|Photo by Ardent Photography via Wedding Wire|
1. Stay Organized
Melissa Andre, a wedding planner and creative director of Melissa Andre Events says, "It takes the average couple 12 months and over 250 hours to plan a wedding. There is a lot of information to manage, so organization is absolutely key if you want a stress-free planning process."
Hire a wedding planner or keep yourself organized with a planning binder and calendar. Write down your meetings and consultations, when you've made deposits and when payments are due. Sign and return your contracts on time and make copies of contracts, bills, and receipts.
Psst...there are loads of wedding planning printables and books on Etsy.
Keep the lines of communication wide open - it will make things SO much clearer and easier. That means keeping in touch with the bridal party, vendors, and most importantly, your fiance. If you assume people know what you're thinking and what you want, you'll be horribly let down. There are plenty of ways to keep in touch these days. Here's a list of some of the tools you can use to communicate and stay organized.
3. Nix Expectations
Once you announce your wedding, everyone and their mothers will want to share their opinions. And I know, oh how I know how much you want to please everyone, especially moms! It's okay to listen and take note and it's definitely okay to ask for advice, but keep this forefront in your mind - this is your wedding and the only two people who should be 100% pleased is you and your fiance.
Parents will have expectations, friends will lovingly tell you how they really don't care for that bridesmaid dress, and potential guests will chime in on what the latest wedding trends are and how you should totally incorporate them. Tell them you appreciate their suggestions and feedback, but go with your instinct. Planning your dream wedding means listening to your partner and yourself over everyone else.
|Photo by Mike Allebach via Offbeat Bride|
Control, that is. I know it's tempting to wear every wedding hat (bride, caterer, florist, photographer, etc.), but that's what your vendors are for! Once you've hired your crew, let them take over. Check in, of course, and make sure you're communicating your needs and wants, but let them do their job. Reach out to family and friends, too. Your bridal party is a huge support system, so if you need help with some of the wedding details, ask them. And don't forget about your fiance. He's your biggest fan and it's okay to ask him to manage some of the details. You're in this together, after all.
5. Stay Positive
Yes there will be challenges and mistakes and family drama, but keep your head above water by remembering the most important thing about all this wedding stuff...love. You're marrying the love of your life - the dress, the cake, the entertainment is all details.
Don't take yourself too seriously and expect perfection from yourself, the wedding, or anyone else. You won't remember how the napkins looked or how some of the flowers drooped, but you will remember how you felt, so allow yourself to let things flow and enjoy the moment. It's a celebration, so party on!
6. Stay Balanced
It's easy to let wedding planning take over, but remember that you have a life outside of planning the big day. Keep your life, work, and wedding priorities balanced and take time out for self-care. Whether it's working out, reading, getting a massage, or going on a date with your groom-to-be, nurture the life you had before getting engaged and you'll be a much happier bride.
How about it, bride? What are you doing to keep the stress at bay?