Tips to Managing Wedding Stress
So you're Engaged - Now What??
Just imagine - the moment you've been waiting for for years - you've dreamed it up a million different ways and maybe even left a few hints for him, and today it is finally happening. He gets down on one knee (or maybe you find the ring in your champagne!) and asks you one of the biggest questions you will ever answer: "Will you marry me?". So exciting!!! Obviously you immediately have to call your friends, your family, and anyone else you can think of to share the good news. And so the planning and dreaming and decisions begin!
As exciting and new as it feels, that feeling is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the wedding you'll be planning. Even the most low maintenance, relaxed gal in the world will encounter stress in some form or another. It's hard to hold on to that elation when the stress creeps in if you don't have some ways to cope and manage your wedding stress - whether it be a high-stress catastrophic issue that you come across or something small that causes tension nonetheless - it is likely to happen. If you succeed in planning your wedding without any stress - please tell me how you did it! You've probably cracked the code and I bet thousands of brides out there are eager to hear your story. Nevertheless, my goal is to make your wedding experience the best it can possibly be - so read on and take some notes on my tips to manage wedding stress!
With a billion decisions to make, it is easy to get carried away and move from task to task without fully completing anything. Catering, dress, music, venue, hair, favors, grand entrance holy moly the list just keeps going. There is nothing more stressful than seeing half completed ideas strewn about the room or lists in your phone that never seem to be fully checked off.
So this would be my first word of caution to you brides-to-be: Prioritize!
Everyone has their kryptonite, or those things that are absolute MUSTS for their special day. Write those down and focus on them. Tick them off one by one and try not to be overwhelmed by all the small decisions that need to be made, as those will come around eventually. Rather than getting carried away with every Pinterest trend you see, make note of the big ones that will make your day amazing and you can't live without. You may find that the further you get into planning, the easier it is to cut ideas that just aren't fitting or are impractical. Rather than waste time on things that might not make the cut, focus on what matters the most to you. You'll get that crazy feeling of satisfaction when you can simply start and finish something - your stress is bound to turn from a green rage monster to a small dust bunny in the corner of your mind. Banish that wedding stress!
Create a budget
Blah. No fun. I don't know a less interesting word I could use in the realm of wedding planning than "budget". Of all the cute and trendy ideas you get to peruse, creating a budget doesn't generally fit in with the vibe you're going for. But as not fun as it seems, this step is so so crucial to planning a wedding successfully. Without a budget, it is simply impossible to know what you can afford and it can really get away from you. Sit down and talk with everyone pitching in for the wedding, whether it just be you and your fiancé, or both sets of in-laws - talk it out. This can be uncomfortable for many families, so if you need to have several discussions with different groups of people that is totally feasible. Just make sure you know how much is coming from where so you can allocate funds accordingly.
A budget does not mean banishing yourself to not-your-dream-wedding-land. In fact, it can help you avoid cutting yourself short in certain areas and having to make do with less desirable options. It can mean you get exactly what you want for your day! With a flexible budget in mind you can put more funds towards what matters most to you and find ways to save in other areas if needed! Your budget could be very small, or upwards of tens of thousands - but no matter how much you are able to spend, it is always good to have a number in mind to keep you organized and on target (and of course, keep that stress monster to a minimum).
Don't be Afraid to Delegate!
This is where a wedding planner comes in handy. It's what dreams are made of - someone swooping in and fixing all your problems like a fairy godmother. If you can hire a wedding planner, I absolutely recommend doing so as it takes so much off your plate and lets you relax. Wedding planner's can help direct you to other reliable and quality vendors as well, so there are no "whoopsies, should have hired someone else" the day of. In wedding world, there are too many options to even list and it's helpful to have someone to guide you and help your dream become reality. They have the roadmap to a successful wedding day. Check out my wedding links at the bottom of this blog - I have listed some wedding planners I've worked with in the past, as well as some other links I hope you'll find helpful!
If you aren't able to hire a wedding planner, hey, I get it! But in this case, please don't be afraid to ask for help from your closest friends and family. These are the people that have been there all along for you, and are likely almost as invested in making your day amazing as you are. Some examples of what they can pitch in could be picking up your cake, helping to decorate, or keeping a first aid kit on hand if needed. If you have a tech-savvy uncle perhaps he could help collect all the technical equipment you will need for your dance and press play on that playlist! A project that may take them a couple of hours could be a great way to include them in the day, (not to mention they might actually enjoy doing it) take it off your mind, and check it off the list. Speaking of lists....
You may not be a lists person. Maybe you're more of a Type B personality and you're ready to just go with the flow and take what comes! On most days I would say you do you and you'd probably rock it. It may not be second nature for you, but I guarantee that even if a list doesn't seem to benefit you, it will help the people around you. When my brain is overwhelmed with things I need to do, writing it all out in a simple and organized list does wonders for managing my stress. Not only does it break it down to manageable tasks, it relieves you of the worry that you might forget something important. In your head you might be thinking, "I HAVE TO FIGURE OUT THE MENU", but your list will remind you that you have to:
1. Speak with your vendor options and get quotes
2. Taste test and decide what kind of food you will serve
3. Allocate funds to your food budget
4. Make a decision and get the ball rolling!
See, isn't that nice and manageable? Make lists for anything you can think of and keep them organized in a binder. Everyone involved with the planning will thank you and I know at some point you'll think, "Thank goodness I wrote that down".
Schedule time away from planning!
Lastly, let yourself have a break. Sure you might have a ton to do, but you will not be able to function your best without some down time. It is an important day, but it should not completely take over your life to the point of becoming a bridezilla filled with unmanageable stress. Banning yourself from talking or thinking about wedding plans while having a fun night out with the girls (pre-COVID thoughts are still in my vocabulary, maybe a Zoom night in is the better option) can be a good reset and recharge your decision making skills. It doesn't have to be anything huge, but if you're feeling overwhelmed, run yourself a bubble bath and have a glass of wine. Listen to a podcast that has nothing to do with weddings, or set aside some time for your favorite hobby. Take a run! Don't neglect yourself in this busy time, as that's a surefire way to run yourself into the ground. Keeping yourself physically active and in the fresh air does wonders for your body and mind and will maybe even help you keep things in perspective. Lastly, don't forget what the wedding is all about. Spend quality time with your significant other that is not surrounded by heated discussions about the guest list or whether or not you should have a buffet, and remind yourself why you're doing all of this planning in the first place.
Soak it all in
It is truly my hope that your wedding planning experience will be as smooth as can possibly be! Despite the stress that may arise, I know it's possible to rise above it and simply enjoy the fact that you're getting married! If I can help take any of that stress from you, let's get in contact and see what I can do for your day. I know that you will not only survive your wedding, but love every second of it. Check out the list below for some helpful links to assist in your planning!