Stressing Down the Aisle

The process of planning your wedding can be an absolutely magical experience – but it is also likely to be the most stressful event you’ll plan. We get it – the day needs to be perfect. You’ve waited your whole life for it. You’re spending boatloads on it. You’ve invited relatives you haven’t seen since you were missing your front teeth.

It’s hard enough to manage the details let alone the opinions you’ll be getting from everyone in your life.

I’ve put together seven tips to help you to keep your cool when things heat up.

  1. Plan to plan – when you’re engaged, it’s easy to allow your world to be swallowed up by wedding planning. It’s exciting – and you want to think through every detail. But it can become overwhelming. What I suggest to every bride I connect with is to set aside a specific time to plan – make it a purposeful experience where you and your significant other are focused on it, and not trying to squeeze in decisions between meetings at work. Pick one night a week to plan for the first 6 months, and up to two nights as you get closer. It will help keep your relationship alive as well, instead of just only planning together, you can actually enjoy each other.
  2. Pick your battles – this certainly isn’t true in every case, but more often than not, you’re going to have family members who are very excited, passionate, and opinionated about how your day should go. In one breath, it’s easy to say that their opinions don’t matter – that it’s your day. Truth be told, though, that’s not really the case. Often times money is coming along with these opinions. To many, marriage is not only bringing your two lives together, but also uniting families. You can’t cut off those families and those opinions all together. Decide what parts of your day are important to you, and allow others to have louder voices about other parts. If your future mother-in-law is passionate about what your dessert spread looks like – and you’re not a dessert chef –  let that be her thing. If your dad is very concerned about seating arrangements, let him handle it. You can be involved, but don’t fight over what you don’t care about.
  3. Make a separate email address  – it’s no surprise that much of your planning will involve emails, especially with vendors. One of the first things you should do when you start planning your big day is to make a separate email account. You’ll have a lot of promotional emails coming through your mailbox as well as contracts and important details. Keeping this all in a separate mailbox – that doesn’t include email chains about weekend plans or upcoming events – allows your to keep things more organized. It also means that you can sit on G-chat at work without feeling overwhelmed by unanswered emails from potential DJ’s.
  4. Think before you decide – I’ve talked to some brides who have made decisions out of excitement and then regretted it later. Don’t just start signing contracts or buying things because you think you’re getting a deal – or because you don’t think you have options. Do some research, get informed, and sit with the idea for a bit – then decide. This will reduce buyer’s remorse and help keep your budget on track.
  5. Delegate –  this is something I wish I had done more of as a bride. I didn’t want to be a burden on anyone, and I didn’t want to seem too obsessed with my wedding. I also am a slight control freak – and, at times, it felt like more work to turn over a project than to just do it myself. If you have asked a wedding party to stand with you on your day, you’ve also asked them to support you through the process. Ask them to help you, not just if they like the shade of their dress. Ask them to help format your programs, to add stamps to your invitations, prep welcome bags. Make it a fun project night – add some prosecco – and no one will complain!
  6. Speak up – there’s no shame in feeling exhausted by the planning. It doesn’t mean you’re not excited, and it doesn’t mean that you don’t love your future spouse. It can just mean that it’s a lot of details, stress, money, and time. You can ask for a break from it. If you’re with family and they are pestering you with questions about it during a stressful planning period, simply say that you need a break from wedding planning! Tell them you’d love to show them pictures of your center pieces, but you don’t want to take away from the event that you’re at. Take a day or two away from it, and your enthusiasm will return. This is also why you should plan to plan – it gives you a break away from it when it’s not planning time!
  7. Put it in perspective – yes, there are a lot of things on your to-do list, and a lot of emotions around all of them. The most important thing to remember though is that even if your bouquet isn’t perfect, or your aunt and uncle didn’t fit in the room block, you still get to marry your person. You’re still going to say your vows and get to have your life with your best friend, your favorite companion, your soulmate. All the details don’t really matter as long as the result is the same! And, as always, pause for prosecco!

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