Now we did a lot of things early on to prevent some of the usual wedding planning stress since we knew weddings are supposed to be one of the most stressful events in one's life. Right up there with death. Lovely. We wanted to enjoy our wedding, not be stressed out over it. To do this we figured out exactly what we wanted for our wedding and stuck to our vision. We communicated what we wanted to our family and maintained firm boundaries with them. I can't stress enough how important it is to communicate to others about your wedding vision and to set boundaries. Doing so saved us a great amount of stress in the long run. Even if it was a bit stressful at first communicating that to everyone.
We also made sure to form a united front when it came to our wedding. What I mean is that during the whole wedding process we have been each other's allies and backed each other up on the wedding decisions that we've made to have the wedding of OUR dreams. For example, having a destination wedding. I'll be honest, there was one time I pulled the bride card and told Drew I was doing so to get what I wanted. Of course, I don't remember now what it was for or if we are even still doing what ever it was I wanted. Yeah, I must have really wanted it....
Another thing I have done to try to prevent wedding stress is to stay organized. I made a binder with dividers I keep lots of information and inspiration pictures in, I have a USB drive dedicated to wedding planning that I carry with me every where (ok, not in the shower), I have a special folder in my email that all wedding related emails go into, I've got lists going in Google docs and I have more than one folder on Pinterest to keep ideas organized there for both the wedding and Portland wedding celebration. All in all, I am pretty freaken wedding planning organized.
Early on I knew I wasn't going to trust too many people to help us with the wedding. I figured out who I would trust, what I would trust them with and asked them to help in those areas. It came down to asking my mom, daughter, best friend and Maid of Honor and one of my other best girlfriends to do some things for the wedding. My daughter helps us as needed, which has worked out great. Mostly it's been on different DIY projects. My mom is helping with everything that needs to be sewed and the yard for the Portland wedding celebration. My girlfriend made us our Maui wedding maps and some fun graphics we've used in some of our DIY projects.
Now our Maid of Honor has taken on a ton of responsibilities for the wedding. She's really the only person, besides myself, I would trust with these kinds of responsibilities. Not only has she taken on all of the usual Maid of Honor tasks, but she has also taken on tasks I could not have done without her, like the wedding invitations and helping me put them all together. One of the biggest responsibilities she has taken on though is to be our wedding day contact. She has full authority to make any last-minute decisions and insulate us from any wedding storms that may arrive. If something should happen, we don't want to hear about it. That way she can stress over all of the little details and we can enjoy the day.
Oh, we know we could have hired a wedding planner or day of wedding coordinator to do this task, but I knew I wouldn't trust them and would just end up being stressed out over if the planner was doing everything right or not. There's no way I could give that kind of power to someone I don't fully trust. It'd drive me crazy. And we know I don't need anymore crazy!
We've also made sure to have time for just the two of us that wasn't all about wedding planning. Drew and I have made time to make regular dates with each other from going out to eat to movies at home. This gives us the opportunity to have quality one on one time with each other. If we are having any anxieties about our upcoming wedding, it also gives us time to talk those through.
As you can see, we took plenty of precautions to try and tame the wedding stress beast. So what was it that was making me so stressed? Once I took an assessment of what I had on my wedding planning plate it was pretty clear where the stress was coming from. The amount of projects still to complete, the cost of the wedding and the amount of time to get everything done and come up with enough funds to pay for it all.
We are already doing everything we can to try to have enough funds for the wedding day, so that left taking a look at the wedding projects that were still left to complete. Even though I still wanted to do everything on that list, I knew my sanity and stress level were more important. Besides, we'd already done a ton of wedding projects that no one would miss a few. I also wanted to make sure I didn't burn out our Maid of Honor on the projects that she would be helping us with.
Now came the hard part, what projects to cut? I looked at what projects were really needed, did they serve a real purpose and what projects I still needed supplies for. If they weren't needed for a reason and I hadn't purchased anything for them, they were cut. Then I went through that list again and cut more. Cut some that I may have had some supplies for, but could very easily use the supplies for other things in the future.
What did I end up cutting you ask? Anything that we were going to make that would be at each guests' place setting at the reception, except for the wedding favor. This included menus, making different place cards, thank you letters and more. We cut having table numbers and escort cards. We still plan on doing assigned seating, but have decided to do it another way. We reduced the amount of signs we were going to have and only did them for the items they were truly needed for. We also decided not to do some projects that centered around food and drink. I chucked the wedding day survival kits I was going to make for Drew and our wedding party, too since I was already doing other things for them. I didn't really need to do even more.
Did cutting all of this help me to feel less stressed? You bet it did. Cutting all of this also helped to make me feel less stressed in the financial area, as well. With less items to buy it meant coming up with less funds to pay for it all. In then end it was a win win all the way around!
Have you felt stressed during the wedding planning process? What things have you done to prevent wedding stress before it happens and what helped your reduce the stress once it hit?