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Hi there! Welcome to the Magdalena Studios blog, a journal where we share weddings, travel, resources for brides & entrepreneurs, and a glimpse of our lives. When we're not photographing some of the most romantic weddings around the world, we're either fixing up our beach bungalow, surfing and swimming in the ocean, or cooking up veggie burgers. Alongside my (soon-to-be) husband Scott and our trustworthy team of creatives, our life mission is to capture joyful love stories and effortless real-life moments.

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Wedding Resources

5 Planning Musts to Avoid Pre-Wedding Panic

The cliche of a stressed out bridezilla has been depicted to death on the Hollywood screen. If you want to avoid being one of them, all your wedding planning requires is a little (or a lot of) extra thought, from your wedding invitations to your transport on the day. Here are some planning essentials to prevent any freakouts during the lead up to the wedding. Yes, it is an important day and possibly the biggest event you’ve ever organised, but no, it doesn’t have to involve moment by moment panic. It’s all in the organisation.

1. Download and print a master checklist

Lists are a way to free up your head space. You can either have a thousand things bouncing around in your brain or just one thing to remember: Where is my list? Working from an ultimate checklist created by wedding industry professionals is the way to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything important. Your wedding is not an everyday occurrence so there may be details that you’re not aware of.

Start with this master list as a base and then add to it as needed. It should be broken down into a wedding timeline and give you different tasks as you get closer to the big day. An individual list is also necessary for one week before the wedding, the day before and a master run sheet with times to distribute to key people so that your day can run smoothly.

  2. Create a budget and stick to it

Financial stress can be one of the big roadblocks to enjoying your wedding planning. You don’t need to be rich to have an enjoyable wedding or planning experience. All you need is to be prepared and on the same page with your partner and anyone else who will be contributing financially – often this includes your bridal party and parents. Start by have a frank conversation about finances with everyone involved so you can create your overall budget.

Looking at wedding budgets online or in magazines may help you decide what percentage of your total wedding budget to allocate where. This is just a rough indication though, and the details depend on what’s important to you.

  3. Decide on non-negotiables with your partner

Deciding on your must-haves for the wedding with your partner is crucial. What matters most to you both? Where is the majority of your wedding budget going to go? Where will you compromise or go DIY? Get the big ticket items locked in early, so you won’t have unpleasant cashflow surprises later on.

Some things to decide on early:

  • Wedding planner (if you want one)
  • Ceremony and reception venue/wedding date

  • Caterers (if needed)

  • Wedding dress

  • Photographer
  • Celebrant

  • Wedding party members

Try to keep your non-negotiables to five or under. Some examples may be a church ceremony, live band, or cake from a certain vendor. Whatever your differences are, try to end up on the same page as each other. You know what they say about a house divided, and it’s important to attack the wedding planning as a team.

  4. Order all wedding stationery in one go

Why bother coming back to the same site five times to order your stationery in dribs and drabs? Choosing all of your stationery at the one time doesn’t mean you’re locked into matchy matchy. If you want a cute floral theme for your bridal shower and hens night, but gold foil and burgundy for your winery wedding invitations, then go for it! As long as cards in the same invitation suite (like for your wedding) don’t clash with each other, you can really choose anything you like.

  5. Delegate!

I know it’s hard for us Type-A personalities, but at some point you have to loosen the reins or you’re going to become a mascara-streaked puddle of crazy, possibly blowing out your careful pre-wedding diet by downing a whole box of cookies. Trust me, neither your bridesmaids, family or hubby-to-be want to see that happen. And we know that’s not your plan either. The most obvious idea for delegation is to hire a wedding planner. If that doesn’t suit you (or your budget), lean on your bridesmaids, your parents and your partner – plus any other trusted people that are willing to help.

We spoke about lists earlier – look at your master list and divide it into smaller lists with a name at the top of each. Then let them handle it! Give out the lists and check back with your squad in a couple of weeks to see how they’re doing.

  6. Make room for pampering and fun

Amidst all the trips to craft stores, phone calls with wedding vendors and late nights tying ribbons on your thank you gifts, it’s easy to forget to make time to relax. Having fun and enjoying life is probably what made you fall in love with your partner in the first place! Take a moment to think about what would help you let your hair down and plan a date together, or even a night of fun with your bride squad. Or better yet, let someone else plan it for you.

Even the small things can make a big difference. Take time for a bike ride, a facial or an hour at a cafe with your coffee and a book. Remembering your hobbies at a time like this can really help you stay sane – so write a short list (while we’re at the lists) of go-to activities that will help you de-stress.

If you’re too panicked to think of ideas, we’ve got you covered:

  • Hit the gym

  • Get a relaxation massage
  • Go for a hike or nature walk

  • Binge watch some Netflix
  • Retail therapy
  • Visit a museum or art gallery

  • Colouring in
  • Sleep

The prepared bride doesn’t need to be really stressed for longer than a few moments here or there. Excellent planning is the key to a smooth sailing wedding season. And this one last tip: reach a point in your wedding planning (even if it’s the day before the wedding) that you just tell yourself: “I’ve done all I can and whatever happens will happen from now on”. It might be helpful to tell your bridesmaids that after a certain point you don’t even want to know if something goes wrong – just ask them in advance to handle it. Then sit back and get ready to enjoy the best day of your life.

~ Article written by Lil Williams from Paperlust

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