Let’s be clear about one thing right from the start: There’s no way you can make your wedding day entirely stress free. Having said that, it’s totally possible to work smart and use a few hacks in order to make things run a bit more smoothly.
We’ve combed through websites, blogs, message boards and social media looking for the best hacks for your wedding day. Whether you need help with planning, budgeting or pulling it off with confidence – we’ve got you covered.
Get the most out of the surge of adrenaline that comes with the excitement of getting engaged. Put all that excess energy to good use and get some administrative and forward planning tasks done to stay ahead of the curve.
Hire a Pro. With all of the hacks involved with making this part of the planning process easier, it’s no wonder many couples choose to hire a professional wedding planner. This is well worth considering if there’s room in your budget. Bringing in someone to handle the details leaves you free to enjoy things like engagement photo shoots, cake sampling and simple reveling in your engagement.
Get a Shared Calendar. Before you decide on a project management app, start simple and get yourself a shared Google calendar. It’s simple, straight forward and literally everyone can use it.
Set Up Email and Website Info. Get your wedding email and website secured right away. You don’t necessarily have to share it with everyone right now, but get it established now and it’s one less thing to worry about later.
Let Your Gut Plan Your Wedding Party – In the rush of engagement ask your self the following questions:
- Who do I want to tell first?
- Who do I want to ask about what to do?
- Who is absolutely, 100%, without a doubt going to lose their mind about this news?
If you have the same name in mind for all three then you’re all set. Otherwise, you’ll need to use your gut reaction to determine who your Best Man or Maid of Honor will be. Why should you make this choce now? because the person you connect to most with the excitement and practical issues about this will be your best bet for someone you can count on for the long haul.
Commit to an App. Check out wedding-centric organization apps as well as overall project management apps and sites to find something that fits your style. You may not think you’ll need something like this but, trust me, planning a wedding requires help. Having an app in place where you can store notes, numbers, lists, pictures and everything else with anyone you want makes things easier to plan, delegate and get DONE.
Streamline Your Registry. Make it easy to add to your registry and for family and friends to access everything via a wedding registry app or a large scale registry such as My Registry. You can save items from anywhere and your friends can browse across multiple sites with just a click, making it easier for them to shop.
Order Your Dress Well in Advance. If you decide to wear a formal dress, order it at least 8 months in advance. This avoids extra costs associated with dresses considered ‘Rush Jobs’ – basically anything you need back in less than 60 days. In some cases, Rush Fees from vendors can top $500 while alterations considered last minute can add $100 or more to the cost.
Consider an Off Season Wedding. Tying the knot in the off-season can save money on plenty of services which removes some of the stress as well.
Get the Most Out of a Makeup Trial. If you’re hiring a makeup artist for your wedding, schedule their trial date to coincide with your engagement photos. You’ll get your makeup done for the photos without extra cost and you’ll have a preview of what your makeup will look like on your wedding day. Once you see how it looks in photos you can work with your artist to make any needed adjustments ahead of your big day.
Have a Full Rehearsal. Wedding rehearsals are a vital part of any successful and low-stress wedding. Have a rehearsal a few days ahead of the wedding and one the day before.
Schedule Admin and Planning Time. Dealing with the planning and administrative tasks involved with a wedding isn’t something you can do here and there as time presents itself. Schedule set times – at least a few hours a week – where you can devote your energy and attention to getting things done for the wedding.
Budgeting & Cutting Costs
Pulling off your Dream Wedding can be done if you’re willing to get creative. Generating wedding income, budgeting and finding ways to score a great deal can help stretch your wedding dollars.
Combine Homes and Make Some Money. If you’re not living together already (or even if you are) take some time to consider the furniture and large items you have but won’t need in the future.
Alternative Clothing Choices. While working with boutique shops is the norm, that doesn’t mean it’s the only option worth considering. Couples looking to save some money can investigate rental companies – incluidng online, national options like Rent the Runway and Borrowing Mangnolia in order to save serious bank when it comes to high-end options for your wedding day.
Consignment, Thrift and Online Exchanges. If you’d rather own your wedding outfit, consider local and online consignment and thrift options. Many thrift stores offer select items online through eBay and there are also national options such as Thread Up LINK
Borrow Some Bling. Clothes aren’t the only thing you can score for cheap online these days. Check out Adorn if you want to rent a $30k necklace to brighten your wedding day. ((((LINK))))
Swap Cakes. Go ahead and get crazy with a 2 or 3 tiered wedding cake you can use for the cutting photo-op but dish out pieces from a lovely sheet cake you keep hidden in the kitchen. This way, you can have a truly beautiful cake without blowing your budget on something that will literally turn to crumbs in front of your eyes.
Skip the Glass. Ask your florist to place arrangements in plastic containers. Glass adds to the overall bill and, honestly, unless your wedding is literally glass themed, most people won’t even notice.
Budget Buds and Fantastic Flowers. If you aren’t sure what kind of flowers you want, straight up ask your florist about their most budget friendly options. If you know you want a main bouquet that will be pricey (Sunflowers and roses, for example) then ask about budget friendly arrangement for the wedding party and decor that complement your pricier main pieces.
Don’t Stress About Favors. Moat of the time, people don’t keep wedding favors so either go big or skip it entirely. There are some great, truly keepsake worthy wedding favor ideas out there but if you don’t want to go to that extreme, simply skip that tradition and use the money to enhance another element of the ceremony or reception.
Mix & Match Invitations. Letterpress, calligraphy and other high end elements can be used to create truly breathtaking invitations. They can also inflate your budget. Cut the cost by pairing a luxury invitation with flat printed menus, itineraries, RSVP cards and other inserts. This small change can save up to $500 on 100 invitations.
Put Your Wedding Party to Work. Stationers offices, wedding planners and freelance assistants all offer a service to address and send invitations, but they routinely charge $5-7 per invitation. Cut that cost completely by teaming up with some members of your wedding party for a good, old-fashioned mailing party.
Learn From Susan’s Invitations. Use an envelope sealer, glue stick or foam brush dipped in water to seal all those envelopes. Not only will you prevent chapped lips and save your taste buds, you’ll pay homage to one of the most awkward (and anticlimactic) deaths in TV wedding history.
Number Your RSVP Cards. When sending out your invitations, write a number on the back of each RSVP card and give the same number to the person on your invitation list. It will make it easier to keep track of the cards as they come in, even if guests forget to write their names on the RSVP card or their writing is difficult to read.
Go Postal. Save on printing and postage costs by making your RSVP card a postcard. (Number them even if you go with post cards – otherwise, you’ll have to hand write return addresses on each one in order to know who sent it.)
Book With the Clock in Mind. Book your photographer for a half day instead of the entire 12 hours. They’ll still get all the big moments and plenty of posed photos but you’ll save up to $4,000 in costs.
Take Your Prints Elsewhere. Unless the photography studio you’re working with has some amazing printing options, you’re almost always better off buying the digital package from the photographer and order prints from a third party.
Hit Up Local Colleges. If you live near a college or university, check out their Art department and see if they offer Photography studies. Email the professor and ask for a referral of an up and coming student who might be interested in a job. They’ll be likely to charge less and you’ll get the advantage of working with fresh talent.
Plate Simply. Customized glass and top shelf flatware makes for a beautiful table, but it drives up wedding costs to more than $15 a person. For plates! Instead, choose a stand out champagne glass and go with the standard options for everything else.
Buffets are Common for a Reason. Choose the buffet option and you’ll often find you pay less and get more. It reduces the need for waitstaff, reducing its cost even further.
Focus Your Flowers. Skip smaller floral arrangements in favor of investing more in a few statement pieces that will amaze your guests.
Skip the Boutineers. Flower accents for people in the wedding party wearing suits can easily be swapped out for pocket squares in a coordinating color. Depending on the size of the wedding party, that alone can easily trim $300 or more from the budget.
Pulling It Off – Help for The Big Day
Save Your Shoes (And Your Ankles). If you plan on walking outside beyond sidewalks, save your heels and prevent your ankle from rolling with these slip-on heel protectors. They slide over the heel of your shoe and create more surface area to connect with the ground. It’s the perfect solution for wedding parties that plan on having a ceremony, reception or photos in a natural, grassy or sandy setting.
Get Some Grip. Dress shoes for both men and women are notoriously slippery. They often have hard soles with zero traction of any kind. This makes them virtual death traps when walking or dancing on dance floors, grass, hardwood or even smooth cement. You know, all the common wedding venues. Glue gritted paper to the soles or scuff them with sandpaper to give yourself more confident footing.
Break in Your Shoes Ahead of Time. Wearing new shoes is a special kind of hell. They’re stiff, weirdly tight and then awkwardly loose. They rub the wrong way and leave you with aching feet and blisters after wearing them for a night out. Spare yourself that level of pain on your wedding day by breaking your shoes in beforehand. Don’t worry – you won’t actually have to WEAR them to break them in. You just need some socks and a hair dryer. Get the full details over at Homespun Haley.
Weigh Down That Veil! If you’re having your ceremony or reception outdoors or even if you’re just doing some pictures in the park, invest in some small weights for veils and other especially airy accessories. A beautiful view is a great backdrop for part of your wedding, but winds can quickly turn it into a scene out of The Three Stooges.
Have Your Perfume Pull Double Duty. If you’re planning to be outside in the spring or summer, consider a fragrance that repels mosquitoes and other pests. Don’t worry – that doesn’t limit you to citronella. Peppermint, Basil, Lemon Balm, Lavender, Marigold, Rosemary and Eucalyptus are all known mosquito repellents. Select a fragrance that uses any of these or work the flowers – especially Eucalyptus – into your floral arrangements.
De-Spark Your Dress. Make sure the only sparks flying are the ones between the two of you. Move a wire hanger along your dress or the clothes of anyone else worried about static electricity.
Erase Deodorant Marks. Wearing black and find you have deodorant marks along the top? Don’t worry – you can erase them with a dryer sheet. Bonus – you’ll smell extra nice.
Keep Everyone Together. There’s a lot to get done in the last days running up to the wedding as well as the Big Day itself. Use your shared calendar to set alarms for wedding party members with reminders on things that need done.
Bathroom Hack for Elaborate Dresses. If your wedding dress seems like a logistical nightmare when it comes to using the bathroom, you’ll love this hack. Grab a garbage bag and cut a hole in the bottom. Step through and pull the bag up – it will lift your dress up and out of the way!
Two Words: Baby Wipes. Keep baby wipes everywhere. Buy packs for the car, your bag, the hotel room, the bathrooms … everywhere. They can clean anything up – from sweat stains to smeared makeup.
Take a Cue From Grandma. Put together an Emergency Fashion Kit that includes needle, thread, safety pins, boob tape and anything else you may need to fix, repair or cobble together your outfit in a pinch.
Bring Spare Shoes. Once the ceremony is done and the photos are taken, you’ll want to get comfortable so you can relax and dance the night away. Have an extra pair of comfy shoes at the venue. Some couples even change into more casual outfits during the reception so they won’t have to worry about staining their wedding clothes.
Steal a Moment With Your New Spouse. It’s important to spend a minute together as a married couple on your wedding day. Even if it’s just a quick walk out to the car together or a shared can of soda and bag of chips between photo venues – spend a quiet minute together as a newly married couple. You’ll only have that two-hour anniversary once you know!
Dessert for Next Year. If you plan to include the tradition of eating the top tier of your wedding cake on your first anniversary, save yourself some grief by freezing it UNCOVERED for 20 minutes. Then take it out and wrap in foil. Freezing it first will prevent icing from sticking to the foil when you unwrap it to celebrate your first year of wedded bliss.
Send Out Real Thank You Cards. In a world of texts, emails and snaps there’s something extraordinarily special about received snail mail. It’s an added touch that ensures your guests – and those who sent gifts but couldn’t attend – feel special and truly included in your wedding.
Don’t Procrastinate on Keepsakes. Ideally, you should scout around for the wedding keepsakes you’ll want to order or have made as a part of your planning process. That way, once you have the photos from the photographer and the wedding is ‘in the books’ so to speak, you’ll be able to submit the order right away.
Toast to a Major Accomplishment. Take the time for a special night out to celebrate the fact you survived the wedding! Jokes aside, the time and money spent planning and pulling off a wedding is no joke. Once the dust has settled, go out and toast to a job well done and a future that’s built on teamwork – a trait that all good marriages have in common.