General Wedding Planning

Take the Stress Out of Wedding Planning

Weddings can be super stressful to plan. But we have a simple technique to resolve a lot of these issues. What are your top three?

Wedding planning can be super stressful. Couples find that finances and conflict with friends and family (and their future spouse) are the biggest problems. But these can all be resolved with three simple planning approaches.

  1. Setting a budget
  2. Choosing your top three
  3. Communicating

Setting the Budget

Unless you’re super rich or got Jeff Bezos paying for your wedding, you will have a budget. This is a finite limit that you should calculate based on reality, and then stick to it. No wedding should put you in debt and drag down your future.

How do you find out your budget?

  • Look at your savings account; what’s in there now that you can spare?
  • Is anyone else contributing to the wedding? What will they be able to give you?
  • How much can you save between then and now?

This should really involve a holistic look at your finances, including taking your retirement savings, mortgage planning, and your emergency fund into account. That’s a bigger discussion, but it sets you up for a good secure financial future, and less arguments about the wedding. Because, if you know you have $20,000 for the wedding, and you can’t overspend, then it really narrows your choices. It also means that many discussions can be closed with ‘that won’t fit in the budget’.

Do not get into debt for a wedding. It simply adds to your stress and does not set you up for a happy start to a wedding. Yes, it’s only one day, you’re only going to do this once; therefore, it’s not worth blowing ten years of debt repayments for one day.

Now you know how much money you can spend, it’s onto the second step.

What’s Your Top Three?

What are the top three most important things for your wedding? These are your non-negotiables. You and your future spouse should pick three things each that are must-haves. They probably won’t be the same. For instance, you might want:

  1. A summer wedding while your friend from overseas is in the country
  2. A luxe spit-roast BBQ meal
  3. A live band

And your spouse may want:

  1. A beach wedding
  2. Shorts for wedding attire
  3. A certain type of wedding transport

These are the six things you prioritise, and everything else can be considered negotiable. And, when you inevitably come to something that seems vitally important, you can stop, take a step back, and look back at your top three. Is this what’s important?

It’s highly unlikely that in ten years, you’ll remember the diamantes that you paid $300 extra for on the invitations. Or, the two weeks it took to make them by hand because you decided you couldn’t afford it, but it cost you about the same in craft supplies.

This, combined with your budget, means you can make really smart choices. Doesn’t fit in the budget or with your list of important things? Gone. It makes it really easy to be able to say no, and reminds you of what’s really important.


Finally, this is the last stress buster. People can be really stressful, there’s family dynamics at play, you’re already tired and overwhelmed, and the pressure of this being ‘the happiest day of your life’. It doesn’t matter who you’re experiencing problems with, your spouse-to-be, your parents, the in-laws, some guest who thinks that you need their opinion- this is a simple strategy to diffuse tension and resolve the problem.

First, put this into context. If this is your parents, and they are paying, you might have to listen and think about what they are suggesting. If this is some random problem by someone who loves drama, you can safely let it go.

Second, think about their feelings and intentions. It is highly unlikely someone is wanting to upset you. Most people simply don’t think, and then we let things fester in our minds and it becomes a problem that truly doesn’t exist.

Finally, talk to them. Use an ‘I’ statement to start the conversation, then explain the problem. Then, tell them what you would like. For instance, to parents who want to invite everyone, their dog, and their kitchen sink:

‘I know you want to invite Mr and Mrs Smith who lived next door to us 25 years ago, However, we have a limit of 100 people at the venue. If you want to invite them, is there anyone we can take off your guest list?’

Or to your future spouse who thinks their involvement stops once they’ve chosen their attendants:

‘I’m feeling really sad because it feels like don’t care about choosing the flowers, and that’s really important to me. Can we take five minutes to choose, please?’

Or, the random person with an opinion that you should do some random thing because they did on their wedding and it was the best day of their life:

‘I think that sounds amazing; your wedding must have been great. I’ll take that into consideration, thanks.’ (the quiet bit in your head is ‘the most useless suggestion ever’ but you don’t say that bit out loud).

Wedding Planning Should be Stress-Free

With these three simple steps, a lot of the drama and stress is gone. Yes, you’ll still have wedding nightmares about the dress malfunctioning, or the wedding venue being washed away in a flood, but everything else should be plain sailing.

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