Back in September, I got engaged!
And now, my fiancé and I are in the thick of wedding planning.
In the almost six months since that wonderful day, we’ve checked several items off our wedding to-do list:
✅ Wedding planner
✅ Guest list
✅ Save the dates
But so many to-dos still remain. I need a dress! We need to hire a DJ, florist and videographer. We need to schedule our food tasting! Invitations, signage, officiant, hair, makeup, wedding bands — the list goes on and on and on.
5 ways planning a wedding is just like running a business
Recently, I started thinking: planning a wedding has many similarities to running a business — something I consider myself not too shabby at, given that I’ve been at this whole thing for four years now.
But yet, planning a wedding is so much more challenging for me than the day-to-day of running JL&Co. Probably because it’s so personal — not to mention incredibly expensive.
In any case, there are many similarities.
Here are five ways planning a wedding is just like running a business.
1. You have to be super organized and have a plan
Wedding planning (and running a business) is not for the disorganized.
In both areas, you have to be meticulous and on top of things! You need a timeline, a plan and you have to find the tools and systems that work best for you.
Lucky for me, I consider myself a pretty organized, deadline-driven, systems-oriented person, so this is one area of wedding planning I feel well equipped to tackle.
I immediately found myself loving the various spreadsheet templates and checklists I found online, plus GSuite has been my go-to. Just like I use Google folders, documents and spreadsheets for my business, if you’re planning a wedding, you’ll probably find yourself leaning on those same tools.
Tim and I have a wedding planning Google folder. It contains a master spreadsheet of vendor research, our guest list spreadsheet, a budget spreadsheet and all of the contracts we’ve signed thus far. I also have a special folder in my email for all of our wedding-related correspondence.
Just as I have deadlines for my JL&Co client work, we have wedding deadlines to adhere to, as well! Staying organized is key for making sure we don’t miss anything.
2. You can’t do it alone — enlist help and outsource!
When things became too overwhelming in my business, I enlisted help. I hired my first team member — a step I often regard as the single smartest decision I’ve made as a business owner.
I applied that same thinking to wedding planning.
I don’t run a business by myself, so why would I plan a wedding all on my own?
As I found myself getting lost down the rabbit hole of DJs and florists, I realized I needed to enlist help, so I hired a wedding planner.
[Side note: If you’re planning a wedding, I highly recommend Naticia Fonseca from The Calla Lily Event Planning — she’s a true lifesaver.]
Yes, hiring a wedding planner is an investment, but here’s how I look at it: I invest in my business, and eventually earn more money, plus gain back time in my day.
I’m investing in our wedding, and I’m going to gain back tons of time (seriously, wedding research can be all-consuming), I’m saving myself a lot of stress AND while yes, I’m spending money on this service, I’m also saving money on our wedding overall thanks to Naticia’s connections and recommendations.
Seems like a win all around.
3. You need to be decisive
In business and wedding planning, you need to be decisive.
(If you know me well and you’re reading this, you’re probably already starting to laugh a bit.)
I’m an excellent decision maker when it comes to JL&Co. I make decisions swiftly, and often feel pretty confident in the direction I’m going.
In wedding planning and life? Not so much. I’m a mess. (Seriously, this is coming from the girl who visited 10 different furniture stores to purchase a living room couch when I moved into my apartment.)
But, decision making is an important part of planning a wedding. Since wedding planning is such a time-sensitive process, if you don’t make decisions quickly, it becomes impossible to move forward to the next step. Plus, the vendors you want might not be available.
*I’m writing this advice mostly for myself as I prepare to visit my 10th bridal shop to find a dress.*
And so, decision making is important. And if it’s something you struggle with too, better to know that upfront.
Having a very decisive fiancé has made this part of the process a little bit easier, plus hiring a planner has kept me from doing hours of initial research.
4. You need to loosen the reins a bit
As a type A, self-proclaimed control freak, here’s some advice I’m really bad at taking myself:
You need to let go.
In both wedding planning and business, you need to loosen the reigns and understand upfront that things aren’t always going to be exactly the way you want them to be.
That vendor you want? They might not be available on your wedding date. That’s OK, there’s plenty of other vendors in the sea.
Same as in business. You didn’t hear back from a prospective client? Bummer, but you move on.
5. You have to do what feels right to you
In business, lots of people have opinions about the right way to do something or to tackle a problem. While I appreciate advice from the people I love and fellow business owners, at the end of the day, I always do what feels right to me.
In planning a wedding? The opinions are aplenty.
And they mostly come from well-meaning people (like immediate family — hi, mom!) or those who have simply been in your shoes before. Planning a wedding isn’t easy! If someone has done it before, they often want to tell you what they learned.
But the opinions and advice can start to become very loud — so loud they start to drown out you and your partner’s wants and dreams for the wedding.
And that’s where, in both business and wedding planning, you need to figure out when to listen and when to trust yourself.
It’s not always the easy thing to do, but it’s usually the decision that will make you the most content.
Fellow business owners, if you’ve planned a wedding, can you think of any other similarities I may have missed? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Photos courtesy of Brian James Photo Studio,