This time last year I was counting down the days until I could marry my best friend!
The wedding was less than two months away and I was overwhelmed with your average college senior stuff: student teaching, finals, job hunting, and PLANNING A WEDDING.
If I’m being honest, I don’t have many fond memories of that season. I was SO ready to tie the knot with my handsome man of 3+ years, but it was a very stressful season and I do not miss it at ALL.
Seriously, looking back…it’s all a huge blur of tears, anxiety, and random bursts of intense exercise! (bridal workouts anyone?)
I am sure there are a few other ladies in my position and I’m here on the other side to spread some wisdom with ten tips for the overly stressed bride!
1. Remember what is REALLY important
This is #1 on my list because it is CRITICAL. When you feel stressed and overwhelmed, remember why you are doing this.
You are marrying the man of your dreams!
I remember a few times my husband and I seriously debated eloping to save ourselves from the tsunami of wedding stress we were trying to survive.
I kept telling myself: In 10 years, will it really matter if guest table 3 has a green table cloth or a pink one?
There comes a point when you become so intimate with all the details of your wedding that you lose yourself in it. The most important part is that the day ends with a covenant of marriage! As long as your heart and soul lives in that place, your stress will level out.
2. Prioritize Your Expectations
Understand that not everything is going to go perfectly. Looking back, my wedding day was wonderful. I enjoyed it immensely and it was just what I wanted. However-
SEVERAL things did not go the way I originally planned.
My wedding planner showed up an hour and a half late.
Minor family drama sparked up.
The rental company forgot the plates and had to make a trip back.
Some guests arrived in the middle of the ceremony.
A few details were forgotten.
Was it perfect? No. But that’s okay! I learned to prioritize my expectations. I knew that everything wasn’t going to go as planned and I adapted.
I was there in my dress and my groom was waiting for me.
My whole family was there for my special day.
We were eating awesome food.
At the end of it all, my man and I were going on an awesome honeymoon as husband and wife.
Those were the expectations I held onto. Everything else I had to let go of, and I recommend the same for you!
3. Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More
People laughed at me because I had a very detailed schedule of the wedding day.
When I say detailed, I mean every 15 minutes from 9a.m. to 10p.m. was planned out for every person in the wedding party.
Each person had a custom timeline tailored to their duties.
I know what you’re thinking, “Is that really necessary?”
YES. Yes it was.
Why? Because it gave me PEACE. I knew that I did my part to make everything go seamlessly. If things didn’t go as planned, I could honestly look back and say that there was nothing I could have done differently!
4. Learn to Let Things Go
Like I mentioned, your wedding day is not going to be perfect. It’s just not. Something somewhere will go wrong. The sooner you accept that, the less stressed you’ll be!
5. Take Breaks
Because I was trying to balance finals and graduating with my wedding planning, breaks weren’t a decision I made.
They were necessary.
Even if you’re not dealing with wrapping up your college career, maybe you’re juggling a job or family issues.
Know that is it healthy to hang up the wedding planning and take a couple days here and there to just chill.
My husband suggested that sometimes when we were together we not talk about wedding related stuff. Not because he wasn’t excited. But because he was
annoyed looking out for our mental well being!
I thought that time spent just watching TV or playing a game was time that should be spent planning…That’s the wrong mindset to have.
It’s not healthy, people!
6. Make a Wedding Binder
One of my coworkers in college suggested the idea to me and I was overwhelmed at first. I didn’t think it was necessary, BUT IT SO WAS.
I made timelines, used budget templates, kept contact logs for vendors, ring and apparel information, cloth swatches, inspirations, etc.
I even used it to stash our honeymoon fund money.
Not the best idea.
You really can make it however you want, but one thing I definitely suggest putting in your wedding binder is envelopes with prepaid checks for your vendors.
Because on your wedding day, the last think you are going to be thinking of is paying everyone.
I handed the wedding binder to my wedding planner and she distributed the money at the end of the night. It was stress free and super easy!
7. Don’t Think About Your Wedding Day
As a little girl I realized that the more I thought about something, the less likely it was to happen.
For example: I used to dream about how conversations with crushes would go and it almost always went the polar opposite.
Thank goodness my husband is the talker.
I used this rule for my engagement and my wedding. As my engagement approached (I suspected) I refused to think about it. I just knew that my husband, Tyler, would make it special and that’s all that mattered.
I used the same logic for my wedding. Did I think about the food we would have and the decorations? Yes.
But I didn’t think about how my husband would look at me when he saw me in my wedding dress.
I didn’t think about how the father daughter dance would go.
I didn’t even think about the vows!
I knew everything was planned out, but daydreaming was off the table. Daydreaming can lead to disappointment inside your reality, so I refused to engage that side my myself!
And guess what… My wedding day could not have been any more special!
8. Give it to God
If you believe that God placed your significant other in your life, then you just have to believe that everything will work out for your good.
God knows your heart. He sees your desires and your dreams! He is a good God.
Does that mean that you’re magically going to afford that awesome DJ? Probably not. But it does mean that if you pray about it and allow God to use it for His good- You will not be disappointed.
Plus, when your focus is on God, everything else seems to seem a lot less important!
I really wanted a wedding videographer, but they were all so expensive! As other wedding “necessities” started piling up, the probability of us being able to afford one became slim.
But I believe that God saw my heart. He knew how much I need and want to capture my life in that way.
He heard me.
We found a cheaper photographer and a cheaper wedding planner and made it happen!
9. Stop Looking at Pinterest
I KNOW HOW IT IS OKAY
We have been planning our weddings since we were little girls and have been saving ideas via Pinterest since we were 15.
It’s great to look for ideas at the beginning, but at a certain point, you need to stop.
Get some cute “Will you be my bridesmaid” ideas and some certain piece inspiration, but realize that eventually, scanning the Pinterest wedding section it will only fuel your stress.
You’ll want to change your mind a hundred times. Should the groomsmen wear blue or gray? Will the flowers have peonies in them or roses?
GAH! Just stop!
Give yourself about a month to scan for inspiration, and then stop and work with what you have. I promise it will make your stress go down SIGNIFICANTLY.
10. The Afterlife
This title makes me giggle.
Like I mentioned before- Weddings are on a girl’s mind from the first Disney princess movie they watch.
But, a wedding is just ONE DAY OF YOUR ENTIRE LIFE.
Don’t make it more than that. When the food is eaten and the decorations come down, your day is over. Forever. And if you really meant what you said at the alter, you’re not getting another one.
As the wedding day approaches, start planning your life AFTER your wedding day.
Think about how you want to decorate your house.
Think about writing thank you notes.
Here’s a fun one: Start planning your budget.
When you keep in mind that your wedding day is ONE day and that life goes on after, your stress levels will dwindle.
Also, planning your new life as a newlywed couple can be way more fun than the wedding planning!
There’s not as many people forcing their opinions on you