bignor-park-wedding-photography-robyn-and-tom-107Check out Robyn and Tom’s Bignor Park wedding on the blog

If you’re typical of my couples you’re probably going to breeze through your wedding planning.  Most seem to take it all in their stride and have a pretty laid back time of it, which is mostly because they don’t get sucked into a lot of ‘wedding industry stuff’.  That’s good because the wedding industry loves to tell you about what you SHOULD be doing, where as my couples mostly want to plan a wedding that reflects them as people.

Even if you’re planning a really laid back wedding that’s all about you there can still be pressure points.  I was pretty laid back when planning my wedding with Pete and I am ashamed to say I still had a couple of meltdowns along the way.  Planning a wedding if you have nothing to do but plan a wedding would be fine.  Throw in life, work and managing family relationships and there are definetly a few opportunities for stress reduction!  Here’s my wedding planning survival guide.

Have a Plan
It might sound obvious but sometimes the obvious is worth stating.  If you have an idea of where you’re heading and how to get there it’ll help with every aspect of the decision making process.  Download a free wedding planning checklist or five and off you go.  People laugh at the cliched wedding excel spreadsheets but it’s really easy for budgets to spiral out of control.  Stick your to do list on Trello, start an inspiration board on Pinterest and make sure you have a clear idea of your budget priorities so you can focus on what’s really important to you.

You can find loads of advice about wedding planning and especially wedding planning in relation to photography in my planning guide.

wedding photographer westcove houseCheck out Sarah and Daniel’s self officiated Westcove House wedding.

Make the big decisions on your own
It’s inevitable that people will have opinions and expectations and if you’re planning a non-traditional wedding you might have to present a united front while you explain why you have made some of the decisions you have.

Your wedding is all about you, yes, but the truth is that often other people, like parents for example, are emotionally invested in the day almost as much as you are.   Work out what’s important to you and why.  Understand your reasons for making the decisions you’ve made and then go forth and explain your reasons.

Step away from the inspiration
Once you have a plan for any styling and aesthetics in place it’s a great idea to step away from Pinterest, wedding blogs and magazines.  When planning my own wedding I was tempted by pretty much every new idea I saw and that’s a surefire way to quickly max out your budget.  It’s really easy to reach saturation point with wedding inspiration too.  Do yourself a favour and use inspiration based resources sparingly.

greencastle-donegal-pre-wedding_-22Pop over to Steph and John’s Greencastle Donegal engagement shoot on the blog.

Delegate
Delegation is especially wonderful if you have family members who really want to be involved / who have strong opinions.  Send them off with a time consuming project to get their teeth into.

If you’re DIYing elements of the wedding think about having a craft party.  Ply your friends with booze and snacks and get them to help you.

If you have the budget then work with a wedding planner.  They can help with styling, logistics, supplier sourcing, budget management and a whole load of other tasks that will mean you can get on with enjoying your wedding.  Services range from full planning to styling consultancy and working with a planner will pay for itself in terms of the time you’ll recoup.  It’ll also mean you can have a stress free wedding day as your wedding planner can manage all of the logistics for you.  Some of my favourites are The Bijou Bride, Always Andri and Knot and Pop

laura-and-todd-smaller-5
Laura and Todd’s Barcelona engagement shoot will be hitting the blog soon.  Get in touch if you’re looking for a destination wedding photographer.

Remember this is about a marriage, not a wedding

Your wedding is one day.  It’ll probably be a brilliant day that marks the start of the rest of your lives together.  It’ll almost certainly be a fun day where you get to hang out with all of your favourite people.  It might be an emotional day or a stressful day.  What ever kind of day it is it’s just one day and that one day is not the reason you’re doing this.  The reason you’re doing this is to have a marriage, not a wedding.  If you hold on to that thought it makes any wedding planning related storms easier to weather.

I hope this wedding planning survival guide is useful.  Leave a comment below with your wedding planning survival tips!

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