Wedding Planning Stress: 11 Steps to Survive

The wedding planning process can be incredibly stressful.

There are so many decisions to be made, and the pressure of making sure that everything is perfect will often lead to wedding planning stress and fatigue.

Whether it be the wedding dress, wedding cake, wedding venue, or wedding invitations – there always seems to be something else that needs to be done, and every other day brings a new challenge.

It is not surprising that brides experience some level of burnout when on average, they do over 60% of the planning themselves.

How can I stop stress planning my wedding? You may ask.

The key to surviving wedding planning stress is knowing what pitfalls trigger wedding stress, how to avoid them, and how to handle wedding stress when it does happen.

wedding planning stress

What is the most stressful part of wedding planning?

The most stressful part of wedding planning is a combination of multitasking and having to make key decisions in fast succession, whether you are ready or not.

In addition, Wedding planning requires continuous engagement with wedding vendors and professionals, your partner, family, and friends.

But don’t fret!  It’s all good! 

Here are eleven steps to help you survive wedding planning stress.

1. Get A Wedding Journal Or A Planning App

Keeping records of everything you have to accomplish and checking what steps are done is the only way to stay organized and sane.

This is also a way of rewarding yourself because checking off each task you have completed and crossing it out on your list will make the wedding seem like less work!

When you keep track and write things down as you go, you won’t find yourself looking for something forgotten or missed along the way.

2. Communicate And Call Your Vendors When You Have A Question

Don’t ponder on questions about your wedding for hours.

When you have your wedding vendors and need to contact them quickly, call!

By calling directly, you will avoid allowing your imagination to run wild while waiting for an email response.

Emails are fine, but if you go into too much detail about your wedding, you may wind up with lengthy messages that are not answered as quickly.

Long email exchanges are also a place where wedding stress can emerge, as you have to keep track of what was said in the emails and who needs to do what.

Though many wedding preparations now take place online, it is often more convenient for you to call your vendors directly if you have any questions.

3. Lock In A Date And Wedding Venue To Lay Down The Base Of Your Special Day

Congrats! Finding a date and venue for your wedding is an incredible feat, providing you with the first wave of relief and accomplishment.

As such, wedding stress may begin to creep up as you very likely have never gone through this process before.

To keep your motivation going, remind yourself that you are now taking steps towards creating the wedding of your dreams.

Harness the excitement of planning your wedding day and use it to propel you forward, despite the challenging logistical aspects and potential emotional rollercoaster. Make every step count!

4. Have A Big Plan But Remain Flexible

Couples hire an average of 10 to 15 vendors for their wedding.

This is a lot of wedding professionals to manage and can feel overwhelming.

It can be not easy, especially in the early planning stages.

When building this “team,” you want to make sure they work with you to keep your vision and theme alive, but at the same time, don’t get stuck with one idea.

As you are working on your wedding and refining your vision, some details may change, or they might not work at all.

To avoid additional stress, plan to be flexible enough to realize various other options that you have available and may not have seen before.

Wedding Stress

5. Plan Ahead Before Deadlines Creep Up

The wedding planning timeline is a tough one.

All wedding planners, catering venues, and vendors have their own deadlines for booking their labor and arranging their logistics.

You want to ensure that your wedding becomes their top priority by giving them the information they need, when they need it, or even before.

Don’t wait for your vendors to contact you to remind you that a deadline has passed.  Lagging will add unneeded stress.

Please plan ahead and have the wedding information ready for them.

To name a few, having the final menu selections ready for the caterer, song selections for the band or DJ, information about in which order the wedding party will walk down the aisle, decisions on the final look of your floral centerpieces, … the list is long.

Planning ahead, finalizing decisions, and providing selections will free up other important deadlines coming up in your wedding timeline and keep your head free.

Plus, this will help you stay on track and not feel too overwhelmed, as it’s easy to fall behind when there is so much going on.

6. Consider Hiring A Wedding Planner

Roughly a third of all couples hire a wedding planner.  Either a day-of-coordinator or a full-service planner.

No matter your circumstances, investing in a wedding planner will reduce the stress of your upcoming day and help you feel at peace.

You can think of a full-service wedding planner as your personal assistant and mentor who will help you stay organized and on track with the entire planning process so that you will worry less and enjoy more.

7. Start With A Realistic Budget And Keep Track

Your wedding budget can be the source of all kinds of tension. 

Your expectations of what you will spend on your wedding and the reality of what you end up spending can be quite different.

And it’s not a surprise.  Planning a wedding is an intense journey with many moving parts and hidden costs that nobody has prepared you for.

It is almost like building a new house from scratch but with an irrevocable deadline.

It is very easy to underestimate the cost of services and products, and you may tend to set a lower opening budget than what is realistic.

To keep yourself out of wedding budget trouble:

  • Set a budget that is realistic by figuring out what kind of wedding you want first.
  • Work backward from your wedding’s initial budget estimate and carve out monetary wiggle room for unforeseen wedding expenses.  Leave at least 10% of your budget untouched as a contingency plan.
  • Track your spending daily to avoid getting into a situation where you have budgeted yourself into a corner.
  • Monitor your guest list.  The money is in your guest count.

8. Stay Away From Drama

When planning your wedding, you can almost be certain of some level of an emotional rollercoaster. 

Almost every subject has two sides, and family and friends are eager to give their input.

Just remember to stay away from drama and know that wedding planning is just a small part of your life story.

Concentrate on what you can control so it doesn’t feel like such an uphill battle sometimes.

Remember the following:

  • Stay out of any tension in your bridal/wedding party, and let them dissolve it.  Remember that everyone is an adult.
  • Go with the flow with advice from overbearing family members and take advantage by giving them a job so they can demonstrate that they truly want to help you.  One less task on your to-do list!
  • Don’t let other people’s opinions and needs dictate what should happen at your wedding.
  • If every decision is a battle, it will lead to no decisions being made.  Compromise, and you will feel so much better immediately!  You need to check off things on your list and keep moving.
wedding planning stress - relaxing

9. Take A Break From Planning

There will be days when life overtakes you, and you have to take a break.

Chances are you are working full-time, and balancing both a job and planning a  wedding can be a heavy weight on your mental and physical strength.

Self-care should be a priority.  If you don’t take care of yourself first, you don’t have anything to give.

Get your nails done with friends, take a spinning class, or have some downtime in front of Netflix with your favorite snack.

You want to make sure to get off the grid and leave an escape door open to take a couple of days off from planning your wedding.

Remember, you can always fall back on your to-do list and can afford to put the wedding on the back burner for a couple of days.  Since you are keeping records, you will be up to speed again in no time. 

Get excited about your bridal shower and bachelorette party.  Two events for which you don’t have to do any planning and enjoy the fun!

10. Remember, A Wedding Is A Two-Person Job

Planning a wedding needs two partners to work in tandem and as equals.

The planning process is a marathon and not a sprint, requiring patience from both bride and groom.

It can be the first trial by fire for a marriage in the making.

A wedding is not just about one person’s happiness; it’s also about working with your partner to make sure that both of you are happy and satisfied at every stage of planning, execution, and aftermath.

It is essential to schedule a date night if you feel planning your wedding has taken its toll on your relationship.

And don’t take everything too seriously. It’s just a wedding, not a life-or-death scenario.

11. Don’t Stress About The Little Things

Detail is what makes a difference, but don’t stress out over little things!

Your wedding is one of the greatest days of your life, and your guests will not remember those small details.

Don’t lose sight of the big picture: your wedding day should be about celebrating love with those who mean a lot to you!

Don’t obsess over the color of the napkins being true ivory, bridal ivory, off-white, or snow white.

Your mind is playing a trick on you by trapping you with details that will not make your break your wedding.

Final Thoughts

Couples often experience some level of wedding planning stress, but don’t let that stop them from enjoying the process.

There are many ways to make your special day perfect without adding any additional stress or worry to yourself.

If you’re still stressed about how much needs to get done before your big day, take a deep breath and remember – do what feels right for YOU.

Things do always work out in the end, and you will become an expert at creating a memorable and extraordinary event for yourself, your family, and your friends.

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