Stress Free Wedding By Charles Moll Photography

10 Tips for a Stress Free Wedding Planning Experience

Last updated on May 28th, 2024 at 02:57 pm

Planning a wedding can be one of the most exciting times in a person’s life, but it can also be incredibly stressful. From choosing the perfect venue to finding the right dress, there are countless decisions to make. However, with a little bit of planning and organization, you can have a stress-free wedding planning experience. Here are 10 tips to help you plan your dream wedding without the stress.

10 tips to have a Stress Free Wedding

Stress Free Wedding By Charles Moll Photography

Stress Free Wedding tip #1 – Set values for your wedding day and hold on to those.

Do you want your wedding to be a giant party? Do you want it to be an intimate celebration of your love with friends and family? Or do you want it to be something else entirely?

Sit down with your fiance and list out what you want the day to feel like. This might sound silly, but you need a north star in wedding planning or you will very quickly end up with a wedding that isn’t really what you want and you won’t know why. 

When my wife and I planned our wedding, we wanted it to be a celebration of our love. We wanted it to be a time to thank all the people in our life who meant so much to us.

By setting these values when we started to get stressed about planning we were able to reorient on the main thing to find a solution to the stressor that fit within the values of the day.

Stress Free Wedding tip #2 – The Venue

Stress Free Wedding By Charles Moll Photography

 Find a Venue to fit your style, budget, and the number of people you want to attend..

The best advice for coordinating your day and ensuring all goes right is to keep everything as close to one another as possible. 

The Best option is always to host your ceremony and reception at the same venue. This makes for so much convenience and ease, not just for you, but also for your guests. With only one location people aren’t getting lost on their way to the reception. If you have no clue where to start take a look at our list of favorite Bozeman Wedding Venues

Now let’s be realistic. This is not going to happen if you are having your ceremony at your family church. I totally understand an, my wedding was at my church, but that being said, choose a reception venue as close as possible.  Simply keep this in mind and try to keep the driving distance to a minimum. This is a great way to keep things simple, but also to protect your guests who have been drinking.

This same rule applies to getting ready. If the guys are getting 40 minutes away from the girls – you may be having a bad time!

There isn’t a wrong venue choice, but here are a couple of other things to keep in mind.

  1. Montana weather is unpredictable, so have a backup plan if you want to do an outside ceremony. (The biggest temperature change ever recorded was in Montana)
  2. Make sure the venue you choose fits in with your wedding values and budget. 
  3. Check on the venue’s alcohol policy if this is something you are hoping to have at your wedding.
  4. Consider a weekday wedding. Some venues offer discounted rates for weekday weddings.

Stress Free Wedding tip #3 Spend money on what you actually care about.

Tips To Have A Stress Free Wedding


Weddings are expensive. It seems like as soon as your throw the word wedding in front of something it immediately costs at least 1k, but why would you spend a ton on something that isn’t important to you.

Go back to tip 1, setting values for your wedding. When thinking through what you want at your wedding look at what you value. 

Do you want a big party? Spend money on a dj.

Do you want to thank the people that mean the most to you in your life? Spend a little extra on the food. 

Do you really want a wedding with a luxurious feel? Spend the money on a nice venue.

The one outlier to this rule is the photographer. Spend as much as you can afford. (Trust me I’m not saying this because I’m a photographer) Photos are the only thing, besides your spouse, that you will have to remember your wedding day. I have seen way too many people skimp in this category and deeply regret it years later.

With that being said, make sure the photographer knows your values and their style matches with them. If your main value is to spend the day with the ones you love, maybe don’t get the photographer that will keep you for an hour plus doing amazing portraits. On the other hand, if that is something you want, find the best wedding portrait photographer you can afford! We would love to chat and see how we can capture your day in the most authentic way possible

Stress-Free Wedding tip #4 – The Frick’n Guest list….

In all honesty, this is a big challenge. There are tons of people you love and value and tons of people your parents love and value.  Every family is different so this tip isn’t going to be a one-size-fits-all all approach, but I hope to give some helpful thoughts regarding this matter.


  1. Land on a number and stick to it. It is easy to say we can add just “one more person” and that one person can turn into twenty making it even harder to cut it down.
  2. Recognize not everyone you invite is going to come to the wedding. Usually, you can invite 15%-20% more people than will attend. Sometimes it is good to invite Uncle Billy who lives thousands of miles away because then he might feel bad he can’t come and get you a wedding gift.
  3. Set hard lines on how many people your family can invite. Now, this won’t work for every situation, but it does help to keep the people at the wedding people you know and value. One way to do this is the 1-1-2 strategy. For every 1 person each set of parents invites, the couple gets 2. So for a wedding of 200, each set of parents can invite 50 people and the bride and groom can invite 100. This can be broken down further so that the bride and groom each invite 50 people.
  4. Set Boundaries and stick to them. Do people get a plus 1? Can kids come? You need to land on these things before you start the guest list and stick to them. It will cause conflict, but it will also help eliminate a lot of hurt feelings of why one person can bring a date and the other can not. 
  5. Keep the main thing the main thing. It can be so easy to get lost in the weeds with the guest list, but remember why you are getting married and what your wedding values are. If one of your values is to have the guests be people who really matter to you, consider having a smaller wedding and only inviting those people

Stress-Free Wedding Tip #5 – Automate. Delegate. Eliminate.

There is a lot to do for a wedding. Too much to do for anyone working full-time who doesn’t want to end up in a massive stress pit. (Unless you are one of those super high-capacity people who love planning.)

This is why it is essential to Automate, delegate, & Eliminate as much as possible. But what does that mean?


1. Automate.

Use the technology at your disposal to make life easier. There are a ton of different ways you can go about automating your wedding planning.

 Some great options are using platforms like the knot. This will help handle all of your RSVPs, your guest list, your registry, and any information people need to know all in one place. (They also have a great wedding planning app to keep you on track!)

Another option with automating is to have addresses printed on your invitations. While this may cost more money, it does save a ton of time. Be creative and look for tech solutions around repetitive or mundane tasks. Very likely there is an app for that.


2. Delegate

We all hate certain things. For my wife and me, it was decorations. Thankfully we were able to ask some friends to help with this. They were glad to help and loved doing it. Ask your friends and family to help. Or better yet hire a professional.


3. Eliminate

Just because a bridal magazine says it, you don’t have to do it. Is there a certain aspect of a wedding day that you don’t like? Eliminate it. There is no setlist on what a wedding needs to look like, make your wedding day meaningful to you. 


What is something you need to Automate, Eliminate or Delegate?

Stress Free Wedding tip #6 Plan a Honeymoon.


Plan a Honeymoon. Your marriage is a special thing and your wedding is a very exciting event. Celebrate that with your spouse. Don’t have your wedding on Saturday and then go to work on Monday. Take time and enjoy what just happened before jumping back into the busyness of life. 

Tell the hustle, rise and grind, culture to hop off. If you are anything like me you aren’t good at rest and vacation, but this is an important discipline. Don’t move so quickly through your wedding and your life that you don’t even realize what is happening. The honeymoon gives you time to rest after planning and just a good time with your spouse.

Lastly, you don’t need to go to Cancun or spend an arm and a leg to have a honeymoon. Go on a road trip, stay at a family cabin. What you do doesn’t matter. What matters, is that you do something.

Stress-Free Wedding Tip #7 Plan for the worst, hope for the best

Montana weather can change on a dime. Before the last wedding I photographed, there was a 100% chance of rain during and leading up to the ceremony. Guess what? The day turned into a beautiful sunny 80+ day. Just because the weather forecast looks ok, doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Always have some sort of plan B, especially if you want to do your ceremony outdoors. 

Look at options for pest control, poor weather, or even things like extremely smokey days. When planning an event months out, you need to have options for the worst-case scenario 

Stress Free Wedding tip #8 Have a “Flexible Schedule”

When having a wedding you need a schedule. Now I can hear all the type B free spirits dying a little bit inside. But seriously, if you don’t have a solid schedule you will have a bad time. Be sure when looking at your wedding day to have wiggle room in each time slot, because something will always take longer than you think.

 Here are a couple of sample wedding day schedules.

Traditional – no first look

1030a Details

11a Getting ready

1-2p Wedding Party Portraits – (Separated by whose side you are on)

3:30p Ceremony details

4p Ceremony

430p family portraits & full bridal party

5p bride & groom portraits

5p cocktail hour

First Look Timeline

1030a details

11a getting ready

12:30/1p First Look/Bride & Groom Portraits

2p bridal party

3p family portraits

3:30p Ceremony details

4p Ceremony

4:30p cocktail hour

5:30p reception- Bridal party entrance- Speeches- Dinner- Cake cutting- First dances- Open dance floor

7:00p open dance floor – chacha slide

8/8:30p sunset or evening portraits (These can be hard to get with early summer weddings in Montana if you are planning on leaving any earlier than 9pm)

9/9:15p send off /bookend images – (It’s always better to leave earlier if you are planning on doing an exit because people start to leave your wedding following the first dances. Leave when the party is in full swing to have great exit photos.)


Which would you do, First look or no first look?

Stress-Free Wedding tip #9 – The Reception Party


One of the best parts of every wedding is the after-party. It’s a time to really celebrate and get some intentional time with loved ones you wouldn’t otherwise. Here are 3 tips to make sure your dance party kicks ass.


  1. Play dance music. Now I love the Luminers as much as the next guy, but it’s not dance music. Look for songs that are high energy and cross-generational to get everyone out on the dance floor.
  2. Actually Dance. Your wedding will follow your lead. If you as the bride and groom dance. Everyone will dance. If you don’t dance, the party will die. People want to celebrate with you.
  3. Hire a professional. You have a ton to do planning your wedding, and for a lot of people building a playlist is just an added stress.

Stress-Free Wedding tip # 10 – Don’t be afraid to ask for help or hire a wedding planner.

Planning a wedding can be a daunting task, and it’s okay to admit that you may need some help. Consider hiring a wedding planner to take on some of the responsibilities and alleviate some of the stress. They can help with everything from finding vendors to managing the timeline on the day of the wedding. If hiring a wedding planner isn’t in your budget, don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family. They may be more than happy to lend a hand and make your wedding planning experience a little easier.

Closing Thoughts

To have a stress free wedding ultimately you need a team of vendors you can trust. Probably your most important vendor is the photographer you select for your wedding day. Instead of worrying about your wedding photos, choose Charles Moll Photography to capture your day and help create memories that will last a lifetime. Contact us and learn more about our wide range of services.

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