Written by Rachel Emma Studio
A lot of messages from the wedding industry to couples out there make wedding planning seem like an endlessly amazing magical time full of smiley, happy-tear-filled shopping trips and endless excuses for champagne... best days of your life, right? Well, whilst this may cover a large part of your wedding planning journey... and I hope it does... there’ll also most likely be plenty of stress along the way... and some sad tears, too. FACT.
'The best day of your life!'
... is my least favourite phrase in the wedding industry. I’m serious. The amount of pressure this puts brides under is unreal!
Of course, I'm not saying that it won't be your best day ever, but go into it expecting that it definitely will be and you will risk feeling deflated. It can also get in the way of you being present on the day. You might find yourself thinking "is this the best day of my life?" all day instead of just enjoying it.
Believe me, I've been a bride and I've been there so, here are 9 tips for wedding planning that won’t leave you feeling utterly miserable:
1. Don’t try to please everyone.
The number one difficulty most couples face when planning their wedding is family politics. It's YOUR wedding and you'll need to make peace with the fact that not everyone will be happy with every decision you make. Recently engaged Book Of Love babe India, one half of the duo behind the super-cool bridesmaid dress label, Maids to Measure is dealing with this at the moment:
“Alongside the overwhelm of having so much choice, I’m putting myself under an inordinate amount of pressure to make the occasion unique and 'un-wedding' whilst not offending my in-laws who want traditional. Needless to say when I mentioned coming down the aisle to The XX they were little impressed!”
You don't have to keep every single person happy, but what's important is the way you handle yourself during those difficult conversations. It's especially difficult when family members are footing some (or all) of the bill, and this might mean that a few more compromises have to be made. The bottom line is you need to do what's right for you, so stay kind and respectful whilst standing firm in your decisions and your relationships will stay intact.
2. Do try to please each other.
You're in this together as one unit now, so start as you mean to go on and don't leave each other out. Even if one of you is slightly less interested, try to make some decisions together. You want to plan a day that reflects BOTH of you.
3. Write everything down!
India swears one of the most important features of wedding planning that won’t send you loopy is writing everything down.
“It's ok to feel overwhelmed. My first piece of advice to all brides would be to treat yourself to a nice, swanky wedding journal. This has now become my best companion (after my fiancé!) and whenever I have any (albeit ludicrous) ideas, I feel better for noting them down."
Managing a budget is hard, period. It’s even harder when you don’t have a budget put in place from the start. Even though it may not be realistic to stick to the budget to the last penny - everything costs more than you expect, and extra things always pop up towards the end – it’s a good guide to have to hold yourself to. You really don't want to be worrying about bankruptcy the week before your wedding. On this note, I've made a handy budget planning spreadsheet for you to download if you want to set yourself off on the right foot.
5. Plan your time.
Don't leave everything to the last minute. So easily done, but also so easily avoided. There many different ways you can track your wedding planning timeline, from swanky stationery worthy of the ‘gram to my digital lifesaver, Trello, which is an online list maker and progress tracker. (I did a video about organising your wedding planning with Trello, if you wanna know more…)
6. Ask for help.
Trying to do it all yourself is a one-way ticket to disaster. Craft projects are LOADS of fun and DIY projects are full of sentiment, but do they practically help you in your situation? Are you actually saving money by doing it yourself, or are you undoing what you’re saving by piling on the anguish instead? Being in the industry, I made this vital mistake.
Hire who you can and delegate the rest. I know from experience that whilst you are running around trying to do everything, you're missing the important moments that you should be soaking in.
7. Stop looking at what everyone else is doing!
It's so easy to get caught up in comparison when planning your wedding. The flipside of Pinterest being such a fantastic resource for inspiration and ideas is it can cause unrealistic expectations which result in disappointment. Everyone gets married in different circumstances and with different resources at their disposal, so comparing your wedding to others is just a recipe for big day blues. Stay in your own lane, and prioritise the things that make you happy.
8. Don’t expect your wedding to be everyone else's priority.
Ooof this is a tricky one... 'expectation breeds resentment.'
While all of your guests are no doubt over the moon excited for you, it's really important to remember that they have their own lives and their own priorities. Attending a wedding can be expensive, both financially and time-wise, especially if you are in the bridal party. If you expect too much from people then you are setting yourself up for hurt and disappointment if they don't live up to those expectations.
9. Expect not to love every second.
Confession: this was my personal downfall.
If when things get stressful while you are planning your wedding, it's ok not to enjoy it. I know that sounds obvious, but it can be easy to slip into feelings of guilt if you are not 100% about this. It's a roller-coaster ride of emotions. It's ok if you don't breeze through i. I just wanted to make sure you knew that.
Hopefully, you feel a little less stressed about your own wedding planning after reading Rachel's tips! What's been your biggest stress so far? I'd love to know! Feel free to comment below.
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