Congratulations on your engagement! Choosing your partner was the biggest decision of your life. Now, you have to prepare for the biggest day of your life — the day you share your commitment with the world.
Weddings are joyous occasions but, unfortunately, planning them can be quite stressful. In addition to the stress that comes with approaching a major life transformation, there is a ton of stress associated with the decisions that you’ll have to make the details that you’ll have to iron out. Planning won’t be easy, but there are a few things that you can do in order to reduce your stress levels and get the perfect day that you’re dreaming of.
Let yourself imagine before you plan
From the moment you get engaged, you’ll probably start thinking about your wedding. But there are two important things to remember here: First, you don’t have to think about your wedding right away if you don’t want to and, second, thinking about your wedding doesn’t have to mean the same thing as planning it.
Let yourself think about your wedding without feeling like you need to take notes or place phone calls. Let yourself daydream. This is exciting. Besides, brainstorming like this will give you the freedom to make decisions when you’re actually ready to start planning.
Focus on the big ideas first
You’ll have a ton of different things to choose and plan for your wedding, but not all of them are equally important. Furthermore, some of those things are impossible to tackle before you’ve decided on the big-picture stuff. With that in mind, the first decisions about your wedding should be the biggest things.
Take destination weddings, for instance. A Patagonia wedding would be an unforgettable experience, and it’s certainly an option for adventurous couples. Plus, when you’re having your wedding in Patagonia, that means that you need to be looking for venues, caterers, bands, and wedding planners there. If you spend a lot of time thinking about napkin colors and then change your mind about which hemisphere you’re having your wedding in, then you’re going to have a lot of napkins to return.
You also have to choose a venue. There are lots of wonderful options, from community centers to country clubs and golf courses. Yes, golf courses: providing beautiful venues is just one of the many benefits of golf courses. You don’t have to have a golf club in your hand to appreciate the beautiful scenery and make it the backdrop of you and your betrothed’s big day.
Once you have the big decisions made, you can drill down to the smaller stuff. Don’t get ahead of yourself, though, and take care of the foundational decisions first.
Remember your real goal
You’re planning a big event, but the point of the event is something that is supposed to last for the rest of your life: Your matrimony. Like any source of stress, wedding planning can take a toll on a relationship. The most important thing here is your relationship with your partner, so keep reminding yourself to take a step back and check in with your relationship’s health.
Much of the stress associated with wedding planning, experts say, is related to the anxiety couples face as they get ready for this life changing event. Even if you already live with your partner and don’t think that much will change, you should keep tabs on your feelings of anxiety and watch out for signs that you’re using wedding stress as an excuse to let those other feelings out.
Make time for dates. Consider couples or individual therapy, and take breaks from planning once in a while. You and your partner should be talking about more than just wedding planning details. After all, your wedding will be over relatively soon, but your marriage is for life.