How To Plan Your Wedding Without Stressing Out
After the excitement of your engagement begins to wane, and the beginning stages of wedding planning are in full swing, it is all too common to begin feeling mentally stressed. There is so much to do and so little time at the end of the day. Not to mention the inevitable overwhelm that comes with the new territory of wedding planning. How do you possibly pick one DJ over another or a photographer when you have no idea what qualities make up a great one, never mind how much they should cost?
Take a deep breathe and know it doesn’t have to be this way. With a solid project management system in place, straightening out your priorities and a heaping dose of self care, I know you can make it to the other end of the planning process in one calm and fairly centered piece.
Where to Start?
Begin with a brain dump of all the tasks you need to do to prepare for your wedding day. Don’t worry about whether you already wrote something down or are unsure if you already did something or even need if you need to do this thing at all. The point is to throw everything out on the page and to clear up some precious brain space.
After you’ve dumped your thought process on the page, you can go down the list and pick out tasks that are truly a priority to you and your partner. As you do this, remember this is your wedding and you can create it exactly how you want it.
If there is anything on your list that feels like an obligation on your big day because everyone else does it, or because a bridal blog tells you to do it, know that it’s okay to cross those off if you both really couldn’t care less. A lot of people mention that, after their wedding day has come and gone, they wish they had spent less time stressing out and more time being excited to have this giant party with their friends and family.
Use that knowledge to your advantage so you can keep what you love and ditch what’s giving you hives.
Make a wedding prep timeline
If you're not a very organized person, you might be tempted to skip this step... I get that this one might give you nightmares, but keep this old cliche in mind: those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
Hey, it’s a cliche for a reason; it’s true! Pick up a day planner or sit down with your calendar app of choice to create and plot out all your wedding planning deadlines around your current calendar. Whether you choose a physical or digital format you’ll want to make sure it’s in a format both you and your partner can easily access so you can both stay on top of things.
TIP: a lot of wedding blogs and magazines give a first indication of the list of things you need to do. And who would I be, if I didn't have one of my own. You can download my checklist below. If you are having serious trouble with this step though, reaching out to a Wedding Planner or Wedding Consultant might be a huge help.
Break your major tasks down into smaller and easy to do steps. For example, don’t just write "hire wedding photographer" as a to do list item. This is not a one step task. You will need to research options, decide on your budget, schedule meetings to talk with potential photographers, discuss who to go hire with your partner and then, then you can hire your photographer! Start with the big tasks first, and then work your way down into the smaller details.
By breaking these bigger tasks down into smaller one-off tasks, you are creating a process that leaves little room for overwhelm and stress to settle in.
- Things can get hectic when planning your wedding so be sure to plan for self-care proactively and make it a non-negotiable appointment in your calendar. Doing so will set you up for self-care-success and it will help keep the stress at bay.
So go ahead and pop in at least one hour each week where you can spend time on self-care. This could be curling up with a good movie with your partner, taking time to write in a journal, soaking in the tub or just sixty whole minutes of glorious nothing.
- Eat as well a balanced diet as possible. And no, I don’t mean go on a diet! This applies to both you and your partner. A well-balanced diet helps the body fight off the effects of stress which can make us more susceptible to getting sick. And let’s be honest, getting sick the last thing you need when planning your wedding.
Eating a well-balanced diet also helps you to remain energetic throughout the day and level-headed as you tick off your wedding to-do list throughout the coming months.
- Say no! This goes hand in hand with choosing your priorities. As you plan out your wedding you already have a lot on your day-to-day plate and if you're anything like most people, you will have a hard time saying no to others.
But hey, it’s time to get real here and start saying no! You're not Superwoman. Protect your time ruthlessly, and that goes for your self-care time as well. Be proactive about preventing stress by saying no to extra projects and or obligations that will leave you spreading yourself too thin.
Planning a wedding can be stressful, after all the bridezilla (and groomzilla!) stereotype is in existence for a reason! But you don’t have to transform into a terror to power through your to-do list for a perfect wedding.
At the end of the day, your day is all about celebrating the love between you and your partner while you are surrounded by your loved ones. So prioritize self-care and focus on planning a wedding that feels personal and natural to you both. This will automatically help you to stress less throughout the planning process!
About the author
Meaghan is currently a part-time college student taking honors classes and pursuing a Bachelors degree in Dietetics. She has been writing for her personal blog, Invoking Joy, since 2012 when she received her certification as a Holistic Health Coach. Next to her blog, she also helps small businesses as a studio manager, virtual assistant and writer.
When she's not nerding out over online business tactics or the link between nutrition and psychology you can find her practicing yoga, reading a fiction novel or scribbling in her bullet journal.