Do you hate planning your wedding?? Are you in a wedding planning funk and just want the whole thing to be over?? Worse, were you kind of excited about planning your wedding before you got engaged, but now you realize that the whole thing is totally horrible?? Yikes!
Before we get started, let me tell you: you aren’t alone! So many couples become engaged and quickly find out that planning that big ‘ol party to celebrate marriage isn’t that great. Wedding planning is a lot of research and a lot of decision making and a lot of money. All of this is on top of your already busy schedule! Here in the Washington DC area couples are known for working crazy hours, doing all of their homework and having little free time. That equals a recipe for a wedding planning disaster!
I just want to come to your house, give you a hug and make it all better! But, I know it can’t actually do that. So, the next best thing is some advice from me, your fairy blog mother!! Here are some tips and thoughts that might help you to get your wedding planning sparkle back or maybe even find that magic in the first place!
It Is Bad For Everyone
Sometimes there is comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone. Wedding planning is hard for everyone! But, are you kind of annoyed that no one told you before you started that planning a wedding isn’t that fun? Yet, now that you are engaged and not loving it, all of your married friends are agreeing with you that wedding planning isn’t great. Why didn’t they tell you this in advance? Why didn’t they prepare you? You need to let go of this anger. Take comfort in the fact that it is tough for everyone, but don’t dwell on that fact that you should have known in advance. You can’t change the past! Besides, if someone told you wedding planning was horrible, you probably wouldn’t have believed them! There are some things in life that you just have to go through yourself to fully understand. (And, while we are on topic, I’m going to tell you something else that isn’t that great so that you can’t say I didn’t tell you in advance. Having kids and raising them is hard too! It is not as fabulous as all of those mommy blogs would like you to believe!)
Take the Pressure Off
Do you know that this isn’t the last party that you’ll ever throw?? This is not the last time that you can pick out pretty napkins and stripy straws or get all dressed up. True, you probably won’t be married again, but this will not be the last time you ever get to do anything fun. Take that pressure off of your decision making and stop thinking that every decision needs to be so major, because this is the last time you’ll ever get to do this. This is not your one and only chance! It is hard enough to make a decisions, so don’t let the momental wedding pressure get to you and add that on top of every decision. Picking out bridal shoes doesn’t have to be so major! There will be birthdays, holidays, and showers and dinner parties in your future. There is no need to make everything so monumental during your wedding planning. Just pick what you love right now and forget the pressure!
Enlist Family + Friends
Do you have a family member or a good friend who is super into the wedding planing thing? Well, give up control and let them have at it. The key here is giving up control. I know that can be tough in this town, but trust me, it will make for less stress for you in the end! Plus, I’m sure they would loooooove to help you out! Tell them one or two of your priorities (things that you can’t live without or things that you want to do yourself) and then let them go nuts on the rest. Let them make all the decisions and do all the research. I do recommend periodic check-in meetings to make sure everyone is in the loop. But, let those controlling people in your life do what they do best – control the situation! The upside it is less work for you, aka less stress!
Make a List
Speaking of priorities, make yourself a list. What are the three things in wedding planning that you are interested in or what was exciting to you before you started? Cake tasting? Wine selection? Whatever it is, make sure that you spend the majority of your time on the things that you are interested in and don’t stress about the things that you don’t care so much about. Isn’t is funny how we spend the most time on what we like the least? Turn that around and vow to not let that happen! Focus on what will make you happy!
Aren’t really interested in dress shopping? Fine. This is an easy fix: Set a budget, bring a friend to one store and one store only, and make a commitment to pick a dress before you leave. Aren’t really into the invitations and paper goods. No problem! Again, an easy fix. There are dozens of sites now that make it so easy to get all of your wedding paper goods all at once Find one and search by your favorite color(s) and pick out a pre-made, all-inclusive set. These sets have it all from save the dates to escort cards, so that is about 20 decisions made at once!
Throw Money at the Problem
This is typically my go-to solution to most things in life that I don’t want to deal with. But, it applies very well to wedding planning. If you aren’t into it at all and are finding no joy, hire a wedding planner. Pay someone else to help you out and guide you through the process. Pay for someone else’s experience and expertise so that you don’t have to do all the research and make all the choices on your own. It seems counter productive, but a wedding planner can also help you to stay on budget, and, dare I say it, save you money! They can take a lot of the stress off of your plate. Focus on finding the right wedding planner for you and then let them help you out with the rest of the decisions.
Jam-Pack One Week
It is going to take a lot of out of you, but try to schedule all of your vendor appointments, tours and meetings for one solid week. You will be tired and it will be a long week of wedding planning madness, but after seven days, you’ll be done! In advance, you can do most of your research online through vendor websites, blogs and reviews. Really narrow down your choices to only the vendors and venues that you really want, so that you don’t make any unnecessary appointments. Weed out right away the vendors and venues that don’t fit your budget, style and size. (And, be honest here!) To this end, you really should only meet with two vendors in each category. Meeting with three or more will make you even more crazy and make it that much harder! After your mega planning week, commit to no more meetings. Stick to just e-mail or phone calls to finish up any loose ends.
Make a Choice and Move On
Once you make a choice, don’t look back. Always look forward! Furthermore, deliberating over choices for weeks or avoiding making a decision will only make it worse. Once you get those proposals from vendors, book it! Secure as much as you can, as quickly as you get the contract. If you just sit on your decision and avoid things, it will only make you second guess yourself, making the process unbearable. And, once you make your choices move on! Stop the blog reading, throw out the magazines out and most of all, get off Pinterst! This seems crazy for me to say, but it is so true. Once you make a choice, you need to own it and then stop doing “research.” You will go crazy otherwise!
Limit Your Advisors
You might have heard this before, but it is worth repeating. When it comes to helpers, it is best to keep your list of advisors short. You know that phrase about too many cooks in the kitchen. This is true for things like flower selection, dress shopping and cake tasting. This absolutely includes posting things on social media! As soon as you share the wedding dress you are thinking about on Facebook, all of a sudden your group of advisors exponentially increases! Trust me: everyone will have an opinion about everything. And, those opinions might always be kind or helpful. Keep your wedding decisions offline and keep the list of people that you go to for advice very (very) short. This will make the decision process much easier for you.
So, there you have it: my tips for bringing the love back to wedding planning! Do you feel better already? Or do you still need me to come to your house for a hug? Hang in there Washington, DC area wedding lovers, it. will. all. work. out. I promise!
Are you looking for more local wedding ideas? Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.