Let’s face it, planning an event for hundreds of guests is slightly daunting. It’s like your first job - no prior experience and all stakes are on the table. Couples are bound to have varying experiences, owing to several factors such as budget size or the decision to use or not to use a planner.
My experience managing projects and people have taught me a few things, which I believe can be applied to most scenarios including planning for a significant event like a wedding.
Preparation for a wedding is a natural step towards your big event but prior planning helps to supercharge this journey! Planning helps you understand what resources you have and how best to deploy these. In this article, we’ll provide 5 universal tips to help create a stress-free wedding experience.
1. Start planning early
Start early to avoid stories that touch, but maybe not the day after you get engaged! Cracking on early enough allows you to break up the planning process in smaller stages, which makes the journey feel less underwhelming. There’s also a sense of achievement when ticking off from our to-do lists, which in turn helps to increase motivation and keep momentum going.
Also, starting early might increase the chances of having your ideal wedding - securing your dream vendors, a bit more time to up your budget etc!
2. Understand what you're working with
When we think of available resources, there are a few questions that resonate on the topics of money, time and people. Money - how much do I want to spend on this wedding? How much money can I realistically pool together between myself, my partner and our families? Time - how much time can I dedicate to planning this event? People - who’s willing and able to dedicate time to planning this event? Am I better off hiring a professional to support? Grab a few minutes with yourself (and your unwilling partner) and genuinely answer these questions.
3. Prioritise - you can’t have everything (except you’re Dangote)
One too many Pinterest boards…we’ve all been there! It’s become quite easy to fall into the trap of ‘I need this, I need that’ as the ideals of the standard Nigerian wedding aim for the moon. The other side of this is prioritising by clearly identifying (and listing down) what are our ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’. Your budget and effort are focused on those priority items and ticking these off still gives you your dream wedding. A plus side to prioritisation is this might spring up your creativity in spreading your budget across both lists eg switching from a 4-tier cake to a 3-tier to afford a shinier pair of shoes. In summary, do you boo!
4. Delegate! Delegate! Delegate!
Alexa play: I can’t kill myself by Timaya. But seriously, don’t be afraid to get extra hands on board - friends, parents, cousins etc. These extra pair of hands are particularly crucial when you haven’t hired an event planner/ coordinator. When delegating, it’s key to acknowledge skills and interest of those around you. So you have a cousin who’s a self-declared small chops master, why not put them in charge of selecting a small chops vendor?! However, delegation however does not mean fully letting go of responsibility. Communicate what you want whilst delegating, establish touchpoints to check in progress and review things as they progress. Ultimately, the vision of your big day is yours to fulfill.
5. Automate - technology is your friend
Wedding journals are cute and all, but managing to-do lists and tracking budgets could prove to be harder in pen and paper format. In this digital age, we have many resources to help keep us on track - think calendar applications on your smartphone, online checklists that you can access anywhere (eg Google Keep) etc. Most of these tools also allow multiple user access, so a to-do list can be tracked by you and your partner, encouraging more accountability. Warning - try to stick to a few technology tools, otherwise you might get attacked by notifications left, right and centre and the purpose of automating is slightly defeated!
I hope these tips have been helpful, whether you’re deep into your planning process, recently engaged or a curious singleton. We’re keen to hear top tips on how to plan best and stress less - leave a comment and let’s get chatting.