10 Essentials to Keeping Your Sanity As You Plan Your Wedding

This may surprise you, but most of the stress couples encounter during their wedding planning is self-induced. It happens as a result of being unfocused, allowing too many time-consuming distractions, and trying to take too much work upon themselves. Here’s how to clear away the clutter, and cut your planning workload and stress by more than half.

Have a vision of your perfect wedding. Pick your colors, your theme, and the feel you want to create. Once you’re able to focus on that vision, you won’t waste endless hours chasing every fad of the week. But be clear in your own mind how you want your wedding to look and feel. If you don’t have a goal, you won’t know when you’ve scored.

Set a timeline. That way, you won’t feel as if you have to do every single thing in one day. Fourth Estate Audio has its own online planning timeline. And you’ll find others online. There’s true peace of mind in knowing that you’re on schedule.

Set a budget. The goal of your wedding is to get married. The rest is just a big party for your friends. Once you know how much money you have, you can start prioritizing your spending to keep the things most vital to you, and discard the extra frills. Or, you can add to your budget as you see fit.

Get inspiration. Pinterest is a huge source of creative wedding ideas. Fourth Estate Audio’s blog has picture galleries of real Chicago weddings that are filled with inspiring ideas. And our Facebook page adds two new inspiring ideas each day. Our DJs are thrilled when we post cool ideas, then see them come to life at the weddings we do.

Get advice from married friends. Who better to steer you right than someone who’s been through it? Ask your friends, “What would you change if you could go back and plan your wedding all over again?”

Get help from your attendants. Your best friends are eager to help you with some of the time-consuming legwork. They can help with all sorts of things, like addressing invitations, making decorations, drawing up a list of local attractions and activities for out-of-town guests, and so forth. And they’ll be delighted to share their time and talents on your behalf.

Delegate chores to your family. Many other planning components can be handled at home, like booking a block of hotel rooms for visitors, making limo arrangements, being sure the ceremony flowers get to the reception, helping set up your reception room, etc.

Shop for the best vendors, not the cheapest prices. Bargain-basement photographers, DJs and other service providers are often the greatest source of stress at a wedding. If a vendor doesn’t have great online reviews to back up his fancy sales pitch, pass him over. If a vendor isn’t 5-star rated on sites like The Knot, Wedding Wire, Yelp and Google, and A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau, there’s usually a reason why. And that vendor’s clients often suffer for it. You don’t need the stress. Get the best, then relax.

Consider a day-of planner. If you don’t want to spend your wedding day micro-managing every little detail, hire a professional who specializes in little details. Your reception will stay on time when you have an on-site representative coordinating your catering, decorating, entertainment, photography and other services into a well-oiled machine that lets you relax and just party with your friends.

Save your seating chart for last. Wait until all of your guests have RSVP’d before you start assigning tables. That way, you’ll have to do it only once!

In short, focus… budget your time and money… get great vendors… and delegate! See you at the party.   

© Fourth Estate Audio, 2017 – Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company.   

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