid has a budget that will not work for a new dress check out sights like Azazie or check your local Facebook resale pages. Consider compromising on allowing bridesmaids to find their own dress in a certain colors and lengths.
Most important, set expectations early before the planning process starts. Group texts with the wedding party, and don’t be afraid to say no…respectfully.
3. Details, Details, Details.
There are so many details to a wedding. BUY A PLANNING BOOK! Log every detail and complete each task on time. This will keep you up to date on the process and save you stress of last-minute items.
Remember timelines are a guideline and don’t wait until the last minute to finish them. For example, most planning books will say book your venue 1 year in advance. If you have the time or luxury, book early! Get ahead of all the other brides booking at the same time.
If you have the budget hire vendors who provide not only high-quality products but also service. The last thing you want to worry about is a family picking up the cake on time. A vendor who delivers, and sets up will save you so much time and sanity. If not make a check list and day of itinerary for each person. So simple, but lifesaving. Assign each person a to do list with things they are capable of managing. If that’s picking up the dresses, setting up décor, and holding on to the rings, it will save you the worry and clearly communicate your expectations and needs.
Hire a day of coordinator, or ask an experienced and organized friend. It is reality that you cannot be in multiple places at once. Having a friend to make sure the flowers are delivered and answering any questions vendors may have during the day will save you the worry. Give vendors your coordinators number for the day of so you can have a relaxing moment.
4. Rely on your Fiancé
Couples forget about their significant other. Usually there is one person in charge of planning the wedding, and the other is along for the ride. Allowing your fiancé to have a roll in the planning process is important. Do they have great taste in music? Let them work with the entertainment. Are they a foodie? Allow them to organize the catering. Are they financially smart? They may be perfect at setting and enforcing the budget. Whatever aspect it may be, let your soon to be husband or wife handle details so you have a break. If they would rather not have much part in the planning process rely on them as an emotional support when things may get stressful. That’s why you're marrying them right?
Of course, there are so many other dramas that come up during the planning process, but setting the budget early, being a good communicator, sticking to the planning to do list, and relying on your fiancé for support will save you unneeded stress on your wedding day. Don’t think you have to do it alone. Your friends and family are there to help and your new fiancé is also a great support when you just need a break. Most important, remember why you are getting married. Love is the reason why you're planning one of the best days of your lives.