July 17, 2019

7 Planning Musts to Avoid Pre-Wedding Panic

Advice Blog

Rarely does a client hope for rain on their wedding day. Weddings are vulnerable to all sorts of potential problems–rain can be the least of those problems.The great news? Most of those occur during the planning process and most often they are 100% preventable. After reading through this (and consulting with your planner or day-of coordinator) you will be even better prepared to handle problems with ease and grace.

Financial stress can be one of the biggest road-blocks and challenges to wedding day planning. You don’t have to have a 100k budget to have a beautiful and memorable wedding. All you need is to be prepared and on the same page as your partner (and anyone else who might be contributing financially to the day). Have a conversation about finances with everyone involved so your budget expectations are crystal clear and you can create an overall budget for the wedding and itemize each area + vendor you plan to hire.

Selecting your must-have’s for your wedding day is crucial. What matters most you both? This is where majority of you wedding budget will go to. It will determine where + if you need to compromise. I recommend getting your higher budget services + items locked in early so you avoid having any unexpected and unpleasant cashflow surprises later on.

Some things to decide on early: Wedding Planner, Ceremony + Reception Venue, Photographer, Wedding Dress, Caterer, and Celebrant.

Other examples can include your wedding party members, if you book a live band or DJ, or cake from a specific vendor. Whatever your differences may be, work to come together on the same page. It’s important to plan and make these decisions as a team.

Pinterest and Instagram make it all to easy to have wedding inspiration at your fingertips. From photographers, to venues, florists, etc. it’s easy to think you’ve found your dream vendor just by glancing at what they’ve shared. But beware, don’t those be your only resources. As you search for your vendors, understand that social media platforms only show a limited and highly curated glimpse of how a vendor approaches a actual wedding day. Beautiful photographs alone won’t be enough to determine if you are good creative fit with a given vendor. That is why I recommend that you ask each vendor for a full gallery of portfolio images for any given setting + situation. I always send full galleries to clients upon request or during the “getting to know you” stage of inquiring.

When you are creating your wedding day timeline, be mindful of your photographer’s requests. I approach a wedding day as both artist and planner because I need to be able to balance your schedule with the demands of time and light. If you want wedding photos that have that gorgeous golden hour glow you will need to plan around your photography timeline accordingly. Make sure to share your finalized timeline in advanced with all vendors and family members involved! I make sure to pad in extra time in case family portraits take a little longer, or the ceremony starting a little later than scheduled. Trust your photographer in this process and ask questions early on about the best timing for wedding day events when it comes to lighting.


Keep in mind the whole thing and real possibility of rain on your wedding day? Planning the day and ignoring the fact that rain, or some other form of inclement weather can occur is a big mistake. It is of the utmost importance to have a weather back-up plan. Consider weather from every angle and consult with your wedding coordinators. Make your alternative plan inviting – so that you also view it as another way to bring artists to your wedding day, vs. second best to “Plan A.” When you’re as excited for your Plan B, nothing and no amount of weather can deter you.

Your guest list is the single most impactful factor in your budget as well as the atmosphere of your celebration. Each guest has a significant cost associated with them: from invitations, to flatware, drinks, and a meal. Trimming down your guest list can be difficult, no one wants to would egos or hurt feelings of the people in their life. My advice to carefully considering your guest list is to ask yourselves if you would invite this person to your home for a backyard barbecue 5 years from now? Would you treat this person to an evening out or spend $1000 on them? If your answer to either question is no, I would take time to gently reconsider. In the end your wedding will feel more intimate and meaningful and your budget will thank you.

My favorite example of this is from my previous clients Nikki + Dane. They originally had a 250+ guest list; mid-way through planning their wedding they decided it was too much and not true to them as a couple. They paired down their guest list to 60 of their closest friends and family and the day + evening could not have been a better fit and atmosphere for them!

In the midst of calls with wedding vendors, getting invitations addressed and delivered, and the long list of to-do’s that come with planning your wedding, it can be easy to forget to give yourself time to relax. Enjoying life and having fun is probably one of the key reasons you and your partner first fell in love! So giver yourself a moment in all the planning to let your hair down, plan a date together, or have a fun night out with friends.

Excellent planning is the key to smooth sailing on your wedding day. The last piece of advice is to reach a point in your planning (even if it’s the day before your wedding!) where you can both step back and say “We’ve done all we can do and whatever happens will happen from here on out.” Appoint a coordinator or wedding party member to handle anything that goes awry on your wedding day so you are able to thoroughly enjoy one of the best days of your lives.