Over 50% of women say that wedding planning is more stressful than they thought, with many spending upwards of 11 hours each week planning. However, with a new decade, there have come new and exciting wedding tips and trends to help make planning your wedding a tad bit easier. If you’re planning a 2020 wedding, here is what you need to know.

How to Plan a Stress-Free Wedding in 2020

DIY or Wedding Planner?

Planning a wedding DIY style can be both cost-efficient and creative; however, it can also be a lot of work. While your wedding party can definitely be a huge help when it comes to DIY planning if you have a smaller party or are trying to balance planning with a full-time job, hiring a professional can be beneficial.

Hiring a wedding planner is something to consider if:

  • You and your fiance are both working full-time and are unable to devote enough time to the planning process.
  • You have time restraints and not a lot of time to plan everything yourself. For example, if you’re planning on marrying in six months and aren’t sure how to get everything handled within that time.
  • You’re planning a destination wedding and need help from a local planner to ensure your ceremony won’t have any hiccups.
  • You need help managing and understanding multiple vendor contracts. A planner can help break everything down and ensure that you’re not going to end up paying any hidden fees or costs that you didn’t budget for.
  • You’re uncertain about what your overall vision is. For example, you need help tying together specific ideas into a central theme but aren’t sure where to begin.
  • Your wedding planning is interfering too much with your daily life and causing unnecessary stress.

These are the most common signs that you’ll most likely benefit from hiring a professional wedding planner. That said, if you have a dedicated wedding party who are willing to pitch in and help you throughout the entire process, you may be able to go on without one.

The most important thing to keep in mind when deciding between DIY and professional planning is the time constraints and the amount of stress you’ll be taking on or alleviating. Your wedding is supposed to be a happy time, not a time that makes you want to tear your hair out.

DIY Tips

If you’ve determined that you want to stick with DIY planning you need to know where to start. Firstly, make sure to knock out the basics such as:

  • Setting up a timeline and sticking to it.
  • Booking your desired venue, especially if your wedding is set during a popular wedding season. If you’re flexible with your date, chose one or two backup dates in case the venue you want isn’t available on your original day.
  • Create a binder or organizer to help you better keep track of what you’ve done and what you need to do, as well as ideas you want to draw inspiration from.
  • You should also start making a list of potential vendors and start comparing your options. This will make it easier when it’s time to make your final selections.

To get started you can also consider hiring a wedding planner to help with the beginning stages. They will be able to offer insights that can help you better handle everything going forward. They may also be able to negotiate specific discounts and make recommendations that you otherwise would have missed.

Likewise, there are over 100 billion Google searches every month with millions of articles and forum pages dedicated to wedding planning and wedding inspiration. If you really are taking a DIY route, online research like this will be your best friend.

Overlooked Costs

When planning out wedding finances there are often a couple of important costs that get overlooked or forgotten until the last minute. For instance, many people want to get into better shape before walking down the aisle, but the average gym membership is $58. Depending on how many months you’re planning on working out beforehand, this is something to budget for.

Transportation for you and your guests is also something to keep in mind. While many couples give guests the option to drive themselves, wedding buses and limos are options you may want to consider. Limousine services provide transport for over 400 million passengers every year and can provide airport transport, transport for the bride and wedding party, as well as important guests that you wish to honor. Likewise, wedding buses can provide transport to larger amounts of guests making transport easier and ensuring everyone gets to the venue on time.

The average wedding transportation costs add up to around $750, with most couples spending between $500 and $1,100. Whether you hire a bus or a limousine will depend on how many people you will be transporting and how much you’re looking to spend. You can save costs by having your ceremony and reception at the same place or limiting hired transport to only pick up you and your wedding party. Whichever route you decide to go, this is definitely something to keep in mind before the last minute.

Ways to Budget Wisely

Cutting costs when it comes to wedding planning doesn’t mean that your day will be any less special. Budgeting wisely can allow you to add more to your wedding by saving on things that would have otherwise cost too much. Here are some of the most creative tips to keep in mind.

  • Buffet Catering: When it comes to providing food for your wedding, some caterers will charge between $50 and $150 per guest. For couples looking to stay on budget, costs like this can quickly get out of hand. Springing for a buffet allows you to give your guests a varied meal choice while still cutting down on the price of each person. This also allows guests to help themselves instead of having a wait service to serve them individually.
  • Utilize Your Friends: If you have talented friends, consider enlisting them to provide their services. For instance, if you have a photographer friend, see if they would be willing to negotiate shooting your wedding for a discounted rate. Likewise, you might ask other friends to provide music or baking. Another way of going about this is to ask your friend to provide the service as a wedding gift. However, if they are a professional, keep in mind that they’re not obligated to lower their original rates just because you’re friends; after all, they are providing professional services.
  • Non-Traditional Venues: While grand banquet halls, golf courses, and historic buildings are hot wedding venues, a large price tag isn’t what makes a venue special. Consider less traditional venues such as a friend’s property, the beach, a park, or another place that might hold special meaning to you and your partner. If you do have a specific venue in mind, speak to the proprietor about different rate options. For example, some locations charge more on high-demand days such as Saturday and Sunday. The same venue can cost hundreds less if you book on a Thursday as opposed to the weekend.
  • Go Paperless: Invitations and RSVP costs can add up, especially if you’re getting everything custom made. Consider sending out digital invites and saving both time and money. E-invitations can be just as beautiful and won’t break the bank or require loads of paper to print.
  • Do Everything Early: What this means is that you should consider getting the cake cutting and garter tossing out of the way early. This is because you can then dismiss your videographer without worrying about missing out on footage of these activities. If you’re paying $100 per hour, you don’t want to leave the videographer sitting around for unneeded hours waiting for the finale.
  • Invite Fewer People: This doesn’t mean leave people out necessarily; however, you might consider leaving out “plus ones” and instead only inviting the couples that you know. If you leave the option open for every person to bring an extra guest, you could be left juggling numbers or ordering more refreshments than are necessary. In this case, it’s best to stick with the people you know best.

Steps like this can save you hundreds, if not thousands, in additional costs without leaving you wanting for more. Budgeting wisely is possibly one of the biggest hurdles that couples face when planning a wedding and it isn’t something that should be overlooked.

Don’t Sweat the Small Things

Planning a wedding can be stressful and overwhelming; however, with the help of a planner or your wedding party, it is possible. Remember not to sweat the small things and instead focus on having fun and celebrating your coming union After all, when the cake has been cut and the reception ends the one thing that will matter most is the love the two of you share.