While getting married is a joyful and exuberant time for a couple, planning even a small wedding is often stressful. Having a wedding planner can reduce your anxiety, and they’ll also know all the latest trends, but if that is out of your budget, take heart. You can plan and execute a wedding successfully without hiring someone. Here are some tips on how to handle the wedding stress and stay sane.
Get your support team together
Full-scale preparations for a wedding are intimidating if this is your first marriage and you want a traditional wedding. More so if you are planning a few innovative changes or prefer a total break from custom. The good news is that the couple does not carry this whole responsibility alone.
Start by getting buy-in from the parents. In most cases, parents are just as excited as the couple by the prospect of a wedding. They will quickly be looking at ways to contribute.
Value their input based on experience and their willingness to help with some or all of the costs. Remind them that while you value practical advice, you would like to make your own decisions when it comes to decor and choosing a wedding dress since it is your special day. Once again, most parents will likely be happy to assist you without imposing their ideas.
The next step is to select the maid of honor and best man if you plan a traditional ceremony. Many of the tasks created by a wedding ceremony are attended to by these two people.
An important consideration, apart from who your best friends are, is how far they live from you. They are going to be working closely with you on preparation, so see if your selection is logistically available. Check that they will have enough time to dedicate to their respective tasks.
If you have a problem choosing between friends, nothing stops you from having two maids of honor and best men or only having bridesmaids and groomsmen. However, remember the costs involved the bigger you go. Even if your parents or in-laws are paying, it is only fair to stick to an agreed budget.
Break it down into tasks
Now that you have your team, you can get together and list all the tasks that need to be attended to. At this stage, you are not making decisions about a color scheme, DJ, and wedding cake but simply indicating that these will be needed.
There are numerous wedding checklists online to help you make sure you have not overlooked anything. Some of these will indicate what you need to do in a monthly count-down to the big day.
If the checklist you choose is based on a twelve-month schedule and you want to get married in six months, you can combine the months’ tasks in twos or threes to ensure that you have time to follow the last one- and two-month duties according to the list. These later months will be the busiest and the time when stress is most likely to arise.
Once you have your list and have determined when each item must be attended to, you can allocate the task to the right person(s). One task may include several sub-tasks.
For example, an item – wedding cake – can be further broken down into (a) choose the type of cake you want, (b) find a baker you are happy with, (c) taste the cake(s) and make a final selection, (d) follow up to ensure that the cake is ready on time, and (e) arrange the details of delivery – will it be dropped off or must it be collected?
Your final preparation list should indicate who is responsible for each task, when it must be done, and what sub-tasks are involved. This planning is worth it for helping to reduce the wedding stress.
Now comes the fun part
With a complete list of tasks on hand, you are now ready to start choosing the finer details. It is these aspects that lift an ordinary wedding to the level of extraordinary, where you get to make your mark and to have the stunning special day you have always dreamed of.
From the color scheme to the perfect wedding dress, all these decisions should be your own, even if you listen to input from your maid of honor, best man, parents, and anyone else on your support team. A lot of stress will be avoided if you don’t have to argue your every choice.
Be clear about this with your team when you first come together for planning and remind them if necessary as you go along. You can also practice being tactful but firm, for example saying, “Yes, I love lilac but for my wedding, I am having royal blue”. Once this hurdle is out the way, you should truly enjoy yourself, bringing your ideas into practical steps that convey your ideal wedding.
Some of the choices you make will involve table settings, deciding a guest list, gifts for the guests, and invitation designs. The latter can be done professionally within most budgets, while someone with calligraphy skills in your party may be able to create a beautiful invitation.
The wording of your invitations will need to be decided so that it sets the tone for the wedding. For example, if you are preparing a Jewish invitation, you may want to select some relevant Hebrew words and phrases. Examples of Jewish wedding invitation wording have been outlined in this guide from Greenvelope. With Greenvelope you can even skip the design stage and choose one of their stunning digital invitations to send out electronically, saving you time and money.
This part of the planning should uplift your spirits if the planning stress is getting to you. Try to remember why you’re getting married in the first place – for love! – as a way to keep you grounded.
Dealing with wedding planning stress
There is a lot you can do to deal with planning stress. Firstly, don’t try to do everything yourself.
Make use of your support team. If you are feeling frazzled during a planning session, give everyone a time-out, get outside into nature, and just chill for five minutes. Remember why you are doing this – for your perfect wedding, but also as the start to your marriage.
The most important aspect to determine early on in your planning is what the budget is and where it is coming from. If your parents offer to pay, ask them how much they are willing and able to spend.
Then consider the must-have items, such as your wedding dress, rings, and the minister. If you are on a tight budget, you may have to reduce the number of bridesmaids and/or groomsmen you have or reduce the guest list to cut down on catering costs.
Being realistic is important so that your expectations match your budget. Doing so will help avoid disappointment and tears.
You can reduce your financial stress by dividing the overall budget into smaller budgets, such as decor and flowers, food for the reception, and wedding attire. This way, you cover everything vital and know where you have to cut down.
You may decide to take some of the money allocated to decor to increase what you have to spend on attire. To make sure you have included everything essential, here is a handy guide for working with percentages for each category, such as wedding dress, decor, and stationery, regardless of the size of your budget.
A few last words on wedding stress
Avoid getting caught up in negativity. If you cannot find the item you saw online or it is too costly, consider alternatives.
Keep in mind that a wedding is about joining two people in love and not a show you are putting on. Some of the loveliest weddings are small and intimate. You don’t need to include all your acquaintances or work colleagues on your guest list.
Lastly, make time to spoil yourself with spa days during the planning phase. Apart from giving you an extra glow, a spa outing is an excellent way to destress and remember why you are getting married and all you will have to look forward to in life.