By Amy Foulkes
Planning a wedding can be stressful and overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Approaching your big day mindfully and with a bit of structure can lead to a fulfilling and fun process. Here is how you can dive into effective planning and task management to ensure your day is everything you want it to be.
The first step of wedding planning is collecting ideas and brainstorming. Gather inspiration and ideas to get a picture of what your big day might look like. Pinterest is an excellent tool for aggregating wedding aesthetics and details; Brides can create a general wedding ‘vibe’ board or break down boards into categories such as dress, hair, flowers and photography. It also can work as a useful tool later in the planning process for sharing pictures of your vision with vendors.
There is a wealth of magazines and websites providing high quality inspiration and sharing real weddings available both in print and on the web. White and Hello May magazine provide an abundance of creative ideas, with stunning details and photography. Brides can also go online and check out the wealth of content on the international Green Wedding Shoes and Style Me Pretty websites or enjoy the more local Paper & Lace blog.
Identify your vision and feel
When planning my own wedding, once I had gathered ideas and done some investigation, I found myself getting overwhelmed by all the possibilities and ideas I wanted to put into action. A helpful step in the process was taking stock of what our wedding day vision was, identifying our priorities and narrowing down the huge cloud of opportunities to a framework and feel that could be a reality. This was done by identifying two things: the five core desired feelings of our day and the five ‘must haves’ for our day. For us our core desired feelings were having a relaxed day that was also festive, an amazing time for friends and family, and outdoor venues that carried the country garden aesthetic we both love. Our must haves were beautiful flowers to carry out our styling, the dress of my dreams, videographers who captured the beauty of our day, seating for all our guests and a waffle bar, as we are both brunch fanatics. Identifying these key points for our wedding helped narrow my focus, as a bride, so if small details fell of the train or didn’t sit in budget it didn’t feel like the end of the world. Don’t feel like you need to do everything, just do what you love.
MANAGING YOUR WEDDING TASKS
Identifying the necessary tasks for your big day can be daunting, but once you’ve done you can see the big picture of what needs to be done and manage it from there. A great way to prioritise wedding tasks is by identifying the Importance and Expense of each task, or cluster of tasks. Value each attribute from 0 (most important, least expensive) to 4 (least important, most expensive) and the average of these values will give you an idea of the priority of the task (if something is sitting at an overall 4 you might consider delegating it or reconsider if you need it for your wedding at all).
Now your tasks have been identified and prioritised it’s time to manage them. A time management tool I love using for work is Trello, and I also ended up using it to plan our wedding and a few other big events. This is done by creating a wedding Trello board categorised by the five priorities (0-4). Using Trello to manage tasks a great way to track the progress of communications and make sure everything is done in the necessary timeframe because for each task you are able set deadlines and note updates. For those who like to plan materially rather than on screen a similar environment is easy to duplicate. Simply get a board and set out the five columns adding sticky notes for each task and ordering these as you set fit.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO DELEGATE
As a bride it can be scary to entrust the responsibilities of your big day to both friends and paid vendors, but it’s an important step in enjoying the lead up and unfolding of your wedding day. Find vendors who share your vision and aesthetic and entrust them with their responsibilities, then tick that off the list and spend time doing the aspects of your wedding planning you enjoy. Pinterest boards are a great way to share visual information with florists, photographers and stylists. This can even be done with the board feature, by simply adding the specific user so that brides don’t have to share their wedding vision with the internet at large. Couples can also share responsibilities leading up to the wedding with their partner, bridesmaids and friends to ensure nothing falls through the cracks by using to-do apps like Evernote and Wunderlist.
Enjoy the Process
Finally, but most importantly, ensure that you are having a fun time planning and preparing for your big day. If you are consistently feeling stressed and overwhelmed take some time off for self care and re-evaluate your to-do list. Don’t be afraid to seek support from your bridesmaids and partner and take opportunities to delegate to people you trust.
What websites are you enjoying in your wedding planning process? Let us know your favourite wedding blogs and magazines in the comments down below. For wedding ideas why not check out some of our past wedding videos? Our films have covered everything from themed to rustic weddings with loads of fun details.