Updated: Oct 30, 2018
The wedding planning process is riddled with decisions. Even what appears to be a simple decision will inevitably lead to more. It can feel never-ending!
So how do you decide what to include in your wedding, and what to leave out? I’ve detailed how my husband Cameron and I simplified our wedding planning process to have an Uncomplicated Wedding, but we still had to make an extraordinary number of decisions along the way.
And if you know me, you know decision-making is not my strongest skill. So I knew going into wedding planning that I was going to have to figure out a way to make big decisions without second-guessing each one along the way - especially when vendor contracts and special orders were involved.
To make things easier on myself, the guiding principle for each decision we made was that everything in our wedding had to either have meaning or serve a purpose (ideally both, but it wouldn’t be honest to say our silverware selection was meaningful to us. The food, however, was).
While my indecisiveness has not been cured, this principle definitely led me through the wedding planning process with ease. So if you’re fighting indecision while planning your wedding, here’s what I recommend to make it easier.
1. Set your priorities
Deciding what is most important to you will often help you fill in smaller decisions along the way. Cameron and I knew we wanted to get married outside, which in Washington meant we had about a 3 month window where it would be safest to do so (unless we wanted to our wedding favors to be umbrellas).
We also met in August, and loved the idea of having a wedding near the third anniversary of our first date.
Selecting the time frame and setting narrowed down our venue choices, which helped us pick a date, and vendors in the area.
2. Reflect on Your Favorite Memories as a Couple
Is there a moment in your relationship that you want to share with your friends and family? We wanted our ceremony and reception to have a deeper meaning to us, while sharing those happy memories with our guests. We worked closely with our officiant to write a ceremony that included meaningful moments from our relationship, and shared a bit about our Washington adventures.
We also wanted our wedding to reflect that adventurous spirit. So we chose reception games that we thought would get our guests to have some fun, while also experiencing moments that were important to us.
Cameron and his family love the Oktoberfest tradition in Puyallup, which involves a Hammerschlagen tournament. When Cameron floated the idea of Hammerschlagen at our wedding, I knew it would be meaningful to him (and brushed aside hesitations of danger… sometimes you just have to go with it).
3. Hire the Right Vendors
We were selective when it came to our wedding guest list, so it made sense to be selective when it came to our vendors. After all, they would be spending our wedding day with us, too!
I researched vendors thoroughly, asked friends for recommendations, and met personally with each vendor we hired. I wanted to make sure we were surrounded by people who showed a genuine passion and love for what they do.
Weddings, after all, are a labor of love.
4. Trust the Experts
Hiring vendors who were passionate and excited about their work meant I could trust their opinions when it came to decisions that were outside my comfort zone.
I could tell you the difference between Chantilly and Alençon lace on a wedding dress, but I definitely had no idea there would be more than one type of eucalyptus.
I just knew it was important to me to have dreamy, romantic florals. So I trusted Emily to decide what flowers worked best to bring that vision to life.
And when it came time to pick the beer for our wedding, we knew our first choice would be Manny’s Pale Ale because it’s Cameron’s favorite to order when we go out, and it’s local (also because on one date, Cameron asked for Manny’s with his tacos and they brought a side of mayonnaise!). We wanted a second option for variety, and chose a local beer that Cameron and his dad both enjoy. When that beer ended up being out of stock at the last minute, we trusted our caterer to pick a similar local alternative.
Our dream team of vendors came together to help us with decisions big and small throughout the wedding planning process. We trusted their recommendations - after all, they had been part of planning countless weddings; I was only planning mine!
5. Stay true to yourself.
Cameron and I love staying in, ordering great food, and queuing up the latest binge-worthy show. We balance that homebody side with a healthy dose of outdoor adventures. So our wedding was a beautiful day in the woods, followed by delicious food and merriment. We made every decision based on what we loved, and the result was a wedding that reflected our relationship.
Weddings can be overwhelming, but at the core of each one is a couple that truly loves each other and wants to share that joy with the people closest to them. Let your decisions come from a place of love and the results will follow!