Pop the Question: "What Should I Do if I’m Burned Out From Wedding Planning?"

In this month's Ask Us Anything, our Team-Z experts share tips for navigating wedding stress and burnout.

By Emily Forrest

Pop the Question: "What Should I Do if I’m Burned Out From Wedding Planning?"
Photo by Kinga Howard

You have questions, Zola’s wedding experts on Team-Z have answers! We understand what you’re going through and realize that planning a wedding is something you’re probably doing for the very first time. Team-Z is in the know and wants your wedding day to flow smoothly, so Pop the question.

Dear Team-Z, My wedding date is creeping up, and the more my partner and I cross off our wedding planning checklist, the more things we have to add to our ever-growing list of to-dos. We love being engaged and can’t wait to marry each other, but we’re just feeling so stressed about planning a wedding with an already full life. Carving out time to do last-minute projects has become extremely daunting, and TBH, it’s causing us to be less patient with each other. We’re at the point where we just want the day to come and go so we can finally relax (yay, honeymoon!). I feel so bad voicing this, but we really want to get re-revved up about our big day.

~ Planning on Empty

So, How Do You Keep Going When You’re Feeling Burnt Out?

Planning on Empty, Team-Z is glad you asked! And let us first say that you and your significant other aren’t alone in your feelings. No matter how long you’ve been engaged — a month or a couple of years — meetings with wedding vendors seem to bring attention to more and more things you’ve never even considered before. All of which end up on your wedding to-do list. So, it’s natural to feel like for every one thing you cross off, you’re adding two more. Team-Z gets it!

It’s not ideal, but experts say that stressful times can cause strain on relationships. However, it’s important to have frank conversations with each other and be honest about having wedding planning stress. If you’re tempted to be short with your partner, just take a breath and remember that your frustrations are task-oriented, not due to your SO. If you’ve wondered, “Is it normal to be stressed about wedding plans?” The answer is yes! What you’re feeling is typical, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep feeling frustrated.

From who to ask for help to how to reset, here is Team-Z’s advice on how to push back on wedding stress and reinvigorate the excitement for your big day.

How to Deal With Wedding Planning Stress

1. Hire/Check-in with your wedding planner or coordinator.

The first rule of getting help for your big day is hiring a professional service — either a wedding planner, coordinator, or both. So whether you have one already, or felling the need to get one in the midst of planning, knowing what all a wedding planner should do and ease the stress of jugling tons of tasks.

Typically, wedding planners help you during the planning process, and the level of service often depends on the package you select. Sometimes, they are there to guide you along the way, keeping you on track with the timeline and budget. They can even answer questions specific to your area, such as “What is the most popular month for weddings?” On the other hand, a wedding coordinator is there on the big day to ensure everything runs smoothly.

2. Get help from friends and family.

You may be feeling overwhelmed, but there are probably a lot of folks who would love to play a part in your big day. Ask your wedding party, close friends, or family members to pitch in where they can. If your future sister-in-law has fabulous handwriting, have her help address invitations. Maybe your uncle has a keen eye for design and would gleefully seize the opportunity to attend a meeting with your florist. Asking for help takes the burden off of you and your partner while creating space for others to feel like they’ve contributed to your big day.

3. Focus on essential tasks.

In the early days of dreaming about your wedding, it’s easy to get distracted by all the wedding details on Pinterest. Alternatively, take a step back and think about what is absolutely necessary and where you can simplify. Your wedding day won’t go well if you don’t write your vows or finalize your catering menu. However, there are things you can let go of if time is short, such as handmaking your favors or having yet another get-together with your wedding party. Reducing tasks can go a long way in easing your mind.

4. Use checklists to keep on track.

Why is a wedding checklist important? It can help you focus your mind while setting goals for what you need to accomplish and when. Many wedding to-do lists help you manage what you must do in the timeline leading up to your special day. You should finish some tasks months ahead, and others you’ll concentrate on the week of the wedding. Knowing what to do and having a deadline can help manage unwanted wedding stress.

5. Do activities that relax you.

Does your current schedule oscillate between working and planning your wedding? If so, life becomes mundane, and you need to plan time for fun and relaxation. Simple things like meditation and movie nights can help you get your mind off your to-do list. Getting a massage or pedicure can leave you feeling pampered and rested. If taking breaks doesn’t come naturally for you, schedule some onto your calendar so you don’t forget.

6. Share your feelings with others.

Talk to your fiancé about what’s going on in your head. When you’re doubting that you chose the best month to get married or are absolutely dreading a vendor meeting, let them know what’s on your mind. Another good perspective can come from other couples. Whether they’re engaged or newly married, having someone in the same phase of life can be a helpful sounding board.

7. Share your feelings with others.

Marking things off your wedding checklist gives a sense of accomplishment, but take it a step further when feeling especially unmotivated. Grab an iced coffee on the way home from a vendor meeting you were dreading. Or, go out for ice cream with your partner to recognize that you’ve lessened your list of things to do. Even if you simply give yourself a mini high-five, take a moment and savor the feeling of getting something done.

8. Remember why you’re planning a wedding.

Focus on your end goal — being married to the one you love. Sometimes, reminding yourself of the “why” behind wedding planning is enough motivation. Being grateful for your relationship and the fact that you found a life partner can make a world of difference in your mindset. It’s even better to express that feeling of thankfulness to your partner by texting or telling them at the moment.

9. Take a technology break.

If “When is wedding season?” is always on your mind, you may be on your phone constantly searching for answers. That constant barrage of information can be incredibly stressful in a world where it’s possible to be connected 24/7/365. Resist the urge to check social media when you wake up and before bed. Challenge yourself only to check your personal email every few hours. Close out all of your apps so you’re not tempted to mindlessly scroll or play games after you’ve answered an important call. Being unavailable is okay for a while, especially if you need a mental reset.

10. Consider counseling for stress management.

Having someone to talk to who can listen and evaluate why you’re feeling a certain way can be a lifesaver. If you’re feeling completely overwhelmed and need a nudge to return to feeling positive, make an appointment with a professional counselor. They’ll be qualified to help you delve deeper while giving you insight into your mental health if needed.

Well, Planning on Empty, Team-Z wishes you the best in your wedding planning journey and hopes you can find time to unwind. Enjoy!

Pop the Question with our Team-Z

You’ve got questions. The wedding planning experts of Zola’s Team-Z have answers! You’ve finally found the one and know the next steps, but how do you plan the perfect wedding day? From proposal etiquette and wedding websites to registry items, your head is probably spinning as your to-do list gets longer. That’s where Zola’s smart, savvy team — Team Z — can help! You ask, we answer. It’s as simple as that!

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