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Stress-Free Planning

Posted: Friday, Nov. 01, 2013

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Ashleigh has been living in Charlotte since 2008 with her oversized yellow lab. She is a communications professional, grad student, runner, and lover of all things wedding! After attending 13 weddings in three years, it's now Ashleigh's turn to be at the altar. Join her as she blogs about her adventures in step-by-step wedding planning and tips for other brides-to-be!

Wedding planning and the engagement period are often painted as “the happiest time” in a couple’s life. While it is an extremely happy time period, there’s a lot of stress that accompanies the decisions that have to be made. Conflicting ideas, parental influence, budget breaking vendors can all cause strife in an otherwise joyful time. Here are a few tips to help keep you sane and happy during your special time:

1. Decide on a budget together: If parents are contributing to the funds, find out how much and decide what you will be able to spend as well. Making sure you have the same idea on the budget will set a good foundation for your planning. If you don’t have the same ideas when you first talk, work on compromising with a number that you can both agree on.

2. Discuss the vendors/services that are important to you: If pictures are the most important service to you, then you will want to pay for high quality photos. While you can find photographers for less, not just any photographer will capture the photos you want. My groom was ambivalent when it came to videography, but it was important to me and the price was reasonable so we were able to agree on that. Some services might not seem necessary, but don’t go cheap on the ones that mean the most to you because you may regret it afterwards.

3. Talk about your goals for after the wedding: do you want to buy a house or a new car? Are you happy in the city/state where you currently live? Life decisions now impact someone else and have to be made jointly. You should discuss your goals for your career, finances, and any major purchases with your husband-to-be and make sure you are on the same page. This ties into the budget bullet, if you want to purchase a house post-wedding, you probably don’t want to blow your wedding budget and have to start saving for a down payment all over again.

4. Be organized: This can mean what you want it to, but for us, we had everything on a spreadsheet. We started with a guest list, then addresses, RSVPs, seating chart, budget – including total cost, deposits, and remaining cost, honeymoon options and comparisons, gifts, etc. We were able to share it back and forth on Google docs. Having all of your information in one place will make life so much easier.

5. Have non-wedding time: Set aside a day of the week where you don’t talk about the wedding. Carve out time for a dinner date, or a glass of wine while watching a movie, or even go for a pre-wedding workout together, but whatever you do, have some time together that doesn’t revolve around the wedding. You will appreciate this and so will your soon-to-be spouse. It will keep you both from getting burned out, and also give you time to keep falling in love with each other.

Keep the marriage in mind while you’re planning your big day. The wedding is important, but it’s one day; your marriage will last a lifetime. Make sure you’re putting the same amount of effort into your relationship as you are into planning your wedding day. Remember to have fun with your planning, too! Try all of the cakes at your tasting, have dance parties to potential reception songs and taste all of the wines available.

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