As I stumbled over a box of unsent thank-you cards from my cousin’s wedding last year – a testament to his post-nuptial procrastination – I couldn’t help but think…

“Why does organizing what’s supposed to be the happiest day of your life often feel like herding cats? Blindfolded. In a rainstorm.”

I mean, if you’ve ever planned a wedding (or if you’re currently in the process of planning your wedding day), you surely know what I’m talking about.

You’re stressed out, overwhelmed, and you barely have time to breathe in the little time you have left between picking out your perfect wedding venue, choosing your wedding dress, and assembling your guest list.

So, maybe you’ve also wondered: “Why is the planning process of planning your dream wedding slowly turning into a chaotic nightmare? Isn’t there a better way to do this?”

Well, I’m here to tell you that there is!

As an experienced wedding photographer who also has her own wedding behind her back, I’ve been in the trenches of wedding planning more times than I can count. And I’m here to share my pro tips & wedding hacks to make planning your special day a smooth & pleasant experience.

So, grab your favorite snack (I won’t judge if it’s a tub of ice cream), and let’s dive into the world of wedding planning hacks that are about to make your pre-marriage life so much easier!

Forget the stress-induced nightmares where you show up at the altar in your pajamas because you forgot to pick up your dress – these eight hacks are your golden tickets to a smooth-sailing journey to “I do”.

And yes, you can still have the ice cream.

1. Create a “Wedding Only” Email Address

Imagine this: It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon, and you’re sifting through your email inbox. Between the “50% OFF” emails from that store you bought one thing from in 2012 and the family threads about who’s hosting Thanksgiving this year, you find – wait for it – a wedding vendor’s quote!

…and then another. And another.

Until suddenly, your chill weekend vibe is replaced with the realization that your inbox has turned into a wedding-themed Jumanji board. And you now have a to-do list that will keep you up till midnight. Again.

Enter the hero of our story: your “wedding only” email address.

Now, this isn’t just an email; it’s your organizational sanctuary. All your quotes from your wedding vendors, confirmations, invoices, contracts, and communications will be here, in one convenient place.

Heck, even correspondence with Aunt Martha about why she can’t bring all five of her dogs to your wedding (I know, they’re “like children” to her – but STILL) have a place here in this special inbox.

It’s basically like having a wedding planner in your pocket, minus the hefty price tag. Plus, when the wedding’s over, you can ride off into the sunset without worrying about unsubscribing from a gazillion newsletters.

Genius, right?

2. Have All Your Wedding Planning Info in the Same Place

Now, about decluttering your life and having everything in one convenient place…

Do you remember playing hot potato as a kid? Fun game, right? Now imagine playing it with your wedding receipts, vendor contacts, and seating charts. Not so fun.

The solution?

Keeping all your wedding planning info in one, easily accessible place.

Your wedding costs, wedding expenses, guests, vendors, wedding checklists – and even your choice of wedding cake, wedding flowers, and floral arrangements. Everything you need to have all the information you need to plan your wedding within arm’s reach.

And whether it’s a binder that could double as a weapon (hey, you never know), a separate folder in the cloud, or an app that promises to keep your sanity intact – find your match and stick to it.

This way, when you need to find the contact details of the DJ who swears he can get everyone on the dance floor with his polka remixes – you’ll know exactly where to look.

3. Second-Hand & DIY Save Money – and the Planet

Who said your wedding day has to be a parade of brand-new, shiny things?

Unless you’re planning on keeping some of your decorations as keepsakes, consider DIY, buying secondhand, or even renting them. 

Doing so will not only add a unique charm to your big day – but will give Mother Earth a little nod of appreciation too.

Plus, think of the stories! “This vintage lace was once part of Great Aunt Edna’s tablecloth” sounds way more intriguing than “I clicked ‘add to cart’ at 3 AM while binge-watching reality TV.”

Not to mention that using DIY, second-hand, or rented decorations is a great way to save money, and is probably one of the best wedding budget hacks I’ve ever come across!

4. Create a Memory Box from the Very First Moment

In the whirlwind of wedding planning, it’s easy to forget the small moments – the first cork popped in celebration, the brochure from the venue where you both said “This is the one”, or the fabric swatch that made you finally decide on bridesmaid dress colors after changing your mind for the 27th time.

Oftentimes your wedding can feel like a blur and having something tangible to look back on is the only thing that will help you remember that day – and the process leading up to it – even decades after.

And creating a memory box is like pressing pause on these fleeting & blurry moments. Start from day one and throw in anything that makes you smile or tear up (happy tears only, please) – lock anything that has meaning to you into your treasure chest, and hold on to it for eternity. 

So years down the line, when you’re both old and gray and arguing about how to load the dishwasher correctly (trust me, that day WILL come), this little box will be a treasure trove of memories to remind you of where it all began.

5. Prioritizing Tasks Is the Best Way to Save Time

Not all wedding tasks are created equal. Some are Godzilla-sized monsters that need your immediate attention (looking at you, venue booking), while others are more like those tiny lizards that scamper around in your garden (do we really need to decide on our custom napkins? Like, today?).

So, mastering the art of prioritization is your best bet to navigate the tides of wedding planning. Create a list that separates the “must-dos” from the “it-would-be-nice-tos” – and ask yourselves what are the things that truly matter?

Is your wedding gonna be about the venue, the food or your dress?
Will it be about the vibe and the memories?
Or is your guest list your top priority?

Once you’ve decided on your priority list, you’ll both know where to focus your energies – and your budget.

Plus, by tackling the “big beasts” first, you won’t end up three weeks from your wedding wondering why you haven’t booked a caterer yet – but have 500 hand-painted pebbles saying “Love Rocks” to give to your guests as keepsakes.

6. Make Use of E-vites for Wedding Invitations

In a world where we can order food, find a soulmate, and watch our favorite shows without even leaving our beds, why are we still sending paper invitations like it’s 1999?

Invitations get lost all the time. They’re time consuming to send (and receive), expensive, and inconvenient. Not to mention that very few people actually hold on to them in the long-run…

E-vites, on the other hand, are not only eco-friendly and kinder to your wallet, but also impossible to lose (unless your guests lose their entire email account, in which case they have bigger problems).

Plus, e-vites are trackable, offer a level of creativity and customization options that traditional paper invites can’t match.

Animated? Musical? Or personalized wedding invites? How about a mini-game that unlocks the venue location when completed? – with an e-vite, the world is your oyster.

7. Always Have a “Plan B” Ready

If there’s one universal truth in wedding planning, it’s this: something will not go according to plan.

Maybe it rains cats & dogs on your outdoor ceremony, or the band gets lost on their way to the venue and ends up serenading a confused but delighted farmer two towns over.

So, having a Plan B isn’t pessimistic; it’s smart. It’s like bringing an umbrella when there’s a 10% chance of rain – you might not need it, but boy, will you be glad to have it if you do. Besides, knowing you’re ready for anything gives you the peace of mind you need to let go of your stress and relax.

So brainstorm those worst-case scenarios and come up with solutions that leave you feeling prepared rather than panicked.

That way, when life throws you wedding lemons, you can make a fabulous lemonade cocktail and keep the party going.

8. The Best Wedding Planning Hack: Have Fun!

Now, listen closely because this is paramount: if you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.

Yes, planning a wedding can get very stressful at times. But amidst the spreadsheets and seating charts, there should be laughter, joy, and maybe a few spontaneous dance parties.

After all, this is your love story’s big day. It’s about celebrating with people who matter most to you in this world (and yes, that includes your dog).

So when things get stressful – and they will – take a step back, breathe, and focus on what truly matters: the two of you, embarking on life’s greatest adventure together. It’s not about making everything perfect – it’s about planning a day that’s all about you, and embracing your wedding to its fullest.

And there you have it, my top 8 wedding planning tips & tricks to make planning your wedding a fun experience you can share – rather than a nightmare you can’t wait to get over with.

So when you’re standing there on your wedding day, looking into the eyes of your partner, surrounded by all your favorite people (and yes, even Aunt Martha’s dogs), know that every spreadsheet filled, every late-night crafting session, every decision made has led you to this perfect moment. And in the end, it was all worth it.

And hey, if you have your wedding date, but are still looking for the perfect wedding photographer to capture all your favorite memories – look no further.  Whether you’re planning a small wedding or a big one; a traditional wedding or an elopement – I’d be honored to capture your love story and support you throughout the entire wedding planning process as well! Click here for everything you need to know about having me as your wedding photographer!

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