Anyone that has been involved in a wedding knows from experience or has seen first-hand how stressful it all can be. For the bride, the stress doesn’t begin on the wedding day, but can start long before the walk down the aisle. It is huge, it is overwhelming, and believe it or not, it is (somewhat) manageable.
- Stop and breathe: Being in a tizzy gets you nowhere. Stop, breathe, and get your mind right. It will all be ok, but being frenzied and panicked only leads to bad decisions, hysteria, and possibly offending somebody that you really need to have by your side through all of this. Most actions and decisions don’t need to be made in the heat of the moment. It is ok to calm down, take a breather, and make decisions with a clear head. It is much easier to make the right decision from the beginning than to spend time clearing up something you’ve already said or done. That’s how you end up with a caterer that swears you told him the wedding was Sunday instead of Saturday. EEEEK!!!
- Stay focused: It is so easy to get sidetracked and overwhelmed when it comes to planning a wedding. Input is limitless, and ideas are everywhere. If you know that your colors are pink and grey, don’t let yourself fall in love with a peacock green bridesmaid dress that does not come in pink nor grey.
- Make a list: When you have a ton of things on your mind, the best way to stay on task is to make a list of what you need to do. Personally, I do way better when I get my thoughts down on paper. Or in a spreadsheet. Or in Evernote. Don’t add the stress of trying to remember everything that’s floating around in your head. Write it down, categorize it, prioritize it, and decide how to act upon it. If it isn’t worth writing down, it isn’t worth remembering and causing stress.
- Identify key dates: Yes, you need to book the caterer. But maybe it doesn’t HAVE to be done this week or even this month. Knowing when things need to get done will help stop you from thinking about them nonstop.
- Set realistic goals: Weddings cost money and take time to execute. Having chandeliers hanging from the sky for an outdoor rustic chic wedding may not be practical. But maybe strings of white lights are.
- Set a realistic budget: Yes, everybody would love to have a wedding comparable to Will and Kate’s. But most people are working with a budget that has limits. You probably can’t hire the planner for the stars, or have Beyonce headline the reception. Have a realistic idea of what your budget and timeframes are, and set goals accordingly. A three-course meal may not be realistic for every bride. Once you realize it, move on and look for options that work for you.
- Allow times for wedding planning hiatus: Take breaks from planning. It’s ok to go a week or two and not think about your wedding. Breaks are needed for your own sanity. Trust me. Take a break, do something fun, and jump back in when your head is clear.
- Remember what the point is: The point is to get married and to share your big day with those you love. Everything else is secondary, if that.
- Look into the future: At some point, this will all be over and you will be able to reflect upon the madness that was wedding planning. It will be a distant albeit fond memory and you will have moved on to honeymoon bliss. Remember that there is life beyond the wedding. When you find yourself bogged down in picking out tablecloths or silverware, think about the wedding afterlife and ask yourself how important the current decision is with that in mind. Nobody will remember if your fork was sterling silver or even disposable silver. Mentally thinking beyond the wedding will help you keep things in perspective.