S(tress) – O – S

Most brides come to know that wedding planning comes in two phases. There is the elation over the engagement and excitement about choosing a dress, location, decorations, etc.  Then comes the stress and frustration about choosing a dress, location, decorations, etc. What initially seemed fun and easy turns into something overwhelming and thought-consuming when you realize just how many decisions must be made and how many details (many very minute) need to be absolutely perfect. Because your wedding day is one of very few times in life where a do-over is not an option, you probably don’t want the things you look back on and remember from that day to be everything you wished you could have changed. However, as easy as it is to happen, you also don’t want to get so caught up in the planning that you are unable to enjoy your engagement nor do you want to make yourself and those around you miserable. After all, what matters most is the symbolism of your wedding and the promises you and your fiance make to one another – it is not whether you chose the wrong type of flowers or left someone off the guest list. Here are a few ideas for ways to keep your stress at a minimum (hopefully) and even add some fun to the whole process.

Understand that something will go wrong. Maybe the flowers you wanted are a shade off of what you anticipated and don’t perfectly match the image in your mind. Perhaps the weatherman missed the mark and warm and sunny is actually cold and windy. It is important to accept that, especially with an event involving hundreds of decisions and factors, it would be virtually impossible for every single thing to be or go exactly as planned. Instead of wearing yourself out by putting an overload of energy into every single detail, focus primarily on the ones that are most meaningful and important to you. For example, it is not necessary to make 15 trips to the napkin ring store to make sure the size and shade of your choice is just perfect or to yell and scream at the employees when it is not. After all, many of your choices are ones that only you will notice if they are not exactly as you had envisioned them to be.

Because brides want to have their hand in every aspect of their wedding, a great way to relieve some stress is by giving up some control and allowing others to make some of the decisions – notice the key word is “make” and not have input in reference to. Not only would this ease your burden, it would be fun, make the day even more special and potentially add an element of surprise. While this certainly does not mean allowing someone to choose your gown or create your guest list, imagine how you would feel walking into your venue and seeing the flowers your mom picked or hearing the song your dad chose for the first dance. Letting the people who are important to you choose some of the elements is a display of your love and trust for them, as well as their value to you. If you are really bold (and trusting), you could even let those decisions be unknown to you until your wedding day so that you are seeing them for the first time exactly when the guests do.

Show your bridesmaids what color scheme you have chosen, let them each select their own dress and cross another responsibility off your list. It can be stressful finding a style that flatters every figure and can be made to fit everyone just perfectly. Allowing your wedding party to pick their own gowns gives them a chance to showcase their individual personalities as well as to feel special and included. If you want to make it even more fun, have them keep their selections a secret until the ceremony. After all, the members of your wedding party are those who are closest to you and will make certain you are pleased with what they choose.

At first, giving up the decision-making probably seems either impossible or ridiculous. After all, it’s YOUR day and you have to make sure everything is exactly as you want it. Think, however, of how happy you are with your engagement ring and how perfect and meaningful it is to you. Perhaps if you had bought it for yourself, you would have chosen something different, but the thought and effort behind the selection coupled with it coming from someone so important to you makes it ideal. In addition, your wedding gown will be a secret from your future husband until you walk down the aisle. Maybe he envisioned you in a mermaid-style dress and you opted for a ball gown. When he sees you, undoubtedly, he won’t be able to imagine you wearing anything else though. Not only does relinquishing some control diminish the number of things you need to do, it enhances the meaning of your special day because of the care and consideration of those who mean the most to you.