Expert Advice From Maria Tansey: Top 10 Tips For Stress-Free Wedding Planning!
This week, our latest BCME Expert Panel member, Master Life Coach and NLP Practitioner Maria Tansey, brings you her top 10 tips for stress-free wedding planning!
Maria, who joined our BCME Expert Panel last month, works with clients in various stages of relationships; engaged, newly married and in long term partnerships. She’s here to help you strengthen your relationship with yourself and with your partner, for you to fulfill your relationship goals and lead an even more balanced and fulfilling life. Her coaching focuses on the future and your beliefs, values and needs. It will improve communication, restore harmony and ensure you are heading in the right, and the same, direction.
Each month, Maria will be giving you, our readers, expert advice on all things relationships, marriage and communication with your loved ones. Now over to you Maria…
Planning one of the most special days of your life doesn’t have to become one of the most stressful days of your life! Before you get to saying, “I do!” there can be so much “to do”…So how can you prevent the next six to twelve months from becoming as time consuming as a full-time job? And how can you reach your special day, without feeling undue stress or overwhelm?
With that in mind, here are my Top 10 Tips to get you from the proposal to your special day with the minimum amount of stress possible!
♡ Don’t try to take on too much! – This might be your first wedding, however, when you work with a coordinator or wedding planner, this is definitely not their first wedding. Yes, it is exciting to buy bridal magazines for inspiration, but with so many different aspects of the wedding to organize, it can become overwhelming knowing exactly where to start. It is definitely beneficial to take advantage of the fabulous resources that are out there, particularly ones who have already tried and tested professional vendors and can recommend services within your budget. Choose a coordinator that you can trust and let them break the tasks down into manageable, bite-size milestones for you. You can also look to book multiple services from one vendor.
♡ Don’t be afraid to delegate! – This could be to your chief bridesmaid, fiancé or other family members. Yes, it is your big day, however it doesn’t mean that you can’t delegate some of the less exciting tasks to someone that you trust. Don’t assume that people around you won’t want to help you. Your own mental well-being will thank you for outsourcing some of the load. It’s also great to have someone who is close to you that can be an official point of contact on the actual day itself. Someone who is informed and has all the same knowledge that you do, which can allow you to have some peace of mind on your big day without needing to be consulted every step of the way.
♡ Take care of yourself. – This means both mentally and physically. Keep up your normal exercise routine, and if you meditate or practice yoga, this is a great way to create some inner peace and keep stressful feelings to a minimum. Treat yourself kindly by eating healthy, balanced meals. Pamper yourself whenever you feel that your mind is becoming too preoccupied with ‘to do’ lists. Make sure you have someone to talk to if you are feeling overwhelmed; sometimes a chat with a good friend is all we need to lift our spirits back up and gain some perspective.
♡ Don’t set unrealistic weight loss targets. – Many of us can turn to comfort eating when we are feeling stressed, and if you know that this is something that you have done in the past, be realistic with the way you might respond to any wedding related stress that can creep up on you. Yes, the wedding dress is the star of the show, and as much as you might want to let go of some extra pounds before the big day, this might be unrealistic given the nature of planning a wedding. Start out with a dress that fits you comfortably now, and when the date approaches, you can always have the dress taken in if you have in fact lost any weight. Having the added stress of worrying about not fitting into your dress is not worth it!
♡ Focus on your marriage, not just your wedding. – Have you heard about post-wedding blues? These are the feelings we can experience immediately after the wedding…Even as soon as the next day! So why do we get them, and how can we reduce the impact of them? They can occur when we spend months of planning and focus on ONE DAY, where almost every thought and action leading up to the wedding is focused specifically on that day, without much consideration of what lies ahead. Symptoms of post-wedding blues can include boredom, disinterest with your partner and feelings of sadness or loneliness. Inevitably your ‘big day’ is going to take up much of your focus, but perhaps consider dedicating 80% of your time to the wedding day itself, and the other 20% on your married life, post wedding day. You could do this by planning events together for when you return from your honeymoon which could include a concert, an exhibition, a staycation or city break. You can plan projects in the house together too, such as revamping rooms, or planning your new routines as a married couple. Be prepared that the day after the wedding, and even the honeymoon, can feel like an anti-climax, so talk about it with your fiancé and remember that the feelings you’re experiencing do not mean that you’re not meant to be with each other! It is a completely normal feeling that many married couples experience.
♡ Take a weekend off from wedding planning. – Prevent yourself from turning into Bridezilla! Every conversation from the moment you say “YES” does not have to be about planning your wedding. Give your fiancé, your friends and more importantly yourself, a break from talking about all things weddings. Schedule a ‘wedding free’ day or weekend every month where the topic of ‘weddings’ is banned. This can also help you to reduce the symptoms of post-wedding blues. Use this time to focus on other aspects of your life, or your partner’s life. Taking some time off from the constant thoughts of planning can help you to refocus and get perspective on the most important aspects of the wedding, and your future married life.
♡ Don’t focus on everything being perfect. – From an early age we are sold the idea of the ‘fairytale’ wedding, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to have this. Regardless of how extravagant your wedding is, your friends and family are going to have an amazing day and they are there because they love you and want to share your special day, not because you’re releasing white doves or have a live orchestra, and so on! Bridal magazines and celebrity weddings can serve as inspiration, however, they can also falsely lead you to assuming that to have a fairytale wedding, everything has to be perfect. Accept that some things might not go exactly to plan and trust me, your guests will not even notice! Have a back-up plan for the big stuff and know that nothing can take away from the beauty and magnificence of your special day. We can’t control every eventuality so don’t sweat the small stuff!
♡ Don’t leave everything until the last minute. – Time can fool us sometimes. One minute we have six months, and then the next minute we only have six weeks! Consult with a wedding coordinator or planner who will keep you on track and raise the red flag if any major decisions are not being made by the correct time; even if you are one of those people who usually likes to work under pressure and gets things done at the last minute. Believe me, this is not a normal event, and if you aren’t organizing events as your day job, please don’t underestimate the complexities involved in coordinating a wedding with 100+ guests. Organize your time, stay ahead of the process and keep referring back to your planner to ensure you stay on track, which in turn, will help you to avoid last minute panicking and stress.
♡ Stay connected with your fiancé. – Don’t allow ‘wedding discussions’ to define your relationship in the run up to your special day. It’s possible that your fiancé does not have the same attachment to all the wedding planning as you do…However, this doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love you! Spend time being affectionate with each other, perhaps book a weekend away to dedicate some TLC with each other, rekindle and connect. Remember your “why?”…Why are we marrying each other in the first place? The answer…”Because we love each other and want to spend the rest of our lives together.”
♡ Allow yourself to be nervous and to feel engagement anxiety. – Yes, that’s right. Allow yourself to experience any nervous or anxious feelings. In the run up to your wedding, I’m sure you will experience a full range of positive and negative emotions, and this is not only normal, this is healthy. It can be helpful to jot down your feelings in a journal and use it to reflect from time to time. Even with the help of the best wedding planner and your bridesmaids, there is a natural amount of nervous anxiety which all brides will feel…After all, this is your BIG DAY!