The importance of self-care when planning a wedding
Updated: Sep 7
Image Via Sidey Clark Photo
If you're reading this blog post, your wedding planning journey has begun. Massive congrats are in order! Let me take you on a joyful wedding planning ride and provide some clever tools you can use to make the whole process as stress-free as possible.
The honeymoon period
It all started off so magically. The proposal, the engagement ring, the announcement, the congratulations, the engagement party, looking at dresses/suits/shoes, the venue hunting, the discussions about who to invite, who will be your best man/woman, bridesmaids, ushers, speakers, the ceremony you want, the perfect day schedule, the decor, the band, the absolute best party ever = excitement overload.
As soon as important decisions have to be made, planning a wedding becomes a full-time job!
Yes, everyone starts by thinking they can and should do it all - trust me, I'm guilty of it myself. Then the reality is that planning a wedding is no small task hits home. It takes over your life completely. If you have a full-time job, this will add to a stress overload!
It can put a strain on your relationships - I'm not talking only between you and your partner, but between various family members and friends who suddenly feel the need to give you their good advice. And with all good intentions aside, the whole thing becomes very overwhelming and confusing. Who you should listen to? Are you making the right decisions? Do they really know better? Is there really the right way to do certain things? Very quickly the initial euphoria turns into the most stressful period of your life, especially when you start hitting obstacles you haven't encountered before:
Which venue is the one that will fit perfectly into your (and everyone else's) plans? Yes, you suddenly forget that this is YOUR day and start trying to please everyone else. Read about how to choose the right wedding venue here.
Are the wedding suppliers the venue recommends really the perfect ones for you? You start questioning your choices and reluctantly settle for what's on offer because it has been done before - do you really want a cookie-cutter wedding?
Your mum knows a really good photographer, who is also a family friend and can shoot the wedding for a really good price. Do you really want to risk trusting someone you're not a hundred per cent sure of to immortalize your wedding day? After choosing the right venue, the photographer is THE most important supplier to get right! This is one supplier I would NOT choose to save money on! You will NEVER be able to go back and fix this, which can result in you not liking the photos and regretting it for the rest of your life! Read about how to choose the right wedding photographer here.
Your mates/family offer to help with various wedding tasks: cake, decor, coordination, etc. This seems ideal and you are initially so grateful but the reality is, these are your guests, there to enjoy your day with you. They will be merry and social and most probably won't do what you really had in mind, which can result in strained relationships. I've witnessed many fallouts between friends and family members, who then put the whole thing on you for being a fussy unreasonable bridezilla (a term that I loath!)
How to minimise stress and overwhelm
Make sure you split the planning tasks into equal parts! I know, from experience, that most often brides take over completely (when it comes to a heterosexual couple), resulting in overshadowing the groom's wants completely. This makes me sad as not only do they take on the mammoth task of organising it all, they forget that the wedding is supposed to be about them both. My advice is that you sit down together and listen to each other's wishes carefully and make sure that you're both on the same page/compromise on things. Choose who will handle which part of the wedding planning and stay in your lane.
Delegate! IF you have mates or family members who you are a hundred per cent sure of that they are really good at/its part of their carrier/job they specialise in, and they have offered to help you and you know that you won't fall out over anything, accept their help. But make sure they stick to the brief down to a T. And if you have but the slightest niggling feeling that they might not be able to fulfil the brief for whatever reason (remember that people have their own lives - might be dealing with their own personal problems!), look for a solution elsewhere before it's too late (more about that in the next paragraph).
DONT suddenly decide that you have to go on a brutal diet to fit into some dress/suit! I can not stress this enough! I have witnessed many brides (and some grooms) embark on this and it never ends well. It becomes an absolute obsession and ultimately causes months of utter misery for them and the people around them. Trust me, no one is a nice person to be around when they are starving! Instead, work with your body. Find a wedding boutique that caters for all shapes and sizes. Somewhere where you feel safe and not judged for being a normal human. Try on as many dresses as you can. Choose a dress that looks the most flattering for your figure. And remember, your other half chose you as you are! Saying all that, do try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals to maintain your overall health. Up your water intake to help your body cleanse itself and maintain that healthy-looking glowing skin.
Take frequent breaks from wedding planning (I'm talking booking this out in your diary!), where just the two of you or you and your pals go away and celebrate love and happiness. Spa breaks are a great choice.
Try out meditation, a form of calming exercise like yoga, walking, running or HIIT and dance classes - anything that helps your mental health.
Plan your calendar wisely, making sure everything is booked, sourced and in place at least a few months before the wedding, so all that is left to do is enjoy the run-up.
If you can, go on a mini pre-wedding holiday! I'm not talking hen/stag do's here. I'm talking about a break for just the two of you, perhaps somewhere hot to recharge your batteries. This will do you a world of good!
The ultimate solution to a stress-free wedding planning
If you can, invest in a wedding planner to guide you through the whole wedding planning process, and deal with everything on the day. Even though you'd think that having a wedding planner is a luxury, in reality, wedding planners will save you TIME and MONEY! Read about how they can do that here.
Hiring a wedding planner will be your perfect excuse to tell people, who offer their well-meaning help, that you got it sorted and the only thing you want them to do is to turn up and celebrate with you.
They will be able to help you make all the important decisions - have answers to all the questions looming overhead, so you're safe in the knowledge that you haven't made any mistakes and got it all covered.
They will be able to guide you on your budget - so many things to consider that you haven't even thought of. Without a savvy planner, costs can quickly spiral out of control - a good planner will know how much things cost and where best to cut down on without compromising on your most important things.
They will recommend the right wedding suppliers, so your overall look is exactly how you've imagined it to be. I'm talking about photographers, videographers, stationers, props & furniture hire, tablescape, florists, cakemakers, caterers, entertainment, etc.
They will know how to create an easy to follow wedding design roadmap (look for a design-led planner if you want to create something uniquely you!!!!)
They will help you with briefing and coordination of all of the suppliers involved
They will create your perfect on the day schedule
They will be the only point of contact for all suppliers so that no one bothers you in the run-up and on the day of your wedding.
They will be there on-site awaiting deliveries - coordinate suppliers.
They will be there overseeing the setup (while you're getting ready for your wedding!).
They will make sure everything looks exactly the way you want - I'm talking venue styling (again, look for a design-led wedding planner!).
They will welcome your guests.
They will make sure your order of the day runs smoothly.
They will look after you.
They will look after your guests.
They will be there to deal with troubleshooting if/when things don't go according to plan.
They will be there to help with the take-down (instead of you!).
And THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, they will remind you to look after yourself! Find out about how to find the right wedding planner for you here.
Have a wonderful wedding planning journey, lovers!
Whole Lotta Love,