“It’s the bride’s day” is one phrase that should be retired. Sure, there are always exceptions (some grooms just prefer to be hands-off), but most couples are now opting to plan their big day together. Hooray for this long-overdue redefinition of gender norms, especially in a time where we also celebrating LGBTQIA+ marriage.
Keeping this in mind, it’s also important to recognize that everyone comes with different sets of strengths and weaknesses. No human is amazing at everything (if that were the case, we’d all go by Beyoncé). So, assigning tasks based on skills is a necessary first step in the wedding-planning process.
Easier said than done, right? Not necessarily, at least according to Jennifer Price of Event Shoppe Chicago. “Any good wedding is one that makes sure the couple's love story is told through the wedding details. It's only right that the wedding is planned by both parties,” she says. “This happens when you plan together and no one person becomes overwhelmed with tasks.”
Meet the Expert
Jennifer Price is the owner and lead wedding planner of Event Shoppe Chicago.
To divide and conquer every aspect of your event, Price shares five quick tips that will save you headaches, time, and money.
Know Your Strengths
It can be difficult to recognize (or even accept) our weaknesses, especially in a high-stress scenario like wedding planning. But, having an open and honest conversation with yourself and your abilities is the first thing that needs to happen before exhausting any energy or resources.
“Can you admit that you are a big picture thinker and not super detailed? Are you self-aware enough to say I'm not that organized and I'm a ‘doer,’" asks Price. “These things help when it comes time to divvy up the wedding tasks. It's okay to be yourself—every player on a team gets a championship ring, just like both parts of the wedding couple get an amazing wedding day.”
Have you and your significant other lay out a list of the things you’re good at and separate tasks from there. The process is not only necessary, but a fun way to learn even more about each other when planning meaningful moments in your new life together.
Pick a Top Three
Prioritization is key. There are many elements, traditions, and preferences that go into a successful wedding. Narrowing your focus is critical in being on the same page about what matters most.
“We tell our couples to sit down and pick three things that are important to you both before starting the wedding-planning process,” says Price. “This ‘big three’ helps with so many things like budget and focus, but it also helps when dividing up the tasks. If one partner chooses cake, music, and food, and the other partner picks decor, ceremony, and favors, then you each have your task and know what you should focus on.”
If there is overlap, Price recommends that these are the categories couples can enjoy planning together and wont “seem like a chore.” Just be sure that responsibilities are balanced so that it prevents any future arguments.
Hire a Wedding Planner
Wedding planners are experts in the industry that can make things so much easier and organized, allowing you to focus solely on what excites you or what you feel demands your involvement.
“There may be some things couples just hate to do, like the budget or managing the RSVP list,” says Price, “And often, people delay or procrastinate on tasks they don’t enjoy.”
“Wedding planning is not a place to do that. Time will pass, days will pass, and the wedding day will be here before you know it. Don't procrastinate. Just reassign and outsource to your wedding planner,” she adds.
Do not rule out bringing in a wedding planner because you don’t think you can afford it. Wedding planning packages can also be tailored to meet different budgets. While some couples may opt for full-service with all the bells and whistles, you can work with a planner to adjust and revise based on your own financial situation and overall goals.
DIY weddings will obviously require another level of time and effort. Couples must decide upfront whether or not they will want these personalized touches incorporated into their decor.
“This age-old question [of whether not to DIY] is one I answer daily with couples,” reveals Price. “Very often it comes down to your skill set. This goes back to knowing your strengths.”
If you’re naturally an artistic person and enjoy tasks like crafting, flower-arranging, or ceramics, then you may enjoy a more hands-on, creative process. If this is something that makes you and your partner shudder, then it’s absolutely in your best interest to avoid homemade-anything at all costs and outsource these projects or purchase rentals.
Ask for Help
So many couples feel like they have to assume every responsibility when, in fact, they have a support system through friends and family that are likely willing to lend a helping hand. You are, in fact, spending money to make this experience not only memorable for you as a couple, but also for the people you love. The least they can do is give back beyond what’s on your registry.
“If, as a couple, there is a task you don't enjoy and you have a special family or friend that is excellent at it, this is the perfect time to call in the reinforcements,” advises Price. “Having a small trusted group that you can assign to help with tasks and help lighten your load and they will feel honored to help you plan this special day.”
It does come with one caveat, though. “Please note that this is only applicable if it will not add stress to your wedding planning process,” warns Price
If an in-law, for example, wants to insert themselves beyond the basics and essentially plan the whole wedding, it’s probably not in your best interest to include them in the decision-making or preparation process.
A Final Note
At the end of the day, your ceremony and reception are reflections of you, your partner, and your love story. “When one person plans by themselves, they become overwhelmed and it looks like they are marrying themselves,” says Price. “Plan a wedding that tells your entire story.”
Hopefully, after following the tips above and tackling tasks equally, that story will end with happily ever after.