I get it. Planning isn't everyone's strength, let alone planning an entire day's experience for so many friends and family members. You're managing your own expectations, as well as those of your parents, and of your fiancee's parents, in addition to all of the emotions. Oh, and you're also participating in the day, not just coordinating it behind the scenes. Wedding planning can feel stressful with so many pressures (realistic or self-imposed), but by allowing yourself to operate within these five guidelines, you can choose the most joy in your wedding planning experience.
1. Stick to your values With so many people generous to volunteer their opinions about your wedding plans, make sure you confirm what you most value about your day and hold tight to it! Be honest with yourself about what you value most about your wedding day. Whether it’s your dream wedding venue or including all of your immediate family members in the ceremony, know what’s most important to you about your wedding day and commit to seeing it through. Prioritizing what's most important to you will guide you in your decision making.
2. Know your budget Your wedding can be as affordable or as astronomically expensive as you want it to be. Before you start making deposits and signing contracts, be sure to understand who’s contributing what and budget accordingly. If you find that the expenses of your wedding vendors and services exceed your given budget, refer to guideline number 1 above. Decide which items you can compromise on without giving up what you value most about your special day. Knowing and following your wedding budget is important because creating massive debt is not a wise start to your new marriage.
3. Choose whose opinions are most important Everyone means well to offer their perspective on your wedding plans. They want you to have a fabulous wedding day! But always keep in mind whose opinions truly matter to you in your wedding planning. It may be your fiancee, your mom and your best friend. Once you decide whose opinions matter most, you free yourself to say “thanks” [and internally “no thanks”] to your work friend’s brother’s cousin’s raving review of why every wedding needs fireworks or a live band.
4. Communicate You may find it easier to communicate with your fiancee than others but be sure you’re keeping the right people updated with your wedding plans. It may be beneficial to include your and your fiancee’s parents on the wedding planning details, especially if they are helping financially. It’s not an obligation; it’s a courtesy and a small way you can thank them. Included on this note are your wedding vendors! Keep them updated as your wedding plans develop or evolve, so they can continue to best serve you. Communicating early and often is a best practice to avoiding frustration and can help manage emotions of the process as well.
5. Ask for help Your wedding is a big investment of time, resources and emotions, so I understand why it feels safer to do everything yourself. No problem with wanting to manage all of it yourself, but be sure to care for you throughout the planning process. Be mindful of when your stress level, health or amount of sleep may be suffering. Remember that you have at least one other person on your team in this process (your fiancee!) and the family and friends closest to you who love you!
Your first day of marriage is important, and planning for it shouldn't be stressful. Prioritize your values throughout your wedding planning to keep what's most important to you about your experience. Do not go into massive debt; one day of bliss is not worth decades of debt. Surround yourself with the A-Team who will encourage you in all the right ways during wedding planning, and be sure to keep good communication with all involved-- fiancee, friends, family, and vendors. Lastly, always remember that you are loved and to ask for help when you need it.
Stick to these five simple tips throughout your wedding planning, and you may find it to be a more enjoyable and fun experience-- as it should be!