A wedding seems like it should be a simple celebration of a couple's love while surrounded by friends and family.
However, the months leading up to a wedding are NOT easy...at all.
Planning a wedding often leads many high functioning, otherwise rational human beings to turn into scary "bridezillas."
OK, maybe not all women, but I know I did!
So why is that? Why is planning a wedding so dang hard? What makes all of us turn into giant balls of stress?
In order to answer this question, I decided to turn to the experts on planning a wedding: real wedding planners.
These pros have seen it all, and have a pretty good handle on the challenges of wedding planning at this point.
Enjoy this interesting read from the experts!
Meggie Francisco Destination Weddings | Columbus, Ohio
It's natural for even the most grounded couples to find themselves stressed out at this time in their lives.
A big reason for this is that wedding planning is often a novel experience for the whole family. When the family starts researching traditions, the sheer volume of (oftentimes conflicting) advice is overwhelming, and this produces a lot of anxiety.
A wedding is also a defining life event, which introduces unique pressures and ideas that the couple didn't consider before. Nearly all couples wonder things like, "How do we welcome and entertain our two very different types of families?" and, "Do these invitations/flowers/attire choices reflect our personality as a couple? Wait - what is our personality as a couple?!"
I became a destination wedding planner because I believe that taking a journey with your closest loved ones is the absolute best way to bring serenity to the process. It tends to limit the guest list to the closest friends and family, and immediately releases pressure to impress other people that you don't know well (such as coworkers and semi-estranged college friends).
Moreover, when couples choose an exotic location for their wedding, the destination experience becomes a focal point of the event, which helps those couples to feel like part of an intimate party rather than under a constant performance spotlight. It quickly becomes easier to make more authentic design choices and focus on what the couple really wants, rather than what the media or other people are telling them to do.
When the family starts researching [wedding] traditions, the sheer volume of (oftentimes conflicting) advice is overwhelming - Meggie Francisco
J29 Events | Portland, Oregon
What is so hard about planning a wedding?!?
… From the outside, wedding planning seems like it should be this grand, fun experience full of tasting yummy food and trying on pretty dresses. The reality is that there are plenty of outside stressors that make making decisions difficult.
One of the biggest difficulties our couples experience is adhering to a budget; it’s so easy to get lost in the beautiful Pinterest wedding world.
It’s also difficult to make a decision and stick to it especially as friends or family members make opinions or as trends change over the course of planning a wedding. We worked with one bride for two years that changed her vision and theme 5 times!
Ultimately, the hardest part about planning a wedding is staying on top of all of the to-do list tasks. When spread out, it’s not so bad but inevitably, couples get busy with work and life and push their tasks to the wayside which then causes lots of stress and makes them feel overwhelmed.
Our role is to eliminate stress and help keep them on track so they can enjoy their engagement without feeling overwhelmed or burnt out.
Ultimately, the hardest part about planning a wedding is staying on top of all the to-do list tasks - Shauna Karver
I Do...Weddings & Events | San Diego, California
The hardest part of planning a wedding is vision to execution.
Not only do you have to take your and your fiancée's preferences into account, you also have to consider guest experience, what you find on Pinterest (and then find out what it actually costs!), seeing your friend's weddings and how everything will appear on social media.
One of the most common comments I hear is that couples don't realize the number of hours you need to invest to get from vision to execution. You need to find the perfect venue to serve as a backdrop, find professionals that align with your style and budget and of course, infuse tons of personal details to make the day uniquely yours.
The hardest part of planning a wedding is vision to execution - Melissa Barrad
Cassandra & Company Event Planning | Los Angeles, California
It’s all about the high emotion and decisions that are emblematic of who the couple are becoming as a unit.
I also refer to the the emotional suitcase that everyone brings to a wedding.
Friends, family, and especially parents recognize (even if it’s only subconsciously) that this is a rite of passage which is both joyful and a major transition.
Why is wedding planning so hard? It's all about the emotion and decisions that are emblematic of who the couple are becoming as a unit - Cassandra Santor
Weddings & Events by Emily | Las Vegas, Nevada
Wedding planning can be hard because there are so many moving parts and it is very overwhelming, most of the couples that come to me don't even know where to start!
I have streamlined the wedding planning process and I break it into phases. It is a good idea to take everything one step at a time so it is more enjoyable and less stressful.
There are also so many venues and vendors to choose from, it can be overwhelming trying to make the "right" choice. A great wedding planner should be able to take your budget and vision into consideration and give you a few recommendations based on your needs to save you time and money.
Wedding planning can also get complicated when so family and friends are offering unsolicited advice. Everyone has different opinions on how the couple should be doing things and it can be hard to stay focused on what it is important to the bride and groom. (It is THEIR day!)
Often there is a lot of tension between different family members while planning a wedding. A professional wedding planner can be the perfect objective resource in sticky family situations.
There are so many [wedding] venues and vendors to choose from, it can be overwhelming trying to make the "right" choice - Emily Reno
Editor of the Wedding Planner & Guide
Once the newly-engaged buzz starts to wear off, stress may start to set in. It's easy to get overwhelmed and confused by all the information and inspiration out there.
Your wedding is one of the most important and emotional moments in your life. When you add planning a wedding on top of everything else you already do on a daily basis, it’s almost impossible to find the time.
Often, couples also have close family and friends trying to tell them how to plan their wedding, who to invite and who to not, which can lead to even more challenges and decisions.
Our advice is to take a deep breath, relax a little, and try to savor and enjoy this special time. Don't let the little things bother you. Everything will work out and you will have the most stunning wedding while marrying the love of your life.
That’s why we are here with the Wedding Planner & Guide provide an all-in-one magazine, both in print and online, to help guide you every step of the way. From finding the local dream team of vendors to saying yes to the dress, gorgeous inspiration to timelines, checklists and worksheets, we've got everything you need to help plan the perfect wedding.
When you add planning a wedding on top of everything else you already do on a daily basis, it's almost impossible to find the time - Michelle Lynn
Photo Credit: Twig and Olive Photography
The Silk Veil Events by Ivy | Charlotte, North Carolina
That is a loaded question. Most people think planning a wedding is easy because all they have to do is find vendors and then deal with a few details.
In reality, it takes a lot of time, energy, stress, and budgeting to planning a wedding. Experts say it takes over 400 hours to plan a wedding.
A major problem is the fact that many do not realize just how much a wedding costs. Statistically, the average wedding in this area for 150 guests is about $25,000-$30,000. For some this is a drop in the bucket, but for others, it is a lot of money. Note, there are weddings ranging $10,000-$15,000 and also $50,000-$250,000 in this area but pricing seems to be based on your wedding costing a minimum of $25,000-$30,000. (This budget does not include the rings, honeymoon or bridal gown)
Once you get over the sticker shock, you then decide you want a planner to help with this process. The internet leads you to believe that you can afford a full wedding planner for 10% of your wedding budget. This only applies if your wedding budget is over $25,000.00. Remember, 400 hours to plan a wedding. Many couples do not realize that the average planner is $2500-$5000.
Now you must ask yourself: How many people will we invite? How many of our friends and family will be in the wedding party? This has such a huge impact on your budget and most do not realize that until it's too late. The more guests you invite, the bigger the venue, and the higher the cost. The bigger your wedding party, the more you will spend on flowers and let us not forget rehearsal dinner and their gifts.
The hunt for a venue is time-consuming. You must look at the venue, amenities, location, parking, service charge, and taxes. Does the venue cater? Can we bring our own alcohol? It's a game of comparing pricing and value. Many couples will spend months just finding the perfect venue that meets their needs, their style, and budget.
Now it's time to research vendors. For every vendor category (photography, caterer, dj, band, cake, florist, videography) there is a minimum of 200 options. These options have different styles, price points, and specialties. Some seem to base their decisions on price, which can be very dangerous. Cheaper is not always better. I have seen a lot of bad videos and photography, heard a lot of bad Djs, and have tasted a lot of bad food (some made me sick and some I did not eat as the caterers did not practice proper safe food handling procedures)
It is at this point that most of your budget is blown and you are left wondering what to do or ways to cut back. It is also at this point that many will start making irrational decisions that make their event look less than what they wanted or expected.
We now have to deal with a wedding party that doesn't want to purchase their dresses or tuxedos, deal with hair and makeup, jewelry, alterations, ceremony and reception decor that is not provided by a florist or designer (table numbers, escort cards, stationery, guest book, wedding favors, etc.) and more. You must also deal with RSVPs, your wedding registry and thank you gifts, and payment schedules.
I suggest, when planning your wedding, do your research. Take a hard look at what you like and what the average cost is. Then have a real heart to heart with your fiancé about what you can really afford. Also, READ! Read everything. It seems like bride and grooms-to-be have a new trust factor with wedding vendors or hear one thing, but that is not what is in writing.
If you cannot afford a wedding planner, then hire one as your consultant and pay them by the hour. They can save you so much time and stress when it comes to making sound decisions. Then, hire a coordinator (either day or month of) to help bring all those details together so you can finally relax and enjoy your day. If you cannot afford 250 guests, have only 150. Only invite those you have seen in the past 6 months. With decor, remember, sometimes less is more. If you can't afford tall, elegant centerpieces, then have a few of them and have small elegant centerpieces. If your parents are not financing the wedding, then properly estimate how long it will take to pay off your wedding. If you and your fiancé can pay for the wedding in one year, then set your wedding date one and a half years out.
Remember, you cannot make everyone happy so don't stress the menu but make it
enjoyable for the majority. Remember, this is the first party you are hosting as Husband and Wife so be mindful of your guests. Remember, you do not want to go into your lifelong journey with your soul mate in debt so make wise choices and know that you may have to compromise because sometimes, you cannot have everything you want.
At the end of the day, you are marrying the man or woman of your dreams and it is that thought that should remain throughout your wedding planning process.
A major problem [with wedding planning] is the fact that many do not realize just how much a wedding costs - Ivy Honeycutt
PIN FOR LATER:
Written by Ashley (with the major help of some wedding planners) 🙂
Chief editor here at The Wedding Vision. I'm passionate about providing you with inspiration and guides to make your wedding more fun and a little less stressful.
A wedding seems like it should be a simple celebration of a couple’s love while surrounded by friends and family. However, the months leading up to a wedding are NOT easy…at all.