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  • Writer's pictureEmily Gustafson

4 Tips to Relieve Wedding Planning Stress #wednesdaywisdom

April and May seem to get busier each year for me and my family. All the end-of-the-year activities at school ramp up a few notches, there's grad parties and graduations, Mother's Day, Easter, Muffins with Mom, Teacher Appreciation, spring cleaning, yard work, oh and yeah wedding season is here!

Photo courtesy of Mandy Hart Photography

All of the excitement can leave us needing a moment of peace and relaxation to combat the flurry of activity, particuarly if you are planning a wedding. So, here I'd like to offer you a few quick tips that can help to relieve your stress as you are working your way down that wedding to-do list.

1. If I'm your wedding planner, you're going to hear me repeat this a lot - Stay big picture! What's the goal of this beautiful day? To marry your love? Then remember, above all else, that's what matters. Remember Carrie and Big, for goodness sake! It's about you two! Weddings are so emotional, and they should be, but it's easy to let every detail and decision become emotionally charged. That's really fatiguing and you've got months of planning ahead. So, keep a big picture image of what you want, communicate your wishes to the best of your ability to all the people involved (planner, vendors, etc) and then let go just a little, tiny bit.

Photo Courtesy of Mandy Hart Photography

2. Take breaks. Like for real. And when you decide to take a break, maybe don't spend 4 hours a day on your Insta feed seeing all the other weddings happening (because I know you're following all things wedding right now) and start questioning any of your decisions. What you have chosen for your day is perfect and unique for you, so don't let anyone else's choices influence you. Take a break, give yourself a mental rest from planning and let the people you are planning with know that you'll be taking a little breather too. That way they'll understand why those emails aren't being answered as quickly as usual.

3. Wherever possible, share the workload and make the wedding set-up and tear-down process easy and stress-free. I had dinner with a friend last night who told me the story of how she arranged every flower for her wedding, her mother-in-law sewed all the bowties for the men, she designed her own dress, and basically did every single part of the wedding herself. Her wedding was spectacular and as she is a designer with impeccable taste, it doesn't surprise me that she totally pulled it off. But, friends, she was exhausted. Happy, but utterly exhausted after her wedding! She and her family worked their tails off to make her wedding happen. And while this very hands-on approach works for some, I urge you to delegate the work wherever you can. Giving yourself too much to do the week before your wedding is a sure way to be absolutely exhausted at the end of the process. Share the work! If planners and professionals aren't in your budget, then recruit friends and family and put them to work. Often when family and friends are lending a hand, it makes for a really fun day together.

Photo courtesy of Mandy Hart Photography

4. Stay on budget. Creating and maintaining your wedding budget is essential to having a stress-free wedding planning process and wedding day. If you or your family are looking at every plate of food or flower and seeing dollar signs attached that go beyond your comfortable budget, you're not going to have any fun. Or even worse, you may find family members approaching the day with dread and being really displeased when it's over. That awful feeling of, "I spent all that money on this?" So, create a realistic, clear budget. Prioritize that budget into clear categories according to what's most important to you and then stick to it. I wrote a whole blog post earlier on budgeting and budget creation, so go check that one out for more details (link at the bottom of this post). And lastly, if you feel like managing the budget won't be easy for you, then hire someone (like me) to help you stay on track.

Photo courtesy of Mandy Hart Photography

5. Choose to do things that help you relax. I know this sounds extremely obvious. But, I find so often that during the wedding planning process, we forget that there are hours in the day that don't have to be devoted to wedding planning, seating charts, rsvp's, menu selections, and other wedding things. Don't forget to have some fun, relax and recharge regularly throughout the planning process. Take a walk, get back to that yoga class that you love, curl up and read a book in your favorite chair. Whatever makes your body slow down and rest is what you must choose to do. There are so many tasks in wedding planning that are out of the norm, feel really foreign, and can make us feel a little overwhelmed. The stress of planning the big, blissful day of celebrating can make couples fight! It's really important that you take time to purposely do relaxing things with your love, have some fun, and remember that this whole wedding thing is just a continuation of the love that you already share.

Ok, I hope these tips help everyone to remember to rest and relax during this busy season. As always, sharing the wedding planning workload with a planner is a surefire way to lessen the stress. I'd love to be your right-hand lady and remind you that love brought you here and it's what matters most!

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mamas out there and especially to my wonderful Mom, Mary! I love you and I'm thankful for you every day.

Happy planning,

Link to post on budgeting:

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