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Unless you are an impressive combination of Zen monk, Mindfulness guru, and Jedi Master – wedding stress (hate to break it to you!) is inevitable. That said, while there are many stressful wedding planning aspects, the good news is that they can all be managed when anticipated and planned for accordingly. In today’s guide, we’re going to give you a heads up on all the major stumbling blocks that you will face, and a few tips on how to make sure you keep your sanity while you go through them.
See more after the cut!
Choosing a wedding theme
OK, let’s start from Day One. The theme of your wedding is likely something you will be thinking of for a long time – possibly before you even met your fiance. It’s no surprise, given the amount of fantastic themes we see on TV and in many wedding and lifestyle magazines. But honestly, think twice before you start writing down all the ideas you have been collecting in your mind since you realized marriage was a thing. On paper, devising themes is fun. The reality is they can soon turn into a nightmare.
It takes years of design experience and know-how to pull everything together, and even something as simple as matching colors can quickly turn into one of the most stressful aspects of wedding planning. There might be fifty shades of grey, but at the last count, there was something like 50,000-odd shades of blue. If you want to reduce the chances of arguments, hassle, and wasting your money on products you think will work but don’t actually get used, consider hiring a wedding planner. Alternatively, ask a friend with unquestionable taste to help you pull everything together, and be prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Arguing with your soon-to-be
Nothing tests the strength of a relationship than a good six months or year of dealing with wedding planning stress. You will fight, you will argue, and there will be plenty of bickering if you allow things to get out of hand. It’s entirely natural, of course, and part and parcel of planning anything that you are both passionate about. But it is possible to survive all this. You have to see it as a test, and remember that there will be many, far, far more challenging experiences to come.
Let’s face it, dealing with the wedding expectations of a demanding mother-in-law is nothing compared to the 40 or 50 odd years you will spend trying to appease them. And if you thought cutting down your oversized guest list was tough, just wait until you have kids and have to make some pretty hard decisions about their birthday parties. So, always remember that this is a temporary process, and ultimately, you still have each other. If you really want to make a life together, this should be a walk in the park.
Photo credit: Pixabay
Saying yes to the dress(es)
First up, choose your wedding dress as early as possible – and go to the fitting store as early in the day as possible, too. Shop assistants will be much brighter, happier and friendlier first thing in the morning than just before closing, after dealing with more different carnations of Bridezilla than you can imagine. If you can, avoid picking anything too trendy – it helps to think ‘classic, ’ and you will find a lot more dresses that suit you and your shape, keeping your anxiety levels nice and low.
When it comes to bridesmaids dresses, however, things can get a little complicated – and stressful. It’s important to take the lead, here, or rely on your maid of honor to step up the plate and take control. To minimize this stressful aspect of planning your big day, you will need to set a firm date in the diary for fittings, and discuss budgets – are you paying or is everyone willing to chip in? Asking your bridesmaids’ opinions can also be like asking for trouble, as you will receive thousands – perhaps millions – of ‘helpful’ advice.
Ultimately, though, there are some incredible bridesmaid dresses out there that can suit everyone in your party. Take a quick look over at these Bill Levkoff bridesmaid dresses, and you can see that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get something stylish and sophisticated. And a final point on the wedding dresses – always make sure you leave enough time for alterations. Given that almost everyone in the party will be trying to get into better shape before your big day, you can guarantee there will be some issues.
Finding the perfect venue
If you want to avoid huge amounts of wedding planning stress, make sure you start looking for a venue as early as possible. Many of the most popular places in your area will be booked out anything up to a year in advance. Venue and catering will chew up the vast majority of your budget. It’s a massive expense, whether you choose a small restaurant or a fancy hotel, and the whole process of realizing you can’t quite afford your dream venue can be stressful and heartbreaking – but only if you let it.
However, just because you can’t quite manage the costs of a spectacular venue doesn’t mean your wedding is going to be ruined – far from it, in fact. With a little thought, planning, and research, you will always be able to find a suitable place for your big day and make it the venue of your dreams. Personally, I’ve seen dull, boring sports halls transformed into incredibly warm and romantic wedding venues – it’s just a simple case of finding somewhere that you can inject some personality into, and that’s located in an area that means something to the both of you.
Photo credit: Pixabay
Getting yourself organized
Hiring a wedding planner is often a good way of reducing much of the worry of organizing your big day. But if you decide to take the DIY route, you may be amazed at how easily things go, just by using a simple spreadsheet to arrange dates, finances, and everything else that goes along with wedding planning. Make a checklist and keep a file, too – not just for inspiration but for quotes and correspondence with vendors. You will find this helps you stay on track and up to date, safe in the knowledge that everything you need to do is written down and has a ‘due date’ for completion.
You don’t have to be super geeky about it, of course, but the point is that keeping all this stuff together will help you remain sane and keep on track. Make sure you start sharing your calendar with the important people of the day, too – you don’t want your partner arranging a football game with his pals if you have an important meeting with your caterers, for example. Finally, focus on one thing at a time, or you will find it completely overwhelming – and that will only result in added, and entirely unnecessary, stress.
The guest list and seating plan
We touched on this subject earlier, but it’s a biggie so we should go into a little extra depth. There will be a lot of expectation and preasure on you to invite people that you might not really want to – but it’s important not to let this stress you out. Both you and your partner’s parents will likely insist you send an invite to Auntie Jane, who hasn’t seen you since you were in diapers. Also on that list will be second cousins twice removed, step uncles who you swear blind had a funeral a decade ago, and your pop’s old boss. Family etiquette is weird, right?
Ultimately, though, remember this: it’s your wedding, and you invite who you want. It might cause a slight commotion, but it will only be temporary. Try and put forward a good balance of people, explain your reasoning, and it will all be OK in the end. Finally, you’ll need to devise a seating plan. A lot of expectant couples get incredibly anxious about this, but deep down it is more likely down to the fact that seating plans are one of the last things you do, and the big day is getting closer. But, other than working out your top table, it’s not too difficult. If the worst comes to the worst, you can just put family with family, friends with friends, and let people have the good catch up they all want.
You may get stressed when planning a wedding…. but as you can see from the examples above, it needn’t be the horror show that many people think it is. Good luck with the planning – and don’t forget to keep taking deep breaths!
WeddingLovely and one of our trusted publishing partners teamed up to share with couples this partnered list of stressful wedding planning aspects and how to handle them.