If the words “time management”, “admin”, or “budgeting” are guaranteed to burst your blissful, newly-engaged bubble then this one is for you!

So often I will speak with couples who are draining the fun out of their pre-wedding period with misplaced fears around the pressure of planning their big day. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be this scary, mammoth undertaking and here’s how to course-correct your wedding prep. 

Be on the same page

You need to have a really honest conversation with your fiancé about how much you’re both prepared to spend on the wedding. And agree on a number. 

Don’t look for outside influences to gauge how much – it is what you feel comfortable with, not your best mate’s budget who had a “no-expense-spared, razzle-dazzle do”! You may not want to spend a house deposit on a wedding day and that’s totally your prerogative.

Next list your non-negotiables. Non-negotiables are the highest priority items/services you want for your special day. For example, you may have always dreamed of having a full four-piece band at your reception or you might have your heart set on a decadent floral installation. Whatever these non-negotiables may be, you and your partner need to make individual, prioritised lists and see how many match up. Settle on your collective top three and that’s where you’ll ultimately prioritise your efforts and budget.

Secure your non-negotiables

Now that you have this list of non-negotiables in priority order it’s time to start reaching out to the wedding vendors (*read Dream Team). I know what you’re thinking, “but I don’t have a venue booked or even a date yet! How is this the next step?!” Trust me, your Dream Team would love to hear from you at this stage and offer their availability that way you can work out dates that are going to suit most/all of your non-negotiables and take options to your potential wedding venues. This makes securing your Dream Team more streamlined and avoids trying to retrofit everyone to a locked-in date and having your heart broken over and over with the dreaded “already booked” response.

Think outside the box

Traditional wedding days (*cough, Fridays and Saturdays, cough) are very competitive when trying to secure venues and vendors. If you were to consider a weekday wedding or even off-season dates (love me a dreamy winter ceremony) you have a higher chance of locking in your Dream Team and you may even snag a sneaky fee discount. And please, please, please do not be afraid to ask for a discount – you might be pleasantly surprised!  

Track your bookings

With a lot of moving parts, deposits and due dates it’s so important for your sanity to track the vendors that you’ve locked in. Keep it really simple by popping all your vendors into a spreadsheet, listing their contact details, deposit amounts, balance amounts and due dates and tick them off as you pay.

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Just copy the template I’ve created below.  

Enlist help

If you’re in a position to recruit external help, definitely jump on that. Nothing will make your lives easier and please your vendors more than a well-planned wedding day under the careful guidance of a professional wedding coordinator. 

I’ve just added Planning Services to my Amy Allen Creative offering, where I take away all the stress of pulling together your “Dream Team” of vendors. I create a mood board for your day based on your vibe as a couple and put forward vendor recommendations to match. I then make all the initial contact with vendors, lock in the date and send over contracts and deposit information so you score skip-the-queue access straight past the boring admin and onto the fun!

There are also plenty of helpful online resources offering great advice on wedding planning. Here are some of my faves: 

Come up for air

Most importantly when it comes to wedding planning and seeking out inspiration online searches are a great place to start but very quickly you can become trapped in a death scroll spiral. This has the potential to leave you feeling overwhelmed and overspending on things you definitely do not need. Keep that list of non-negotiables handy and refer to it regularly when you start to veer into the “unnecessary bells and whistles” lane. 

Also, don’t be afraid to take a little break. The whole thing isn’t going to fall over if you take a few days off planning. It may just be the rest and reset you need to come back swinging.    

If you’re looking to outsource some of this planning admin I’d love to hear from you! Strangely nothing excites me more than a spreadsheet. Please reach out. 

Amy Allen

June 13, 2023

Weddings

How To Hack Your Wedding Planning

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