It’s been a while since I planned my wedding. Like many women, I had big ideas and great expectations for the day and hopes for a stress free wedding. And like too many, I found myself in a pile of stress. Though it’s been several years since the days of wedding prep, I am often reminded of the unforeseen stress attached to the big day.
I live and work with college students, so each year brings another engagement or two (or six or seven). I listen to young women as they dream and plan, and at some point, there is usually a bit of a freak out moment.
The good news? Wedding planning doesn’t have to be stressful! The nature of a big event has lots of details to be carried out, but they can be simplified and even fun if we approach the day differently. As we head into wedding season, take note of some thoughtful ways to plan and enjoy a stress free wedding.
For some great party planning tips, here are the best party planning blogs to follow.
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, having a Plan B is essential. The thought of that magical outdoor ceremony is wonderful, but don’t work yourself into knots waiting for the perfect weather forecast. Hope for the best, plan for the worst. As the wedding day draws closer, you’ll be able to relax knowing there are plans set in place for any scenario and hopefully have a stress free wedding.
Before you get too far into wedding planning, sit down with your fiance and make a list. Write down your highest priorities and non-negotiables. Make a three column list of “Absolutely, Maybe, and Not-so-much”. If you can eliminate unnecessary stress at step one, great! When you have a list, look over your budget and decide where you want the majority of money to go. This will help you make better decisions along the way. And it will help you avoid regret as you continue with your list of purchases.
You can definitely go the route of hiring a planner for all the details, but if nothing else, make sure you have someone for the wedding day. You need someone to manage the timeline of the day, answer questions from curious family members, and make sure everything runs smoothly. This should not be the bride or the groom! Your job on the wedding day is to enjoy your wedding party, family, and new spouse. Let someone else be the taskmaster. You won’t regret this decision!
You may be tempted to pack a whole list of events into your wedding day or days leading up to the ceremony. Don’t do it! Less is more. When you’re making hair and makeup appointments, give yourself some wiggle room with time. You don’t need to have a formal brunch. You don’t need to see all your extended family members before the ceremony. Remember, what are your priorities for the day? You don’t have to fit everything into one day. Give yourself a chance to breathe and enjoy the day.
It’s easy to get quickly overwhelmed with the activity and emotion of your wedding day. Make sure you don’t exchange all your special moments with your new spouse for mingling with wedding guests. Yes, make time to be with your family and friends, but set up small moments to be alone with each other. You can do this right after the ceremony or even during the meal at the reception.
Being with your spouse will remind you why this day is important and will help bring you back to earth when the day gets a little crazy. When in doubt, find each other and kiss your favorite person. Don’t worry, those clinking glasses will make sure this happens.
The truth about wedding planning is this: the unexpected will happen. Something will not go according to plan and someone will bring the wrong pair of shoes. Don’t let it ruin your day. Perfection isn’t possible, but your presence and peace in the day is top priority.
Even with hiccups in the wedding day, you will be with your new spouse when it’s all said and done. You will be married and moving towards a new, exciting future with each other. Set yourself up well, but don’t pull your hair out when plans fall through. Enjoy the day, and enjoy your first days of forever.