Wedding photographer, avid reader, & macaroni and cheese connoisseur

meet tay

I have been asked to write this one million times. In fact, I have sat down to do it and then I realize I don’t feel qualified. I still don’t, but for the 1 person I might help? Let’s just try it. There are some unavoidable things in life, but as much as I can help, here’s a guide to stress free wedding planning.

Set boundaries and stick to them.

Honestly, I’m not sure if this needs to be said. Here it goes anyway.

Your money, your rules. If you are spending your hard earned money on your wedding, you are not obligated to take anyone else’s opinions on your day into account.

Arguably, using someone else’s money still does not make you obligated to do so. Friends and family should want to help because they love you and not so that they can make decisions about your day.

Long story short? Figure out what you can live with and what you don’t want to budge on. You can thank people for their opinions and compromise as much as you feel comfortable.

Do you really want a traditional wedding?

To be honest, I did not. My husband could not fathom having a wedding without all of his favorite people. He asked very little of me during the wedding planning process, so fine. We had a non-traditional traditional wedding.

Protect your peace and have the wedding that you want (or can reasonably live with). You don’t have to go to a big church or invite everyone you’ve known since Kindergarten. It is perfectly reasonable for you go to the mountains, or your favorite backyard and say your vows. Your wedding. Your rules.

Stress free wedding planning tips - hey tay

Does it spark joy?

One of my matrons of honor told me this the minute I started wedding planning. She told me if it stressed me out or if it didn’t make me excited to either remove it from wedding planning or outsource it.

This saved my life.

Turns out wedding favors, elaborate dances and prolonged attention on me do not spark joy. You know what does? Magic. Celebrating my sister’s birthday with her. Drinking and listening to ratchet music on the bus. So we did those things instead.

All that glitters sure ain’t gold.

Expensive doesn’t mean it’s the best. However, there are some things where you have to look at the value and determine what’s too good to be true, but don’t get caught up in that. If you want it, it’s good enough. Periodt. Just make sure you want it because you want it. Not because you’re afraid of how it looks.

(Take it from me. I stressed so much because I was worried people wouldn’t have a good time at our wedding. Turns out, people just want to see you happy. If you’re having a good time, they are too.)

Rely on your “no bullshit” friend.

Everyone has at least one. (I have about 5). You know the type. The friend who would go to war for you. Ask them if they’re comfortable being your point of contact. Chances are the answer is yes.

Anything that could even be interpreted as stressful should go through that friend. Obviously, big decisions should be a conversation but petty complaints, interpersonal drama, etc? Nah. That’s not for you.

You’re allowed to keep secrets to keep your peace.

At one point during wedding planning I just shut up. No one knew what I was doing next. There were too many voices, too many opinions, and too many people who wanted to be heard rather than people who wanted the best for me/my wedding. This is something I’m trying to apply to my everyday life as well. If it feels good to you, do it. Don’t consult anyone. Put into place and keep it moving.

When it comes up later, tell them there was a reason they didn’t know beforehand.

Seriously. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Most importantly, something’s going to go wrong. It’s Murphy’s Law. If something can, it will.

  1. My husband left his shirt at our AirBnb. The shirt that went under his jacket.
  2. He then realized he left our marriage license.
  3. Due to 1&2 our 3 hour block of time to take portraits turned into 1.5 hours.
  4. This pushed our family portraits from before the ceremony to after the ceremony.

Did I freak out? Not even slightly. I hired a competent photographer, and I had a lot of people on my side to help make the day go smoothly. Your day will be perfect just the way it happened.

Do you have any advice to give?

Leave me a comment! I’d love to share with my future couples. In the meantime, here’s some other advice I’ve given.

Help, we want a child free wedding!
Common mistakes people make on their wedding day
How to have a midwest wedding on a budget


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Hey Tay is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Kansas City, Missouri. Tayanna services the greater Kansas City area. She often provides services across the United States. She specializes in fun, unposed, and personality filled wedding and portrait photography. Available for travel worldwide.