The Ultimate Guide to Having a Stress-Free Wedding

Robyn Paige Photography

June 29, 2021

There’s no shortage of married people who’ll tell you how bloody stressful it is to plan a wedding. These same people shall be quite forthcoming with things they’d do differently if they had their time over, and really, really, REALLY often, it’s changing *something* so they didn’t carry that stress into the big day.

All humans and many animals know that you cannot simply turn off stress like it was a light or your computer or your sex drive after watching Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher in the latest season of The Crown. If it were so easy, stress would really not be a thing, now would it? We’d just turn ourselves off, do a restart and voila! Stress Free Sally is back in da house, never to think of Gillan/Thatcher ever, ever again *shivers uncontrollably*.

So, let’s talk about how to have less stress and way, way more fun. Afterall, regrets are the pits and honestly, a waste of future-you’s precious energy. It really is a wonderful, beautiful, special time for you and your fab partner, your sweetie, your love! Let’s make your memories glow rosy and marvellous, and not be tinged with an overwhelming sense of the Never Agains.

Why are we doing this again?

You’re getting mazzed to the person you love dearly, who brings you cups of tea in bed, is happy to watch Parks and Rec for the twelfth time, and makes you feel all kinds of happy inside and out. That’s the key part, if you break it all down. But it’s so darn easy to get super caught up in small details, things and people that do not matter and straight-up dumb shit that you wouldn’t normally give two hoots about. You are not alone.

If you’re starting to get your panties in a bunch about the below, or any variations forthwith:

● What your Aunty said about wedding flowers

● Whether turmeric or terracotta is the right earthy shade for the organic linen napkins

● Who you should invite from work, or

● If the dress you love will necessitate you getting a Brazilian Butt Lift

Then it’s time to go back to the question, ‘Why are we doing this again?’ Because you love a person whom you want to spend your life with. Focusing on this will mean that other things matter way less.

Mega important side note: bugger your Aunty’s views on artificial flowers vs real; either colour napkin will look grand; only invite colleagues whom you have a relationship with outside of work; and your butt is great JUST THE WAY IT IS.

Delegate + Dial Back the DIY

This is going to be controversial because I know many, many Rock ‘n’ Roller brides are super mega into DIY. I get it, so am I! But it’s about knowing your limits and not taking on too much.

Stress Free Sally is def not folding the remaining 453 paper cranes at 11pm the night before the wedding. In fact, our mate Sally probably decided that 1000 cranes were way too many yonks ago and ditched that idea, toot suite! She is not hanging 200m of festoons lights using a ladder that’s about a foot too short for the job, the day before the wedding. She is definitely not folding napkins into swans while also getting her hair and makeup done 90 mins before the ceremony is due to start.

Perhaps choose a few projects that you’d love to do that’ll both personalise your wedding day AND help with the budget. If you want to do the flowers, your wedding day might not be the right day to try out floristry for the first time. Instead, why not consider a project to create decorations for the ceremony, or a beautiful display for your family photos?

As much as your budget will allow, call in the professionals

Think of it as an investment in your sanity and the fun you’ll have for the whole wedding period. Quite a prudent investment, no? Whether that’s in the form of a stylist, planner, florist or cake maker, it’ll mean that you shall not give a single thought to those things, as it’s all being taken care of. Amazing!

If your budget won’t allow for additional paid help, call in your most useful family and friends to help you complete your projects and/or do the set-up with you. And when I say useful, I mean, known to be efficient/handy/the get-things-done type. Make a plan, delegate jobs and get shit done together!

Set a clock-off time way in advance

No matter what format your wedding is taking; whether heavy on the DIY against my sound advice #smh, not much for you to do, or somewhere in between, I simply cannot stress with enough passion how important it is for you and your love to ‘Clock Off’ at least 24 hours before the wedding. Whatever is not done at this magical point, is either not getting done or has been delegated to a trusted person. It’s time to get your nails done, have a massage, play your drums, see your fam and friends, go to a movie, eat a nice meal, or go orienteering. In summary, indulge in this most terrific time in your life.

Your vendors will ask for an on-the-day contact. For the love of god, do not make it you or your co-marrier. Someone trusted in your family or friends is the very best option, who you’ve empowered to make any decisions necessary. They shall not contact you unless something has happened that is so dramatique that your wedding day will be materially different.

● The DJ needs a different spot due to power issues? No worries says your trusted person. The end.

● It’s raining, we’ve gotta move your ceremony under cover? Of course, says your trusted person, that’s the best option for everyone, plus it was already in the plan B.

● The venue has burned down and the wedding cannot go ahead? This is def one that your trusted person should tell you about. But anything much short of this, don’t worry about it!

In conclusion, you gotta let some things go to enable your state of Stress Free Sally-ness. Trying to do everything, listen to everyone’s advice, please all the people and impress the whole world will leave you having a less than enjoyable experience, and you’ll be the new owner of a bunch of regrets.

Things will go wrong, not turn out exactly as you’d hoped or planned, and you’ll still have the best time ever. Our venue lost our wedding cake and we still had the most kick arse time. So, go forth Rock n Roll brides and seize the day in the calmest way, and you’ll pat yourself on the back for life.


Co-founder and creative director of Melbourne vintage furniture hire and event styling legends, Good Day Club, Kate Forsyth is an expert at stacking unstackable vintage chairs and designing the raddest, most non-traditional and fun weddings known to wo/man. Outside of running her business with husbo Dave, she parents small human Remy, plays the drums and just painted her house every colour of the rainbow.

This article originally appeared in issue 36 of Rock n Roll Bride magazine, which is now sold out. You can purchase the latest copy here, or why not subscribe to never miss an issue?