Getting engaged to my fiancé was one of the most exciting days of my life! After the initial shock of getting engaged wore off about two weeks later (I still can’t believe it sometimes), I realized there are A LOT of logistics involved in planning a wedding. Like most busy women in white coats, I work almost every weekend and am on call frequently. This leaves limited time for planning one of the most important days of my life. That being said, I wanted to share some advice that has helped me remain (mostly) stress-free throughout the planning process:
1. Set a budget: For anyone who has planned or is in the process of planning a wedding, there is one thing you will learn quickly – it is EXPENSIVE. Costs add up, and the larger the guest list, the bigger the price tag. Set a realistic budget and stick to it. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and want to go “all out” on your big day. My fiancé and I have significant student loans from years of graduate school and advanced training. We both agreed that we do not want to go into debt planning our wedding, which would make the planning process all the more stressful.
2. Use you weekdays wisely: Since I work weekends, I usually have a day off during the week. I take advantage of some of this time to make appointments with vendors, tour possible venues, and try on wedding dresses. The added bonus – most people are working and I have everyone’s undivided attention. My fiancé and I have even planned dinner after visiting vendors for an impromptu date night (multitasking for the win).
3. Prioritize: For me, a good photographer is a top priority. For my fiancé, a good DJ that will have our guests dancing all night is at the top of his list. Since flowers rank low, we are looking to rent centerpieces instead. Knowing what is important to us as a couple helps us direct how much of our budget we should be allocating toward each vendor. If the budget runs out, items low on our list will get cut.
4. Let your significant other help: As much of a type-A control freak I am, my fiancé wants to help – and I let him. After all, if I trust him enough to marry him, I should trust that he knows how I envision our wedding day to be. He has been so helpful in making appointments, sending important emails, negotiating contracts, and gathering addresses for our guest list. He has saved me hours of work, and it keeps him involved in the planning and excited for the big day!
5. It’s okay to turn the planning off sometimes: Naturally after getting engaged, everyone will want to talk about the wedding and your plans. If I have a rough day at work or my fiancé is really tired, it is known that we don’t discuss wedding plans. Feeling the pressure to talk about plans when you’ve already had a crummy day isn’t helpful for anyone. Take a deep breath, relax, and refocus when ready again.
6. Let work know: As soon as my fiancé and I set a date, we let our jobs know. My call schedule is made for the year, so by notifying everyone as early as possible, I was able to ensure there is enough coverage during my time off for the wedding and honeymoon. The last thing you want to be doing a week or two before your wedding day is negotiating call schedules and days off with colleagues, when they likely already have plans too.
Planning a wedding is no small feat – it’s reasonable to expect a few bumps in the road along the way, but at the end of the day you get to marry your best friend. I would love to hear other planning tips and tricks from fellow busy women in white coats. Leave your comments and tips below.
Dr. Danielle Lombardi is a board-certified Pediatric Dentist living and working in New York City. She is one of the authors of “The Chronicles of Women in White Coats,” as well as one of the editors for the Women in White Coats blog. She can be followed on Instagram @doctor.lombardi
photo credit: imagestudio.com