To all the couples out there planning your wedding, I get you, I get your frustration, I get your anxiety, and I get that the most important day of your life just needs to get here. And I’m sure you all want the wedding planning and family dynamics to be over with. I have planned hundreds of weddings, not of my own, but I have been a wedding planner for 15 years, bought and sold a wedding planning business, had the largest company in Arizona, built a wedding e-commerce company –bridecollective.co, wrote a book Bride + This Guide = Best Wedding Ever, and built a day-of wedding coordination company in Austin, Texas called Weddingdaygirl.com .
What I want you to know, you aren’t the first couple to feel the wedding pressure and you won’t be the last. I have come up with some helpful tips to help you stop and smell the roses during the wedding planning process, and really just get you to your big day with as minimal stress as possible.
1. Make a month-to-month timeline and stick to it
This point is really important. Most couples just want to wing it or think they have event experience. They think they can plan their weddings like any other event they have done before – like a birthday party or charity event. You can’t–weddings are very different. You need to have a timeline and you need to make sure you space out your planning according to every month you are planning your wedding.
What I have found in my experience is that wedding couples are always really excited to plan in the very beginning and the fun of planning starts to fizzle midway through your planning process. With that said, plan to do all the most important things at the beginning of your wedding planning process and do the less daunting wedding planning tasks as you get closer to the end – like buying wedding day shoes!
Also, don’t let your month-to-month timeline build up – as in – don’t skip a task that month and save it for the next, if you get in that habit you will find you will have a lot to do 4 weeks before your wedding when all your RSVPs start coming in and you need to figure out where all your guests are going to be seated as well as turning in all your final music, food counts, organizing transportation, etc.
2. Give Both Family’s Tasks To Complete
One of the most common stressors during the wedding planning process is FAMILY. Here is the reason – your parents have been waiting just as long as you for you to get married and meet “the one”. The best thing to do to keep them out of your wedding planning business is to give them their own to-do list.
- Give them a physical list, not just a word of mouth list. A physical list gives them something to cross off, so they feel that their tasks are just as important as yours and they feel relevant.
- Follow-up with how their tasks are going and remind them how important those tasks are to you both. This makes parents feel like you value their involvement and they will keep their nose out of the rest – we hope.
3. Eat well and exercise
I am not a doctor, but I am a proponent of functional medicine – the better the foods you put in your body, the better you will feel – period. Don’t disregard yourself during your wedding planning process, this means don’t just sweat for the dress, but eat well so the rest of you looks and feels great in wedding photos. No one wants blotchy skin or acne in all their wedding photos. Stay healthy so you have that glow on your wedding day – and get the rest you need every day.
Also, carve out self-care for yourself at least once a week – whether it be a massage or nail appointment, or yoga. When you have those self-care moments – take some time to think about how amazing this time is in your life – you only get engaged once (we hope), so enjoy your engagement period.
Must Read: Dr. Mark Hyman who is the medical director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine and 11 x New York Times Best selling author and wrote an amazing book – Eat Fat, Get Thin.
4. Take Time For Yourselves The Week Of The Wedding
Something that I always put on my couple’s month-to-month timelines was to plan a little alone time before all the wedding activities begin. This gives you both time to reflect on why you have spent so much time, effort, and energy planning your wedding. When I got married, the weekend before, we rented a suite and spent 3 nights hanging out at a resort, enjoying each other and eating really well. Going into wedding week was a breeze for us. Maybe you don’t have 3 nights to spend at a hotel, but maybe you two can get a couples massage together or maybe you can go on a hike or a bike ride or a picnic in the park. Do something healthy together and memorable.
5. What’s Done Is Done
During the wedding week it will feel like the days are flying by and there are many tasks left to complete. A couple of key suggestions….
- If you have a wedding party or involved parents – hand off those tasks as much as you possibly can.
- Hiring a day-of coordinator 6 weeks before your wedding would be really helpful (if you are in Austin, look me up).
- Most importantly, remember that you have done almost everything you needed to get done. Your wedding day will be perfect not because all the tasks are completed, but because you are saying I-DO to your best friend. If things don’t happen exactly the way they are supposed to – take a deep breath – it’s part of your wedding story – embrace it.
Remember to enjoy it – and don’t sweat the small stuff – really, you won’t remember that you ran out of ribbon for some of your favor boxes (and no one will care or know the difference). And it won’t matter that your Mom’s getting ready dress was changed last minute and you loathe the color, or that your aunt was 10 minutes late for family photos. Those things just won’t matter, not after it’s all said and done, so have a positive attitude going into your big day – YOU GOT THIS!