Some of us are natural planners - and others not so much. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.The idea of planning a wedding; coordinating a million little details, liasing with suppliers, having wedding detail conversations with our nearest and dearest - will fill some with utter joy and others complete dread. No matter which category you find yourself falling into, here are some handy tips to help you on those days when the idea of eloping and not dealing with another wedding decision.
1. REMEMBER WHY YOU'RE GETTING MARRIED IN THE FIRST PLACE
It's easy to lose focus on what a wedding is all about: commitment and making a promise to one another that you'll stand together, through thick and thin, for the rest of your life. You are a team, and all that *truly* matters is that at the end of your chosen wedding date, you lie next to one another as a married couple. This is your soulmate, your best friend, your partner in crime and lifetime companion. In 5, 10, 15, or even 50 years from now, it will be the moments of joy on your wedding day which you remember.
2. DON'T STRESS THE SMALL STUFF
Can't get a shoe style which keeps all your bridesmaid's happy?
Can't find the perfect shade of ribbon to tie around your bouquet?
Too many guests giving their uninvited opinion on who they should be sitting with at the reception?
Mother-in-law insisting she's wearing a dress more fitting for a funeral than a wedding?
Often, it's the smaller details which can be the most stress inducing, and more often than not it involves members of your wedding party being more of a hiderance than a help. Complaining Bridesmaids, Groomsmen and In-Laws are a particuarly common problem. Stop, breathe and calmly think about how to nip the issue in the bud.
Can't get your bridesmaids to agree? Then give them an either/or choice with the majority vote wins.
Can't find the perfect ribbon/envelopes/hairclip? Don't stress: noone will notice except you.
Guests giving you demands? Simply keep the guest list and seating plan secret until the big day.
Mother-in-law issues? Smile and ignore.
3. TAKE A WEEK OFF
If you're finding the whole wedding planning ordeal too much - if it's in your every waking thought and even in your dreams - stop. Take a break. Try to enjoy a whole week of no wedding talk - read a book, enjoy a day trip to a local attraction or enjoy a night at the cinema. Wedding Planning can feel like a second job at times, and burnout is real possibility. You want to be able to look back at your wedding journey and feel joy, not sadness, and this won't be possible if you don't give yourself time off.
One reason you might be feeling overwhelmed is because of the number of things on your to-do list, and if this is the case: DELIGATE! Divide up the tasks between yourself, your partner, your parents, your Maid of Honour/Best Man and ask them to share some of the load. Trust them to have your best interests and heart and don't micro-manage them (you'll feel like it's still a job on your list and they'll feel like they shouldn't have bothered helping). This doesn't need to be huge responsibilities - it can be simply them phoning a supplier to confirm details, going to the venue the day before to drop off decorations, or putting some mustic suggestions down for the DJ's playlist. It will free you up to focus on the issues you need to do yourself.
5. DO YOUR DAY, YOUR WAY.
Hen Party / Stag Party
3 Bridesmaids, 3 Groomsmen, 2 Ushers, a Flower Girl and a Page Boy
Long ceremony with hymns and readings
Speeches & Toast
First Dance & Bouquet Toss
Yes, these are traditional parts of a wedding. But I've attended plenty of weddings where the happy couple have simply ignore the bits they don't want to do. It didn't impact my enjoyment of the wedding as a guest, and clearly it made them happy, so where's the problem? Don't be swayed by people saying "but you have to! It's a wedding tradition!". It's your day, so do it your way. Everything except the legal part of the vows is optional - think of it as a pick 'n' mix where you can choose which bits you want to do!