The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Planning A Wedding

Want a traditional-ish celebration without too much hassle? Here’s how to do the bare minimum for each step of the planning process to guarantee a fun party — and keep your mom happy.

Two brides and a flower bouquet in a collage
Sean Gladwell, Vstock, Yuttana Jaowattana, EyeEm, MOAimage, Paul Burns, Deborah Jaffe, Irina Marwan/Getty Images

When Do I Realistically Need To Start Planning?

The earlier you start, the less stressful it will be, Rachel Jo Silver, the founder and CEO of Love Stories TV, a video platform for wedding planning and inspiration, tells Bustle. “No one wants to make decisions under pressure or in a hurry,” Silver says. “My advice is always to start planning shortly after being engaged. If you make a guest list and book a venue early, you'll be in great shape.” After that, plan based on what’s most important to you. “If you care the most about photos, book your photographer really early,” Silver says. “Or if dancing is your number one biggest thing, book your band early. Because the earlier you book them, [the more likely you are to] get your first choice.”

What's The Deal With Wedding Planners? Do I Actually Need One?

In short, probably. “I recommend the more low-maintenance you are, the more you should really consider a wedding planner,” Silver says. “Even if you want to have a 'low-key' wedding, you still want your guests to be comfortable and have a great time, which means lots of decision making. Hiring a wedding planner means you get to make way less decisions! You can hire a great planner, convey any strong feelings you have, and then sit back and let them deal with the nitty gritty.”

What Are The Time-Sucking, Unnecessary Things I Can Skip Right Off The Bat?

Luckily, lots of things. “I think wedding favors are a thing people stress about and spend money on that guests don't really care about,” Silver says. Other easy skips? Welcome signs, ceremony programs, custom cocktails named after you, and — unless your wedding is in a remote area and guests are arriving late at night — welcome bags. “People don't care about that stuff,” Silver says. “People care about temperature control, about not having to wait in line for drinks.”