The most common complaint I hear from brides on Facebook is “no one is helping me plan my wedding.” There’s definitely an expectation that wedding planning will be all fun and no stress. You imagine planning sessions with your friends or mom sitting around stacks of magazines and a couple of mimosas. Or you think your fiancé(e) will playfully debate what your color scheme and theme should be for your wedding. Instead you’re met with indifference (or worse bickering) from family and friends. And even your significant other shrugs when you ask which venue they like better.
But I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to go it alone when planning your wedding. These are my best tips for enlisting help or making the process a little less stressful. I did my research with other couples on what’s typical in the wedding planning process so you can have more fun planning and less worry.
Here’s what to do if no one is helping you plan your wedding:
Start with the basics of planning
The best first step is to take things one item at a time. If you have a solid to do list and sense of what needs to be done next, it will make things easier for you to divide up the tasks. You can identify which tasks will be fun for you to tackle, which tasks you can ask for help from different people in your circle, and which tasks you can afford to outsource to a professional.
Grab a comprehensive checklist that has things organized by date, a physical planner or google doc, and start marking what you would like to do and what you’d like help with.
Enlist help from friends and family
Most often friends and family want to help but they just don’t know how or it’s not top of mind for them to reach out. Once you have your list, figure out who would be a good fit for each task and ask them if they wouldn’t mind taking it off your plate. Or plan an informal gathering with the goal of crossing something off in a fun way.
For example, if your mom loves baking and you know she has good taste, tell her your budget for the wedding cake and ask if she can research which local options are in your budget and have your date available. You can outsource the task to her entirely or ask if she can present 2-3 options for you to choose from.
Another example, if you need to address 200 save the dates, invite your maid of honor, best man and your significant other to an envelope stuffing and addressing party. Some wine, beer, and snacks will make the process a party that turns into a fun memory. Instead of you and your fiancé(e) creating a never-ending chore that ends in cramped hands and a lot of frustration.
Personally, I think a site like Zazzle can help a lot with the invitation side of things because they have a lot of matching accessories so once you pick your design, everything else can match! Plus they’re super affordable. Check out my review of Zazzle here.
Do significant others help with wedding planning?
It’s not uncommon for brides-to-be (or grooms) to feel like they are more interested and invested in the planning process than their future spouse. And it can cause a lot of tension if one person is doing all of the heavy lifting on what should be a shared responsibility.
But my research shows that most significant others do help out with wedding planning.
90% of people said that their partner was involved in the wedding planning process. While 10% of people said their partner was not involved.
I asked over 100 brides and grooms on Facebook to weigh in on whether their partner helped and the majority of them said yes.
When you dive into the story a little deeper, it seems that even though there’s joint involvement, the commitment is a little one-sided with one partner doing more than the other.
This is a good opportunity to practice the communication and compromise skills you’re going to need throughout your married life. Make sure your partner is helping where you need it. You can ask them to help with specific tasks by taking them on entirely or say that you need their opinion on key areas to remove some of the decision fatigue you’re facing. You could even compromise that maybe the other person takes on other chores in the house that you normally do while you’re taking more of the wedding planning responsibilities.
Things in a marriage are never going to be split 50/50 all of the time so you shouldn’t expect that. But other the years things should balance out with good communication and a supportive partnership. You can start things off on the right foot by figuring out what balance works for you in the planning process.
Consider hiring a planner or coordinator
Going back to our list, there are some things you might identify require a planner or coordinator’s help. For example, if you’re planning a wedding that requires decorating, renting equipment, or otherwise transforming a space to be wedding ready, an experienced planner will come in really handy. Another good reason for a planner is if you both have demanding jobs and not a lot of spare time to plan. A wedding planner can help you navigate the process with a lot more ease since they have professional experience planning weddings in multiple scenarios.
A day of coordinator is a great choice if you need help with set up / take down, keeping the party on schedule, coordinating and tipping vendors, and other tasks the day of the wedding.
Scale back the plans
If after all of these steps are taken you still feel overwhelmed, considering cutting back. Maybe you don’t need to hand-make 100 favors with customized stickers. Or maybe you don’t actually need a 200-person wedding and would rather elope.
There are a lot of options to scale back or eliminate the aspects of planning that are stressing you out.
Or push back the date
And depending where you are in planning, you can also push back the date to give yourself more time. This is especially helpful if you don’t have a lot of things booked for that date or invitations haven’t gone out yet. Maybe you realize that six months isn’t enough time for you and you’d rather have 12-18 months to get through your to-do list. Or maybe commitments outside of wedding planning like grad school or a medical issue would be best taken care of first. It’s perfectly acceptable to give yourself more time to plan when you can focus on the to-do’s involved with planning a large event.
Here’s more information on how long it usually takes to plan a wedding.
No one helping you plan your wedding can be a huge bummer if you thought that family and friends, or even your fiancé(e) would step up to make things easier. I hope these tips help you enlist some additional help or make planning an easier task for you to take on yourself.
Need additional tips from other like-minded brides? Whether you’re planning a wedding at the last minute or on a budget, check out our free, exclusive Facebook group – Wedding Planning Club