How to keep your relationship central
Schedule quality time with each other while planning your wedding
I feel like I'm saying this all the time, but planning a wedding takes a lot of work. Even when you want to keep things small and simple, you will realise pretty early on that it entails more than you might have originally thought.
Every once in a while though, you need to realize that you are planning this wedding because you have found someone whom you would like to spend the rest of your life with, and spending some quality time with just the two of you will be a welcome break in the planning process.
Why you should plan your wedding in stages
A few years ago, I came across a book called "The Susan Sutherland Secret". Among a lot of other things, she mentioned the use of planning phases when planning a wedding. While she didn't really explain them further, and it was nowhere clear how she uses them herself, I realised the strengths of breaking apart the planning of your wedding in different parts.
When you open up a wedding planning checklist, you get bombarded with to do's and deadlines for the next 12 months. I have never seen a bridal couple waltz through them without being late with a few of them. Which causes stress. Which in turn stresses your planning process, other deadlines, and your relationship.
Therefore, I decided to do things differently and break the planning checklist down into 4 stages where only the final one (finalising your details) has strict deadlines.
When planning a wedding, so few couples realise that they should keep working on their relationship too. After all, you're getting married to spend the rest of your lives together and I want the wedding planning process to support you to spend time with your significant other.
Why I use celebrations to keep your relationship central when planning your wedding
Whenever you finish one of your planning stages, I purposefully schedule a celebration at the end of each stage. You can also plan additional celebrations when you book a really cool vendor, when you finish your guest list, when you first get your rings sized, or after you've found your wedding dress.
You can make these celebrations as big or as small as you prefer, but try not to forget that planning your wedding shouldn't be all work and no play :)
Here are a few examples of things you can do to wind down with just the two of you, and don't think about the upcoming wedding for a few hours. These are examples of what my boyfriend and I do to relax so, of course, these are just meant to be inspirational and trigger you into finding something you both enjoy doing.
Go for a forest walk
Going for a forest walk this time of year will not only help you unwind and tune in with nature, it will also offer you a wonderful display of nature’s most beautiful season. The colours will be simply remarkable this time of year, golden leaves, cold misty mornings, the smell of rain in the wind, … I guess it’s no surprise that fall is my favourite season.
There is also something relaxing and unwinding about walking. It will center you again and it will connect you through silence. Personally, it’s one of my favourite ways to spend my November weekends.
For the less nature-centered couples, or just to switch around every once in a while, you could plan a relaxing morning or evening in the spa. Personally, I love going for an expanded breakfast in the morning and then planning some relaxing spa-time after. Having breakfast, or dinner, combined with 2 or 3 hours at the spa, will lengthen your time together and it will make sure you really unwind.
Of course, you don’t need to go to the spa to just have a nice romantic breakfast or dinner with just the two of you at this place you both adore.
Spend some time at the beach
If you don’t live too far from the beach, driving over every once in a while can be incredible for your inner-peace. There is something relaxing about listening to the breaking of the waves, the mews chattering above your heads and the smell of salt in the air.
This time of year, I wouldn’t recommend having a pick-nick on the beach unless you dress very warm, but most beaches have really nice bars and restaurants nearby where you can unwind further.
Plan a mini-break
First of all, I am not telling you to add even more craziness to your planning by adding on a mini-break but, every once in a while, you just really need to get away from home for a little while to escape your everyday life. When you start to notice that you are constantly picking on each other and not cutting each other slack anymore, it might be time for you to get away for a few days.
Make sure your mini-break is still relaxing though. Don’t overbook yourself but plan things with lots of ‘free-time’ in between to allow for spontaneous things to happen, and make sure you don’t plan anything after dinner (unless of course you have the chance to see something pretty spectacular that you can only see after dinner). Overloading a mini-break is easy though, so beware of the pitfalls.
For our 8th anniversary, we planned a short mini-break to Paris, the city of love... I had already been two times but my boyfriend had never been there before so I gave him full control over the things he really didn’t want to miss. We know we can always go back in the future so we decided to keep things simple. We only planned one big thing every day, and we left everything else wide open.
We ended up having dinner in one of the cutest French bistros in Montmartre, taking selfies on the Bir Hakeim bridge (anyone seen Inception?) with the Eiffel Tower in the background, we saw everything we wanted to see in the Louvre in only half a day, we had McDonalds one evening just because we felt like it, … In short we just let ourselves be swept up by the adventure that is Paris instead of trying to fit everything exactly into a well-hashed out schedule. And it was the best mini-break we could have wished for!
Wedding Planning Starter Kit
Are you just getting started with your planning and are you interested to learn more about the wedding planning stages I use?
In my Wedding Planning Starter Kit, I am sharing my four planning stages, I walk you through every step of the first stage, and you get a nice overview of my favourite wedding planning software, paper planners, and so much more.