Almost all couples can agree that wedding planning inevitably involves some moments of stress. A Zola survey on wedding stress revealed that 96% of couples found planning their wedding stressful and 40% of couples said it was extremely stressful. As a bride-to-be, I am focusing on making planning as stress-free as possible. Here are the mindsets that are helping me keep freakouts at bay.
1. Authenticity first
I’ve seen what the weight of others’ expectations can do – a perfectionist and over-involved mother bringing a bride-to-be to tears, for example. I decided early on that I would focus on planning a day that feels true to myself instead of trying to please everyone else.
This authenticity-first mindset helped me figure out a dilemma. I didn’t want a lot of bridesmaids, but I was afraid of hurting the feelings of some friends. I remembered my intention and realized that going with a bigger group would be a decision made out of guilt and obligation – not authenticity. I stuck to what my heart was telling me and, despite a moment of awkwardness or two, I felt relieved.
2. Flexibility is key
I think it’s easy to forget that you’re marrying the one but there doesn’t need to be a “the one” for every vendor. I’ll use dress shopping to explain what I mean by that. There are many, many, gorgeous wedding dresses out there. Chances are, there is more than one that fits you like a glove, makes you feel like a million bucks, and that you can see yourself walking down the aisle in.
Believing that there is only one right dress for you (or one venue, one florist, etc.) brings so much extra pressure to the process of shopping around. Staying flexible has made my life easier during wedding planning. I know that if a vendor doesn’t work out, I can be as happy with another option.
3. Intuitive decisions
Think about it: Making decisions is part of what makes wedding planning so stressful. You have to consider your budget. You get scared of making the wrong choice. Trusting my intuition has been a valuable tool. It’s something I do in life in general, but it’s kept me sane during wedding planning.
I found my venue, photographer and dress in one shot. When something feels right in my gut, I don’t second-guess it. I don’t ask everyone for their input. I don’t need to go look at 20 other options to make sure.
For example, I had a vision for the kind of photography style I wanted for the wedding pictures. I am in a Facebook group for freelancers and saw a post by a photographer introducing herself to the group. I clicked on her portfolio and it was perfectly aligned with what I was looking for. I reached out and it just felt right to go with her once we chatted. Photographer, check.
4. Simplicity over perfection
Focusing on what my fiancé and I care about the most has also helped streamline decisions and keep things simple. I knew that I would be pretty extra about my dress, so I splurged and I am also getting a second one for the reception (don’t judge me, hah).
Do we care about the décor being perfect down to every detail? No. Do we care about our friends and family having fun that day? Yes. We’re therefore spending more on an open bar than floral arrangements. Aiming for simplicity over perfection while keeping my values and priorities in mind has reduced my stress levels while organizing our big day.