Planning a wedding can be a wonderful experience for some and a dread-filled, awful experience for others. The biggest difference between the two experiences isn’t necessarily budget, but time, your most precious resource.

If you’ve been putting off your wedding planning (or starting it for some of us), the new year is the perfect time to turn over a new wedding planning leaf and, the best bit is that if you do plan your planning, your wedding will go off without a hitch!

Here are a few resolutions that will ensure your wedding planning goes smoothly and with as little stress as possible.

Wedding Resolution: To Enjoy Being Engaged

It’s funny how the all-consuming process of planning a wedding can make you forget a crucial detail: that you’re engaged! When you take a step back from weddings and remind yourself that you’re marrying the perfect person for you, a wonderful feeling washes over you. And this feeling is so fantastic that it’s worth issuing yourself this reminder on a daily basis. Without it, it’s easy to get caught up in wedding-planning drama and forget how lucky in love you are.

Wedding Resolution: I will manage my time efficiently

Time management is the key to stress-free wedding preparations. In order to stick to your budgets and timelines, you MUST plan. Last-minute purchases could be costly and may not be exactly what you want, but if you give some serious consideration to time and how you’ll use it, you’ll be able to by balance your work, home and family life nicely – all while planning one of the biggest events of your life!
Remember the people around you. They’re part of the wedding too and it’s important you don’t just ignore your friends and loved ones. Be sure to stop, be in the moment, enjoy the planning and the people involved. You can only do that if you have mapped out your time and aren’t so crazy busy you don’t have time for life and the important people in yours.

Wedding Resolution: I will not end up on YouTube for the wrong reason.

Adorable processional dance? Totally acceptable path to stardom. Bridezilla freak-out on the florist who delivers hyacinths instead of hydrangeas? Not so much. On your wedding day, all eyes (and camera phones) will be on you, meaning your every move is subject to instant Internet infamy. Mind your manners and keep your panic attacks quiet to avoid the wrong kind of publicity. But that video of your dad doing the worm during your father-daughter dance? Internet gold.

Wedding Resolution: I will set a realistic budget – and stick to it

If wedding money is tight and, let’s face it, for most of us it is, be realistic about your wedding budget. Once you set it, unless it is absolutely necessary, don’t exceed it. Managing your finances realistically and cleverly will ensure you don’t end up stressing out over money, something that will surely ruin your wedding and honeymoon.
Once you set your wedding budget, keep checking and refining it. If you do come across something really special that costs more than you bargained for, a few tweaks in other areas may cover the extra cash you’re needing, but you’ll only know that if you monitor your budget regularly. Don’t just set it and forget it!
Also, part of this resolution may mean cutting back on other things through the planning stages, but don’t worry, it’s only for the duration of the planning! You can go back to your normal ways once your wedding is just a beautiful and distant memory. Try packing your own lunches and skipping your daily coffees during the wedding planning because it all adds up and, frankly, on your big day all your scrimping and saving will seem well worth it!

Wedding Resolution: Get your guest list done early

As frightening as creating a guest list may seem, it isn’t – unless you leave it until the last minute! Creating your guest list must be a high priority task because it will determine so many other things, from which venue you choose (there may be seating limitations) to how much items such as invitations or bonboniere will cost (and consequently how much of the budget needs to be allocated to those things). It really is a vital step and by getting stuck into it early will give you lots of freedom when it comes to other parts of the planning!

Wedding Resolution: I will trust my venue

Before you start micromanaging every decision your wedding planner makes, remember one thing: You’re paying them for a reason. Consider their experience and expertise an opportunity for you to relax. They want you to love the result (after all, your recommendation hinges on it!), so they’re going to strive to please. And wouldn’t you rather help someone who trusts your abilities rather than second-guesses everything you do? There’s no harm in giving a good amount of direction at the outset, but asking for daily progress reports is overkill.