You’re engaged! Giddy with excitement, anxious to start planning, certain this will be the happiest time of your life!!
Certainly, the expectations outlined above hold true for every newly engaged bride-to-be. Visions of fun-filled wedding-dress fittings, favourite band bookings, bridesmaids choosings and décor plannings dance in your head. But once the wheels are set in motion, you realize not everything will bear out exactly as you imagined; worse, not everyone is cooperating. You feel that the florist cannot grasp your vision and your Maid of Honour is not as excited as she should be. Everything that seems to be going “wrong” causes stress — and the fact is, you were stressed already, whether you knew it or not). If you understand and accept a few things, you can avoid a lot of stress and actually have a beautiful, fun experience planning your wedding. Here are 5 tips to help you cope.
Remember that nobody and nothing is ever perfect — and that is OK!
Some brides-to-be lose it when they feel that they are not getting exactly what they want. They become beyond-irritable and begin to obsess about the wedding. (Hello, Bridezilla!) Make no mistake: this can lead to estranged friendships, because friends may not want to talk about your wedding every time they see you. Also bear in mind that grooms-to-be most often bear the brunt of stressed-out bride-to-be blowups. Do you really want to freak out that guy? Fair enough, every aspect of the wedding is important to you, from the dress to the flowers to the band. Still, the wedding is just one day in your life and that it isn’t perfect, that doesn’t mean that you have failed. Always remember the reason for the wedding: the love between you and your spouse, and the excitement and adventure that is your future together.
Speak with your partner about what you want from your wedding.
Knowing what you want before you share the news with family and friends will keep you from being influenced and stressed out by other people’s suggestions and comments. Always be polite, of course, and hear what others may have to say. But after thanking them for their thoughtfulness, stick with your plans. Let everyone know that the two of you planned about the wedding as a couple; this will save a lot of arguing and unnecessary bad feelings.
Realize that your life is not just about planning your wedding.
Remember that your partner needs attention, as do you, and that not everything is about your wedding. Keep having date nights, where wedding talk is off limits. Enjoy your time together and just have fun without pulling up checklists of things you still need to do, or he still has not done.
Don’t sweat the guest list.
Guest lists are big stressors. (On a personal note, when planning my own wedding, this was actually the only issue we fought about — but boy did we fight.) Whether your mother insists on inviting a bunch of people you don’t know, or your future hubby vetoes people you want to invite, the guest list can be a real divider. To avoid stress on this one, establish rules together and stick to them. It can be a no-children rule; it can be a maximum-people-you-can-afford rule — but stick to it! And if you decide to divide the number of guests between your side and his, always discuss the final cut together. As for those “inviting” parents (on either side): If they insist on certain guests, tell those parents you are OK with it and bill them for those guests. Be up front and candid — better still, be proactive. Before any of these kinds of kerfuffles arise, make your rules known. Then, stick to them.
It’s your day.
Most important, bride and groom, never forget that this is truly your day. Not your mom’s, not his mom’s — not anyone’s mom’s! Enjoy your very special day and have a great time, whether it transpires exactly as planned or not. Just be grateful to be marrying the person you love and starting your new life together!
What are your tips for avoiding wedding-planning stress?
Rita Wong is a wedding and events planner and owner of Rita Wong Events. Based in Montreal, she also plans many weddings every year for brides living in Toronto and abroad. She is a dedicated follower of new trends and her goal is to give each bride a wedding that is fresh, unique, and a personal reflection of who they are.