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Planning my wedding was really easy and stress-free ~ said no bride ever
Hahahaahha. This really tickled my funny bone.
Every bride has a story to tell. Or stories in some cases.
You have long dreamt of the day you would wear a gorgeous wedding dress and walk down the aisle with “Here comes the Bride” playing softly and be the centre of attention, admiration of all and envy of some.
Growing up, you cheerfully took your place in the bridal train as a flower girl and then later, as a bridesmaid.
Hooray, he proposed.
From the moment the proposal is made, all the wistful dreams come alive. All that occupies your thoughts as a bride-to-be, is how to make your Wedding Day unique, special and as beautiful as it can be.
You call up the girls, and break the good news, “I’m getting married”.
After the squeals, and hugs, and tears, comes the onslaught of suggestions and the beginning of planning for the wedding day.
Planning For The Wedding Day
This usually results in the chaos that wedding planning has come to be associated with.
Some brides go berserk, scream, or even break down in tears, before or even during the wedding.
It doesn’t have to be so.
Here are 11 tips to help you stay sane as you tie the knot.
1. Set a Realistic Goal
You can’t really have all your fantasies come alive. Because Crystal had an ice sculpture and fountain at her reception and everyone loved it, doesn’t mean you can. Especially if you live in Texas or the tropics.
Not everything you have admired at different weddings must be implemented in yours.
When you fantasize about having a princess themed wedding plus a cowboy rodeo reception with plenty of food and drinks, inviting celebrities or their look-alikes to be your special guests, you may just be biting more than you can chew and it had best remain that way. A beautiful fantasy.
You need to think objectively about the wedding.
Ask questions. Do your background research so you don’t end up spending more than you should. Dream wide, but dream with your eyes open.
2. Have a Budget
In 2014, 45% of couples went over budget, about 1 in 4 (26%) of couples stayed within their budget, and only 6% of couples came out under budget. 23% didn’t even have a wedding budget, up from 17% in 2009. (statistics from prnewswire.com).
Having a budget is crucial in drawing the lines between fantasy and reality.
Even though, some couples go overboard, having it makes it easier to manage expenses.
When you know how much you have available to spend on the wedding, it guides your decisions on the type of dress, whether to buy or rent, the number of people to invite, the type of venue to use, etc.
“It is useful not just in the beginning, but as you begin to purchase items, it guides your spending, so that you know what you need to add to the list or remove from it as the case may be.”
This quote highlights one important fact to remember.
Weddings are not about spending the most amount of money or the least amount of money; they are about spending good money on the elements that are most important to you and your partner. ~ Kristi Richardson
Your budget should reflect this.
3. Plan Ahead
Give time for things. Pace yourself.
If you don’t have plenty of money to hire an event planner, then give yourself ample time to plan it.
There’s no use planning a wedding in an anxious frenzy. It’s the perfect recipe for disaster.
When you try to force many things to happen in a short time, you may not achieve the desired results. And you are definitely setting yourself up for a nervous breakdown.
4. Family Matters
It’s best not to ignore family in the whole process. The way you have been dreaming about same way Mum, Dad or Grandma has been anticipating it.
So it’s important to ask what plans Mum has, or you might soon realize that you are planning the same event in two different ways.
In the movie, Love, Wedding Marriage, when the conflicts arose between the couple and the families involved, they had this catchy phrase, “Our marriage, their wedding”. I couldn’t help but laugh. It’s funny but true.
You can’t plan a wedding solo and not lock heads with well-meaning family members.
See them as bonafide stakeholders and seek a compromise on issues.
5. Have a Checklist
This is where all the planning begins in earnest.
It’s compulsory if you want to remain sane. It helps you know where you are at in the planning process.
You can have an excel sheet drawn that shows all the details. What has been completed, who is in charge of what, what feedback have you gotten so far, what’s left undone, etc.
There are samples on the web of checklist to be used. Some can give a time frame of up to 12 months and then you work through the various activities at their respective times until the D-day. The knot has a perfect checklist to follow.
Putting it all in black and white gives you a sense of purpose and helps you focus on what is important and/or urgent without forgetting. It’s super crucial because, in the whirlwind of event planning, some things can be overlooked until it is too late.
It also makes delegation easy, especially if you have to be absent for a while; someone can stand in and carry on the project without major challenges.
6. Stress Relievers
Despite your best intentions, you might just find that there’s too much going on in your head, which makes you want to scream and throw a temper tantrum. Hold on.
There’s no need for that. Stress relievers come in quite handy here. You could take a walk. Listen to some calming music, read a novel, take a long scented bath, watch a comedy flick, do some yoga/meditation. Whatever works for you. Schedule time for it and adhere to it.
No thinking, planning or taking calls. The result will be amazing. You will get back to planning refreshed and even have a better perspective.
This is so important that it needs to stand alone.
Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. ~ Thomas Dekker
Many brides-to-be find that sleep is elusive, especially as the Day draws near. And so you must take care to give yourself time to sleep.
You will not add to the success of the wedding when you are sick and worn out. Get some rest.
8. Good Nutrition
Almost as important as sleep, is eating properly.
There are countless cases of the bride who have had to adjust their gowns few days to the wedding because they had lost some pounds planning the wedding.
Snacking on chocolate bars or chips won’t cut it. The temporary ‘highs’ caffeine and sugar give often result to crash in mood and energy.
You need to be deliberate about what to eat when to eat and even how. Your wellbeing is as important if not more important than the wedding itself. You sure won’t look glamorous if you are all pale and sickly looking.
You don’t have to do it all yourself.
Many people, family, friends are willing to help if only you let them. You can give pointers on what you want and probably how you want it done. But don’t wear yourself trying to do it all.
Have a support group.
It could be a close circle of friends or family members who can give you feedback, advice, suggestions that can help you plan better.
Sometimes, a hug, or smile or a right word is just what you need to get your zest back. They can help ensure that you eat, sleep, and exercise when you should.
10. Be willing to Compromise
Not everything would go exactly the way you have planned.
Your ability to know when to settle for a compromise is crucial for your mental and emotional health.
It might involve adjusting your standards reasonably, so you don’t set yourself up for failure by being a perfectionist. You need to learn to be okay with ‘good enough’.
There would also be some things that would arise, which are beyond your control. Rather than stress over them, you can choose to focus on other things which you can control.
This fact is the key to being a radiant bride – the ability to take the unexpected curves of planning in stride and making the best out of every situation.
11. Have Fun with Your Spouse
We aren’t forgetting something, are we? Your spouse is the reason for all the planning. If it weren’t for him, you wouldn’t have a wedding to plan.
Create time to have fun. Go for a dance, play some games. Strengthen your bond.
The time of wedding planning has some couples at each other’s throats, and it’s difficult to have a loving conversation when you are trying to pay for dresses and venues, chasing vendors and all, especially if you are not in agreement about how much should be spent.
Take some time and have a chat. Talk about other things not related to wedding planning. Have fun together. You have a lifetime ahead of you so plan for it.
The Bottom Line
Planning the biggest Day of your life doesn’t have to stress you out.
You deserve to walk down the aisle with the biggest smile possible, without any worries and dance like Cinderella did, only, this time, there are no midnight chimes. Lol.
When you understand your uniqueness and give yourself ample time to plan within the stipulated budget, you will find that having a checklist makes your wedding plan look like a breeze.
With the help of family, friends and loved ones, you are sure to be the beautiful, radiant bride every girl aspires to be. Not forgetting to eat properly, rest as much as possible and have fun all the way.
No use being a Bridezilla and ruining relationships because of an event of a few hours. You can plan your wedding day with everyone smiling at the end of the day.
“A wedding is a party, not a performance. If at the end of the day you are married to the one you love, then everything went perfectly.” ~ Anonymous
To all my brides-to-be, Congratulations.
This list is by no means conclusive, and if you have something I left out, I’d be most happy to hear them in the comments.
Over To You
What would you do to make sure your wedding day is not your doomsday?
If you have planned a wedding whether yours or for a friend/client, what did you do to ensure a smooth planning process?
Or what helpful tip would you give to brides-to-be? Share your thoughts in the comments. You never know whose life (or wedding) you might save. Hahaha.