Dreaming about your big day is exciting, but all the wedding planning that goes into making that vision come to life can be exhausting. Since we know your time is valuable—you should be enjoying your engagement, after all!—we consulted wedding experts on the nine most tedious tasks that you can cross right off your wedding planning checklist without a second thought.
According to these wedding experts, you can ditch some of these time-guzzling wedding planning checklist tasks and no one will fault you for it. (You’ll even save some money in the process!)
Start crossing things off your to-list right now!
“Unless there is something near and dear to your heart, ditch the favors and save!” says Jill Perez, Creative Director of Kate & Company. “You are treating your guests to an entire evening of fun. Enrich the celebration with an amazing experience rather than take home swag.”
“Favors, just like programs, usually get left behind,” also notes Erika de la Teja of One Social Design. “The best memory you can give your guests is a great time. So, spend on that at your wedding and not the favor they most likely won’t take with them anyway.”
Jenna Miller, Creative Director of Here Comes the Guide, agrees. “Let’s be real: most of your guests won’t be sad if they don’t receive a tea light candle or glassine bag full of Hershey’s kisses. Instead of spending the time putting together favors, why not donate the money to your favorite charity instead? Then, put up a pretty sign at the reception letting your guests know how they were a part of it. You’ll not only save time, but you’ll also give back—and we call that a win-win.”
2. DIY Projects
“Okay, so yes, this one will save you money…probably,” begins Jill Ryder, Creative Director of Shindig Bespoke. “If you’ve got a good eye for detail and are relatively crafty, it might seem like a romantic idea to make your own invitations. However, I’ve had disheartened clients come to me after they designed their own save-the-date, looking to be rescued when it comes to invitations. There’s so much more that goes into it than you think, so it’s better to leave it to the pros.”
“Don’t think DIY means you have to do everything yourself!” emphasizes Euri Wong, Lead Designer at Bloominous. “Enlist your friends and family to help with florals and other DIY decor projects. They’ll be more than happy to contribute and each of your bouquets and centerpiece will mean that much more!”
“Don’t try to do everything on your own!” agrees Perez. “There are professionals for a reason and they come at all different price points. On this most special day, relish in the opportunity to have others accommodating your planning needs.”
“We have everything to lose from advising against ceremony programs, so take this to heart: You don’t need them!” reveals Ryder. “Most programs are chucked or left behind right after your ceremony, so they are wasteful of your time, money, and, most of all, paper. No one needs a written play-by-play of your ceremony, especially if it’s traditional and your officiant can introduce readers and musicians. For the other items often included in programs, here are some ways to include them elsewhere:
- Thanking friends, family, and vendors: “A speech is a much nicer, more heartfelt way to offer gratitude,” says Ryder. “If you both suffer stage fright, this is also a great job for your officiant.”
- Wedding party introductions: “Since many couples opt for their bridal party to make grand entrances while guests are already seated at the reception, why not fill two needs with one deed and list your besties on the back of your menus?” Ryder suggests.
- Lost loves ones: “A few framed photographs, some candles, and a pretty printed sign in a quiet corner will do the trick and also help your guests put a face to the name of your dearly departed,” says Ryder.
4. Doing Things by Hand
“If you and your fiancé desire to incorporate your own words into the ceremony, consider writing them together as a couple. This will provide the personal touch you are looking for without the unnecessary time and pressure,” suggests Perez. “While we appreciate and adore hand-calligraphed invitations, if it doesn’t fit into your budget know that computer calligraphy is not only an affordable option, but one that will save on time too!”
“Use an online vendor to print your invites!” says Andaleeb Firdosy, Co-Founder of Love on Paper. “Infuse as much or as little of your creativity into the color palette and the design, and perhaps add a ribbon or a handmade touch of bling before mailing out. This will allow you to add a personal touch but not create unnecessary stress.”
“I know, I know…calligraphy is all the rage, and I’m thrilled about it too! It’s nice to see such an ancient art flourish in this digital age. BUT if you’re getting a late start on your invitations, calligraphy can delay the process, taking weeks or even up to a month for the artist to pen,” notes Ryder. “Because of its popularity, there are hundreds of gorgeous calligraphic fonts available that can be digitally printed on your envelopes in a fragment of the time and for a fraction of the cost.”
“In efforts to be a good host, remember that you are not solely responsible for every minute of the guests’ experience that weekend,” says Perez. She explains, “In fact, most people will enjoy some leisure time to enjoy their own interests in what may be a new city or scene. Offering suggestions and highlighting fan-favorite spots is key, but don’t feel you need to coordinate their every move.”
“If you’re completely crunched for time, don’t feel obligated to throw additional events like an engagement or bachelorette party,” adds Miller. “We promise that an old-school slumber party with your bride tribe (along with some adult beverages) will be just as much fun as a big bash—and way less stressful to plan!”
6. Being, Well, Extra
“Couples can put so much pressure on the photos they will take and the props needed to stage them. Think through what pictures you will actually want to hang on your walls,” says Perez. “Is coordinating a group photo with all wedding guests necessary and worth the stress? Being present on your wedding day and allowing a professional photographer to capture those moments is priceless.”
Perez adds, “During your first dance, let the focus be on the unforgettable moment you share as a couple and not on keeping to the right beat or attempting to going viral with social media stardom.”
7. Assigning Seats
“Try assigning guests to tables instead of specific seats. It takes WAY less time, and you’ll end up with basically the same reception layout. Don’t stress the small stuff!” says Wong.
8. Using Vintage Stamps
We love the look of vintage stamps on wedding invitation envelopes, too! “But what you’re not thinking about is the time it takes to select five to 10 stamps that work together, then buy 200 sets (do the math, that’s up to 2000 stamps!), then lick (old stamps aren’t stickers), and then meticulously arrange each stamp on your invitations,” says Ryder. “Also, because vintage stamps tend to cost more the older they are, you could end up spending five dollars for a dollar fifty in postage.”
9. Blindly Hiring Vendors
“When shopping around for florists, keep in mind you might not necessarily be comparing apples to apples. Doing your research will save you time in the long run,” explains Zoe Gallina, Creative Director at Botanica International Design Studio.
“As in most cases, you get what you pay for. Aside from focusing just on the cost, think about the other elements that can impact a florist’s pricing: Do they have a full warehouse and full-time staff in their company, or are they working out of their home? How has your customer service experience been with them? Are they quick to respond and confirm appointments? Is it one person handling every aspect of the wedding, or do they have a team of people overseeing production, design, emails, scheduling, etc.? What your experience with the company is like prior to signing the contract can be indicative of the experience you will receive the day of the wedding,” says Gallina. “If they are very organized and timely in getting back to you, they most likely will be like that the day of the wedding, creating a level of confidence in their ability, allowing you one less thing to stress about.”