Top 10 Tips for Low-Stress Wedding Planning

Dear Thriving Bride,

The purpose of this blog is for me to share my experiences as I plan for my wedding in a way that feels empowering for me, a bride with challenging circumstances that I want to turn into opportunities to learn, grow and hopefully help other people.  I have been engaged for a few months, and will be married in 50 days.  What I have learned so far has been powerful and trans formative for me.  Weddings can be stressful, but if  you already have difficult circumstances to deal with, you may want to keep your eye on the prize: minimizing stress and maximizing your ability to say “yes” to this journey. So far, here’s my top 10 list of tips to keep the stress low and the bride “thriving.” I’m sure I will think of more things to tell you later. Enjoy!

1.  Regardless of what is happening around you, try and remember that this time is about you and your future spouse. In the end, there is no wedding without your significant other standing there next to you.  Everything else matters and doesn’t matter as well. Remember that!

2. Do something really fun with your partner every week.  If you need to feel like you are staying busy in your planning process, sign up for a dance class (obviously to prepare you for your first dance), or throw a wine tasting into the mix after a long afternoon of looking at wedding venues.

3. If you are having a multicultural wedding, find playful ways to incorporate certain traditions into the wedding.  We sure did enjoy scouring the internet for fashionable Nigerian outfits to have specially made for PJ’s family.  We also enjoyed brainstorming about how many different flags we should have represented at the wedding.

4. Talk about your joys and your frustrations. It’s great to vent about the budget or the caterer, but it is also pretty exciting to marvel at all the great things about your wedding venue or your rehearsal dinner venue. We’re getting married at a former bordello. Now, that’s given us a lot of fun things to talk about.

6. Let the wedding planner do her job!  If you hire one, just let her do what she does best.  If you try and do her job for her, then you just wasted part of your budget (and her time).  You can help her by having a vision of what you want, and then stepping back and letting her get creative (by the way, Pinterest is a great resource for getting ideas and sending them to your wedding planner) to make your day as wonderful as you want it to be.

7. Try not to compare yourself and/or your wedding journey to another bride unless the process helps you figure out what you want as part of your day.  Did she get her dress custom made and flown in from a country you can’t even remember?  Did she have an open bar at her wedding and you can’t afford to?  Comparing yourself will only drive you crazy unless you use it as a tool to help you get creative and not crazy.

8. Have clear boundaries with your loved ones.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, everyone will have different ideas about how you should do this and that.  That’s all well and good, but you’ve got to be happy as well.  Practice saying no with a smile and sometimes a hug.  Also, it doesn’t hurt to have a nice bottle of wine around to share with this person while you are saying “no.”

8. Create a wedding budget!  Money is a big reason married couples fight and eventually break up, and it is also a reason some couples never make it to the altar.  Decide what is realistic and what will allow you to celebrate with friends and family without being resentful that your bank account is missing a few zeros.

9. Use your community as a resource.  Everyone involved is a part of your life because they truly have the capacity to love you as you are.  It’s true!  So, don’t be shy to say “no” when you need to and ask for help when you need to as well.  Maybe the rehearsal dinner can happen in your mother’s home instead of that restaurant that doesn’t fit into your budget.

10. Make your plans, and then let them go.  It is always good to have a plan, but on the day of your wedding things will happen as they are supposed to.  You can’t control that!