Self-Care vs. Wedding Planning Procrastination: What’s the Difference?

Two women relaxing with face masks on.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a current or former bride/groom out there adamant that wedding planning is 100% stress-free. The concept can all seem so simple in the early, blissful days of engagement. However, when the initial glow wears off and the organization begins, people tend to feel overwhelmed quickly. No matter where you are in the planning process, keeping a level head is advantageous not only to the success of your wedding, but for the sake of your own mental health and relationship.

It’s important for busy brides and grooms to slow down and take stock of things: to stop and smell the roses (or peonies, or baby’s breath) as it were. But when do you draw the line between a well-deserved break…and pure procrastination when it comes to organizing your big day? Here are some signs to keep in mind!

It’s Self-Care When…

You’re Feeling Burnt Out

Maybe it was fun when you first started to plan, but now every to-do on your list seems like an arduous chore. It’s getting difficult to be excited about even the most fun aspects of your engagement and you begin to hang your hopes of rejuvenation on the bachelor or bachelorette party, the honeymoon, or even your cousin’s graduation weekend to get your head out of the game for a bit.

You’ve Made all the Big-Picture Decisions

A bride toasting with her friends at a dress shop.

Perhaps a no-brainer, but ensure you’re out of the woods with the big things. Postpone that meeting with your venue, move you wedding dress shopping spree by a weekend or two, and grasp the free time you’ve created for yourself!

You Have a Specified Window of Time

Whether we’re talking about 15 minutes or three months, giving yourself a time frame for re-charging is essential. Everyone employs different forms of self-care: some enjoy a weekend getaway, others just need an afternoon yoga class, and many like to mix and match such appointments. The bad news is that wedding planning takes a long time, however, the good news is that…wedding planning takes as long as you want! You can afford to take a few months off if you so choose, especially in the earlier stages.

It’s Procrastination When…

You Have a Problem Telling People You’re Taking a Break

One of the main signals you’re getting into procrastination territory would be anxiety in talking about the dip in planning activity. This is an over-generalization, of course, but with many couples someone will likely ask a quick “how’s the planning going?” at some point during the engagement. If you find yourself worried about responding in earnest (“taking a break for a while, actually!”) perhaps because you’ve given this person similar answers before, that could signify your deeper intentions of keeping the process at bay.

You’re Shirking Responsibilities of all Kinds

A woman relaxing in a bath tub.

If you’re feeling too burnt out, you may have the urge to curl up for a “do nothing” day instead of focusing on work, projects, or family affairs. We all need days like these, but they can be slippery slopes into long, unproductive periods that hurt you in the long run, even resulting in shying away from non-wedding responsibilities. On the flip side, if you find yourself engaging in too many outside projects—reorganizing your closet for the third time this month, suddenly deciding to clear out the garage, etc.—that’s also a good indicator that you’re procrastinating.

You Don’t Have/Aren’t Enforcing a Time Period of Relaxation

Schedule your time and don’t deviate! If you find yourself ignoring the clock or rapidly searching for new distractions close to the end of your allotted time frame for rest and relaxation, it may be necessary to take stock of what you’re thinking and feeling before you’re too far down the rabbit hole.

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