Welcome to a new series for 2016 – Wedding Wednesday! As a newly engaged lady, I’m quickly discovering that planning a wedding is a very unique time in your life. It’s a unique kind of stress as well. There’s tons of advice on the internet and resources to dig through, but honestly, even the amount of information is overwhelming. I hope to use this series to not only help my own brain work through the planning process, but to share some advice on how to make your wedding planning experience more fun than ulcer-inducing.
This week, I’ve been focusing quite a bit on managing the stress that comes with planning a wedding. I love planning events. As a PR girl, I love any opportunity to plan and manage events and delve into the details the process requires. However, planning my own wedding seemed to immediately bring this dark cloud of worry and guilt I’d never experienced before. I felt guilty for wanting to have large ceremony, I felt anger at having to pay over $100 for anything, I worried that no one I was planning to invite would come. I’m sure my sister/maid of honor got very tired of hearing about my angst and anxiety during my first month of being engaged. More recently, I’ve decided none of those feelings are productive or helpful, and have come up with a few ways to manage my wedding related stress level.
- Take advantage of engagement perks
You’ll be engaged for just a short chapter in your life, and there’s so many special moments you won’t have more than once. If your budget allows, I definitely recommend taking engagement photos. It will likely be one of the first times you’ve had professional photos taken together, so it’s good practice for your wedding – especially if you use the same photographer. Also, have some fun putting together your registries! If you live together already, you might have quite a few necessities, but this can still be a good chance to register for some upgrades. Crate & Barrel also does really fun private registry events for couples. Our local store opened a few hours early just for the couples attending the event, and we got to have fruit, cheese, cupcakes, and mimosas while we wandered the store adding items to our registry. It made for a fun, casual date day!
- Set aside at least one day a week where wedding talk is off limits
Wedding planning can end up being all-consuming and take over a large piece of real estate in your brain. Choose at least once a week where neither of you is allowed discuss any wedding related items. No planning, no day dreaming, nothing. The break will help you focus when you are in planning mode later.
- Let go of guilt about your budget
I’ve been struggling with wanting a wedding that costs more than $50 to throw together, and accepting financial help from our families. If you’re like me, take time to let go of this unproductive guilt. You can have the wedding you want within your budget, and do not feel bad about using it as an excuse to see your far-flung family and friends. Also, if your family is offering to help pay for some of the wedding, don’t feel bad about accepting! They love you and support you, and want you to have the day of your dreams.
- Remember, the only people that HAVE to show up are you and your partner
When it came to worrying about budget, who to invite, and whether or not people would show up, my dad gave me an important piece of advice: “the only two people who HAVE to be there are you and Kevin.” When the stress is high, step back and remember what this is all about – you’ve found your adventure partner and the person you want to spend your life with! You no doubt deserve a big party to celebrate that, but at the end of the day, what matters most is your marriage. Take a minute to admire your engagement ring (if you have one) and remember the commitment it symbolizes. Finding someone you can be a team with for 50+ years is a big deal. Revel in being a fiance/fiancee and enjoy it!