One of the most challenging parts of wedding planning happens right up front: deciding what size you want your wedding to be. We’ve written about all the things to consider when you’re picking betweeen a small or big wedding. Check that out. You might also be interested in the most common wedding day problems. The more you can foresee, the better off you’ll be.
Your wedding is something you’ve likely been thinking about for a long time. It’s something a lot of people dream about and look forward to even before they find “the one.” We dream of it being one of the most beautiful days of our lives. And it will be, for sure, and your friendly Erie photographer and team will work hard to help it be just that.
That said… it can also, from the get-go… be one of the most stressful events. Why?
Why wedding planning is so stressful
Primarily, it comes down to decision fatigue. Until you start to plan a wedding, you really have no idea how many tiny little decisions you have to make. And that is regardless of the size of the wedding. Even if you’re eloping, there are still so. many. decisions. And eloping often means a big party later to celebrate with friends and family and this means even. more. decisions.
It’s a miracle anyone gets married! ((teasing…but not))
Secondarily, there’s no nice way to put this: the most challenging part of wedding planning and why it’s so stressful is other freaking people! Everyone has some sort of emotional or otherwise investment in your wedding, and they are not shy about letting you know. Suddenly every parent, aunt, cousin, friend has something to say about what is supposed to be your big day.
The worst is that a lot of people close to you will make assumptions about your wedding before you’ve even had a chance to decide for yourself.
Boundaries are your best friend through all of this. And here’s a great article about how to deal with wedding planning stress.
Let’s get into this in a bit more detail.
The stress of budgeting
Before you even start to think about colors and venues and dresses and guests and food and every other tiny detail of millions of details, you have to get real about how much you can spend on this wedding. This is probably the most challenging part of wedding planning above all else.
This is hard, but if you don’t do it, you’ll be sorry as you get further into planning. If you don’t budget, you could spend a huge part of your budget on something not as consequential and realize you don’t have what you need for your dream dress, for example.
That said, part of budgeting is prioritizing. What’s most important to you about this wedding? Having every single person you’ve ever met as a guest or creating a memorable food experience for the guests you can have? Is your dress as important or more so than the venue? Questions like that need to be thought about up front.
Then write it all out. This is another mistake people make: thinking they can just keep track in their head or remember everything on their own ((insert us laughing…not too meanly but knowingly))
The planning stress of guests
Guests bring a lot of stress ((ha)) but mostly it has to do with their numbers. You might have a mom who wants to invite all of her friends from her Zumba class. You’ll have to be very straight with her if this doesn’t fit your plan. Remember, this is your wedding.
Once your budget is set and you understand your priorities, you can start to figure out the number of guests you want and how many you can have. This is when things can get…sticky with the new in-laws (from both sides). Pick your number and be firm about it.
Finding all your vendors
As your friendly Erie photographer team, we know vendors. So if you find someone like us first, you can certainly count on our recommendations. But putting together all of your vendors can take a lot of time. Ask around. What weddings have you gone to lately that you noticed the food or the DJ as exceptional? Track those people down.
This is also why having enough lead time is important. Those excellent vendors are going to have tighter calendars so be sure to have second and third backups.
The planning stress of choosing your attendants
If you are tight with a small group of friends, maybe this one is easy for you. But if you’re a social butterfly, this could get tricksy. And it’s hard to think that you might be hurting some people’s feelings, but again, your wedding.
When you’re considering attendants, think about who has been there for you consistently. Who has your back? These people won’t just be standing up the day of the wedding, they have quite a lot of other things they usually help with. Read about honor attendants’ duties here.
Seating chart drama
If you’re having a small wedding, maybe you could get away with just letting people sit wherever, but most likely, you have to create a chart. And you know so many people walk in looking to see how close they are to the bride and groom and there’s all sorts of silly assumptions that can be made about table company and judgements about your choices.
In reality, you’ve likely created a seating chart based on making everyone as comfortable as possible. Just do that and be happy with it. Don’t listen to anyone complaining. ((insert fingers into ears and proceed to hum))
A little advice from people previously in these trenches
When it comes to the most challenging parts of wedding planning, the best defense is a good offense, right? Apply this to your wedding planning by setting some boundaries right up front.
Ask people not to assume anything and let them know that you’ll let them know when their input is needed and welcomed. People who are good with boundaries for themselves will understand and respect your forwardness. The others will be… what they will be.
But stating this all up front can give you some peace of mind and that’s what matters.