Planning a wedding can be extremely stressful and anxiety-ridden. The sheer amount of resources and advice out there about the actual planning itself is equally overwhelming. Your wedding should encapsulate you and your partner’s personality and spirit. But everyone you know is going to have their idea of what that should be for you. Keep in mind that it’s your wedding and you make the rules! If you do need some guidance, here are 22 tips and resources to help formulate a plan and make your wedding day the event you envision:
1) Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride
As a strong feminist, there are many aspects of weddings that put me off from the “rules” about changing your name to the tradition of giving your daughter away. The graphic novel Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride is an excellent resource to read before sitting down to plan your day. Written as a personal narrative, author Lucy Knisley explores the world of weddings as she navigates through traditions, her feminist identity, and DIY or die. I loved this book because it was so unabashedly honest, funny, as well as beautifully written and illustrated.
2) A Practical Wedding
I bought this book for my best friend when she got engaged because it’s (clearly) a practical guide and breaks all the planning down into manageable steps. A good no-nonsense resource. The book also has an accompanying website that is equally useful. Shout out to my managing editor, Katie for that tip!
3. Local wedding groups
Many cities have local online consignment groups where people will post items from their wedding they need to sell. Do some digging. You can find great deals this way.
4. Location-based websites
If you can’t find a consignment group, there are often resources that offer location-based info like this Maryland-based site, Wedding 411.
Need help booking hotels? WeddingWire has a free tool called Hotel Block that lets you search by date and location to find the best deals.
If you need help with the basics like a checklist or wedding website, Zola has you covered. It even has a place to create cash funds instead of a registry, which is a nice alternative.
If color coordination is on your list of priorities, myPantone has an awesome app to help. Just open it up, take a picture of the item you want to match with, and my Pantone will identify the color.
8. The Venue Report
The Venue Report has all the details on all things venue-related. You can search by budget, venue setting, and amenities. Check out the blog for beautifully curated stories.
9. A strict timeline
Having a schedule to keep you on track is key. Hang this pretty timeline from Junebug Weddings above your desk.
10. Google Drive
Organization is key – Google Drive is your best friend when it comes to planning your wedding day. You can create spreadsheets, RSVPs, create custom maps, and share photos.
11. A nontraditional registry
If you prefer traveling over kitchen mixers, sign up for a honeymoon fund that lets guests fund different adventures! Going to New Zealand? Guests can donate to your gift to Hobbiton or just buy you a guidebook.
12. E-wedding invites
If you want to save a little green or go eco-friendly online wedding invites are a great idea. Sites like Paperless Post have beautiful options in a range of styles. If you do decide to go the paper route but don’t want to spend a ton, you can also upload your own design to sites like Vistaprint which have low prices and fairly fast shipping.
13. Uber Events
Is your wedding venue far from hotels? Save guests the worry of driving or getting a cab and sign up for Uber Events. You can buy passes, then share them with guests so they ride for free.
14. Your local newspaper or magazine
There’s a wealth of wedding newspaper sections and magazines. Don’t let the choices overwhelm you, just use it for light skimming and guidance.
15. The Budget Savvy Bride
The online resource the Budget Savvy Bride has a huge list of helpful wedding resources from flowers to crafting with a little info on everything.
16. A wedding organizer (the paper kind, not the person)
Investing in a wedding organizer book can be so helpful. It’s a good place to store notes, fabric samples, pictures, and business cards.
16. A wedding planner (this time I do mean the person)
Dropping money on a wedding planner may not seem necessary but even if it’s just for the day of the wedding, it can be godsend. Wedding planners can keep everything on schedule and help put out fires like when the flowers don’t arrive or your grandfather throws a fit because there aren’t any crabcakes at the buffet table.
Seating charts got you pulling your hair out? Allseated has you covered. It’s an in-depth innovative website that offers tools like the ability to view your floorplan in 3D to see how everything will fit on and around the table.
18. A money-management app
Keeping track of your finances in a money-management app can be a great tool for managing the budget (even after the wedding is over). Joy is a wonderful app that helps you track your finances and well being at the same time. It also offers free financial coaching – key when you’re saving for a wedding.
19. Take a moment
Don’t forget to take a moment to breathe and provide yourself with some self-care. The day before the wedding, take the day off and spend the day hanging with your family and bridal party or go have a spa day. You’ve done the planning and the day is here!
20. Ask for the gift of time
If you’re setting up the venue yourself or need help planning, ask your friends and family to chip in with their time instead of a gift. Not only are you getting a helping hand but it also can ease the strain on their wallet.
21. Seek out advice from people in the know
Offer to buy a coffee for friends who are recently married or had a great wedding you loved. They can offer you advice on what they wish they had and what to avoid at all costs.
22. Keep it all in perspective!
Remember this is just one day in the rest of your life together, so go with the flow, try to enjoy the planning, and have fun!