You've heard it a thousand times: Planning a wedding is stressful. With such a long list of tasks to manage, it can be difficult to figure out which ones to prioritize. And that's exactly why so many couples end up deciding that everything is equally as important and don't skip out (or even scale back!) on any details. That's what the wedding pros call over-complication. To make things easier, we asked two wedding planners to share the ways couples make big-day planning far more complicated than it needs to be, plus their best tips on how to get back on track.
Worrying about way more than the "big five."
If you're worried about getting bogged down with details while planning everything on your own, keep it simple. "The more vendors that are involved, the more people and things you have to worry about," says Sunna Yassin of Bash Please. That's why she recommends focusing the bulk of your efforts on your "big five" vendors: the venue, food and bar, music, photographer, and rentals. "The venue will dictate how intense the planning will be. If you are looking to be as stress-free as possible, work with a full-service hotel or resort where their staff is well-trained, the catering is in-house, and the rental options for ceremony and reception are already on-site."
Forgetting to prioritize.
"Planning a wedding can be very time consuming, but knowing your priorities from the beginning will help keep you on track," Yassin advises. You can't micromanage every single detail without losing your mind, so it's important to figure out what matters to you most, then hire vendors that you think can deliver on your vision. "Don't worry about what songs are played during dinner. Instead, describe the mood you'd like to set to your DJ or band and ask them make selections that fit," she adds. "Trust your vendors! They understand how to keep the process moving forward towards your absolute best day."
Not thinking about the big picture.
"You have to think about the big picture," says Elizabeth McKellar, founder of the Nouveau Romantics. "It's about the wedding, which is really about the community and families that are coming together to celebrate you two." It's easy to become overwhelmed with details when there are so many small decisions to make throughout the planning process, but by keeping a big-picture mindset you may find it easier to check the so-called little things off your list.
Not communicating what matters.
You can simplify things like accommodations and transportation by communicating effectively with guests and giving them the tools they need to manage travel on their own. Yassin recommends, "Let your wedding website do the heavy lifting by listing all the details of hotel room blocks and/or property rental options for out-of-town guests. Transportation details for the day of the event can also be listed on your website. To keep things simple, offer one location for shuttles to pick-up and drop-off and have the guests find their way there."
Not being prepared for surprises.
No matter how much you plan for and obsess over, surprises are bound to come up along the way. McKellar recommends budgeting for an excess of fifteen percent of your budget to be used in the final phase for things like extra platters of supplies for caterers or parking costs for vendors. "All those tiny things are hard to anticipate if you aren't a wedding planner, and usually they come up in the last couple of days before, or after, the wedding."