You’re gettin’ hitched! You’ve met an amazing person. You’ve told the incredible news to your friends and family. (And dentist, and dog-walker, and dog…)
Planning a wedding can be daunting. There’s so much to organise, to learn, to decide on — and, with everyone from your parents to your postman weighing in on what you need to have, you need to wear, you need to say and do and pay for, it can be overwhelming.
But wedding planning doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are our toppest top tips for stress-free wedding planning that keeps you whelmed.
1. Hold some invitations back
You can only fit so many people at your wedding. There are only so many three-course meals you can fit in your budget — and only so many chairs you can fit in a room!
To have everyone they want at their wedding, many couples invite some guests just to the wedding reception, but it’s difficult to choose who makes the day guest list.
There are undoubtedly people you’d love to have along to your whole wedding if there was enough space to fit them in. People you’d invite to your ceremony in a heartbeat if the venue was just big enough for them and your cousins. People you don’t want to feel like second tier friends by inviting them to your evening-only reception — then telling them your first choice couldn’t make it and you can squeeze them in after all.
So don’t tell them.
You don’t need to send all your invitations at once. Hold back invitations for the pals you’d like to come along but don’t have room for. If you’ve sent out save the dates, you don’t need to worry that they’ll make other plans, and you can tell them you’re still finalising some details if they ask. (Which you are!)
Then, if anyone RSVPs no, you can bump them up to all-day guests without them ever knowing they weren’t from the very start!
People usually know right away if they can’t come to your wedding, so you’ll get the nos back early on. If there are people you don’t really expect to come — like friends of your parents or distant relatives you’re inviting to be polite — you could even set an earlier RSVP deadline, just for them, to get an answer sooner.
The easiest way is to handle RSVPs through a wedding website, where you can organise your guest list into different groups and set different deadlines on each group. If you’re using paper invitations, it’ll be easier to print different invites with different RSVP deadlines on them than to give everyone a vague deadline, like ‘as soon as possible’ or ‘before the end of the year’ — it’s hard enough getting people to RSVP with a firm deadline!
Then, if you get any nos back, you can send full-day invitations to the mates whose invites you held back, and they’ll never know they weren’t day guests all along!
2. Order more invitations than you think you’ll need
A lot can change in the run-up to a wedding — especially if you’re planning it a year in advance. From when you get engaged to when you get married, you might meet new friends, become closer with your co-workers, or bump into your BFF from college who you haven’t seen in years and remember how much you love hanging out with them.
You might want to change your guest list.
Stationery becomes less expensive per piece the more of it you order; it takes a lot of time and effort to professionally print stationery — doubly so for intricate details like letter pressing or laser cutting. Once everything’s set up to print, printing 110 pieces rather than 100 is straightforward. But setting everything up a second time to only print 10 isn’t.
You might pay the same for 10 as you paid for 100, since you’re paying for all that set up work, not just the paper and ink.
Order a few extra invitations. If you’re holding invites back, this is especially important, as you’ll need to be able to send either or day or evening invitation, depending on what your other guests do!
If you don’t need the extra invitations, you can keep them as a reminder of your wedding or give them to your photographer to work into pictures. But if you do, you don’t want to be paying for a rush order!
3. Push back when you feel pressured to have someone else’s wedding
Everyone, from your parents to your postman, has an opinion on your wedding.
And, with all the best intentions in the world, they’re going to make you feel like crap. They’ll insist you have to have things a certain way, wear a certain thing, spend a certain amount…
They’ll drive you batty — and think they’re helping.
Most people don’t mean to put pressure on you. It comes from a place of love, from people wanting you to have a perfect day — and not realising their perfect isn’t yours.
So tell them. The next time someone insists you must wear something, you need to have something, you’ll regret not spending money on something, tell them…
Thanks, but we’ve decided we’d rather spend the money elsewhere.
Just say it and change the subject, gently — but firmly — setting the boundary that this is your wedding, not theirs, and their help isn’t needed.
Get more tips — and stay whelmed
If you want more advice on planning a stress-free wedding, pop your email address below to learn…
- how to cut down your guest list without hurting any feelings.
- how to get your RSVPs in before your caterer’s deadline.
- wording examples that won’t make you cringe.
- exactly what info you need on your invites — and what you don’t need on your to-do list.
- what to do when you’re feeling pressured to have a day you don’t want.
- and how to make your day unique and unforgettable, inside your budget.
Sign up now for our free, five-day email course on stress-free wedding planning. No fluff, no awkward sales pitches. Just you, whelmed.