Despite the uncertainty the past year has given us, there has been a big rise in the number of couples becoming engaged. Although there is currently no given date for when weddings can return, many couples are starting to plan their weddings while they may have a little bit more time on their hands. Having got married in 2019 (which doesn’t seem long ago at all!), I can’t help but reflect on my own experience – and the value it has in planning for any major life event or challenge, be it personal or business.
My experience as a recent bride and my lead role in planning the event taught me one thing above all else – the importance of keeping your stress levels as low as possible. But as with life, things are never simple. So when I had the opportunity to buy my first home and move house just two weeks before my big day, I jumped at the chance – and you know what, I would do it all over again. Because I had a system that worked. If I can do it, you can too! Since then, I’ve also gone on to launch a couple of small businesses of my own.
Here are my 4 top tips to help you get organised and keep your stress levels down whilst planning for a major event, be it your big day or any other life-changing occasion.
1. Set up a spreadsheet
The spreadsheet became my best friend through the wedding planning process. I used it to list all aspects of my wedding including venue, photographer, outfits, decorations, catering and much more. It’s so handy having all of your notes in one place.
My main spreadsheet had the following columns:
- Supplier (and their contact details)
- Estimated/Quoted Price
- Actual Price
- Deposit Details (how much was paid, when the remainder is due, etc)
It is easy to see how using such a spreadsheet can be equally helpful for all kinds of projects. If you’re not sure where to start with this, there are some fantastic free templates online to help you get started.
Top Tip – Use Google Sheets so you can access it absolutely anywhere! Very handy when you are at a consultation with a supplier.
2. Set a Budget – for everything…
Leading on from the previous point, the first step of my wedding planning process was setting a budget and in most cases, saving up money. The average wedding in the UK costs just over £16,000 and a huge factor of wedding-related stress involves finances. Don’t plan for a wedding you cannot afford. The same is true for holidays or even starting a business.
Once I had listed the majority of items in my spreadsheet, I started going through each one and putting a budget or estimated cost in each section. For example, I knew I didn’t want to spend more than £300 on a wedding cake and this really helped me narrow down suppliers in the next stages of planning.
The wedding industry can be very daunting, especially at wedding fayres where you are surrounded by businesses all competing for your money. If you already have a budget in mind for certain aspects, this can really help you have more of an idea of the kind of suppliers you would like to use. Whatever you are planning, don’t be pulled into parting with your money by hard sell.
3. Ask Questions
The biggest piece of advice I have is to ask as many questions as you feel you need to – I think this comes from the journalist in me! Before I met with any wedding supplier, whether that was the venue, registrar, cake maker, hairstylist, photographer or anyone else involved in the running of your day, I made sure I was prepared with a list of questions I wanted to ask them. Asking questions and getting all the information you need when planning something new significantly reduces stress and leaves you feeling in control.
4. Remember you
Everyone wants their wedding day to be special and for their guests to enjoy the day. However, YOUR wedding is about YOU. The same is true of all important decisions that you make. Try not to worry about what other people would do in any particular scenario and avoid comparing experiences you’ve had in other situations. Trying to please all of your friends and family when it comes to your wedding day is impossible and is just not worth the stress. This is true in so many other areas of life too.
Do you have any other tips for keeping stress at bay when planning something big? Let us know!