Engagement is a fun and exciting time to prepare for the coming wedding. Watch out, though, because the stress of wedding planning can transform this period from a delight into a struggle. Are there ways to deal with the stress and regain the joy of preparing for a life together? The answer is yes! Use these tips for dealing with stress during wedding planning and get ready to enjoy your engagement again.
1. Watch for Stress Symptoms
Recognizing when you feel stressed out is the first step in addressing the problem. Pay attention to the way you feel. Watch for signs of stress like feeling overwhelmed, anxious, frustrated, or moody; difficulty relaxing; lack of energy; and constant worrying. If you notice increasing symptoms of stress, take a step back and try to relax and control the symptoms.
2. Make a List
You may or may not enjoy making lists, but wedding planning is the time to make lists and check them twice. Keeping track of the many details of planning is often overwhelming, and feeling like you’ve forgotten something is a big cause of stress for brides. Task lists, timelines, and spreadsheets are a great way to stay on top of the details and keep track of everything. Check online for checklists you can use to stay organized.
Here’s a link to our photography timeline.
3. Be Honest with Vendors
Remember that wedding vendors are real people too. Treat them politely and be honest as you talk to them. If your ideas are bigger than your budget, they may have great options for achieving a similar result for less. This usually produces better results and less stress than trying to find a cut-rate deal.
4. Let Go of Small Problems
There are many things that can pop up and cause alarm during planning. The flowers you want aren’t blooming at the right time of year. The stamps don’t match the invitation envelopes. Your best friend is going out of town the day you want to go dress shopping. Learn to recognize what’s actually important and what you can let go of because it won’t matter in the bigger picture.
5. Deal with Wedding Vendors
Wedding vendors want to make money; sometimes they may try to pressure you into more expensive packages or extras, which can add to planning stress. Create a budget before talking with vendors, then stick with it. If one of them tries to talk you into something extra that is above the budget, tell them you’ll need to think about it because that option is outside of your budget. Avoid making decisions on the spot that you may regret later.
6. Don’t Try to Please Everyone
It seems like as soon as you announce your engagement, everyone has something to say about planning the wedding. They may have opinions about every detail, offer advice, or share stories of what went terribly wrong at their weddings. Listen to the things they say, but keep in mind that this is your wedding, not theirs. It’s impossible to please everyone and trying to do so would just result in a mishmash wedding that doesn’t reflect you and your partner, plus a lot of extra stress.
7. Involve Your Parents with Boundaries
Parents often add to the stress of wedding planning. They may be contributing financially to the day and figure that gives them a large say in how things look. Or they may have their own ideas of what the perfect wedding looks like and try to force it on you. They may be too involved, or not involved enough. Whatever the situation with your parents, you can work to reduce the stress it causes by talking with them early on in the process and establishing some boundaries. Find out if and how much money they want to contribute, set a number for the guests they’ll invite, and talk about your overall vision for the day.
8. Get Help from a Wedding Planner
Some couples love handling all the details and tasks of wedding planning on their own, but many benefit from the help of a wedding planner. Getting skilled assistance from someone familiar with the entire process of planning a wedding can reduce stress levels. They can help you keep track of everything and offer great ideas and insider information.
9. Relax with Normal Activities
Brides sometimes try to squeeze in new things to help them relax, but it’s often better to stick with what’s familiar. If you like hanging out with friends to relax, then do that instead of trying a yoga class because you heard that’s what you’re supposed to do. Of course, trying new things can be fun too, so go ahead and do that if it’s appealing to you.
10. Avoid Micromanaging
As if you don’t have enough to deal with already, sometimes it’s tempting to try to fill other roles like caterer, florist, and bandleader. This is exhausting and usually produces poor results. Instead, work to find vendors you trust, communicate with them clearly, then let them do their jobs.
11. Keep the Rehearsal Dinner Simple
Planning a big party for the day before the wedding adds to your stress load. Instead, keep the rehearsal dinner simple or let someone else handle the whole thing. Enjoy catching up with friends and family at the dinner, but gracefully make an early exit. Staying up late the night before the wedding day is something you’ll regret later.
12. Maintain Proper Prospective
The wedding is one day, but your marriage is the point of the celebration and lasts far beyond the one day. Something will probably go wrong on the wedding day, but that isn’t a sign of what’s to come in your marriage. It’s okay to focus on the wedding during the planning period, but remember that the real goal is having an awesome marriage with the person you love.
Don’t let wedding planning stress overwhelm you or strip the fun out of this special time. With the help of these tips, you can work to reduce stress and enjoy planning your wedding day.