Weddings

32 Ways To Make Planning A Wedding So Much Less Stressful

So you won't have to wait 'til the reception to let loose.

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We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their best wedding planning tips and tricks. Here are their tried-and-true recommendations:

1. Remember the end game is tying the knot with your partner...not finding the perfect lilac bridesmaid dresses.

NBC Universal Television

"The best advice I got came from my fiancé. He told me to focus on the only thing that matters. That no matter what happens, we will still be married at the end of the day. Everything in the world could go wrong, but it doesn’t matter in the long run. It definitely helped me to not sweat the details." --singingminnie07

2. Let bridesmaids pick and choose Rent the Runway dresses within your style preferences at a fraction of the cost of buying a dress.

renttherunway.com

"I made a list of dresses in the same color scheme and material and let them pick what they liked. It's relatively inexpensive and they don't have to worry about buying a dress that's just going to sit in their closet forever! Everyone got something they loved and felt beautiful in!" --Caitlin Maffei, Facebook

Check out the bridesmaid dress selection here. Select a dress, your size and backup size, a four or eight day rental time frame, when it'll deliver, and then return it for free. Get more info here.

Get $25 off your order of $75+ when you use the code FIRSTRTR25P at checkout.

3. Set up an email address just for wedding stuff.

"You can break it down into folders and once it’s all over, you don’t have to deal with the millions of emails from all those wedding websites you accidentally subscribed to!" --chelseap43aafe130

4. Manage your website, RSVPs, and more in one spot with The Knot app.

play.google.com

"I have used it for all my planning. It allows you to set up and customize your website, including RSVP options, as well as links to your registry. You can include things to do, accommodations, and transportation options or suggestions. Plus, it lets you search and contact vendors directly. I used Pinterest to search for all of my decorating options and the David's Bridal app to research dresses before I ever went in for my consultation. I am planning a destination wedding and have essentially planned every detail from my smart phone." --Lisa Gans, Facebook

Get The Knot app for free from iTunes or Google Play.

Read more about why we think The Knot, Amazon, Zola, and Wayfair are some of the best places to register online.

5. Take the time to learn what you can afford and what you'd like.

Zoë Burnett / BuzzFeed

"We were together seven years before we got official last June. That’s plenty of time to learn your finances as a team, knowing what you can afford, and taking time to know what you want from your wedding." --carlye419733f4c

For starters, check out our genius money-saving wedding tips you haven't already heard.

6. Stick to one piece of paper for wedding invites to slash costs.

amazon.com

"Extra info cards and RSVP cards are surprisingly reeeally expensive. Pop your wedding website address at the bottom of the invite -- you only need to buy one invite card, not three!" --steph545

Get a 50-count of these invites and printable envelopes from Amazon for $49.99.

7. And strategically bulk mail invites to save cash on postage.

Some family live far away. Instead of sending them individually, I've sent all the invites to one family member in that area, saving myself a load of postage costs." --steph545

8. Bring some fun to the planning process with cool organizational tools.

amazon.com, amazon.com, amazon.com

"Finding cute office supplies to keep you organized can make the whole process more fun -- pretty pencils or folders, funny stickers, and note pads. Entering the two-month countdown 'til mine and having fun...even with a few stress bumps." --Lynnea Dawes, Facebook

Get them from Amazon: wedding planner for $7.95, accordion document organizer for $7.99 and retractable highlighters for $8.

9. Book a vacation rental as a non-traditional wedding venue.

homeaway.com

"I found my venue on VRBO/Homeaway. They charged an extra $1,000 fee for weddings and we had to rent all of our own equipment, but we had FAR more flexibility with vendors. I was able to have two pigs smoked on the property from a local company which was WAY better than most wedding venue pre-determined, only-three-different-meals type of bull. The last thing I wanted was an indoor hotel-style wedding because that isn't my style. It might not have been that much cheaper, but it was so much fun for all of our friends and family to stay on the property for four nights and enjoy the whole weekend." --Paige Wallace, Facebook

Get the deets on this ~luxury chalet~ rental on Homeaway.

10. And if you're doing destination, tell everyone to be places an hour early.

"Don't tell your family which hotel you are staying in and tell everyone to get to the venue an hour earlier than you want them to get there because they won't know what traffic will be like in the area. Better early than sorry." --Raven McDonald, Facebook

11. Expect a few things to go wrong.

Walt Disney Animation Studios

"There are a lot of moving parts, things to do, and people to please. But you know what? It's okay if things go wrong. Stuff went wrong for my wife and me. The wedding still happened. We're married and it's great." --Patrick Bohn, Facebook

12. Buy your wedding dress online and pay for alterations...you'll still score a huge deal!

amazon.com, amazon.com

"I bought my wedding dress online. I paid $350 with alterations and everything. The dress looked amazing." --ggmedina212

For starters, check out our favorite wedding dresses from Amazon.

13. Save everything in a digital folder so you can access it (nearly) whenever, wherever.

blogs.dropbox.com

"Save all of your contracts, spreadsheets, timelines, and to-do lists on a place like Dropbox so you can access it from anywhere because vendors will absolutely call when you’re away from your computer." --keholder792

Sign up for free on Dropbox.

14. Opt for faux flowers so you don't have to stress about wilting petals or botched floral deliveries.

afloral.com, afloral.com

"We bought fake flowers months ahead so we knew nothing would go wrong with them." --m4629372ca

Get them from Afloral: Silk Rose and Ranunculus for $30 and Plastic Lily of the Valley Bouquet for $8.75.

15. Skip the wedding favors. Guests won't even notice!

"Don’t do favors. They’re a waste of money and a pain in the ass. No one will care if you don’t have them anyway." --keholder792

16. Use digital save the dates and invites.

greenvelope.com

"Using electronic save the dates and invitations cost less than $100 for 80 guests! It coordinated the RSVP list, acted as a wedding website, collected dietary requirements, and meant that we got RSVPs within minutes of sending them. It also let us track who opened them so we knew everyone had seen it! And at the end, let us customize thank you notes. It was so easy and convenient, good for the environment, and really fun designing everything. We used Greenvelope, but there are other options available." --elizabethp47865e3ac

Get this City Living Save the Date from Robinson Paperie on Greenvelope.

Also check out other digital invite options at Paperless Post, wedivite, and Punchbowl.

17. And let tech-averse relatives RSVP by calling a phone number.

MTV

"Set up an online RSVP. If you have technology averse relatives, include a phone number they can call to RSVP." --blrmkr10

18. Decide on your priorities and work your way from there.

etsy.com, amazon.com

"It will help you figure out what type of event you want and where to have it. (We wanted the ceremony and reception in one place, beautiful photo backdrop, and good food!) Then start planning one thing at a time in order of importance. (We did venue, then photographer, then dress, etc.) When you’re picking things like flowers and clothes, think about how they fit with the rest of the event (ie., formal dresses on the beach or low-key dresses in a cathedral might not suit). Lastly, remember that whatever you choose, the people at your wedding won’t have any idea what the other options were they so won’t have anything to compare to!" --elizabethp47865e3ac

Get the notepad from Amanda Cowgill Designs on Etsy for $18 and book from Amazon for $7.91 (paperback).

19. Get married in Vegas and let someone else do all the work.

yelp.com

"Get married in Vegas! I don’t need to lift a finger. Everything is sorted. Just gotta turn up!" --maisiee2

Check out more IRL wedding pics -- and booking info -- from Vegas's Chapel of the Flowers on Yelp.

20. Don't wait until the last minute to get wedding bands.

etsy.com, etsy.com, etsy.com

"I work at a jewelry store and one of the mistakes I see couples make all too often is waiting to get the weddings bands until it’s too late. This is especially problematic when guys insist on tungsten rings or titanium. Those can’t be sized…ever, so they have to be special ordered, which can take a few weeks. So get your wedding bands ordered, sized, and ready to go as soon as you are able." --tomh4f972bc84

Get them from Etsy (clockwise from left): Sterling Silver Botanical from Mossy Creek for $80, recycled sterling-silver bands from Point No Point Studio for $135, and heart silver wedding bands from Kosmika for $82.19.

21. Hire a good DJ or set up a playlist to avoid awkward NSFW music moments.

"Don’t hire a cheap DJ. Ours had a database of music that was not properly labeled. So thanks to that mishap, when there was supposed to be a different Irish song played, our DJ instead blasted 'Fuck You, I’m Drunk' to a room full of our super-conservative family members. Awkward." --blueberrypi

22. Give yourself ample time to plan the seating chart.

amazon.com

"As a wedding planner, I cannot stress enough how important it is to start your seating plan early. It’s so much more time consuming and complicated than you realize -- I’ve lost count of the number of couples I’ve known who are still doing it until the small hours of the morning of their wedding." --charlyaikens

Check out AllSeated, a free service that lets you import your guests' names from an Excel doc and venue's floor plans.

Get this custom seating chart from Amazon for $40.50.

24. Collect guests' info -- for hotels reservations, thank you notes, whatever -- via Google forms.

"We used Google forms to collect address information and figure out who needed to take advantage of our room block at the hotel. We sent the link to people via text or Facebook and they responded to the questions on the form, (kind of like a survey). It also made it easy to copy and paste their address into a template for address labels!" --lalalaurenb

25. Just elope!

yelp.com

"Elope. Seriously. My wedding cost $100, (including the marriage license). It was small, private, and beautiful. The little old British lady who married us cried through the whole ceremony. I got to wear comfortable clothes and not be stressed. We both enjoyed the moment and the whole day with no stress and little money." --carleebrainy

26. A simple civil ceremony can be good...no, great!

Universal Media Studios (UMS)

"Currently planning my wedding. Got engaged February 5th, wedding day is March 31st. We will be having a simple civil wedding ceremony with just our parents, then party with friends and family that evening. Nothing too big, being a Latino family everyone pitched in in a heart beat. Cousin got the taquero, sister got the dj, mom got decorations, so on and so forth. Point is, a huge wedding is not necessary, as long as you get to marry the person you love. I’m sure simplicity can be just as beautiful." --chris33

27. Delegate tasks to those willing (and able) to help.

"What took the pressure off me was delegating. All my bridesmaids told me up front 'whatever you need us to do, we got you.' They and our groomsmen REALLY stepped up when it came down to the wire and shit hit the fan. I also had A LOT of people that helped us out or that offered and I took them up on it. That really helped me!" --kellys83

28. Don't get hung up on details that don't work out the way you like.

Vice

"If something doesn’t go exactly way you want it, just take a breath and move on to something new. Does anyone else really care about aisle decorations, if the bouquets are real, or the calligraphy on the invite? No. Don’t spend time and money worrying about things that don’t work out because of budget or logistics. The day is about you and the one you love." --r4c8300e31

29. Ditch the cake in favor of easier, budget-friendly desserts.

Amy Sefton / BuzzFeed

"Ditch the cake. They are so overpriced and usually don’t taste as good as you’d like them to. Go with something offbeat like pies or cookies. Have a small cake or cupcakes if you really want to do the feeding-each-other-cake thing. I doubt anyone will care." --jaken49b348b4c

Get some ideas from these desserts better than traditional cake.

30. Don't listen to what other people tell you your wedding should be like.

NBC Universal Television

"Everyone and their grandma’s friend’s dog will have advice. Everyone will strangely want different things for YOUR wedding. Don’t let other people make you crazy. Focus on having the wedding you and your partner want in a budget you can afford, and you will be happy." --mrsh810

31. Don't become a Pinterest wedding craft martyr.

Chris Ritter/BuzzFeed

"It’s all well and good making 100 wedding crafts yourself, but do you realistically have the time to do it? Make a check list and go through them one by one, try and do it during your spare time, and do it at a time and place where you can focus 100% and not be interrupted." --katieelephant

32. And maybe pull a Britney and have a surprise wedding.

Time Telepictures Television

"My wife and I invited everyone to an engagement party, which we just happened to get married at. No pressure, no hurt feelings, just one big party. I would marry her again like that in a heartbeat. It was perfect." --jenb4b21a145f