When my husband and I started off planning our wedding, we knew it was going to be stressful, however the wedding planning stress hit us like a semi-truck out of nowhere the night before our wedding. I think the “everything is not coming together how I planned it all in my head and on paper” thoughts that were in my head that night as we were setting up the hall.
It was crazy stressful that night. There was lots of yelling, tears, and my husband and I actually looked at each other and almost said “F this, we're going to a justice of the peace and show up after in jeans & tank to party.” We probably would have had a better time if we did that, but we chose not to, and while our wedding was beautiful, there were a lot of disasters that happened that night.
You don't need to be told that planning a wedding is stressful – you will have a lot on your plate!
Many couples resign themselves to the idea that it will be stressful no matter what. While it will never be a cakewalk, planning a wedding can be far more relaxed than you expect. Ultimately, it comes down to how you approach the planning process. If you go at it in the right way, you can keep the wedding planning stress to a minimum.
6 WAYS TO KEEP WEDDING PLANNING STRESS TO A MINIMUM
What magic do you need to know to achieve this? There's no magic and no funny tricks involved! Instead, you should follow some of these tips to lighten the load and plan your wedding in peace:
Don't give yourself a time limit
I think the majority of the wedding planning stress comes from working to a limited time schedule. When a couple gets engaged, your first thought is when the wedding will be. Instantly, you set a date in your mind. This is when the wedding will take place, and you start looking for venues around that time. There's nothing wrong with setting a date, but it will put you on a time limit. Especially if you choose a date that's very near. For example, you get engaged in December and want to be married in June. All of a sudden, you have 6 months to plan a wedding!
My suggestion is to avoid giving yourself a ridiculous time limit. Don't think about the date until you've done some more research. There's no need to rush into these things – why spend the lead-up to your wedding in a constant panic state? Be more open-minded and allow yourself enough time to plan the wedding without going crazy.
The secondary benefit of this is that you could save money as well. Usually, if you want to get married on a specific date, you restrict the options. Some couples overpay for a venue available on this date when they could've saved a fortune by waiting another few months.
Don't do it on your own
Again, too many couples will shoulder all the burden themselves. Yes, it's your wedding, but you don't have to do everything on your own! A lot of brides will take things a step further and gain control of the entire process. This means that you have everything to handle all by yourself. Some people love the thought of this as it means you're in control of the wedding. However, it only ever leads to massive stress levels.
Clearly, you need help when planning a wedding. We'll look at two obvious ways you can get it. Firstly, ask family and friends for help and guidance on individual decisions. Get your mother to pick out some flowers, ask your friend to shortlist some dresses, etc. You will have the final say, but they do the legwork for you. So, while you're visiting venues, your bridesmaids are scoping out different dress shops and sending links to various options. Then, you can look at their choices and decide if you like any of them. It's still your decision, only you've done minimal work.
Secondly, you could hire a wedding planner to take charge of proceedings. Some couples are on the fence with this, as it can be quite expensive. Wedding planners aren't cheap – unless one of your friends happens to be one! Basically, you have to get a few quotes and weigh up the pros and cons. Your main pro is that you've got an actual professional handling all the tough tasks for you.
They've got industry contacts that may allow you to secure venues or vendors that you'd miss out on alone. Plus, they could provide some special discounts as well. The obvious – and only – downside is that it's expensive. So, decide if the costs are too high to render the pros as useless. If you don't opt for a planner, seek help from your friends & family instead.
Stop trying to make your wedding too unique
This sounds like a strange thing to say, but hear me out. I feel like many couples get carried away trying to make their weddings as unique as possible. Typically, this stems from seeing outrageously unique weddings online. The problem is that these weddings are normally from celebrity couples. Or, they're from people with a lot of money. So, you set unrealistic expectations of what your wedding should look like. Obviously, if you have the money, you could try to make the most unique wedding possible. Ask yourself, is it worth it?
Instead, you can still create the perfect wedding without being overly unique. Traditional weddings are all somewhat similar, yet you can still stamp your own flavor on them. The best example of creating a stunning wedding without being too unique is by using templates. You can see things like MagnetStreet wedding invitations that exist as set templates. The designs are pre-made; you pick your fave and provide unique writing. It's a similar situation for a lot of things related to your wedding. With things like this, you can still make your wedding special and gorgeous. Is there a chance someone else will have the same invitations as you? Yes, but it doesn't matter!
Doing this will free up so much wedding planning stress as you don't think about being unique every second. It's so stressful doing research to be sure nobody else has what you want at your wedding.
Consider how important a big wedding is for you
This last point may seem quite controversial to some. Do you really need a big wedding? Do you even need a small wedding? Couldn't you save a ton of money and wedding planning stress by avoiding it altogether? Have a very small ceremony with a couple of close friends/family members instead of a massive event. Some people hate this idea as it might not be as memorable. You don't have as many cool photos to look back on, but you did save a lot of stress and tension.
It all depends on who you are and what your values are. I know that a lot of faith-based families will always have big weddings because it's traditionally part of the religion. But, if you don't care for big scenes or fancy table settings, there's no point following the trends. Smaller weddings are becoming trendier because people realize that they don't need a massive spectacle to have a special day. You'll remember it for the rest of your life regardless of how big it is. I'm not saying you can avoid wedding planning stress if it isn't small. All I'm saying is that it will make your life easier.
Give yourself a break
The worst possible way to plan a wedding is to let it consume your life. Some people choose to focus on this for many days on end with nothing else crossing their minds. It's common to do this when you want to get all the planning done as quickly as possible. We've already discussed how you can avoid this by not setting ridiculous deadlines!
Still, you should avoid working too hard. Take regular breaks between planning sessions to let your brain cool off. Go on a couple's retreat with your partner to relax and have a break from the chaos and will help both of you lower your wedding planning stress. A weekend away can refresh your mind and make it more enjoyable when you start planning again.
How do you know if you need a break? Well, you start to think about your wedding even when you're not planning. Before sleeping, images of wedding invitations and flowers float through your head. It's the only thing on your mind, and you feel smothered by stress. This is a clear indication that you need to take a break and get back to it in a few days.
Purchase a wedding diary
As soon as you get engaged, you need to buy a wedding diary. Effectively, this is your little planner to jot everything down in. Make a note of all the different things you need to do at all times. Ideally, you should actually have two different planners. One is more of a notebook for ideas, the other is a calendar where you can note appointments.
The purpose of both is to keep you organized. Like everything else in life, wedding planning stress is harder to handle when you're all over the place. You have lots to remember, so take it out of your brain and put it on a piece of paper. Instantly, you unload so much wedding planning stress by having things stored in your diaries. It also lets you plan ahead and organize things with more efficiency.
Another bonus to having a planner or notebook to keep the wedding planning stress to a minimum. You will be able to see in black and white who is in charge of what aspect of the wedding. It is one of the biggest things I forgot to incorporate in our wedding. I did not write down who needed to remind the DJ to announce certain aspects of the reception or who was in charge of making sure that my husband and I were at the dance floor during certain times of the night.
There you have it, these are the tips to reduce wedding planning stress. As a couple, this is a massive stage in your relationship. You don't want things to start badly with months of stress and arguments. Do whatever you can to lighten the burden when planning your wedding. It won't be easy, but it can definitely be done.