Just like every couple and relationship is so unique, so is wedding planning. We know there is no 'right way' to plan your wedding and what works for one couple could be an absolute nightmare for another. However, being a part of the industry for as long as we have, we know that it can quickly start to feel impersonal and stressful - both of which are the exact opposite of how you should be describing your day. Especially now, with social media having the reach that it does, it is too easy to slip into a day that doesn't feel like you just because it's "how things are done" or what everyone else is doing.
We wanted to compile a list of the top things that we have found prove to be true over and over again. Hopefully this can help you plan the heartfelt, personal and stress-free wedding that you really want!
1. Keep Your Guestlist Small
We know that narrowing down your guest list seems like an impossible task - especially for those with large families. Add in friends, coworkers, family friends and suddenly you are planning the Royal Wedding. But take our word for it; there is a direct connection between number of guests at a wedding and stress levels. For one, the amount of money you will be investing into your venue and food/drink will obviously be much higher. You're also going to have a lot more opinions and input to filter through, limits on venues that hold your number of guests, etc.
Another thing that we have noticed time and time again is that the more people attending a wedding, the less emotional it tends to be. When you limit your day to your key people, the ones who love and support you daily and would move mountains to share this moment with you, you are almost guaranteed more tears, more laughs, more connection. (Take my word for it, I all but weep at every small wedding and elopement we have shot as if the bride is my own best friend).
2. Pick 3 Priorities
If you allow it, there are hundreds of tiny things that will distract you, grab at your attention, and make you question why you ever decided to plan a wedding in the first place. It breaks our hearts to see brides crying over a bouquet that doesn't look exactly right, or a groom so overwhelmed with the itinerary that he doesn't get to enjoy the flow of the day. Picking the top 3 things that are important to you and giving them your full attention (and priority in your budget) is so helpful, and ensure you end up with what you truly want without staying up all night for a week hand making bomboniers when you never even cared about them in the first place (and half your guests leave them behind).
It doesn't matter if it's the dress/suit you always dreamed of, an incredible & unforgettable meal, a unique venue that reflects you as a couple, a photographer that turns your day into art, video letting you relive it over and over, or a party to end all parties. Try to allow each of you to choose your #1 priority, and then choose the 3rd together as a couple and let everything else fall to the side. Then take a sigh of a relief that you won't be burning the midnight oil assembling 250 bottles of bubbles with custom labels. You're welcome.
3. Ditch "Tradition"
Well, not completely. But don't feel stuck doing things just because it's "the way they are done". Get ready together if you want to, or do a first look before the ceremony. Skip cake cutting (or the cake altogether!). Don't bother with paper invitations if an email will suffice. Go barefoot. Get married outside in the rain. Follow your heart and be true to yourselves!
4. Consider Eloping
I know, I know, your family would freak out! Your best friend would never forgive you! But hear us out: they will get over it. There is a special part of you that only your partner gets to see. A realness that is saved just for them and never shown to the world. Even your closest friends and family don't have access to that part of you! Wouldn't it be amazing to be THAT version of yourselves the moment that you commit your life to your partner? And if you want to compromise, throw an awesome, intimate engagement or 'going away to get married' party before your big day. Let people give speeches, dance with your Dad, cut a cake, whatever! Best of both worlds (and your wallet will thank you endlessly)
Also, consider a travel elopement! Go somewhere new, and turn your wedding into a shared experience that you will carry with you forever.
5. Less Time Planning
This is probably opposite from everything you will be told, especially by industry professionals! But the less time you spend planning your wedding, the better. It's easy to fall prey to the notion that you need 18-24 months to prepare. And while yes, we absolutely do book that far in advance, and often, if you can get away with keeping it short and sweet you will be so happy in the end! Less time to plan means less things toget distracted by (see point #2), less time to stress out, less anxious buildup. We know this isn't always in line with everyones planning style -but if you can swing it, we promise you wont regret it.
We hope we gave you something to think about, and took some pressure off the daunting task of planning a day you'll cherish forever. Good luck, and we know it will be beautiful no matter what you decide.