Prepping for a wedding is like preparing for a marathon – it can be mentally, physically and emotionally draining. But don’t forget, it should be fun – not frazzling. If you start to lose your cool, there are a few things you can do to reduce wedding planning stress and save yourself from a total meltdown. From giving yourself regular breaks to hiring a professional, these are things that will make your life easier during the wedding planning process.
As any newly engaged couple will know, wedding planning can quickly turn from fun and exciting to seriously overwhelming!
With so many tasks to juggle, suppliers to coordinate, and guests to manage, the pressure of planning such a huge celebration is enough to make even the most chill of brides feel like a nervous wreck. Check out our ultimate list of Wedding Planners in Melbourne to help you organise a stress-free wedding.
We believe the journey leading up to your wedding should be a positive and uplifting one, which all comes down to prioritizing your wellness (and sanity!) along the way.
Table of Contents
- 1 Are You Dealing with Wedding Planning Stress?
- 2 Create a Clear To-do List
- 3 Here are a few ways to reduce wedding planning stress.
- 3.1 Give yourself breaks
- 3.2 Take an Assessment
- 3.3 Talk it out
- 3.4 Meditate
- 3.5 Consider Softening Scents
- 3.6 Try something new
- 3.7 Hit the gym
- 3.8 Stay Connected with Your Fiance
- 3.9 Delegate Tasks
- 3.10 Adopt a Mantra
- 3.11 Keep everything organized
- 3.12 Follow a Timeline
- 3.13 Take Care of Yourself
- 3.14 Prioritize Self-care
- 3.15 Skip town
- 3.16 Set Boundaries
- 3.17 Allow Yourself to Be Nervous
- 3.18 Jot Down Your Feelings
- 3.19 Delegate tasks
- 3.20 Hire a planner
- 3.21 Plan a Date Night
- 3.22 Choose the right vendor team.
- 3.23 Pamper Yourself
- 3.24 Put things into perspective.
- 3.25 Keep Things Separate
- 3.26 Track Your Budget
- 3.27 Stop Comparing
- 3.28 Set the Mood
- 3.29 Remember Your Why
Are You Dealing with Wedding Planning Stress?
First things first, it’s vital to acknowledge your feelings throughout the wedding planning process. It can be all too easy to get caught up in your to-do list without stopping to consider your mental and physical wellbeing.
Some clear signs that you might be dealing with wedding-related stress include:
- Feeling tired, drained and exhausted
- Feeling worried and anxious when you think about anything wedding-related
- Procrastinating on your wedding plans due to overwhelm
- A feeling of pressure, or like a huge weight sitting on your shoulders that won’t go away
While it’s completely normal to be feeling a little nervous about the big day, this should only play a small role throughout the process. Ultimately, if wedding planning makes you experience more negative emotions than positive ones, it’s time to get this back in balance.
Luckily, some simple and effective strategies can help you get those emotions in check. Keep reading for 14 tips to help you deal with wedding planning stress and anxiety throughout your journey!
Create a Clear To-do List
One of the biggest causes of wedding planning overwhelm comes from managing the mountain of tasks that seem to be ahead of you. Without any game plan, this can quickly lead to anxiety, procrastination, and last-minute panic.
Our first tip? Don’t let your to-do list beat you! Instead, get on top of it as early as you can. We recommend getting all of those thoughts out of your head and onto an actionable task list you can easily follow step by step. Once you see everything laid out in writing, it rarely seems as impossible as it did in your head.
You can also take the pressure off even further by creating a digital task list and setting yourself automated reminders, so you can feel confident that nothing will be overlooked.
Here are a few ways to reduce wedding planning stress.
Give yourself breaks
It’s easy to get caught up in wedding planning, but don’t let it take over your life. Give yourself regular breaks from scrolling through vendor profiles and design feeds to let your mind relax if you can limit wedding planning to a specific day and time every week, even better.
Take an Assessment
Know what you can handle and whom you can count on for help and support before you walk down the aisle. I give my brides questionnaires to help evaluate their stress levels and focus on reducing, managing, and eliminating them—a bridal coach in New York City. Ask yourself, What do I foresee as being a source of stress? And How do I plan to manage it? Preparation and self-awareness are essential.
Talk it out
When in doubt, talk it out. Sit down with some of your besties or a few of your family members and give them the lowdown on your wedding planning stress. Sharing can be very cathartic.
With so much to do and stay on top of (not to mention the life-changing event to come), it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Clear your head of worries. Start focusing on the in-and-out cycle of your breath for just a few minutes a day or when you’re lying in bed at night. It will help slow your heart rate and relax your muscles, too.
Consider Softening Scents
Lavender is well-known for its soul-soothing capabilities, but others, like jasmine, chamomile, and basil, have proven relaxing benefits as well. Dab some lavender or rose essential oil onto your wrists to shift your mood quickly. Or, light a scented candle or brew a cup of floral tea for a little sweet-smelling repose.
Try something new
Take a pottery class, learn to crochet, go to a paint night at a local studio or do something else outside your comfort zone. You’ll be so caught up in your new hobby that you’ll forget about any wedding planning woes.
Hit the gym
Getting your sweat on might be just what the doctor ordered. Working out will get your mind off of your wedding for a bit of a while and coax your body into producing some endorphins (you know, those things that make you happy). Try scheduling in some meditative yoga, a spin session or an intense HIT class once a week to keep your mind and body content.
Stay Connected with Your Fiance
Under the pressure and stress of planning a wedding, it’s easy to lose touch with the person you love most — your groom-to-be. Schedule date nights, be it a dinner out or a movie in, to squeeze in some quality alone time. And, if you have any concerns about your upcoming nuptials (it’s natural), find the courage to tell him. If you two can weather the storms of your engagement anxiety together, it bodes well for your marriage.
Repeat after us: it takes a village to plan a wedding! Remember, this isn’t just your day. Your wedding is a celebration for both you, your partner, and your closest loved ones – so don’t feel like you have to do everything solo!
Truthfully, you’d be surprised how many of your family and friends would be more than willing to lend a helping hand. While we’re not suggesting you assign everything over to your bridal party, we do recommend delegating some simple tasks and asking for help when you need it.
You can also take the “divide and conquer” approach when working with your partner. For example: maybe you’ll take care of flowers, styling, decor and catering, and ask your partner to organize music, lighting and photography. Remember, you guys are a team!
Adopt a Mantra
Is your future mother-in-law getting on your last nerve? Find an isolated spot and close your eyes. Breathe in thinking I feel good and breathe out thinking I am peaceful. Mantras like this have served as Zen portals for monks and yogis for ages, and they can help you find your calm, too.
Keep everything organized
With piles of contracts, checklists, fabric swatches, and bridal mags lying around, your place can start to look more like a wedding warzone than a happy home. The way your house looks can significantly affect your mood, so try to keep it as organized as possible to avoid a meltdown (and misplacing important docs!). Tip: we have a budgeting tool, to-do list tool, table planner tool and more that will help you keep everything in one place and out of your space.
Follow a Timeline
If you’re a natural procrastinator, be warned – leaving your tasks until the very last minute will likely leave you feeling stressed and anxious as the big day approaches. The final few weeks of your wedding should be restful, relaxing and exciting, so create a clear wedding planning timeline that allows you to get everything ticked off at least three weeks out from the day.
Take Care of Yourself
Really. If you haven’t already upped your pre-wedding workout routine, here’s a good reason to: Exercise has positive emotional and psychological effects. Take a walk, go for a run, or dance around your kitchen. Any physical movement will help produce more uplifting and stress-stabilizing endorphins.
This is a big one! The busyness of wedding planning can often mean your self-care gets neglected. Lack of self-care can quickly lead to stress and burnout, so you must put some time aside throughout the wedding planning journey to focus on yourself.
This could be 10 minutes every morning to take a walk, a weekly yoga session, or even a non-negotiable monthly treat like a massage, facial or mani-pedi. Taking some time out for yourself is one of the best ways to reset and recharge, allowing you to approach your wedding planning from a positive frame of mind.
Desperately need to decompress? It may be time for a change of scenery. Try heading out of town for a few days to recalibrate. Book a cute Airbnb or hotel and do a whole wedding detox (no checking emails or sneaking your seating plan into your luggage!). Aside from making your wedding planning stress vanish, it’ll also help you reconnect with your partner.
Throughout the wedding planning experience, it often feels like everyone has an opinion. Friends and family will likely offer their (well-intended) advice on everything from your menu choices to your dress code.
Here’s the thing – this is your day, so you have complete control to plan it your way. If your friends and family contribute to wedding planning stress (rather than being helpful), it’s time to set some boundaries. A simple statement like “Thanks so much, we’ve got it covered!” or “Thanks, that’s something to think about!” can be a great way to acknowledge their input before swiftly changing the topic.
Another clever way to set boundaries is by creating a wedding website. Instead of dealing with ongoing texts, emails and phone calls from wedding guests, layout all of the need-to-know details in a wedding website for them to refer to directly. This not only saves you time and stress but also ensures your guests are better prepared too.
Allow Yourself to Be Nervous
It’s okay to feel a little jittery. Our culture and society believe that engagement is supposed to be only a happy time, but that’s not reality. Fear often accompanies pre-wedding excitement and joy. It’s normal, healthy even, to question this lifetime commitment, and just because you’re concerned, that doesn’t mean you don’t want to get married. Acknowledge your nerves, discuss them with a trusted confidant, and move on. If your nerves start getting the best of you, find a close loved one to confide in. She can help you traverse the tricky transition from girlfriend to fiancee to wife.
Jot Down Your Feelings
Journaling is a safe and accessible way for you to express the emotions you’ve been bottling up. It’ll help them from rotting into anxiety. Identify what’s bothering you, and address that topic solely. For example, if you’re upset that your late father won’t be there to walk you down the aisle, title the entry “Missing Dad” and stay on a theme to avoid flooding yourself with too many emotions at once.
Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself – even the most extensive control freaks need a pair of helping hands once in a while. If you don’t want to loosen the reins on big projects, give your friends and family members a few of the more tedious tasks, like envelope stuffing or wedding favour packaging. This will help free up your schedule so you can focus on the important stuff.
You can’t handle everything by yourself — as super as you may be. Weddings are significant endeavours, so enlist friends and family to help make place cards, tie bows onto favours, and run errands.
Hire a planner
If you’re having trouble juggling all your vendors, plans and appointments, you may want to consider hiring a wedding planner. Their job is to keep everything running smoothly, so they’ll take away some of that wedding planning stress. Tip: you can still do this midway through planning, so don’t feel like you missed your shot if you didn’t sign one on at the get-go. Looking for a Wedding Event Planner? Look no further, Vines of the Yarra Valley have you covered.
Plan a Date Night
Your wedding is one of the most memorable milestones for you and your partner, but planning your nuptials might put a strain on your relationship. It’s easy to get caught up in the logistics and forget about the romance, so try to plan a date night every so often to enjoy each others company (without talking about the wedding!). Whether you organize a fancy dinner date or simply Netflix and chill, taking dedicated time out for just the two of you will remind you why you’re doing this.
Choose the right vendor team.
Stacking your wedding’s crack team with the right vendors is the key to staying zen. If you’ve hired a wedding planner, they’re probably equipped with a preferred vendor list, making finding trustworthy and reliable vendors a cinch. If you’re going it alone, you’ll want to do your research, read reviews and sit down with them for a Q&A before signing any contracts.
A massage, a facial, or even a manicure and pedicure in a spa setting can do wonders for your stress levels. When times get tough, don’t think of these as indulgences. Think of them as necessities for staying well-balanced and on task. If you can’t spring a spa, settle into the tub from time to time. A nice bath can melt stress away.
Put things into perspective.
When tensions are high, put everything into perspective for yourself and look at the bigger picture. Take a few deep breaths and remind yourself why you’re putting in all this hard work. Remember that no matter what cake you choose or which dress you say yes to, all that matters at the end of the day is that you’ll be telling your “I dos”.
Keep Things Separate
It’s hard to take time out from wedding planning when receiving email alerts every day from your suppliers. Create a dedicated wedding email address and keep your wedding admin separate from your personal life. This will allow you to truly switch off for those days when you need a break. You might also want to schedule specific times where you’ll be working on your wedding and lock this into your calendar each week. This means you don’t need to be constantly thinking about it 24/7!
Track Your Budget
For many couples, the source of wedding-related stress comes down to the budget. If your anxiety stems from money and finances, take a moment to get clarity on your spending. Use a budget calculator to figure out exactly where your money needs to go and make sure you track your outgoings along the way. Try to have about 5% of your budget set aside for various reasons, too, to cover those last-minute expenses that might pop up.
When it comes to wedding planning, comparisonitis is real. With Pinterest boards and social media feeds filled with images of luxury weddings and extravagant celebrations, it’s easy to find yourself comparing your marriage to somebody else’s. But remember, your wedding day is unique and authentic to you and your partner. Do you want it to be a carbon copy?
Once you’ve clearly defined your wedding style and vision, created your mood board and made all of your major decisions, sure to jump off Pinterest and stop comparing. Instead, get excited about all of the plans you’ve made for your unique celebration!
Set the Mood
Let’s fast forward a bit to the morning of your wedding, when stress and anxiety can start to sink in! Make sure you set the mood and create a relaxing, positive environment for these last few hours. Your surrounding environment can have a significant impact on how you feel, so make a playlist of your favourite songs, drink a cup of soothing peppermint tea, or diffuse some lavender oil to help you stay calm throughout the morning.
Remember Your Why
Finally, the very best tip we can give you. Remember your why! Your wedding isn’t really about the party (although the party is a highlight). It’s about marrying the love of your life, sharing a meaningful commitment, and celebrating your union with your closest loved ones. How special is that?! Whenever those feelings of stress and anxiety start to arise, take a breath and remind yourself about what’s truly important. Need help planning your wedding? Check out our list of Wedding Event Planners here.