I’m going to cut right to the chase here, we are all busy. Washington DC area people are notorious for working hard and long hours – a 40 hour work week would be a picnic! But, what do those long hours and crazy schedules mean once you become engaged? How are you going to fit your wedding planning into your already packed schedule? We’ve all heard married couples complain that planning their wedding was like another full time job! Here are five quick tips for planning your wedding in DC, Maryland and Virginia on a busy schedule. This is real, practical advice from me to you, just for couples getting married in the Washington DC area. After all, none of us need another job!
Photo Credit: Michelle Lindsay Photography
Get Off Pinterest
Hello, time suck! Pinterst and other social media – when it comes to your wedding – is nothing more than a huge time waster. You should definitely use the sites to find ideas and inspiration, but once you’ve found what you are looking for, cut it out. Delete the pages, take it off of your phone. Do whatever you have to do. Social media and weddings are an endless rabbit hole of information with each image more beautiful than the next. It will eat every spare moment of time you have!
Hire A Wedding Planner
A wedding planner will save you so much time, energy and money! Before you do anything or waste any energy, spend what little time you have researching wedding planners and hire one. Tell them that you have a limited amount of time to spend on wedding planning. They will be able to give you one or two choices for each of your vendor categories that fit within your price range and budget. Research your wedding planner and let them do the rest.
Divide And Conquer
You need all the help that you can get to plan your wedding when you are busy. Your partner shouldn’t get off the hook! Divide up your task list and let your partner do half of the work, whether that’s research online or setting up meetings. If you truly can’t trust your partner, or they are even busier than you, ask a friend or family member that you trust to help you out. They might really like to be involved and happy that they have a “job.” Once you divide up the work-load make sure you let go a little bit and trust in his or her choices. Don’t micromanage them and instead allow them to do the work in their own way.
Limit The Choices
When you are pressed for time, it is critical that you are limiting the amount of choices that you give yourself. Allow yourself two, or maybe three, choices when it comes to things like dresses, locations, cakes and more. Of course your initial research will include lots of different ideas, so I’m talking about when you get to the end and your making your final choices. You just don’t have the time to seriously explore every single option out there under the sun. Avoid “paralysis by analysis” by over thinking decisions and just make a choice and move on. Limiting the choices upfront will make the decision that much easier.
Be Realistic And Practical
Spend some time in the beginning of your wedding planning going over and committing to your priorities, such as budget and guest count. Be brutally honest with yourself and your partner about your budget. (These will be the hardest conversations you’ll have, so it will be great prep for marriage!) Go over certain non-negotiables like “We don’t want to be married in a hotel,” or “We have to be married in August, because of our work schedules.” Don’t even entertain options that don’t fit within your priorities. If a venue isn’t available on your day or can’t fit your guest count, move on immediately. Don’t spend any time or energy on locations or vendors or ideas that don’t fit within your budget or your priorities. This gets back to Pinterest and social media. For example, don’t spend hours looking at outdoor weddings full of lush florals, if you are getting married inside in the winter. Be very realistic about what you want your wedding to be and then focus on that reality.
One last tip for you! I know I said 5, but here is an extra one just because I love you! Be super organized when planning your wedding and it will save you time and energy in the end. I’m assuming that you are already organized for work, so apply that same skill set to your wedding. Start an Excel file, download an app or get a binder – whatever you need to stay on task. Being organized will allow you to be more efficient. For example, set up a meeting with a wedding planner you are considering at or near a wedding location you are also scouting. This kind of efficiency will save you time and energy.
So, that’s it! I told you it would be fast! After all, we don’t have any time to waste! Now, get over with your wedding planning for the day and get back to work!
Are you looking for more local wedding ideas? Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.