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Married couples share their wedding planning secrets // nyc wedding photographer


We all know wedding planning can get a lil crazy at times. With so many choices to make and opinions coming from all different directions, it can be difficult to manage what you want and what you need. Below are some tips straight from real couples on how to keep wedding planning stress free while you stay on track to plan the wedding of your dreams!


Stay Organized

This is absolutely KEY. Make an excel sheet that lists all of your vendors, their contact information, what’s included in your package and their payment schedule. Create vision boards in Pinterest to find out what you like as far as color palettes and decor styles (but don’t let Pinterest become a crutch or expectation on what your wedding day will photograph like!). Make an email address specifically for wedding planning. Apps like Trello or a good ole fashioned binder can really help keep you organized and offer a great visual to show where you are in planning.

“Binders! We had binders for venues then when we booked everything we made one big binder with all the contracts, notes etc.” – Kerri and Carl

“I used a [planning book], which helped me prioritize what to do 10-12, 6-9, 2-4, etc. months before the wedding. It gave me things to focus on during certain times so I wasn’t overwhelmed and thinking about too many details. It also gave me the excuse of “I can do that next month” if I was stressed about something that didn’t necessarily need to be done right then. Gave me the reassurance to walk away when I needed to. It was also very satisfying to cross things off the list each month!” – Briana and Brad


Split responsibilities up, but make the big decisions as a couple

Splitting up and delegating tasks is a great way to make it through planning efficiently. If your partner has great music taste, put them in charge of the band or DJ while you take care of things like dessert or decor. Divide and conquer! Try and have your vendor meetings together so you can both get a feel for who you’ll be working with and make the final decision together. 


“Play to each other’s strengths. e.g. I’m very organized, so I kept track of the guest list, sending invites, etc. Matt is good at talking with vendors, so he set up meetings and kept communication with many of them.” – E & M

“Accept the help of other people and ask for the help of other people when you need it. Maybe work on learning to recognize when you need it.” – Keely and Matt



Stick to what matters to you and your partner

This is a big one. Would you rather do donuts instead of a cake? Go for it! Not really feeling everyones eyes on you and want to skip the first dance? Skip it! Boundaries during planning are important and don’t be afraid of instituting them with overbearing family or friends. Don’t feel like you need to do things because it’s traditional or someone else is pressuring you into it. It’s your day, so go ahead and start your own traditions or think outside the box to make things more you! 

Just focus on what actually matters to you and your partner. Don’t let [yourself be] stressed out because you want everything to be “perfect”. – Juhui and Vlad

“Make decisions for you both. Respect the wishes of your family, but ultimately, make the decision that fits the two of you best.” – Jess and Nate



Hire a planner

I’ll just let Barbie take it from here, because she does an excellent job of explaining why a planning service is oh-so valuable and my number one recommendation on how to keep your entire wedding experience stress-free:

“A coordinator is worth the money. She included vendor contracts and scheduling. So she verified all of the contracts I signed with my vendors and made sure they had everything they needed. She also coordinated payment of the vendors day of. She created the day-of timeline which I think [was] one of the most useful things. She thought about a ton of things I didn’t, she helped set up my personal items at the venue the day of, helped usher family/friends where they needed to be, especially for photos. She snagged me entire hors d’oeuvre plates and put them at our sweetheart table for us because we did photos during cocktail hour. She worked with the venue to make sure everything was ready and knew what questions to ask that I didn’t. I didn’t have to get too specific about things and she did a great job making sure to make the day go with the vibe/style I wanted it to.” – Barbie and Gabe

Hey, while we’re here why don’t you check out some of my favorite wedding planners! Elegant Events by Laura, Heartthrob Weddings, Blossom Events


new york city, nyc wedding photos, manhattan wedding, winter wedding


Start planning early

Give yourself time to plan, and book your big vendors as soon as you can so you aren’t rushing to get everything done and can take things at your own pace. Planners, Venues, Photographers and Videographers book up from anywhere 12-18 months out, and the most popular months for weddings are May, June, September and October. Double dates, when they fall on a weekend, like 10/10 or 12/12 tend to book up fast as well as Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend.

“Make the time! No matter how much you have going on in your life, make the time to sit down and focus on the planning. The sooner you get it done, the sooner you can enjoy the countdown to the day!”
Catherine and Ben

“Give yourself a lot of time!”Hue Ming and Jackie

“Pace yourselves with the planning.”
Chris and Will


Take some time for yourself.

On average, planning a wedding takes about 540 hours, so it’s important to throw in some time for yourself so you don’t become overwhelmed with the process. Schedule dinner and a movie where nobody is allowed to talk about logistics or wedding planning, or take a weekend away and leave the planning books at home.

“Stress will happen, but don’t take it out on one another – as much as you think you can’t step away [from] planning, do it. Do something together and remind yourselves of the fun you have normally, outside of wedding planning.” – Jana and Jose

Sounds counterintuitive, but schedule breaks where you can’t talk about the wedding.”  –Aurelia and Reilly

“It’s good to remind yourself as a bride that it’s okay to plan things in “batches” and be able to take a break for a bit.” – Kayla and Kris


Don’t sweat it

Sometimes things change or shift and don’t go quite as expected when planning. Don’t be afraid to lean on others if you need to. Take a deep breath, and remember that and at the end of the day you’ll still be getting married and celebrating with your favorite people. 


“Trust and support each other. Try to realize and be okay with knowing that some things are just out of your hands.” – Michele and Constantine

“It is all just a big roller coaster…[so] find things that are funny! Laugh about the crazy things that pop up or go wrong. I had an emotional meltdown when I found out my wedding was cancelled at the original venue, but the next day I laughed about it so hard.” – Marissa and Brody

“Focus on what you can control and let go of what you cannot. I kept repeating this to myself the entire process and it made everything that much more enjoyable!!”Chelsea and Phil


And last but not least…

Don’t be afraid to have a cocktail to unwind!” – Amy and Adolfo
Drink more wine when you want to whine!” – Caitlyn and Travis
“Plan over pizza and wine when you can!” – Aurelia and Reilly


Cheers to planning! 🥂 


new york city, nyc wedding photos, manhattan wedding, winter wedding 



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