Good morning! Today we have some great advice from a lovely lady called Rachael McAdams, who, inspired by the challenges her own b2b sister is experiencing, got in touch with me some time ago wishing to contribute with a post about balancing career, life and wedding planning. Rachael is a proud NYC mommy who is a foodie enthusiast, writer, and artist. With a background in wedding photography, she has a good grasp of how much work goes into organising such a special day, so it’s a pleasure to let her share some useful tips and advice.

Anyone who has ever planned a wedding, regardless of size, knows it can be fun, stressful, and time consuming all at once. As women struggle to find a realistic work/life balance, wedding planning can definitely add to an already heavily booked day. Thanks to the emergence of a variety of wedding planning tools, brides-to-be can stay organized and make sure their planning efforts are an effective use of time.

First and foremost, it is essential to have some type of wedding planning tool (my sister decided to include ‘me’ in her wedding toolbox!). While many still utilize the traditional planning binder, there are a growing number of online tools and mobile apps to help keep things organized. For example, working with a comprehensive planning checklist is a great place to start. The Knot has a number of online tools, including a wedding checklist that guides brides-to-be with a list of tasks on a weekly basis so everything stays on schedule. It might also bring to light tasks that may not have been a consideration until it’s too late! This list has been a lifesaver – my sister and I would be weeks behind if it wasn’t for this tool! It is also a great idea to use the Internet for items like save the date cards and wedding invitations. Wedding Paper Divas (shipping worldwide) is a site that has a wide variety of save the date cards, invitations, and thank you cards that can be customized to fit any personality, budget, and wedding style. As everyone knows, the great thing about the Internet is the fact that every store is open 24 hours a day, so when a bride has time to sit on the couch at night while watching television, she can browse different options and get ideas without even having to leave home {I’m a big fan of Pinterest to gather ideas and build moodboards. If you haven’t got an account, open one and enjoy browsing! – Betta}.

If an app for iPhone or iPod Touch makes more sense, then iWedding Deluxe is a great low-cost way to track lists, budgets, seating plans and more. This wedding planning app is a great deal at $5.99 and an easy way to track everything needed for wedding planning at the swipe of a screen.

When it comes to start booking locations, visiting florists, and vetting music options, attending a bridal expo / wedding fair is a great way to get a lot done, as you have a variety of different vendors all in one location. Additionally, there are often special pricing options for those who attend shows, ultimately helping everyone stay on budget.

If time is really an issue, it may be worthwhile to consult with a professional wedding planner. They have plenty of contacts at their fingertips. Their business depends greatly on how well their advice can be trusted and how well they work with their brides, so it is safe to say they will be able to guide the bride through the choppiest of waters and provide advice on how to handle different situations that develop. The Society of Wedding Planners is a great place to look for reputable wedding planners in the US, while if you’re based in the UK, head over to the UK Alliance of Wedding Planner.

It is safe to say the wedding industry is growing, with an average buying cycle of 18 to 24 months. That means there are plenty of opportunities for both the bride and the wedding business to team up, create the perfect wedding, and keep the stress level to a minimum.

Enjoy this wedding infographic!

infographic, wedding planning advice

Thank you Rachael!

So, if you’re planning your own wedding, how are you coping with keeping a balance? Are you keeping a balance at all?! If you’re a wedding supplier, do you have any tips for our brides?

If you’d like to follow Rachael on Twitter, you’ll find her under the name: @livealittleNYC

Wedding infographic via Road to Wedded Bliss by Wedding Paper Divas.