5 Effective Ways to Fight Wedding Planning Stress

Weddings are fun, but planning them can be stressful. Here are practical ways to deal with wedding planning stress.

By Deanna deBara

woman using zola for wedding planning stress
Photo by Zola

Your wedding day is one you’ll enjoy and remember forever—but the planning leading up to nuptials can be, well, stressful. According to a Zola survey on wedding stress, 96% of couples said that planning their wedding was stressful (we think the other 4% lied!). And 40% of those couples categorized wedding planning as “extremely stressful.” While Zola is here to make planning a wedding as easy as possible, it’s inevitable that you’ll feel stretched thin at some point. Here are a few ways to deal with wedding planning stress.

Organization is key.

Wedding planning involves a lot of moving parts. Handling all those parts—and doing so in a timely manner–isn’t easy. In fact, 35% of couples ranked that part of planning as the #1 most stressful wedding planning task.

Checklists and timelines help you understand how much work you need to do, and when you need to do it by. Since many vendors require long lead times, knowing when you need to book something by means you’re less likely to miss a deadline. Zola’s Wedding Checklist and wedding Guest List features take a lot of that planning stress out of the equation.

Wedding Checklist gives you a comprehensive list of all the major and minor things you need to accomplish from the moment you’re engaged to the days after your wedding day. It may seem intimidating, but seeing such a vast overview will help you understand exactly how much is on your plate. You can also eliminate any checklist points that don’t apply to your planning timeline. Skipping the bridal shower? Cross it off and move on.

Guest List takes all the work out of managing your guests’ addresses and RSVPs (20% of couples ranked this as the #1 most stressful part of wedding planning). With Guest List, you can request contact information from your guests and also track RSVPs via your wedding website. It’s a virtually hands-off way to manage everyone you invited.

Zola InlineImage 1080x720 (1) Photo Credit // Zola

Set your priorities straight.

As we said, a lot goes into weddings. We actually don’t recommend going insane over it all. Instead, pick a few areas that are super important to both of you and focus on making them great. Maybe your foodies and want to wow with cuisine and are less concerned with decor, for example.

Prioritize what really matters and worry less about the other things. You don’t need to let them fall completely to the wayside, but if flowers don’t excite you, stick to simple options and focus on something different. Capturing memories from your day may be what’s most important. So, choosing a great wedding photographer should be at the top of your planning list.

That said, be decisive. If you and your partner both like a certain band, book them. No need to make your life harder by continuing a search when you’re happily on the same page. Drawing out a process can evoke more anxiety and stress.

Setting your priorities straight will also help you manage your budget—another common point of contention and stress. Put money towards the things that matter the most and lower your budget for other things. If flowers matter, spend on them. If you want a videographer, but aren’t so concerned with desserts, take some of that wedding cake budget and hire an awesome video team.

Ask for help.

Wedding parties are there for more than tearing up the dance floor at your reception. They can help take planning responsibilities off your shoulders—and they’re supposed to. When someone agrees to join your wedding party, they’re signing on to help with the wedding planning process, as well.

If you’re overwhelmed with how many tasks you have on your plate, don’t be afraid to ask a friend or family member to help you out. Sometimes reducing stress is as simple as admitting you’re not a superhuman who can do it all. Designate what you can. Maybe one of your bridesmaids can get to work scheduling cake testings or meetings with the caterer. Another could be handling wedding dress appointments.

If your family is adding to your planning stress (sometimes parents can’t help but share their opinions), an outside person like a wedding planner can help. Letting go of some of the work frees up your time to focus on the parts of wedding planning you really enjoy. Remember, weddings are meant to be enjoyed by everyone—including you.

Unsplash InlineImage 1080x720 Photo Credit // Unsplash

Take a time-out.

You may feel like taking a break from wedding planning will cause you more anxiety and stress. It’s not easy to take your hands off the wheel. But it’s actually a necessary step in the wedding planning process. Step away from the work when you’re overwhelmed. Practicing self-care is so important at any stage in life, but especially leading up to your big day.

Spend some quality time doing something relaxing. Our minds and bodies need to reset in order to come back stronger. Hit up the spa with friends, plan a mini weekend getaway with your partner, or spend a few hours doing anything non-wedding related.

Self-care also means getting quality sleep, exercising to release endorphins, and eating nourishing foods that won’t cause a sugar crash—which can make stress worse.

Be kind to yourself.

Everyone wants their nuptials to go off without a hitch, but it’s important to remember that weddings are rarely perfect (sorry). It’s OK if something doesn’t go according to plan. People are there to celebrate you and your partner, not criticize your floral arrangements.

Since you can’t control things like the weather or the fact that a certain venue isn’t available, try to reassure yourself that everything is going to work out. At the end of the day, you’ll forget about all the pre-wedding stress the second you say “I do.”

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