If you’re planning your wedding and freaking out, you’re not alone! Anyone who has planned a wedding can attest to how stressful it can be. The day is inherently full of pressure because we have big expectations. Most people expect their weddings to be a magical unicorn of a day, but they have no idea how it’s going to come together. That’s where the stress comes in; suddenly you’re freaking out, worried about everything and anything that could go wrong. Not only are there hundreds of variables, but also the day all comes down to one person: you, the planner. Talk about pressure. Here are some tips and tricks that can help ease some of your stress. Read, understand, and do your best to stay calm.
1. Clean Environment, Clean Mind
Keep things clean. No, I’m not talking about your bachelorette or bachelor party. I’m talking about your car, your house, and even your body. If your house is trashed and you have wedding craft stuff all over your kitchen table, you’re just asking to be stressed every time you have to walk by the mess. Plus, you’ll start to ask yourself “Crap! Where did I put that fancy ribbon?” or “What happened to the cat?” Nothing adds to stress like not knowing where things are. It’s also just a fact of life, if your surroundings are cluttered it can clutter your mind. Remember, your goal is to keep everything as streamlined as possible to avoid anxious mind banter.
The same thing goes for your body. Stay healthy. Stay hydrated. Don’t skip meals because you’ve got so much on your plate. You are your first priority. You know how in a lot of situations it’s important to help yourself before helping those around you? This is kind of the same idea. You need to keep yourself happy and healthy in order to be able to plan your amazingly magical dream wedding. You may think you’re doing yourself a favor by cutting corners, but you’re not. You’re just adding to your stress! Don’t.
2. Notebooks are Your Friend
Part of keeping your mind clean is being able to empty it out. The best way to do this is to have something on hand to pour the million little thoughts that flit across your mind into. How many times in your life have you thought, “Oh gosh, I can’t forget to…”? Then later, you forget what it was you were trying not to forget. Even worse, sometimes you forget there was anything for you to remember in the first place. This is extremely stress-inducing. Trust me, during planning you’ll have everything on your mind from venue to veils, and you will need something to catch all the stuff that threatens to slip through the cracks.
Carry a small journal with you wherever you go in your purse or car or wherever. You can even make it cute or fancy if it makes you happy. Add journal stickers and little reminder cards if you’re really “type A.” Now every time you think, “I can’t forget to tell the caterers…” write it down in this notebook. You won’t forget that the caterers need to make the bread rolls gluten-free now because you have a special little journal that saves you from forgetting. I can’t tell you how freeing it is to know that nothing is being forgotten. Free your mind; carry a journal.
3. Don’t Forget to Live
Again, if you think you’re doing yourself a favor by putting things on hold, you’re not. It may seem like letting go of everything just to focus on planning would make you less stressed. Not true. Putting all of your focus into planning and not making room in your life for anything else puts way too much pressure on everything. Live your life, and if you stay organized, you shouldn’t have a problem. Don’t stop living.
Call your friends, call your mother, and go out to that club if you want. I know you’re really busy, but by focusing solely on your wedding, you’re making yourself nuts. Everyone needs a distraction once and a while. Set aside wedding planning time where you focus all your energy, and let that be it. Try not to allow the wedding planning stress to seep into the rest of your life. Hang out with your friends and talk about something else. Trust. You will feel so much better if you just give yourself a break every now and then.
4. Help! You Need Somebody
The best way to prevent over-stressing during the planning process is to ask for help. If you can hire a wedding planner, great, but if not, ask your control freak aunt (or someone like that) to help you. You’re not limited on how many people you can ask for help.
Assign a family member to each portion of your day if they’re willing. Set up contingencies for things to go wrong, and have specific people who are on problem duty. They will have no other job than to be there solving the day’s issues. Make the role assignments make sense by giving people jobs they’re good at. Put your cousin who does crafting on DIY craft assignment and your brother who is a chef on food management. Boom. Suddenly you’re not so alone and it’s not all so scary.
5. Be Nice to Yourself
Don’t pretend everything’s fine if you’re super stressed, but don’t dwell either. Don’t allow yourself to wallow. If you need to, use the coping mechanisms you use when you’re normally upset about something. Book a massage, do some yoga, watch your favorite chick flick, and buck up.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask your partner to be your shoulder to cry on. Hopefully he or she is helping anyway, but if planning is not really his or her thing, then “support” should be your soon-to-be spouse’s new job title. Allow him or her to comfort you and maybe make your favorite dessert or something.
Do whatever you need to do to ease your mind. If watching cartoons does that, cool. If painting puts you in a super chill state, awesome. No one gets to judge you during this time. Wedding planning and pregnancy are kind of alike in this way. People know you have a lot on your plate, and if they’re forgetting, remind them. It’s not your job to be perfect, and the best way to keep a level head is to let people around you know what’s going on. You can’t keep chill if you’re suffering in silence.
There you have it folks. Planning a wedding doesn’t have to be inherently stressful! What a revelation. My wish for you is that the process is just as beautiful as your special day. Allow for some mistakes, and when the time comes, let go and let everything come together on its own. If you’ve done your job, the parts should all mesh like magnets. If not, let other people deal with it. You do you and enjoy your day.