Planning A Wedding: Top 10 Things to Expect. Planning a wedding can be a fun and exciting experience. However, for many couples, it can be a bit of a mystery. You might find yourself wondering what to expect before you get started.
Our answer? A little bit of everything. Probably a little more than what you think. But to be more specific, we spoke to fellow wedding industry experts and former newlyweds-to-be to help you with what to expect as you start your wedding planning process:
- Interesting Challenges
- Exercise Your Assertiveness
- Money Money Money
- Let it go.. Let it go..
- Organization & Scheduling
This site contains affiliate links. For more info, please see our full disclosure.
Here are the top ten things they say couples should expect when planning a wedding.
Planning a wedding is full of depth compared to planning a house party or birthday. You’ll be making many more important decisions, but you’ll be okay with the headspace and approach. You find your wedding planning checklist loaded!
Right from getting engaged (congrats!), there are decisions that you will have to make.
Lots of sensitive things that you might not want to deal with, will surface during the wedding planning process. Inevitably, they will have to be dealt with or discussed.
Do we invite that one aunt that was not very supportive of the relationship or the uncle that you argued with? Are there any conflicts that might come up with the in-laws? Can we fit in all the traditions that our families have requested? Who else can we cut on our guest list? etc.
If you haven’t, planning a wedding is when the financial talk will usually have to be discussed – in detail.
This is also a time when patience and understanding from both (you and your partner) and all (the rest of the friends and family) parties are needed more than ever. We discussed more of this later in this article.
Expecting that there will be a lot of navigating to do during the wedding planning process is essential. This is not to say that you will have to listen to every single thing that comes your way or that you have to compromise your vision. Because you shouldn’t.
However, these are real relationships, and most of them are family and friends. When emotions are high, especially while planning a wedding, it’s more challenging to keep them in check.
Pause and take a break when you feel overwhelmed. From the very beginning of your journey, aim to surround yourself with people that will provide you emotional (and wedding!) support – without judgment or bias.
Exercise Your Assertiveness
For many couples, wedding planning is when they might find themselves saying “no” more than once to family and friends. Remember how we brought that up earlier?
There will be lots of ideas and questions (from friends, family members, or anyone from your guest list) that will be coming your way And most of them mean well. But of course, the truth is the way these ideas and questions are given, can be somewhat annoying.
You and your partner will most likely need to be prepared to be assertive and empathetic at the same time. We know. This is not always easy.
Preparing “templated” responses will help you to feel “prepared.” This is also a great way to avoid stress.
For example, if there are a lot of questions and ideas that are being thrown at you now that everyone knows you’re getting married, you can prepare a response that can sound like this:
“Thanks for sharing that great idea! I’ll keep that in mind for when we start planning and see if that’s something we can consider..”
Or if you are sure that you don’t like that idea or that you are absolutely not considering it at all, you can say something like:
“That’s such a great idea! Oh man, for (insert whatever it is they are suggesting), we have already committed to the idea we originally had! But we really appreciate you sharing!”
Even if you have not *really* committed yet, you don’t have to explain further, this is a good way to get them off your back.
It is always helpful to have an open and kind mind. Think of these ideas and questions coming from people that care about you, a lot. They are excited about your wedding. Probably almost as much as you are.
Money Money Money (especially when planning a wedding!)
The budget talk. When planning a wedding, you will always find something bigger and better than what you’ve already chosen. Going above your budget to get it never ends well, so try to stick to your initial plans.
Expect to find that your initial plan will most likely be above your set budget.
Adding or setting aside a 5-10% padding in your budget for the category “unexpected” will mentally and financially help you process the quotes you’ll receive from wedding vendors.
Speaking to a wedding consultant from the beginning of planning a wedding will also help you put things together and give you a general idea of your budget can indeed support your vision. In addition, they can also help you develop ideas that will be more in line with your budget and vision.
Patience & Understanding
There will be a lot of back and forth. Whether it be with vendors or discussions with family members and the bridal party, there will definitely be long conversations that will require more patience than usual.
It is always best to prepare a “strategy” on how you will handle situations that might potentially make you defensive and that can make you feel overwhelmed.
Whether it means cutting the conversations short or scheduling the conversations on specific days and times, having your own “diplomatic way” to approach these situations is always helpful.
Let it go.. Let it go..
As much as you would want to have a hold on all of the aspects of your wedding, you will have to come to terms that you will have to let go of some.
Letting go does not mean you are not proactive or involved in things. It only means that after you’ve done your part of involvement and proactiveness, there will be a time during the wedding planning when you will have to let it go.
This also means that you are now entrusting your wedding to the vendors that you vetted and chose.
If you are asking for help on some wedding DIY stuff from family and friends, it is understandable that you might want to guide them more since they are not *really* wedding vendors.
However, they will for sure do their best, and if there are little things that might not sit well with you (i.e. something is not *exactly* the way you want it – only 80% done), a level of acceptance will help you let go.
Working with professional wedding vendors and wedding planners is important. When you work with professionals, the easier it will be for you to know and trust that they know what they are doing. In addition, you can also trust that if something does go wrong, these professional problem solvers will come through for you.
Organization & Scheduling
Lots of organizing and scheduling ahead! If you are the organized type, then that is great! But if you are not into organizing so much, use a website or online planner to help you get things in order.
Putting together your to-do list and organizing wedding activities with your partner is a task on its own, especially if you both have busy schedules. But, there are ways to break down wedding tasks to make them more manageable.
Scheduling isn’t just about wedding-related things, but also about including activities that will help you relax and also reconnect with your partner.
With wedding planning, there are moments when it feels like there is always so much to do and so little time. Prioritize relaxing for yourself and your relationship, plus take conscious steps to do so.