Wedding Planner

How Do You Avoid Stress When Planning a Wedding?

No matter how chilled out you might be or how simple your plans are, almost every couple feels stressed in the lead up to their wedding. So if you're also someone who struggles with anxiety regularly, it's easy to get overwhelmed. It's all well and good for other people to tell you, "don't stress, it'll all work out in the end" (it will, though, FYI!), but when you're in the throes of wedding planning yourself, it's hard to see the other side! So today, we're sharing tips for how to deal with wedding anxiety and planning stress around your big day. Check out our ultimate list of Wedding Planners in Melbourne to help you organise a stress-free wedding.

What Tends to Be the Most Stressful Part of Planning a Wedding, Both for the Wedding Planner and the Bride?

Trust

The most stressful part of a wedding from the bride's angle can trust the person they've hired to ensure that their wedding is the same thing they've dreamed of their whole life! That's what is so crucial about hiring a planner that you fully trust — then you know that they will hire the absolute BEST vendors for YOUR vision and budget! 

Budget

The most stressful part of planning a wedding planner and a bride's wedding is executing the design without going over budget. Many times, brides have years worth of beautiful Pinterest galleries already saved up before the engagement, which is fantastic. Unfortunately, the bride's desired budget often doesn't align with the design aesthetic the bride wishes to have. 

Many times brides underestimate what the design budget should be compared to the look they are going for. Your planner may want to execute your vision as much as you want it but is often forced to go into budget reminder mode when he/she starts realizing that the design will cost way more than you probably want to spend.

Being Overwhelmed 

Many couples get overwhelmed by the massive list of tasks they must complete. To avoid this and ensure a smooth planning experience, you should organize tasks into smaller groups by priority. Try to tackle one major decision per month. This will help you both financially and for your sanity!

The thing that stresses out the planner the most is inconsistent communication from the client. They understand you have busy lives outside of planning, but they cannot serve you the best possible way they can if it takes you a long time to respond to decisions or questions. 

Flip-flopping on your preferences also creates more stress for planners because they cannot be inside your head. They will bring you what they believe is the best option or what you asked for based on what you said, but they cannot keep up with changes. So, listen to your heart and make planning a priority. Let your planner know the best times and methods for you to communicate and stick with that schedule.

Family Dynamics

One of the most stressful tasks a planner has to deal with is managing family dynamics. Emotions (understandably!) run high on a wedding day, and your planner has other tasks that they need to focus on but is often brought into family situations. 

Setting Realistic Expectations

Often, what tends to be stressful for brides and their families are levelling everyone's expectations regarding budget, aesthetic, and priorities for the day. The initial planning months can be more stressful than closer to the wedding day because everyone is walking a fine line of expressing their opinions, getting on the same page and establishing a realistic budget. This is just one of the many moments when a third party (a month of coordinator) can step in and alleviate any tension as well as educate on pricing!

What Are the Top Things Every Bride Should Know While Planning Their Wedding?

Prioritize

For 35% of the couples surveyed, it's the details driving them the most cray. Decide right now that if you're going to nitpick every detail, you're going to be unhappy. If you've got a great attitude about your wedding, you're going to have a great day.

To help keep things in perspective, prioritize the essentials—those things that are super important to make this your dream wedding—then refer to your "must" list over and over during the planning process, so you don't go down a spiral of DIY projects you saw on Pinterest or feel the need to upgrade your flower arrangements constantly. Repeatedly checking in with your initial goals will help you stay on track—and budget. By putting a lot of those critical pieces in place right at the very start of the planning process, you're going to avoid a lot of stress down the road. You're going to avoid overspending on things you decided at the get-go weren't that important.

Communicate

Mom and Dad are also the sources of some central tension—53% of couples said their parents are the biggest stress-causing culprit, while 33% said it's their in-laws. It would help if you remembered the wedding is about you and your future husband, and the life you are starting. 

If mom and dad contribute to your wedding budget, they've bought themselves a say in the planning. Sit down with them right from the start, talk about your vision for the big day, and hear what they have to say about the essential things to them; then find ways to compromise, so everyone is happy. Getting your families on the same page right from the get-go is the best way to avoid butting heads when you're in the thick of planning.

Create a Plan b

There will be things that happen that are out of your control—namely, the weather—be prepared for any "worst-case scenarios" that will help you roll with the punches if—and when—something does go awry. Step back and calm down about the fabric swatches not matching or whatever minor little hiccup comes up. If you get married at the end of the day, it was a great wedding.

Hire a Trusted Planner

Wedding Planner

We've been here a hundred times! We know the stress you are in, and it's our job to ease that stress while bringing you the best wedding day possible. Trust your planner when they suggest vendors or answers to your issues.

This should be a fun, stress-free time—Try to take time to enjoy the process and trust your people! This only happens once!

Hire a planner before anything else—Wedding planners offer various packages and levels of service. Usually, one of the packages is a good fit for what you will need during your planning process, so don't think you have to get the top tier level package. Still, you should try and get something. Planners can help you with every aspect, from scouting and selecting the perfect venue and saving money in the process to running your wedding rehearsal the night before the big day, truly an invaluable asset. Looking for the Top Wedding Planner in Melbourne? Look no further and check out our ultimate list of Wedding Planners here. 

Set Realistic Goals, Budgets, and Expectations

Be realistic with your goals and budget — weddings can be beautiful at any price point. If you are trying to stretch your budget and causing stress or placing a burden on your relationship, it is not WORTH IT!

You can't have it all. Pinterest is not your friend, and it will give you that champagne taste. Throughout the planning process, you will have to make decisions based on budget. This might mean not including something you were hoping to, scaling down an idea, or changing your plans altogether. Every size budget has moments like this! Put your focus and your money onto the things that are the most important to you. Ideal for those non-negotiable items and I know that it may make other areas scaled down.

Set realistic expectations- we all want Pinterest, swoon-worthy wedding photos, but go into the planning process with realistic expectations for what you know you can afford and also what is accessible and available to you in your market.

Staying on a realistic budget will make the aftermath of the wedding day so much better. There will be fewer regrets if you enjoyed the day and didn't stretch yourself financially to make it happen! The bride needs to prioritize her vendors because she most likely won't afford her dream vendor for every aspect of the wedding day. Please focus on the top two or three areas the bride cares about and investing their budget there. 

Remember it Is Your Day.

Remember that this is your day to remember, and something may definitely go wrong — but you can only control so much, and you will remember all the joyous moments — not the tiny little slips!

Brides should also know that the day is about her and her fiance. Voices from others can get very loud and sometimes overwhelm your personal opinions. Even though someone else may be paying or have stronger/more vociferous arguments, that doesn't mean you have to forgo your preferences. Stick to what you and your fiance want, and you'll have no regrets on the wedding day.

Remember, at the end of the day, you are marrying your best friend, and that's all that matters. Wedding planning can bring about a wide range of emotions, but one thing that should always remain constant is that you are marrying your very best friend and that, above all else, is most important.

It's not uncommon for a bride to have different opinions than her inner circle of family and close friends. The important note is that everyone remains supportive and as positive as possible.

What's the Top Piece of Advice for Brides?

Having a Plan. 

When it comes to gifts, cards, items of importance, designate the person in charge of that before the wedding day! This will save so much time, and energy, especially at the end of the night if someone is assigned to keeping track of those items. Typically your planner and his team would assist in packing these up or taking them to a designated area. But other families like to have a relative in charge. So have that plan ahead of time!

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. 

Yes, details are essential and do matter, you never want to forget this day, and certain small detail elements that you incorporate into your big day will create a lasting memory that you will never forget. 

On the other hand, though, if you get too caught up and stressed with too many of the small details, you could lose sight of the valid reason for the occasion, love. Think about what pieces are going to be important to you in 10 or so years. Don't get caught in trends or stress yourself out over not having the budget for specific directions. When you see a trend, think of how you can use that as inspiration for something unique to you and your fiance- you don't have to mimic it exactly.

Be True to Yourself.

Ultimately, the day is about you and your fiance joining as one. Let every decision flow back to who you are as a couple. This helps shut out the rest of the white noise that may come up from family members, well-meaning friends, or outside sources (looking at you Pinterest and Instagram). When you focus on staying true to who you are and making decisions that reflect this, the result is a personal, beautiful day that feels 100% authentic.

How to Deal With Stress and Anxiety Around Your Wedding?

Feeling anxious or stressed is a normal part of life. Still, if your anxiety has become debilitating in any way, or you're experiencing panic attacks, then you should seek professional help. Today's guide is a realistic list of coping mechanisms, tools and tips to see you through the planning process, whatever level of anxiety you experience.

Anticipate Your Anxiety

This is one tactic I used a lot for my wedding day - and while it's a bit of a band-aid rather than a solution, it will be beneficial if you're prone to panic attacks. Anticipate the moments when you're most likely to have anxiety on the day, and skip them entirely or find ways to make them more manageable for yourself. Whether that's a room full of people on your wedding morning, the mere thought of your first dance, or the idea of making a speech, nerves are natural, but if you think these moments might taint your day (or stress you out in the lead-up), find ways to ditch tradition and leave them out.

Be Decisive

I'd say this to any couple, but being decisive in wedding planning is even more critical if you have anxiety. Of course, you should always compare options and make considered decisions, but when it comes to things like invitation wording, table plans, or menu choices, you can be stuck for weeks going round in circles and getting more stressed in the process. Set weekly decision-making deadlines, make a call, and move on to the next job on your list!

Remember Comparison Is the Thief of Joy

This one is easier said than done, but don't compare your wedding to anyone else's. Whether it's some girl from school or some couple off Instagram, pitting your wedding against another is a pointless exercise. Don't let anyone else do it about your day either; if your Aunt Dolores starts telling you about the fantastic canapés at your cousin Jenny's wedding, tune her out, or change the subject!

Set a Wide Contingency

One of the most significant sources of stress for couples getting married is money. It's important to remember that the only thing you "have to have" to get married is the marriage registration fee. Knowing that can be freeing. Most couples go over budget. Prevent money worries in the lead up to your day by setting a hefty contingency - at least 15% - over what you expect to spend. Be realistic, and don't plan a wedding that you know you won't be able to afford.

Take Time Away from Planning

Wedding Photography

Self-care might be super trendy right now, but it's for a good reason. Whether it's regular date nights (with no wedding admin talk!), long baths with your favourite podcast on, exercise classes, baking, or board games - have nights away from your wedding. Don't answer emails, don't field questions, and switch off the voice in your head that says wedding planning has to be your full-time job.

Pretend You're Getting Married a Month Early

If you're prone to feeling overwhelmed, this another trick will help you keep on top of your planning. Plan your wedding as if you're getting married a month before your wedding day. That meant even the final details like the ceremony booklets, the table plan, the Ikea candle run, and the bathroom basket were all done way in advance. It meant you could spend the last few weeks having fun, soaking it all in (and hitting the red wine).

Spell Things Out for Your Guests

Guests asking lots of questions is a bugbear for all couples getting married, and it can quickly escalate into a cause of anxiety. Of course, you're happy to chat about your big day. Still, when it's the week before your wedding, and you're being asked about group rates on accommodation, what time the ceremony starts, and if children are ** not invited, it can be overwhelming. It won't solve things, but arming your guests with as much clarity and information as possible will help. I found having a wedding website, in particular, to be invaluable for putting all the FAQs in one place and directing any questions towards it.

Know You're a Slammin' Hottie!

You're gorgeous—a beauty. You have great hair—a pretty face. Your upper arms/eyebrows/teeth are most definitely 'wedding ready', you hear? 

Another significant source of anxiety for both brides and grooms is how they'll look on their wedding day. We're all for indulging in some pampering and doing what we need to feel our best (double up those fake lashes, please!), but please know that you don't need to worry about your body, your skin or your hair. We've yet to see a couple who didn't look like a million bucks walking up the aisle. There's just something about that loved-up wedding day glow that makes everyone look like a massive hottie!

If in doubt, look in the mirror, and repeat "I am gorgeous" ten times in a row, and you'll start to believe it!

Don't Get Involved in Drama.

Two of your friends bought the same dress, and both are refusing to return it. Your bridesmaids can't agree on what to do for the hen. Your dad's brother is refusing to come to the wedding unless he can make a speech. And your mother-in-law is just not getting on board with the idea of an outdoor ceremony. Couples shouldn't come out of a wedding with a marriage certificate; they should come out with a Nobel Peace Prize and a job at the UN.

This is going to be a hard one to do, but try not to get swept up in other people's "stuff" around your wedding. Yes, you should be considerate, take suggestions politely, and do your best to accommodate specific needs, but when it comes down to it, you and your other half will still get married, and everyone will have to suck it up, get on and have a great day. To save you a lot of stress in the meantime, step back and let individuals deal with their issues on their own time.

Decide to Enjoy It

This might seem silly, but sometimes as a bride or groom, you feel like you're supposed to be anxious about your wedding or like you're not doing it right if you're not stressed. Sometimes you need to actively decide to relish the planning, enjoy the butterflies, and bask in the unpredictability. Your wedding day, and the lead up to it, will be all the better for it!

Try Not to Get Hung up on Minor Details

'Don't sweat the small stuff is the advice we couldn't agree more. But it's often hard to see the grass for the trees or the napkins for the centrepieces--when you're knee-deep in wedding planning. Try to keep perspective. If you feel the panic set in, ask yourself, "Would I care about this if I was throwing a birthday party?" Remember that while the details are lovely, none of them will matter when you wake up on a high the day after your wedding with your new spouse!

Remember it Takes Two to Plan a Wedding.

A lot of pre-wedding anxiety comes from one person feeling like the weight of the wedding planning is on them. The endless to-do list, the emails with suppliers, fielding questions and opinions, it's pretty exhausting. Make sure you and your other half play an equal role in planning and decision making. 

Don't just delegate tasks to them like a manager (that's just another job on you!). Make a list together and split the jobs, so you're equally invested from the start. Oh, and use Trello - it was invaluable for my husband and me in dividing things up. If you don't have time to plan together, hire some great professionals like these to help (it might cost less than you think!).

It's Okay to Have a Meltdown

Every bride I know - and lots of grooms, too - have had a bit of a pre-wedding meltdown. It might come in the form of a strongly worded email, a rant among friends, a sobbing call to your parents, a row with your other half, or a full-on panic attack. It's not pleasant, but hey, better out than in! There's nothing worse than feeling overwhelmed and not having someone to talk to, open up and acknowledge any fears you might have, shed some tears, and feel all the better for it. Oh, and hold off on sending that strongly worded email 'til tomorrow!

One Last Note:

Wedding planning is supposed to be fun and exciting. Yes, there are inevitable stresses, but you're choosing to throw a big party, so the lead-up should be enjoyable. If you're overwhelmed by the idea of planning a wedding or not enjoying the process at all, think about whether or not it's worth it. Don't forget. You can always pull the plug or elope - all you need to get married is a registrar and two witnesses. So don't worry about disappointing a relative or losing a deposit. Your wellbeing is so much more important! Too busy with life to really plan your wedding in detail? Have someone else do it for you and check out our list of Wedding Planners in Melbourne to help take the stress away.

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