Every bridal magazine commits a headline to it. Brides who just months before showed off Christmas and Valentine engagement rings, are knee deep in it.
Couples that were once so energized by the “yeses” to proposals and dresses now seem dazed by all the work it takes to get to the “I dos.”
And all the lovebirds who wanted celebrity-style dream weddings now just dream of escaping to their honeymoon suites with the pillowtop beds…to finally get a good night’s sleep.
How about you?
Are you and your beloved feeling more overwhelmed than overjoyed about your coming nuptials? Well, you’re not alone. Wedding planning is fraught with so much expectation, tradition, responsibility and frenetic energy that it’s a wonder most couples don’t collapse in a heap when they finally get to each other at the end of the aisle.
To start having a bit more fun with the whole planning process, you’ll both need to get a handle on the anxiety fueling your sense of overwhelm. Take some deep breaths, push aside that pile of to do’s, and consider the following 6 sanity-saving ideas for making the most of this special season in your lives
1. Forgo Perfection for What is Personally Memorable
Unrealistic expectations are a quick path to wedding stress, disappointment, and frustration. Why plan like a Kardashian if it drives you crazy with DIY projects, strains a weary bridal party, and amasses too many details to manage comfortably?
Talk to each other about what makes the wedding your wedding. Concentrate on the special, personal elements. Highlight them and make sure they are photographed for you to look back on. Then, be willing to put aside the bridal books and internet inspirations and let other people’s idea of “perfect” go.
2. Address Fractures with Firm Boundaries
Families coming together to celebrate love is a wonderful thing… in theory. However, for some, the more time you spend together the more stressful it may be. Whether you’re dealing with normal tensions or something more serious, your wedding is not the time to shoulder other people’s personality differences.
It’s okay to say to your divorced mom and dad that you hope they can interact without playing telephone through you. It’s just fine to share with other family members that have a difficult history how much you appreciate their cooperation. Feel free to lovingly but firmly remind vocal or opinionated loved ones that you expect that personal differences will be put aside for the sake of peace and respect on your happy day.
3. Relax and Give Your Helpers the Chance to Help
Are your family friends and paid vendors allowed to help? How well do you actually let them come to your aid? If you are overwhelmed consider delegating more and more of the activities that worry you most. Spend time early on getting your planning sheets, apps, contracts and schedules in order. Then delegate as much as possible!
The key is to be an organized overseer the closer you get to your day. Trust your decisions and the trusted hands-on people who’ve pledged to have your back. Reserve your energy for checking in, self-care, and special items of focus (like your fiancé!). Have fun thinking of ways to express your gratitude to your helpers too.
4. Take the Edge Off by Eating Well and Exercising Often
Nutritious food and daily exercise will keep you in shape mentally and physically as the wedding nears. Resist the urge to live by coffee and on-the-go fare. Put away the planning apps and seating chart to get some sun. There is a wealth of research to encourage whole foods and vigorous movement as mood elevators during stressful times.
Don’t overdo it with detoxes or free weights if you’ve never done them before. Simply take time to dine mindfully and savor healthy meals with your loved ones. Stroll around the neighborhood between planning sessions or hit the gym in the mornings before long days begin. Both habits will serve you well before your wedding day and beyond.
5. Combat Planning Fatigue By Revisiting Your Priorities
Give yourselves permission to step back and assess what matters to you both. It may be that what you wanted a year ago has little to do with what you want now. Maybe the whole process has revealed a deep desire to go have your families meet you at the courthouse or elope on the beach. Or have a much larger service with more loved ones in attendance. You get to decide.
Remember that you are in control, even if it feels like you’re not. Don’t rush around doing something you’re both unsure of. Avoid people pleasing. This is your lifelong memory. Slow things down, return deposits and go another direction if you feel your event isn’t want you want. Assess things as early as you can to make the changes that feel right. It’s okay to know what you want and change your mind if you do so considerately and responsibly.
6. Avoid “Forgotten Fiance Syndrome” with Intentional Intimacy
Think less wedding talk and more “we” talk.
With the wedding whirlwind picking up speed, you’ll both need to be intentional about seeking each other out to check-in and insulate your bond against anxiety, disconnect, or resentment. Maintain your loving and supportive emotional connection often, talk about your life together and openly express your appreciation for each other.
Amid the increasing busyness, keep growing the emotional intimacy between you practically with a daily journal you can pass back and forth. Or write emails and texts to print out for posterity later. Also be sure to set aside facetime for communication and cuddling throughout the wedding planning and festivities. Do whatever you can to keep you both grounded, in good humor, and your jitters to a minimum.
7. Prevent Budget Breakdowns with a few Simple Safeguards
“Dream wedding” is a strategic marketing buzz phrase that can drive your spending to unreasonable levels.
Don’t take the bait, especially as you get closer to the wedding day. You’ll be tempted to stray away from the budget as you get nervous, or start to second guess your well-laid plans. Wedding vendors count on it and will try to upsell you at every turn. Maintain your monetary peace of mind by agreeing to support each other with financial faithfulness and an eye on your future. How?
- Agree that you both must be in agreement to stray from the budget. No excuses.
- Talk about how much money you want to see in your savings, checking and investment accounts two weeks, a month, or even a year after the wedding. Set that money aside and call it untouchable.
- Discuss debt. Are you both willing to pay for the wedding for months afterward? How will carrying debt affect upcoming life goals? Plan as carefully for your financial health as you are the wedding. Marriages are greatly affected by money issues.
Wedding planning is stressful. The key for each couple is to figure out why. Review the way you are approaching your hopes, relationships, time, needs, and budget. Slow things down where you need to, delegate often and let some things go.
Finally, hug each other a lot and retain your bliss. Enjoy!