Planning a Stress Free Wedding | Tips from the Pros

Happy Tuesday, friends!

For awhile now, I’ve been wanting to do a blog post that will be helpful to any of my lovely readers who are brides (or grooms!)-to-be. But when it came to something I could write about…I didn’t have too much helpful information 🙂 But, we’ve had the opportunity to get to know some A-MAZING wedding professionals here in Nashville, and who better to learn from than the pros? So today’s post features wedding planning advice from three lovely ladies who really know their stuff!

First up, Amy Parman from CJ’s Off the Square! We got the chance to work with the CJ’s team for Kristi and Eric’s wedding last October.

From Amy:

1. Check in to your evening’s hotel early! If you or your fiancée can’t do this on the day of your wedding because of scheduling, have one of your trusted friends or family members take your bags to the hotel for you and request that the bags be waiting for you in your room upon arrival. You’re going to be tired at the end of the evening, and this gives you one less thing to do. Also, arrange for someone to drop off your personal vehicle at the hotel as well, if you plan to drive home or to the airport the next day.

2. Pre-pay all of your wedding bills and invoices during the week before. The last thing you want to think about (or have your parents think about) during the whirlwind of getting ready, taking photos, and trying to absorb all the wonderful memories of your wedding, is money. If you’ll be tipping some of your vendors, have those all divided, labeled and sealed in envelopes, rather than counting out bills in the midst of your reception.

3. Think about the items that you’ll need to take home from your venue at the end of the night, and assign them to specific people that you know will have vehicles to load them. Precious family photos, decorative items, cake tops, and guest books can be lost in the shuffle if you haven’t planned ahead and made someone responsible for them.

4.  Assume you will run late while getting ready. Even if you’re the punctual type, allow yourself at least 30 minutes of extra time before you are due to begin your pictures. If you stay on schedule, great! Take that time to breathe, hug your parents and your bridesmaids, and recall wonderful stories about the man you’re about to marry!

5. Most importantly, hire trusted professionals! Free your family and friends from responsibilities like arranging your flowers or playing DJ so they can be with you! Wedding professional enjoy serving you and giving you the ability to simply the bride and focus on enjoying yourselves and hosting your loved ones at this memorable occasion.

Next up, Jennifer Hamilton of Mr. & Mrs. Events! I had the opportunity to photograph some fabulous details by Jennifer for her Oscar Party in January.

From Jennifer:

#1 – My most important tip (other than hiring a wedding planner, of course) is to plan YOUR wedding, not someone else’s. For the most part, there are no set rules anymore when it comes to weddings. Think about you and your fiancé’s passions, hobbies and interests and find ways to add elements of them into your day. Think about how you met, your favorite foods, favorite movie, aspects from your childhoods and put these unique qualities about you into every detail! It’s so hard to get around to and spend quality time with each guest on your wedding day to tell them how much you appreciate them being there. But I’ve found that adding these special details makes guests feel like they’re with you all day and in turn, makes them feel more loved and appreciated!

#2 – Set up a budget at the beginning of your planning process. Couples who fail to do this at the start can get confused and make decisions that end up being issues down the road because they haven’t got a plan to stick to. This can lead to much unneeded stress …. which we want to eliminate! When you begin the budget process start off deciding what elements of the wedding day (flowers, photography, venue, etc….) are most important to you and then decide which items that are lower on your list. You can allocate more of your budget to those things you can’t live without and try to cut corners on those things that aren’t as important to you, or at least do them on a smaller scale. {** Side note, always try to put photography somewhere near the top of your list. These are photographs you will be cherishing for years to come and skimping on this is something you might really regret. Quality photography is so important!} Creating a budget is also something a good Wedding Planner can assist you with so if you’re a little unsure about how to do it, definitely seek help from a talented professional.

And last but not least is Kristin Kaplan of Simply Stunning Events. We had the pleasure of working with Simply Stunning for Jennifer and Jon’s wedding back in October!

From Kristin (emphasis mine):

Many couples are always worried and stressed during the final month before their wedding and afraid that they might forget a key detail. There are many small items that cannot be handled until the last couple of weeks before the wedding since you won’t have an accurate guest count until then so it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. I always suggest putting together a to-do list ahead of time with every tiny task included (we provide one to all of our couples, including our Month-of clients). Sort the list by week then day. So first you would have everything that you need to handle 4 weeks prior to the wedding, then 3 weeks, then 2 weeks, then 1 week, then 2 days prior, then the day before. This will help you to keep track of all the last minute details and feel less overwhelmed knowing that nothing is going to be forgotten or fall through the cracks so to speak.

When it comes to the wedding day, my favorite and largest piece of advice for all couples is just to relax and take it all in. Even though it’s often a 12-14 hour day, your wedding is going to FLY by. It’s so important to stop every hour or so and just breath and really look around and appreciate everything about the day. This may be the only time in your life that all of your closest family members and friends are in the same room together and they are all there to support and celebrate you. Things may not go exactly as planned, or some family member may be aggravating you, but just try to remember the big picture. You only get one wedding day, and you have full control over how you feel that day. So let the little things go, and remember why you are there in the first place, to marry the one you love most in the world.

Fabulous ideas, ladies! Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us and our readers! I have to say, I had a very much less than impressive planner/coordinator for my own wedding. It definitely made it hard to see the importance of a good planner/designer/coordinator. But ya’ll, seriously, after watching these talented women and others like them, I am totally sold! Having a good planner can seriously take your day to the next level, and help you enjoy the day more (because you don’t have to worry about anything!).

So, dear readers, what was your favorite tip? Do you have any to add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

Have a great week everyone!
P.S. If you’re still looking for a great team of vendors for your wedding day, check out our People We Love page!

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