Wedding planning can be overwhelming. If you feel like you don’t know where to start or how much anything should cost, you’re not alone. Here are our top tips to make wedding planning less stressful:
MAKE YOUR GUEST LIST FIRST
Knowing your guest count will impact not only finding a venue that fits best, but also your budget. From everything from catering to linens to centerpieces to tables and chairs (if you have to rent them) to guest favors. The more people you invite, the higher your costs will be. Also consider the size of your wedding party, since that will impact your budget through expenses like wedding party gifts.
GET CLEAR ON YOUR BUDGET EARLY
Until you know what you can spend, you can’t make informed decisions on how to spend it. We’ve seen many couples book a single vendor up front that takes up a significant portion of their budget. Unfortunately, they then have to compromise on all of their other vendor choices to make the numbers work. Remember that there are vendors for every price point. So we recommend waiting until you have a set budget and an idea of all the vendors you will need before booking anyone.
Use our wedding cost calculator for a rough outline of how much you can expect to spend on each element of your Northern Virginia wedding.
ASK FOR HELP
You may have family and friends that would love to help with things like gathering guest addresses, doing vendor research, or choosing flowers. But don’t limit your helpers to family. Your vendors can recommend other vendors and give advice about your wedding. They can help you decide how much time you will need for each part of your day and tell you what is often left off of a timeline. Your venue can provide you with tried-and-true floor plans, suggested photo spots, and more!
A great place to start is our timeline tips for a care-free wedding day.
HIRE A PLANNER
When it comes to making wedding planning less stressful, nothing beats hiring a wedding planner. An experienced wedding planner will take your budget and preferences and create a beautiful day! Don’t have the budget for a full-service planner? Consider a month-of coordinator to help coordinate the vendors you chose, plan your timeline, and make sure things go smoothly on the day.
Many of the best vendors in Northern Virginia book out a year or more in advance, so starting your planning process early can give you more options. This is especially important if you are planning a Saturday wedding during a peak season like May, September, or October.
Wondering where to start? Read this blog post to learn which wedding vendors you should book first. If you’re already facing a time crunch, check out our blog on how to plan a wedding in 3 months or less in Northern Virginia.
ASK FOR VENDOR RECOMMENDATIONS
The vendors you choose can make or break your wedding day. We recommend asking your venue for a list of recommended vendors who have worked together at the venue many times before, then choosing from that list. Those vendors’ experience and relationships really make a difference for a smooth, seamless event.
DON’T OVERDO THE DIY
Every do-it-yourself post on Pinterest seems like a great idea when your wedding is a year away, but when you’re two weeks out and elbow-deep in craft supplies and stress, you’ll wish you hadn’t taken on so many projects (ask us how we know). Be realistic about how long each project will take, as well as your skill level and your budget. Only take on projects that you can get done well in advance, that save you a significant amount of money, and that you will actually enjoy. Purchase or hire out everything else and thank us later.
There is a lot of physical stuff involved in making a wedding happen. Staying organized can help significantly in making your day go smoothly. If you are bringing decor to the venue, we recommend labeling every box with what’s inside and where it goes. This makes setup and cleanup much easier, and you won’t be left wondering what happened to that one candlestick.
This one is easier said than done, but try to come to terms with the fact that you can’t control everything. The weather will do what it will do, the song you walk in to might not start on the exact moment you planned, and everything will be okay. Remind yourself that no one will notice as much as you do. So best to adopt a “roll with it” approach and be flexible!
We hope this list helps make your wedding planning less stressful! Next up, read how to prepare for wedding venue tours.
48 Fields Farm is a Leesburg VA barn wedding venue for celebrations of all sizes.
Our countryside barn and vast fields are peacefully set in the heart of Northern Virginia wine country.