Country farm or downtown? Big bridal party or small? Dinner or heavy appetizers? As soon as a woman says “yes,” the questions start coming, and, along with those decisions—a lot of stress.
Wedding planning anxiety is a real problem for many brides. But before you fret, hear some advice from four local women who want to help you prepare for the days ahead.
Decide What's Important to You
The most important thing for you and your fiancé to remember is that your wedding is about celebrating the two of you. It’s good to have help with all the important details, but be sure you put your desires and dreams first.
For recent bride Tory Bland-Gillisjans, it was vital for her and her future husband to sit down and decide what they wanted, before involving other family members and friends. Even when they mean well, family and friends often interject their opinions about your plans and choices.
“Creating a list of things that you won’t compromise on and setting clear boundaries with the wedding party and their roles…once that’s settled, everything else is smooth sailing and people know what’s up for discussion and what’s set in stone,” says Bland-Gillisjans.
Having a firm plan will help you get what you want and you will never have to look back on your day with any ounce of regret.
Let Someone Else Do the Planning
Once you decide what’s important, there’s a lot of work ahead to arrange all the details of your ceremony and reception.
Haley Sheppard, who got married in 2017, decided to let one of her close friends plan her wedding. As a busy nursing student, Sheppard knew she wouldn’t have time to take care of all the little details. Her friend was the perfect fit to plan her wedding, and in the end it was the best decision she could have made.
“I knew my budget couldn’t handle a fancy Pinterest wedding. So we mapped out priorities—fun and relaxed, lights, greenery and lots of shade, water and seating for guests,” says Sheppard.
For her, having someone understand her wants and needs, while not having to worry about the little aspects along the way, was a godsend.
“At the end of the day my wedding was everything I wanted it to be with the help of so many people and without spending a boatload of money,” she says.
If the idea of turning over all of the control to someone else gives you anxiety, delegate responsibilities to people you trust. From invitations to wedding favors, there are plenty of ways for others to help out.
Think of the Big Picture when Setting a Budget
Most brides have a budget in mind for their wedding and that number can become a source of constant stress in the months leading up to the ceremony and reception. While it’s important to stick to your budget and avoid long term debt, try to really assess what you are spending money on and why.
Trish Bachman and her husband were married in 2005. When planning their wedding, they decided to focus a chunk of their budget on their photographer since they felt that photos would last a lot longer than food, music or flowers.
“A lot of people think it isn't important while planning, but having a great photographer, and even videographer, will make remembering your wedding amazing!” Bachman says.
Take a Break
One last important piece of advice comes from local wedding planner Alicia Cooper of Tina Lane Events.
“Throughout the planning process, have non-wedding related discussions. Talk about something other than the wedding. Give your brain a break. If planning tensions start to build, stop and remember why you fell in love with him in the first place,” says Cooper.
She says it’s vital to keep the big picture in mind, so that the trivial, stressful details don’t take over a time that’s supposed to be filled with happiness.
“Always remember… you really need to have only three things for a wedding… a couple, an officiant and a marriage license. Everything else, while they may be nice to have—you don’t have to have them to get married.”