7 neurodivergent-friendly tips for organising your wedding planning

 

Being neurodivergent and being a small business owner can sometimes be tricky, but over the past 14+ years of running my wedding photography business alongside having ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), I’ve learnt some tips and tricks to totally nail it (most of the time).

I wanted to share some of those wedding-related tips from my own experience, as well as some advice from some of my neurodiverse wedding photography clients.

I think it’s great that there is so much more awareness and knowledge about neurodivergence being shared, however if you’re not familiar with the term, let me give you a v quick rundown.

Neurodiverse” covers ADHD, autism spectrum disorder (including what was previously known as asperger’s), dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, Tourette’s syndrome, and more.

It’s thought that just over 15% of people in the UK are neurodivergent, so while it’s not that uncommon, “neurodiversity refers to the different ways a person’s brain processes information”; you’re uniquely wired, and you may think about things in a different way to most people (also known as neurotypical).

So if you’re neurodivergent and you’re engaged (congrats!) you might find you need to approach your wedding planning a little differently.

These are my tips for nailing your wedding planning as a neurodivergent person, from me, a professional wedding photographer with ADHD.

 

1. Break your wedding to-do list down into manageable tasks

Wedding planning is a ginormous job, whether you’re neurotypical or neurodiverse – that’s the reason why wedding planners get paid the big bucks.

If a wedding planner isn’t within your wedding budget or you simply want to do it yourselves, dividing the entire wedding planning process into smaller, manageable tasks can make the project much less daunting, and easier to keep track of.

Create categories, such as the wedding venue, food, wedding photography, outfits, and so on. Tackling one category at a time can help maintain focus and reduce overwhelm.

One of my wedding photography clients from last year, Dan, is awaiting his ADHD diagnosis. He and his partner found it helpful to allocate wedmin tasks between them:

“I think we found that there were some things that I would be more hands-on with organising and other things my wife would focus on. I found it was helpful for us to divide the ‘big bits’ in two, so Alyx was in charge of the wedding photographer (thankfully – we chose Lauren!) and the flowers, and I was in charge of the food and the music/band.

We found that once we’d narrowed it down a bit, it was a case of the other person saying “sounds good” – it made us both feel like wedding planning was much more manageable.

I feel like once you’ve got the ‘big bits’ (venue, food, music, flowers and photographer) sorted, the rest can be brainstorming and little ideas that can add some of your personality to the wedding day, and require less long-term planning.”

 

Married couple looking lovingly at each other in green countryside. Wedding photography in Coppermines.

Dan and Alyx

 

2. Prioritise important wedding tasks

“Timing is linked to working memory, planning, and attention; all skills that Neurodivergent people may find challenging. In the context of time perception, [it] can manifest as difficulty understanding and following schedules, sequencing events, and how actions relate to one another, their order, and duration.” (read more at Neurodivergent people and time perception.)

It can be tricky to figure out priority when you’re neurodivergent, and it’s especially difficult when you have a seemingly-never-ending wedding to-do list.

Try to prioritise tasks based on their importance and urgency – pop a date next to tasks that need to be done in a certain timeframe, and figure out what things need to be in place before booking other wedding suppliers, like booking your wedding venue first, and flowers, music etc. after. If you’re still struggling, ask someone to help.

Tackling high-priority tasks first can help ensure that the most critical aspects of the wedding are taken care of in a timely manner.

 

+ Use a countdown app for wedmin tasks

If only having a date next to a task isn’t enough to spur you on to complete it, utilise a countdown app or a digital planner to help you stick to deadlines. Use the calendar on your phone to set deadlines with alerts, or use the Countdown Widget for Android or Countdown for Apple – both are free and easy to use.

Having a visual representation of the timeline can provide a clearer picture of the planning progress, and ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.

 

 

3. Set up a new wedding email account

You don’t want any important wedding correspondence to get lost amongst all those newsletters you’ve signed up for and keep forgetting to unsubscribe from.

Set up a brand new email account that you and your partner can share, and use it to contact wedding suppliers, or for any other wedmin (wedding admin). I recommend going one step further and having separate folders for each wedding supplier/aspect of your wedding day too.

Both of you having access to the email account means that it doesn’t all fall onto just one person’s to-do list, and the load is a little more manageable when it’s shared.

 

4. Organise wedding documents, receipts and contracts in a folder

I have ADHD, so I’m not the best at keeping on top of bits of paper flying about everywhere – that’s why all of my correspondence with wedding photography clients is done digitally, in emails and in their wedding portals. I use Dubsado for client management, and it helps massively with organising my business.

Try to keep all your contracts, receipts, and any other documents well-organised and easily accessible, whether it’s in a digital folder or physical folder (or both) with clear labels, to keep everything in order.

If you chose Gmail for your wedding email account, Google Drive is a great place to store all your documents in one place, as it uses the same login and is free. And and aaaand, it also means you can access it from any device, which is handy if you need to access a document on your phone when you’re out and about.

 

 

5. Use spreadsheets and checklists

As well as keeping everything together in a folder, creating a detailed spreadsheet or using wedding planning software to keep track of all your wedding tasks, deadlines, and budgets is incredibly helpful to see where you’re at.

A well-organised spreadsheet can serve as a home for all wedding-related information, making it easier to manage and easier stick to your wedding budget too, as being neurodivergent often means that money often feels so abstract that you can be a bit of a spendthrift.

As mentioned in the previous point, if you’re using Gmail and Google Drive, you also get access to Google Docs (similar to Microsoft Word) and Google Sheets (similar to Microsoft Excel). So again, you can keep everything together and access it anywhere.

 

6. Utilise wedding planning apps and tech

There are sooo many digital tools and apps designed for wedding planning – from wedding websites like Joy and The Knot, to wedding spreadsheets on Etsy and Notion wedding planning templates – use them to your advantage!

Most wedding platforms and websites come with pre-built checklists, budget trackers, and vendor directories that can significantly streamline the planning process, and are often free too.

 

 

7. Rope in your family and friends to help with wedmin

If you have the luxury, don’t hesitate to ask your pal, parent, sibling, cousin, whoever for support – I’m sure your loved ones will jump at the chance to be involved in the behind-the-scenes of your special day, and it’s a great way to get your wedding party a bit more involved.

Ask them to help you with areas you find tricky, whether that’s putting your tasks in priority order, making that important wedding spreadsheet, calling wedding vendors for you, or just someone to lighten the load by delegating wedding tasks to them.

 

+ Have regular reviews

Schedule regular catch ups with your partner and anyone else helping plan your wedding, to assess the progress of the wedding planning process.

This can help pinpoint any areas needing additional attention or focus, plus it can be a fun excuse to hang out – dish out some bowls of snacks, put on your favourite tracks, and you’ve got an excellent night in.

 

I really hope that’s made the wedding planning process feel way more manageable. These tips are from my own ADHD POV, so if you’ve got any amazing advice that I’ve missed, do pop me a DM over on Instagram.

And keep your peepers peeled on my blog for my next post about how to make neurodivergent accommodations to your wedding day, making it run smoothly without getting overwhelmed.

 

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