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How to Plan a (Mostly) Stress-Free Wedding



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It’s no secret that as soon as you get engaged, everyone instantly wants to know everything about your wedding plans – when is the wedding date? How many guests will you have? Do you have your wedding dress? And while all that your well-intentioned friends want is to celebrate your recent engagement and upcoming wedding with you, it can easily start to feel like stress and pressure pouring in from every direction. That’s why I’ve put together a list of a few tried and true factors that will help you plan a mostly stress-free wedding day.

Elegant outdoor summer wedding photography at a historic Maryland wedding venue.


Hire top notch vendors


This is something that I absolutely cannot stress enough – your wedding vendors have the potential to absolutely make or break your wedding day. Make sure that you’re working with vendors who have experience and expertise, and who feel comfortable with all of the questions that you send their way. While it doesn’t matter whether or not your wedding vendors have experience working together, it does make a big difference if they’re able to easily work together to create your vision for your wedding day. Hiring a top notch wedding planner before doing much else will really help ensure that each vendor you bring on is not only a wedding industry pro, but also someone who has the work style and personality to execute your dream day perfectly. If you make sure to work with high quality wedding vendors, that will immediately eliminate so much of the lingering stress and anxiety that can sometimes surround a wedding day.


Waterside wedding portraits in Baltimore, Maryland after a Belvedere Hotel wedding.



As your vendors for their advice and expertise – and let them help you

As wedding professionals, we absolutely love when our couples come to us for advice. I personally only work with a limited number of couples each year so that I can be sure to be available to help them understand how the lighting for their reception will look on camera, or whether their bridesmaid’s dresses will photograph with a cohesive color pattern. Any wedding vendor that has been in this industry for more than a few years is here because they absolutely, madly, and passionately love what they do – so chances are, most of them will be absolutely thrilled to share their knowledge with you! Rather than sitting and quietly stressing about whether your wedding timeline leaves enough space for the couple’s portraits that you know you want, just reach out to your photographer and make sure that your timeline is realistic and makes sense on all fronts. This alone will eliminate a huge amount of stress, both in the planning process and on your actual wedding day!



Elegant intimate wedding ceremony at Tudor Place in Washington DC.

Be clear about your priorities

This is a huge thing to pay attention to when planning your wedding – there are so many different little elements and touches that are involved in wedding planning, and if you gave all of your time and attention to each of them while in the planning process, you’d have at least three extra full time jobs on your hands. Instead, when you first start the process, I recommend making a mental (or physical!) list of the top three most important elements of your wedding day. These three can be the ones you absolutely obsess over, and they are entirely personal to you and your fiancé. If the two of you are huge music lovers, then it makes sense that finding the perfect band would be at the very top of your priority list, and you can happily spend time listening to every single sample song from bands all across the country… however, you can do so knowing that you won’t have to vet each vendor quite as thoroughly. If wedding photography is one of your top priorities, then it makes perfect sense to spend hours and hours pouring through every single full gallery that your potential wedding photographer sends for you to look at.


Bright and stylish wedding photography at the classic Westglow Spa in the Blue Ridge Mountains.


Schedule date nights and self care throughout the wedding planning process

That’s right, just as important as making your dream list of florists or scouting out venues online, once the newly engaged high settles down a bit, go ahead and look at your calendar and actually book out things like date nights, massages, facials, and maybe a trip or two. Keep the date nights sacred, a time when the two of you don’t discuss wedding planning at all. Aim for at least one massage or facial (or both!) a month, not to get your skin wedding-ready, but to treat yourself. No matter how in love with your partner you are, it’s inevitable that at some point the wedding planning process will become just a little bit stressful – so putting a heavy priority on taking care of yourself and your relationship during the planning process will help reduce stress and keep you both relaxed and enjoying the process.



Bright and stylish wedding photography at the classic Westglow Spa in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Ultimately, remember that it is your day

Last, but certainly not least, the biggest thing that you can do to keep your wedding planning process, and wedding day, as stress-free as possible is to remember that it is a day focused entirely on celebrating you and your fiancé. While your mother, mother in law, best friend, or Aunt Karen are going to have a million thoughts, opinions, and ideas, ultimately it is all about what the two of you want to do. This will be the day that you remember together, and is the start of a beautiful life together as your own family. Own that, honor your gut, and trust your decisions that will lead you to the best day ever.

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