In an ideal world most of us would probably hire a wedding planner. We’d tell the planner what our dream wedding looks like, and they would magically make our vision a reality.
Then of course we’d get married and all live happily ever after.
While this world sounds lovely, it’s simply not a reality for most of us. Weddings are EXPENSIVE. When I was first thinking about our wedding I saw the cost of hiring a wedding planner, had a mild panic attack, and then realized a wedding coordinator of any kind was not going to be feasible.
I had to come to terms with the fact that hiring a wedding planner was not a priority for me. I knew that money would be better spent on the venue, food, flowers, etc.
If you’re finding yourself in a similar situation, fear not. Thousands of brides have had their dream weddings without a planner. You can too!
But how can you plan your wedding without an official planner/losing your sanity? Here’s a few tips to get you started! You can do it 🙂
Purchase 2-3 wedding planning books.
There is a lot of awesome information online to help you plan your wedding, but I still liked having a few go-to books to keep me on track and easily answer quick questions. Below are the 2 books I found myself going back to time after time.
The Knot Book of Wedding Lists– The checklist at the front of the book gives you a month-by-month breakdown of what should be done leading up to your wedding. I referenced this page all the time. It really helps to make each task much more manageable. It’s a great book for quick questions and reminders.
The Wedding Book– This book was my wedding Bible. It gives you more detailed information on EVERY topic related to your wedding. It’s also a wonderful reference for proper etiquette questions!
***I wouldn’t get more than 3 books. More than 3 is going to be overwhelming and too time-consuming!
Enlist the help of a family member or friend.
If you are going to plan this wedding without a wedding planner, you’re going to need help from a close family member or friend. I repeat, YOU ARE GOING TO NEED HELP. I would not have been able to plan my wedding without my mom.
My mom is retired and was great about calling different vendors, getting specific details on prices, and making sure all of the little tasks were done. She was a lifesaver! You are definitely going to need someone else to lighten the load while you are planning. If you don’t have a family member who can help, a kind friend who has been through the wedding process would also be a great choice.
Designate a wedding planning time.
You don’t want to be talking about the wedding 24/7 with your future spouse. That just isn’t healthy. At the same time, you can’t ignore your upcoming nuptials altogether. What worked well for us was setting time aside every Sunday to talk about the wedding. We could figure out the progress we’d made and decide on our tasks for the following week.
Having a specific time to talk about the wedding will help keep both of you from getting stressed. It will also make the time you spend planning your wedding much more productive!
Book your venue early.
The venue should be the first decision you and your partner make. Some venues get booked up to 2 years in advance. When you begin your process, the venue needs to be your first priority. You don’t want to start planning details with a specific venue in mind and then realize you won’t be able to have your wedding there after all.
Once you have a date planned, the whole process will feel much more real and definite. It will also give you a better idea of the amount of time you’ll have to complete all of the other important tasks.
Ready to find your venue? Read this post for more tips!
Have a day-of helper instead of a wedding planner.
On the day of the wedding you can’t be worrying about moving the flowers from the ceremony to the reception space or setting out the wedding favors after guests have picked up their seating cards. This is your day to enjoy and cherish. You don’t have time for that!
I would highly suggest getting a family friend to assist with those little tasks on the day of your wedding. The daughter of one of my mom’s friends did this for us. She was home from college that weekend, so it worked out perfectly. She was an absolute saint. Everything went so smoothly with her organizing the tiny details behind the scenes. We did give her some money for helping, but it was definitely a lot less than what we would have paid for a day-of coordinator!
Are you debating on hiring a wedding planner? Did you get married and plan your wedding with or without a planner? I’d love to hear about your experiences!