Elizabeth Fogarty

Are you a procrastinator by nature who just got engaged or is in the throes of wedding planning? Well, congrats on getting here—and for researching wedding tips and ideas to help you as you get started! But seriously, planning a wedding is basically one long series of decisions and deadlines, which, for procrastinators, is tough stuff. (Take it from me, because I am one.) But, look: Thousands of procrastinators get married every year, and have amazing weddings, so it’s possible.

You can do this, but here are a few wedding planning tips and ideas to help you get the ball rolling (and keep it rolling) so you can make it to the aisle with everything checked off your to-do list.

Start ASAP.

You have many months to plan, and it can be tempting to put it all off since it’s so overwhelming at the beginning. But once you start, wedding planning sort of becomes self-propelling. The moment you have a guest count, you can think about venue, and then booking your caterer becomes possible, which makes rentals a cinch, and so on. Starting is the hardest part, so start small—literally, just decide whether you want, like, more than a hundred people, or fewer—and go from there. You’ll feel empowered once you see that check off your list, and you’ll have an impetus to move forward.

Hire a coordinator.

Not all of us have full-scale wedding planners in our budgets, but coordinating services, which are way more hands-off than planning and mostly help with scheduling, are much more affordable. And if you’re a major procrastinator, they’re worth every penny. Coordinators can help create timelines, keep you on task, give you helpful wedding tips and ideas, and make sure you get it all done in time, so the anxiety of working around your own (very procrastinated) schedule can be taken off your shoulders. And they’ll offer tips for how to do things most efficiently, saving you time and stress. If you can’t work a coordinator into your budget, make sure you work with your partner on creating a wedding planning timeline that’s doable for you both, then stick to it like glue. The moment you flex on one due date, the whole thing could fall apart.

Get what scares you out of the way.

When an especially stressful wedding task is looming, it can block your progress on the entire wedding planning front, stopping you from crushing even the simple and pleasant tasks. Figure out the tasks that’ll freak you out the most (Is it sealing the deal on a dress? Is it rounding up a wedding party? Picking the food?) and make a plan to get them done ASAP. Once they’re out of the way, you’ll find your procrastinating tendencies have suddenly… lifted. Because we only procrastinate on unenjoyable things, anyway—and some of wedding planning is actually pretty fun (e.g., the parties). And if it’s really hard for you to get over these scary planning moments, do what you can to make them less scary: Make dress shopping a fun trip with your girlfriends, for example, or bring your foodie friends to your catering tasting and make them help you pick.

Enlist a designated drill sergeant.

Whether it’s your MOH, your dad, or a random coworker, you should pick someone super-motivated and organized to be your official wedding planning procrastination proofer. Ask them to do weekly check-ins with you to make sure you’re checking off what you need to from your to-do list, in time. Ask them to give you tough love when you’re getting sluggish. Ask them to tie you to a desk chair and lock you in your house till you get it done, if they need to. Ask them to share some wedding tips and ideas if needed. Most of us procrastinators do our best work on deadline when we’re at work or answering to an authority of some kind, but without one of those for wedding planning, it’s tough to find the urgency to stay on the straight and narrow. That’s why you need to basically hire someone to answer to (especially if you don’t have a planner) who’s totally objective (and no, your future spouse won’t cut it, unless you want to have 1,200 fights before your big day).

Keep the end goal in mind.

When you hit a wall and feel like you can’t get one more thing done or you’ll explode (even though you have 20 more things to get done that day), do a little meditation to get back to center. Take a deep breath and remember what it’s all for: Your amazing, fun, love-filled, magical wedding day! Sure it feels a million years away, and yeah, what you’re doing is hard. But it’ll all be worth it on your wedding day (which will be amazing, no matter what), and let me tell you, the wave of relief that will overtake you once that pressure is off and you’re en route to your mini-moon (or even just your after-party) is irreplaceable. Let all of this encourage you (and maybe take a pass through your engagement pics for a little more motivation) (and maybe have a glass of wine), and you’ll be able to get one more thing done. And like I mentioned, once you do one thing, you can do the rest.

Make sure your partner is helping.

Duh! This one needs no additional explanation.