It might be the most frequent question we’re asked: “How can I have a stress-free wedding?” As soon as someone I meet learns about Pop! Wed, they’re always curious about the stress. Hey, it makes sense. Weddings can be a bit overwhelming sometimes! And it’s, quite literally, our job to erase the stress of wedding planning for our couples, so…it’s a fair question.

Regardless of the size of your wedding, whether you plan a Pop! Wedding or not, everyone deserves a fun and stress-free wedding planning process. So, with that in mind, here are a few of our favorite tricks for cutting down on wedding planning stress.

stress free wedding ideas in washington dc
Dedi and Wayne were married at home but they dreamed of having a marching band escort them to their ceremony, so they went for it! And it was EPIC.

Planning a Stress-Free Wedding

First: Prioritize

In short, if your wedding day ends with you married to your partner, it’s been a success.

With that said, a lot of people have been dreaming about bits and pieces of their wedding for months, years, or even decades, myself included. And you want your wedding to live up to your expectations! This is where priorities come into play.

A fun exercise for deciding on your wedding priorities:

  1. Sit down with your fiance. Maybe over your favorite beverage…
  2. Without talking to each other, write down your three top priorities for your wedding. A bright green wedding dress? A reunion of all the groom’s college friends with their partners? A fantastic photographer? A badass honeymoon?
  3. Then, discuss! Try to come up with three top priorities for your wedding. Three things that you both believe are the absolute most important.

If you build your whole wedding around these three things, you’ll find that you’re way more focused. Things that aren’t priorities can be a bonus, but if it’s not on your priority list, it isn’t allowed to cause you stress. It isn’t allowed. (I tried to say this to myself over and over while we planned our wedding. It actually kind of worked.)

stress-free wedding planning with pop wed co
Yeshi and Samantha were married in a pie shop they loved, and then ran around Georgetown taking fantastic photos! Easy. Stress-free. Awesome.

And…Prioritizing the Budget

Getting your wedding priorities straight will also help with budgeting. You’ll spend more on your top three list, and compromise on the rest to stick to the budget. If you absolutely have to get married at the super fancy new rooftop venue in DC with costs to match, maybe the food could be Amsterdam Falafel catering, or food trucks. You’d save a ton, plus everyone loves falafel. They catered one of our weddings and I can tell you from personal experience, the guests were stoked.

You might spend half your wedding budget on photography, like we did. And forget the boutonnieres, and only buy one bottle of champagne (lesson learned, always buy more champagne). But photography was a priority, and those other things were not. And our wedding was pretty awesome anyway. The photos — they were worth it to us. Steven got his chocolate chocolate cake, and we ended up married, so really, it all worked out in the end. 😁

how to plan a stress-free wedding
We had a stress-free wedding and the cake Steven dreamed about (just look at that “I’m getting cake!!!!!” face 😂)

Ignore tradition for tradition’s sake

There’s a lot of history and tradition wrapped up into weddings. I’d venture a guess that tradition is one of the biggest stressors in wedding planning. (If not the single biggest.)

So when a relative asks you if you’ll be playing the shoe game, or your grandpa insists on you getting married in a house of worship that you’d rather avoid, ask them and yourself why. Is there a special reason this is important to them, and to you? Or are they suggesting this idea because it’s “what everyone does?” If it’s the latter, the tradition can likely be avoided or ignored with no pain caused. Maybe your aunt just loved the shoe game when they played it at your cousin’s wedding — but she’ll enjoy the entertainment you have planned just as much. Or more!

Maybe your grandfather holds his religious beliefs very close to his heart, and can’t imagine a wedding honoring those beliefs in another location. One way we’ve been able to help in this type of situation is to include a special reading in the ceremony honoring the family’s beliefs. As a bonus, the family member in question could have the honor of reading the passage they love themself. Having a beloved guest read something special during your wedding ceremony is always a beautiful tribute. It can also help family feel included and special on your wedding day!

Ask Around!

Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for wedding vendor recommendations! If you loved the wedding photographer at your cousin’s wedding, that says more about them than reviews on the internet ever could.

You can also pull recommendations from non-wedding events, or from your own life. For example, what’s your favorite restaurant? Do they do catering? Or even better, do they have a private room where you could host your ceremony, reception, or both? You’d be surprised how many restaurants have private spaces for events. And it’d be pretty cool to get married at the place where you had your first date — or just a great restaurant you both love.

Once you’ve hired your top priority wedding vendor, ask that person for recommendations. Wedding vendors are always working with each other, and like-minded vendors get hired together frequently. Chances are, your wedding photographer has a few great florist recommendations up their sleeve!

Just married DC wedding photos
Orlena and Benji’s wedding was super stress-free and full of giant smiles

We hope your wedding is as stress-free and epic as Dedi and Wayne’s! Or if you’d prefer something laid back and private, that’s awesome too. If you have other wedding planning questions for us, ask us in the comments or by email!

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