If you’re not planning to hire a wedding planner, you’ll need to be slightly more organized than the average bride. This doesn’t mean you have to be a high maintenence one, though–there are totally fuss-free ways to plan a wedding this way.
We’ve rounded them up here so you can go back to being that totally *chill* bride we know you are.
1. Use a checklist app.
There are tons of free online and mobile apps that tell you everything you need to do and when (aka, what a planner would have done). We like WeddingHappy, but you can also go with someone as simple as Real Simple’s Wedding Checklist.
2. Use budget tools
First, figure out how much you can spend on the total wedding (this wedding calculator is helpful). Then, sign up for a budget app like Mint or more specifically the Wedding Budget App to manage expenses from there.
3. Make a wedding website
This is purely for the purpose of centralizing all the information for guests (and even vendors can use it too!). You don’t need a 500-word essay on your love story–you just need the addresses, times, hotel names, all the relevant information so you can field any and all requests (that would normally come in to your planner) to the website. Click here for more info on building a wedding website.
4. Pull vendor contracts offline
You’re going to be representing yourself in all vendor dealings, so cover yourself by downloading vendor contract templates offline and make your vendors sign them! Try Shake Law, it’s free.
5. Have vendors do research for you
Don’t get sucked into the abyss of Pinterest for every single thing–you can’t suddenly become an expert on lighting and flowers and songs that get people on the dancefloor. Let your vendors do the work for you! Ask them to come prepared for your meetings so you can simply approve or deny their suggestions. You don’t need to plan every detail–that’s their area of expertise. You will drive yourself insane if you try to do all that work.
6. Make a day-of plan
Your day-of plan should be solid, and should involve enlisting the help of your bridesmaids, parents, groomsmen and any generous-feeling family members that have offered to help. It takes a village! Let someone else handle tips, usher guests, answer guest questions, hand out favors, etc. These are things your planner would do, so if you’re skipping a planner someone that isn’t you will need to do them.