1. Can We Actually Have a Wedding for $X?
No matter what the budget is, my answer is always "Yes!" All it takes to get married in most places is someone to officiate, a marriage license, and a willing couple. Beyond that everything is pretty much optional. The key is to adjust your expectations to your budget accordingly. If you have a $5,000 budget for an 80 person wedding, then you are going to have to spend your money very strategically and stick to the basics. You will likely have to forgo some of the beautiful decor ideas and bigger ticket items like renting fancy chairs and farm tables when the folding chairs and tables at your venue will do the job just fine. People have done all sorts of cool things to have weddings for less like this couple from Spokane who financed their entire wedding from recycling soda cans. I always say, "Where there is a will, there's a way."
2. How Do We Say "No, Thanks" to People Who Want to Help Too Much?
It's amazing when family and friends are enthusiastic about helping with the wedding, but sometimes even the most well-meaning people can end up causing you more work without realizing it; for instance, an enthusiastic friend who orders custom wine labels that will require a dozen hours to adhere to wine bottles when you and your partner aren't even big fans of custom wine labels to begin with. Having too many eager helpers is a great problem though, so you definitely want to handle it tactfully.
The best way to have family and friends help is by creating a list of all the essential tasks that will need to be done for your wedding. From there, figure out in advance the best ways for people to help you out. Say something along the lines of, "Thanks so much for offering to help, and though we really love your idea, we just need SO much help in SO many other areas. Would you mind taking this on instead?" Be prepared and have your to-do list ready to go early on, so that you're the one who controls it and can redirect people as needed.
3. How Do We Keep the Wedding Simple and Easy?
To keep things as easy as possible you want to start with creating goals for your wedding and then decide what is essential and non-essential to accomplishing those goals. When you find yourself stressed and overwhelmed, the non-essentials should be the first things to go. For instance, let's say having an amazing meal with family and friends is one of your wedding goals and halfway through the planning you find yourself over budget. What you shouldn't do is trade in a great food menu for a mediocre one, but instead look at all the items that were labeled non-essentials and begin cutting those. Having goals, essentials, and non-essentials really helps keep what's most important about your wedding in check when you're faced with the difficult decisions.
Do any of these resonate with you and where you are at with your planning? If so, we'd love to hear your thoughts below!