Planning a wedding is a massive undertaking at any time. During a pandemic, it can feel nearly impossible — especially with so many weddings literally being put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak. While quarantines may be lifting, it doesn’t change the fact that your entire wedding time table has been flipped on its head.
You still need to book events (many of them remotely), choose flower arrangements, assemble centerpieces, maybe plan your Yosemite elopement and send out invitations before its too late. Add the natural yet perpetual responsibilities of life into the mix and it can make you want to throw in the towel altogether and opt for an elopement.
Before you start making those plans to abscond, though, it’s worth trying to organize and streamline your wedding planning activities. Here are a few tips and tricks that you can apply in order to increase your efficiency and up your productivity as you go about planning your wedding.
Note: There are plenty of very specific wedding tips and hacks that you can use as you plan your wedding. However, the goal here is to reorient yourself on a macro-scale in order to handle each and every decision with calm, poise, and an absolute lack of panic — or at least a minimal lack of panic.
Take a Deep Breath
It’s cliché, but it’s still effective. Before you make another phone call to an officiant or pull up another registry website, you need to stop and take a deep breath.
Okay, one more. Alright, now that your heart has stopped racing, it’s time to step way back and look at your entire wedding from a 10,000-foot view.
Assess and Organize
If you’re trying to get married in 2020, chances are your plans have been interrupted one way or another by COVID-19. If that’s the case, it’s important to start your productivity planning by assessing the damage. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What already planned events have had to shift due to the coronavirus or overbooking? This can be something as small as a cake tasting or as big as the wedding itself.
- Which events can stay as originally planned? Did you book a church or a reception hall in October? Can you keep the reservation or does it need to be moved?
- What small items have slipped through the cracks? Are there any activities, such as choosing flowers or picking out a cummerbund, that fell off of your radar?
- What about speeches? More often we’re now including more speeches in wedding over the typical Best Man and Father-of-the-Bride speeches. Make sure if you’re going to make a wedding speech for your sister, you plan that well in advance so you’re not trying to put something together last minute.
Once you’ve assessed the situation, it’s time to organize and prioritize. Create four lists that are sorted into the 4 Ds of time management: do, delete, defer, and delegate. Put each task on the appropriate list and then organize each one (especially the “do” list) by time-sensitive priority.
For instance, if your actual wedding date shifted, it’s important to address that immediately. If you canceled a May or June wedding, you may want to shift to a month like September or October, both of which happen to already be tied for the most popular months to get married.
On the other hand, if you didn’t order the table cloths for your reception yet, you can delegate that to someone else who has enough time to get them before the big day.
Revisit Your Budget
With quarantines and stimulus checks flying around in early 2020, it was easy to let things like budgeting slip. However, weddings are notoriously expensive affairs, and it’s important that you revisit your budget before you start planning (or re-planning) your wedding.
Use a calculator to work out your income and expenses from here to the wedding. Consider items like:
- What you currently can afford.
- What additional expenses have been created by the pandemic, such as lost deposits or added fees for sanitization or live-streaming.
- How much you need to save each month from here to the wedding.
- What you need to be setting aside for a honeymoon.
As you get a grasp on your current financial situation, it can help you quickly and effectively make many of the tough decisions based on what you can and cannot afford.
Don’t Forget Real Life
Wedding planning can alternate between exciting and stressful (and at times manage to even be both at the same time). Regardless, it’s important that you don’t lose sight of long-term goals as you go along.
In other words, if you want to stay productive, you absolutely must keep your larger life and responsibilities in mind as you plan.
For instance, if you obsess over picking out your wedding bands but fail to study for an important college final, you might regret the decision when you fail the exam. Or if you recently shifted to a new professional field but you have no experience, you may have committed to volunteering or interning in order to gain that experience. If you compromise significantly on your work duties as you overprioritize your wedding plans, you may end up hurting your long-term professional career — a career that will extend far past your wedding day.
The point is, don’t forget to keep your entire life in perspective as you plan your special day.
Maintaining Wedding Panning Serenity
Who are you kidding? Planning a wedding isn’t serene — or at least it’s rarely so. But it doesn’t have to be stressful either. The key is taking the tasks head-on before they become problems.
Assess, organize, prioritize, and budget. Those are the four tenets of your wedding planning adventures. If you can manage to take that deep breath and then apply these guidelines, you’ll be able to plan out every detail of your wedding without the need to pull your hair out in the process.