Who doesn’t know someone who has gone off the deep end planning their big day? There are the ones who try to control every detail to the point they lose perspective on the big picture (read: Bridezilla).
Or, there are those who are influenced by all of their friends and family to change their best laid plans. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you don’t have to elope. Don’t let your health, sanity, and your relationship suffer while preparing for the happy event.
Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize
Before you get carried away booking live doves to carry the bride’s dress train down the aisle, create a budget with your fiancée and others who are helping financially. Make sure you agree on over-budget items that come up so that you can all adjust and not be shocked when the bills arrive. Think about what is really important to you.
If you want a couture dress and nothing less will do, perhaps you can compromise asking a friend to help you turn store-bought flowers into the centerpieces. Setting realistic expectations for yourself first helps you manage others’ expectations and empowers you to make good decisions when it gets down to the wire.
Stay Organized and Pace Yourself
Before setting your date, think about how much time you realistically need to accomplish the wedding you would like to have. If a destination wedding with 600 guests and handmade wedding favors are on your list, then a quickie engagement may not be the best plan. Working backwards from the wedding day, create a timeline of tasks that need to be accomplished, by whom, and their deadline.
Use the method that is easiest for to stay on top off all of the details. Are you an Excel Jockey? Use it to your advantage with spreadsheets spruced up in the colors you have chosen for the wedding to keep you excited and organized. Do you like the old school paper calendars? Choose an attractive one with space for inspiration pictures and receipts.
Take Care of Yourself
Sleeping enough, eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise while juggling the demands of daily life, work, and the additional job of planning the biggest event of your life is a lot to ask of anyone. Make sure you include taking time for yourself when you set your timeline of tasks.
Think about planning easy and healthy meals and snacks for busy days when you can’t make another decision. Most brides want to look their best on their special day, so pace yourself if you are trying to lose weight instead of trying to drop 10 pounds in the last two weeks before the wedding.
Plan date nights in your schedule so that you and your fiancée stay connected. Consider working out together if you are trying to get fit before the big day.
Are you getting enough sleep? Beauty rest is crucial to look and feel your best (and keep you from snapping at your future mother-in-law).
If you don’t have the best mattress, now is a great time to research one to put on that gift registry. What better gift than that of rest and comfort?
Don’t Try to Accommodate Everyone
Compromises are necessary (hello, marriage!) but a wedding by committee can dilute the entire experience for the bride and groom. It just doesn’t work when you make many major decisions solely to keep family or friends happy.
Be thoughtful and prepared to compromise on choices that impact others like the seating chart for the reception, or the dresses that bridesmaids have to wear in all of your pictures — without compromising your priorities.
Consider delegating tasks to the hands-on friends and family that want to be involved but be prepared that others may not share your precise vision, and could make decisions you wouldn’t. Choose the details you don’t mind letting go, and realize not all of it will look like something on Pinterest.
If you have discussed the major deal breakers that you have to have at the start of the process, you can stay focused on what is important and what isn’t. Being realistic and communicating your priorities will keep you focused on what is truly important (and what isn’t) so that you can have the wedding of your dreams.