It’s a well-known fact that wedding planning is stressful. Whether you’ve always dreamed of large, over-the-top “I do’s,” or your intimate affair has spiraled into something far more complicated, it’s easy to let the preparations weigh heavy on you. You may soon realize that wedding planning–which should be a fun, memorable experience–is something you want to avoid at all costs. You’re already balancing work, relationships, paying the bills, and trying to find time for a social life. Now, add a major life event that requires a year of planning on top of that.
Luckily, there are ways to calm your nerves and make the wedding planning process enjoyable. From stepping away for a bit to creating detailed to-do lists, these ten cool tips will help you stay afloat in the crazy world that is wedding planning.
Managing Wedding Planning Stress Is Important
We asked some of our incredibly talented vendors why it was important to manage wedding planning stress, and we love the responses we received. Photographer Tinsley & Co. said, “Stress can steal so many moments away from what should be a beautiful season. I want my couples to look back and remember their engagement with a full heart. I don’t want them to look back and think, ‘man, that sucked’ or ‘I’m so glad that’s over.’ It’s a once and a lifetime period for most. Enjoy it, don’t rush it, and don’t let stress bring the cloud over a light-filled chapter together.”
10 Tips To Beat Wedding Planning Stress
First things first–plan out exactly what details are most important to you for your dream wedding. Oftentimes couples get overwhelmed with planning the smaller details and lose sight of what matters most to them. Before you begin booking vendors or putting deposits down, make a list of your absolute must-haves. This could be a professional photographer, live florals, a farm-to-table meal, etc. You can then refer to this priorities list anytime you begin to feel stress creeping in after spending hours scrolling on Pinterest.
Repeatedly looking at this list will also help remind you to stay within your budget. You will be able to avoid overspending on items that are not necessary for your dream day. And the budget is one of the worst stressors couples face during the planning process.
2. Create A Detailed Budget
Speaking of budgets, putting together a detailed budget is essential. If anxiety stems from how much money you are spending, take time to clarify your budget. Create a high-level wedding budget and then take it a step further by breaking down that money into different categories. Creating a budget spreadsheet will help you track your spending as you go and allow you to see if there is any wiggle room or areas you may need to scale back.
We recommend also leaving about 5% of your budget aside for miscellaneous expenses that may come up as you go. Some surprise costs that you may run into include unexpected guests, vendor meals, gratuities, service charges, overtime costs, postage, insurance, and more.
3. Put Together A To-Do List
Wedding planning can feel like one giant mountain of tasks that you have to tackle. If you go into it without any game plan, you are going to feel overloaded very quickly. This can lead to anxiety and procrastination–which can then lead to more stress.
Consider using a physical wedding planner that includes checklists, worksheets, calendars, and more. This will keep you on track of your budget and timeline and will also keep your planning in one easy-to-access place. If you’re more of a cloud-based person, use apps like Trello or Milanote–both of which are also great for creating a wedding mood board as well.
Along with a to-do list, make a done list. This will allow you to see all that you have accomplished and help to celebrate the small wins!
4. Consider Hiring A Wedding Planner
If there is room in the budget, find yourself a wedding planner. They’ll help manage your budget, bring your vision to life, keep things organized, communicate with your other vendors, offer advice for any sticky situations that may arise, and help you relax on your big day. They handle it all.
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Delegate Tasks
There is no shame in asking for help. While there is nothing wrong with being relentlessly self-sufficient, delegating tasks to your wedding party and other family members will help you stay sane.
These people want to see you succeed, and they also want to make this process as easy as possible for you. Your wedding is about you, your partner, and your loved ones. Don’t feel like you have to do every task by yourself.
6. Avoid Comparing Your Wedding To Others
Comparison is—and always will be—the thief of joy. While sites such as Instagram and Pinterest are great for wedding inspiration, they can also cause couples to feel as if their wedding isn’t good enough. Your wedding is a celebration of you and your partner, not a contest.
If you find you’re continually beating yourself up because you can’t get the florals you saw on Instagram or the expensive neon sign you saw on Pinterest, consider taking a digital detox. These are tools to inspire, not to determine the worth of your wedding.
7. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
Like many things in life, you will run into hiccups when wedding planning. And that’s okay. Imperfection is inevitable, so it’s important to embrace it. Once the wedding has come and gone, you’re not going to remember the fact that the florals you wanted weren’t in season or that you couldn’t find the exact table runners you saw online. Whenever you begin to nitpick and become overwhelmed, focus on the bigger picture.
8. Schedule Time Away From Planning And For Planning
One of the key ways to avoid succumbing to wedding pressure is to schedule times for and away from planning. Whether you want to plan Wine Wednesdays where you and your future spouse sit down and plan, or you save time for the weekends, scheduling time for wedding planning will help you separate planning time from your free time.
During your free time, focus on self-care–which looks different for everyone. It could be a walk outside, getting a manicure, writing in your journal, taking a hot bath, a gym session, or binge-watching The Office for the 100th time. Do whatever makes you happiest. We recommend having a stress-free space–such as a bedroom or office area–free of anything to do with wedding planning. You can use this as your escape to decompress and relax when the going gets tough.
When you aren’t planning, it’s also vital to schedule date nights with your future spouse. Stress can strain your relationship, which is why it is crucial that you spend quality time together. This will help you remember why you’re getting married in the first place.
9. Take Care Of Yourself
Taking care of yourself should always be your priority. This means prioritizing your physical and mental health. If you don’t feel good about yourself, you’ll go into planning with a negative headspace from the get-go.
This also means you shouldn’t deprive yourself. Treat yourself to ice cream dates, glasses of wine, and take-out in front of the television from time to time. Wedding planning is best when you’re striking a balance between working and unwinding.
Take some time to break a sweat to help boost your endorphins and bust stress! Our friends at HipTrain offer online personal training that you can do from anywhere. With this option, you can choose to train with or without your partner.
10. Remember The Big Picture
The final and most important piece of advice we can give you is to remember the big picture. At the end of the day, your wedding is not about throwing the biggest party around. It’s about marrying the person you want to grow old with and celebrating that with your loved ones. Being stressed about the seating chart or dinner menu is not going to change the fact that you are tying the knot with the love of your life.
While wedding planning may never be completely stress-free, it’s essential to take care of yourself along the way. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath, take a step back, and think about these ten tips. To help keep your spirits high, throw on this wedding planning playlist that will keep you motivated, and have yourself a little dance party!