According to the Holmes Rahe Stress Inventory the potential stress of marriage (and we’re guessing they mean a wedding as opposed to every year that you are married!) is right up there with getting pregnant, being fired or a major personal injury. In other words, there is a good chance that you are going to experience some serious stress at some point.
It’s not entirely encouraging, is it?
At Bridechilla Club, much like Honeyfund, we are in the business of making couple’s lives easier and less stressful in the lead up to their wedding day. We believe that a wedding is not just one day, but all of the days from the engagement to the honeymoon. Yep, all 200+ hours of it! We think that it should be fun experience and that you should come out the other side of it all the better for the journey.
But we also know that this is not the reality for many couples who are planning their own wedding. Life keeps happening, you still need to go to work and your wedding planning happens on top of everything else that you normally have to deal with.
So how can you survive the rollercoaster of high emotion and expectation (followed closely by disillusionment) that many brides and grooms fall victim to along the way?
We’re glad you asked..
- Lists are your friend. It all starts with your top 3 - the ultimate and unique measure of a successful wedding for YOU. Then you will create a list (or spreadsheet, or dedicated notebook, it needn’t be fancy) to record all of the info you find out as you’re comparing wedding suppliers. Then it will be your guest list and RSVPs.
The smartest part is how lists can help to get the anxiety, overwhelm and little details out of your head and into more easily manageable categories and tasks. Feeling organised can give you a wonderful sense of calm and accomplishment.
- Delegate as much as you can. It is very common for a bride to want to do pretty much everything for her own wedding by herself. It is an exciting time and opportunity and you’re only doing this once, right? Let’s do this!
But what you need to acknowledge, as early on in your planning as possible, is that even wedding event professionals outsource their most time consuming/sensitive tasks. This means that as the day gets closer, the more you should be handing over to others.
Guests arriving from out of town? Ask a family member to pick them up from the airport. Wedding rings need to be collected from the jeweller? Ask your best man to grab them for you. You get the idea.
There are no extra points for exhausting yourself and those who love you will be happy to help you out as long as you give them a reasonable amount of notice. So start writing that delegation list now!
- While we’re on the delegation track, invest a little time early on to create a simple wedding website (or wedsite). Have a really good think about it; if you choose to communicate everything to all of your guests (I understand that Nanna Smith and Uncle Glen are not exactly tech-savvy, but you can always call them) in person, on the phone or via snail mail (save the dates, invitations, rehearsal dinner, RSVPs etc.) you are handing over a LOT of your precious time. Surely there are dozens of other things that you would rather be doing, yes?
- Create a realistic wedding day schedule/timeline in consultation with your key suppliers (venue/s, photographer, makeup artist/hairdresser, celebrant/officiant).
This means allowing time for Murphy’s Law (i.e. whatever can go wrong, will go wrong) by adding a ½ hour buffer to crucial points in the day – e.g. between when you are ready/have finished your getting ready photos and when the transport arrives to take you to your ceremony and between finishing your bridal party/family photos after the ceremony and making your entrance at the reception.
You are literally building in time to breathe. And when you prioritise and block out the time to breathe on your wedding day, you actually increase your ability to remember it years down the track.
Extra points if you actually distribute the timeline to your immediate family, bridal party and suppliers at least 48 hours prior to the big day.
- Make your final payments to your wedding suppliers/vendors well before they're due.
Weddings are expensive, but the only thing worse than forking over a small fortune for the bridal bouquet that you will only hold for 2 hours before leaving it on the bridal table, is stressing about how much it costs right up to the last minute.
Feeling cash strapped and under the pump financially is one of the biggest killers of happy vibes in the last 2 weeks before a wedding. We would even suggest scheduling your payments with alerts in a calendar like iCal or Google calendar a full month before they’re due.
Make a list of gratuities that you plan to give each vendor and put the tip money into separate envelopes with their names on the front and give it to the person that you have designated (see hack #2) to distribute them at the end of the night.
- Think about eating for sustained energy, rather than weight loss. If you’re wanting to look and feel your best in the lead-up to your big day (and who isn’t?), lowering the Glycaemic Index (GI) of your diet might be a good place to start.
Eating foods that keep you fuller for longer, i.e. those with a low GI, may help reduce cravings, improve your concentration and sustain your energy better than relying on a diet of highly processed, high GI foods.
- Invest in great music that takes you to your happy place and play it ALL THE TIME. Sure there's the music for the ceremony and your reception, but what are you going to be listening to for the 12+ months leading up to the big day?
We love the idea of creating an awesome playlist of upbeat, medium tempo, singable songs, that you can enjoy as the soundtrack to your planning, but it all depends on what relaxes you most. If Metallica tunes cranked up to 11 gives you a Zen-like sense of calm, then that's what you need to be aurally investing in.
- Get your wedding registry happening online with Honeyfund (seriously!) For anything other than platters or toasters (and who in 2016 wants platters or toasters as a wedding gift anyway?) Honeyfund is your registry solution.
Whether it’s for your awesome o/s honeymoon, the down payment on the home of your dreams or the deposit on another big savings goal, Honeyfund can take the stress out of communicating it to your guests and collecting the money for you for free!
- Take some pointers from wedding experts. It is unlikely that you have ever had to organise an event as big, emotionally draining or as public as your wedding before (or that you ever will again). It is okay to not know exactly what to do and when, but what can sabotage your efforts on a massive scale and cause you to waste your valuable time, energy and money is seeking and accepting advice from well-meaning (but ultimately ill-informed) friends and family.
It’s fair to assume that almost everyone you know will have an opinion when it comes to your wedding, but to keep your stress levels in check it’s smart to seek out relevant and realistic tools and solutions from experienced industry professionals.
Bridechilla Club has free tools and pintables available on the blog and you can follow us on Facebook. If you are seeking a little extra support you can join us for our FREE 7-day ecourse and we are excited to announce that our 4 week ecourse, The Zen Bride, will be launched in July 2016.
- Focus on your goal. You’ve found the love of your life, remember? Make the effort to prioritise your connection with your fiancé.
Are things getting crazy? Turn off the phone and the TV and snuggle together in bed. Remember what brought you together and indulge in time with each other.
Something as simple as taking a weekend ‘off’ from wedding planning and getting outdoors can seriously recharge your batteries and make the annoying trials of organisation seem trivial compared to the big picture of your future with the one you love.
Bridechilla Club x.
At Bridechilla Club, we believe that couples who have a positive attitude and seek informed and relevant advice have a better wedding experience.
We are a dynamic team of wedding experts and wellness professionals committed to making the planning process (yes, all 200+ hours of it) fun and simple, with less stress.
You can subscribe to the blog, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. But if you’re after more support, you should sign up for our FREE 7-day wedding planning ecourse or enrol in The Zen Bride ecourse (to be launched in July 2016).
Author: Camille Abbott
Business name: Bridechilla Club