Wedding planning is one of the most special times of your life. If you’re just engaged and are looking forward to creating the perfect wedding of your dreams, it’s only natural to get swept up in the whirlwind of excitement and romance. However, planning your perfect day can be more stressful than you’ve ever imagined. So, how can you prevent stress that may come with planning and arranging your ideal wedding? In this article, I share some tips that will help you stay stress-free during wedding planning, so you can truly enjoy the process.  

1.Create a Clear to-do List
Your wedding to-do list can be easier to manage and a lot less intimidating if you break it up into smaller sections. Let’s say you plan to send out all your invitations in one weekend. Instead, you can send out a few invitations daily. Or instead of planning all your honeymoon activities in one day, you can look at doing this within a week. If you can set realistic deadlines for every task and stick with them, you’ll see how easy it will be to check them off your list.

At the end of every day (or at least once a week), note down all the things you’ve completed that day and celebrate the small wins. To-do lists can put you into a panic and actually hinder your effectiveness, but an “I’ve done” list makes you feel proud and strengthens your motivation.

2. Delegate Tasks
You have a wedding party for a reason. While it can feel like you and your partner are in this planning process alone, you have a support system right there waiting for you to call upon them for help. Your wedding party is there to help with many of the biggest tasks, from emotional support to planning your pre-wedding events.

Aside from your bridesmaids and groomsmen, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends and family. Your dress tailor aunt might be able to help with shopping for a custom fit wedding dress while your uncle might be able to act as a bartender on your big day. All of these little things add up to big help.

3. Follow a Timeline

If you’re a natural procrastinator, I caution – that leaving your tasks until the very last minute will likely leave you feeling stressed and anxious as the big day approaches. The final few weeks of your wedding should be restful, relaxing and exciting, so create a clear wedding planning timeline that allows you to get everything checked off at least 3 weeks out from your day. You can check out my 12-month wedding checklist as a guide to get you started!

4. Avoiding financial stress
This is a big one on the list since your budget may be one of the single largest factors in how your wedding will turn out. During the planning stages, it’s important to get a realistic idea of the money situation to avoid further stress.

Estimate your costs in the beginning. A good way to get an estimate for your wedding is by using a checklist. You can print out my checklist that I linked up above and start assigning prices to each item on the list. Even if you don’t know for sure, give a high estimate to be safe and try to find out the cost as soon as you can. 

Total up your costs and prioritize. If you total everything up and the cost of your wedding seems high, think about things that you want to prioritize. What are some non-negotiables for you and your partner? What things could you do without? 

Communicate your costs. Do you have a family member lending or giving you money for the wedding? Are you taking out a loan to foot the bill? Unless your wedding is fully coming out of your own pocket, it’s a good idea to clearly communicate your costs with whoever it’s coming from to avoid surprises later on. It’s not uncommon for family members to help out with a wedding, but it shouldn’t be expected without a clear conversation. 

Avoid racking up credit card debt. It may seem tempting to charge some of your expenses to a credit card if you don’t have the money in-hand. Avoid this like the plague. The last thing you want to do is start your marriage with thousands of dollars in debt. 

5. Consider a Wedding Planner
Even if you’re midway (or later) through your wedding planning process, you can still hire a wedding planner or day-of coordinator to help make your life easier. Planners will help you stay organized, create a wedding day plan and timeline, and take on many tasks that could ultimately become very stressful. And, a planner will be there on your wedding day to make sure everything runs smoothly and you can actually enjoy your big day.

6. Prioritise Self-Care

Self-care can mean many different things, but essentially should be anything that takes care of you mentally, emotionally, or physically. This can be reading a good book, taking a walk, or spending time with your significant other; whatever brings you the stress relief or relaxation that you need. 

Self-care should absolutely be a priority while planning a wedding, because it can often become overwhelming and all-consuming. The moment you are engaged you’ll want to dive right into planning, because it is new and exciting. But, it’s important to take time off every once in a while to be sure you make time for yourself, as well as your relationship. Which takes us to the next tip.

7. Make Non-Wedding Time
This might go without saying for some, but while you’re planning your wedding, don’t put everything else in your life on hold.

Between saving and planning, so many couples ease off on other aspects of their life in the lead up to their day, and then feel a massive void when it’s all over.

Do lots of non-wedding things throughout your engagement, meet friends and don’t talk about your wedding, and plan days out or trips away.

When you feel like an entire year of your life has gone into your wedding, it’s so much easier to get anxious about how it’s all going to turn out. Your wedding does deserve lots of time and attention, but it doesn’t need to be the only thing you have going on.

Final thought

For times when tensions are high, put everything into perspective for yourself and look at the bigger picture. Take a few deep breaths and remind yourself why you’re putting in all this hard work. Remember that no matter what cake you choose or which dress you say yes to, all that matters at the end of the day is that you’ll be saying your “I dos”.