Let’s face it. We don’t really know any brides that aren’t “busy brides”, but alliteration is fun. And we love talking about ways to make the whole wedding planning process a lot more fun, simple, easy to navigate and memorable (but in a good way).
01. Get and STAY Organized
We always say that getting organized is one thing, STAYING organized is a whole other ballgame.
There are so many (free) tools out there to help you plan your wedding. The key is not only to find them, but to continuously use and update them.
A few of our personal favorites are:
- Google Docs – For organizing documents and spreadsheets. This tool works great for managing your guest list because anyone who you give permission can go in at any time and update it. You get the updates in real-time meaning you consistently have up-to-date information. All of our clients Timelines are done in Google Docs because we can collaborate in real time on their timeline info, share it with their vendors and keep everyone on the same exact page – all the time.
- Pinterest – Yes, we know. All busy brides have likely heard of Pinterest. But the key to it is not just starting a wedding board and pinning to your heart’s delight. Create a few boards to narrow down your theme, dress, decor, and flowers. Then take an hour to edit them to truly reflect what you’re after. When done right, Pinterest can be a GREAT tool when talking with your designer.
- Trello – If you’re a Type-A personality (like us), then you will LOVE Trello. Trello is an online project-management tool that’s completely free and great for organizing your thoughts. If you work with us, we give you access to a beefed up version of Trello, but we like Trello for the free factor.
02. Hire pros that have their act together
We are always HUGE advocates of hiring professionals to do what they do best. When you’re investing $30k+ in your wedding, you want to put that chunk of change in the hands of people that you trust. Cheaper is rarely better, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend millions to get quality.
We recommend talking with your planner/coordinator. Not many will have such first-hand knowledge of the vendors you’re looking at. They’ve worked with them before. They know the good. They know the bad. They’ll steer you right.
If you’re not working with a planner/coordinator (more on that in two shakes…) we recommend asking the vendors you’ve already hired. If you like them, ask them who they know and like. It’s often a great starting point.
Don’t forget to check and READ reviews. Just because a vendor claims to have won “Best of The Knot” or “Couples’ Choice Award”, it does not mean that they are truly “the best”. Google them. Find their reviews and read them. Don’t just look at how many reviews they have; look at the quality. Are their clients gushing about their work? Or just have a general statement of “they did good”? There’s a difference and it matters.
Now, back to the coordinator thing. We know that a “wedding planner” feels like something only for celebrities, wealthy and anyone on The Real Housewives, but it’s not true. First of all, “wedding planners” come in all shapes and sizes (literally) and they offer different levels of service. Most planners offer what’s called “Day-Of Coordination”. This is what the DPNAK clan specializes in and LOVES to bits. Day-Of Coordination allows you to plan your entire wedding, with a little bit of help where it counts most: the final weeks and on the wedding day. Trust us when we say that ABSOLUTELY EVERY COUPLE spending $20k or more on their wedding should have a solid day-of coordinator on their team of vendors. As our reviews state, it’s “worth every penny”.
03. Get yourself a wedding-only email address
One of the things we really dig for busy brides are “wedding-only email addresses”. This is the email you give to bridal shows, vendors you’re looking at potentially working with and anything else wedding-related.
For some, they pick an email address that will suit them after they change their name. For example, if Rebecca Jones is marrying Michael Smith, she may want to snag the email address email@example.com.
For others, they find that this email will receive a lot of spam (mostly thanks to bridal shows) so they create one that will be used just for the wedding. Once the wedding is over, they really don’t check it much more. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org is a good one.
We love this tip because it keeps your personal and work emails separate from “wedding stuff”. Depending on your mail client, it should be easily searchable, and easy to file away as needed.
One thing to note, if you are using a wedding-only email address: be sure to give vendors that you need to talk with after the wedding a good email address that you’ll be checking. Vendors like your photographer and videographer will definitely be contacting you post wedding and you don’t want to miss those emails!
04. Designate wedding planning nights/days
We saved this one for last, because it’s a favorite.
More and more, we see couples designating specific days or nights of the week to solely discuss their wedding. For example, “Wedding Wednesdays” are the days where you’ll sit down and focus on making progress with wedding planning. This works best in four or more months before the wedding. Once you hit three months or less, you may need to start giving it two or more nights to do things, but that’s based on how much you accomplish in the months leading up to it.
We love this because it allows you have your personal life without the guilt. Too often, busy brides feel that if they don’t spend every second planning, the wedding won’t be good enough. That’s the farthest thing from the truth. You’re allowed to have a personal life plus plan a beautiful wedding, if you stay smart about it.
Stay on-top of your to-do’s and items that your trusted vendors give you (this is key) and do your absolute best not to procrastinate and leave things for tomorrow. Your list will just continue to pile up until it becomes completely overwhelming and analysis paralysis will show it’s ugly face. Take care of things on your designated wedding night and enjoy your off nights with your love.
Plus, we find that setting this rule early helps arguments over “why aren’t you helping me with the wedding”? If your partner knows that Wednesday is “Wedding Wednesday”, then they’ll be ready to sit and discuss vs. trying to hit them with a million questions when they’re playing on the PS4.
What are your sane-staying secrets for wedding planning? Share with brides below in the comments.