Every bride has good intentions when she starts planning her wedding. You envision a beautiful day, surrounded by your family and friends, bridesmaids in beautiful dresses bursting with happiness and taking in all of the gorgeous details. No bride ever anticipates the pressure that can come with planning such an important day, but it’s inevitable. Everybody feels stressed at some point during their daily lives, and adding wedding planning to your already busy life can be overwhelming.
Remember that you set the tone for the wedding day and the months leading up to it. Those around you will feed off of your energy and if you are stressed, they will feel stressed. Starting off on the right track will not only keep your stress to a minimum but the stress of the people around you as well.
So how do you get from engaged to I do without losing your mind? Here are some tips for feeling calm and balanced during the wedding planning process.
Have a Plan
The best way to avoid any stress during wedding planning is to start off with a good plan. You and your fiancé must first decide on the type of wedding you’d like to have. Discuss the options with your parents as their input often comes into play as well. If you don’t have a wedding planner, you will be on your own to create a budget plan and wedding planning timeline for the months leading up to your wedding. These are very important! Make this your first step before moving forward.
Create a Realistic Budget
The budget is the number one cause of arguments and stress during the wedding planning process. You have to discuss the budget with your fiancé and anyone else that will be contributing to the wedding – come up with a number that works for everyone and stick to it. Be honest and don’t purchase anything that is over budget without discussing it with your fiancé. Prices vary from city to city, so you might have to do some research to see what average wedding costs are in your area.
Eating well and exercising has been proven to reduce stress. Physical activity creates endorphins and improves your mood, while a balanced diet can provide the necessary vitamins and minerals that help reduce stress levels. As little as thirty minutes of exercise three times a week will make a huge difference. A few easy changes to your diet like drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, and cutting out fast food will give you the natural defenses you need to combat stress.
Find Your Happy Place
This is my favorite and most beneficial tip I can give any bride. We all deal with stress at some point, so you need to find that one thing you can turn to when things get out of control. Whether it’s reading, or getting a massage or pedicure, yoga, or even if it’s just locking yourself in your bedroom to meditate for five minutes – find something that works for you. When things get too stressful, you are prepared and can automatically turn to your happy place. You’ve heard that expression ‘Just sleep on it’. When you come back from your happy place, you might realize the problem wasn’t even that bad after all, or you’ll come back with the mental focus to face the problem head-on and deal with it.
This will also be a big year for your parents, siblings, close friends, and family. They will be asked to throw bridal showers and engagement parties, purchase bridesmaid dresses, and take some of their time away from their personal lives to help with the planning of your wedding. Be patient and grateful, and make sure to include everyone in the planning process. Often the root of all family issues stems from someone not feeling like they’ve been heard or appreciated. Family dynamics are a part of every wedding, and this can be stressful when everyone has their own ideas and suggestions and insists on providing their opinions. So patience, forgiveness, and a small thank-you note or a loving hug can go a long way in keeping everyone happy during this time.
Know It Won’t Be Perfect
Let go of the idea that everything has to be perfect. Perfection is impossible to achieve and puts far too much pressure on brides. Every bride wants their day to go perfectly, but I can tell you this, your day will NOT be perfect. Little things will happen that you can’t anticipate, plans may not run exactly to schedule, and people will not always behave or react how you would like them to. In the end, your wedding day will be the perfect day FOR YOU. Have some perspective and appreciate all the good things about the day. Move forward knowing that there will be some bumps in the road, and you will feel less stress when you look at it that way instead of trying to pull off the impossible.
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
It can be easy to let your emotions take over when things don’t go how you want them to, especially for the most important day of your life. But if the napkins aren’t the exact color you wanted, or your bridesmaid orders the wrong shoes, or some wording gets mixed up on the invitations – remember there are worse things in life that can happen. Be thankful for the opportunity to be planning such a joyous celebration in the first place. Causing unnecessary drama will only create bad energy for your day.
This is supposed to be fun! If wedding planning is starting to feel more like a job, then you really have to take a step back and re-evaluate. Maybe you need some extra help – wedding planners can step in at any stage of the planning process to take over if you are feeling too overwhelmed or stressed out. Talk to your fiancé and your family – don’t be afraid to delegate some of the jobs so that you aren’t doing it all on your own.
Remember, if the bride is happy, everyone is happy. You set the tone and energy for your wedding day and the months of planning. Making an effort to stay calm and stress-free is important to a memorable wedding planning experience. Otherwise, you could become overwhelmed and turn into the dreaded Bridezilla, which no bride (or those close to her) wants.
– Tammy is a wedding planner, author, and the curator of TheWeddingGuru.ca – a wedding blog offering guidance and inspiration for the balanced bride.