A bride’s complete guide to keeping it together while planning for the big day
Although, I utterly and wholeheartedly hate stereotypes - and especially those related to women’s assertiveness - I must admit that the concept of the “Bridezilla” has lately transcended stereotypes and has become the standard. For some incomprehensible reason, the wedding day has to be THE perfect day and the bride has to plan and foresee all details, arrangements. Now, and since you are reading this blog post, I suspect you don’t want to become some nasty control-freak, frowned upon by every single guest, friend and family member on your wedding day.
Allow yourself to unwind and C-H-I-L-L
The bride is not some super-human being, capable of controlling all aspects of her wedding, with a permanent smile on her face. You have to embrace your “humanness” and give permission to yourself to chill. After all, the period prior to your wedding day should be remembered as a rosy one and not as a thorny one!
The more you try to control everything, the less you will be able to enjoy the preparation and the wedding day itself.
There are many ways that can help you avoid the possible burn out during the wedding preparation period and help you unwind:
Make sure you get enough sleep - well we can’t stress enough the importance of getting your daily Zzzz’s. Studies have shown that lack of sleep may cause irritability and stress. Many nights and weeks of poor sleep can result in higher cortisol levels causing disruption in your hormonal system, and also make you appear tired. And no one wants a tired bride on her wedding day - right?
Eat healthy and balanced - binge eating is not going to calm your anxieties. On the other hand, not eating enough may also deprive you of energy and make you lethargic or foggy.
Connect with friends and family - all the preparations may alienate you from your loved ones as you try to rush in everything in your daily schedule. Even if you have to write it down to your calendar, try to find the time to communicate with them on a daily basis. A short text to your girlfriends may be all the psychological support you need, if your mother-in-law is driving you crazy with her “ideas” about the reception seating!
Set aside some “me-time” - remember that before saying yes, you had hobbies and things you loved. There is no need to forget those as you are planning for the big day. Self-care and spending time doing the things you love are super important as you are preparing for your wedding.
Delegate, delegate and then delegate some more
Your loved ones want to see you happy, and yet I see so many brides that avoid getting any help at all. Sure you and your partner know best about your perfect day, but I can reassure you that your friends and family will be thrilled to hear about your plans and be part of the preparations. Indeed, delegating will flex your trust muscle; especially, if your friends have a record of being forgetful! Good news - you don’t have to involve them all! First, think about what can you delegate? Start with small and “painless” tasks, even if you are not the most trusting person in the universe. Second, write down your friends and family that are willing to help. Make sure you confirm their availability and their willingness to help you with a specific task. Also, you may have friends that already own a related business or have a specific skill-set that can help you with your preparation (lucky-me, my girlfriend is a wedding planner!). Keep track of the tasks you have delegated and to whom you have delegated them, with their deadlines. You can go old-fashioned here and write it in your Filofax or if you are a bit more tech-savvy, there are many apps that can help you organise your team, like Trello or Todoist. A simple Google sheet shared with your taskforce can do the trick as well! If you tried delegating and you feel that it stresses you more than it helps, you can always contact a wedding planner, like Nymfee, to take over at any moment!
Set boundaries and say No!
Now you remember that mother-in-law that had her own suggestions about the reception seating? Well if her suggestions are way out of line with what you and your fiance are thinking, well you can politely decline. Many brides feel that their wedding should satisfy both families and are not comfortable saying no, especially to close family members.
Be gentle, be honest, talk about it and just say it - “No”.
It is supposed to be the happiest period of your life, but guess what? After all the initial excitement, you feel overwhelmed and swamped with a million things in your “to-do” list. So you start cutting time devoted to yourself, in order to handle all these details. You can assume that this road won’t take you to a nice place, in fact, it may reap you off your sanity. Self-care is just as important, as choosing your wedding dress. Or even more important, cause nobody wants to look at a nightmare in a wedding dress! Self-care may take many forms, the important thing is to make sure you are taking care of yourself. This might mean meditation and journaling, walking, taking long baths, breathwork or just brunching with your girlfriends. Oh, and always remember to moisturize and keep hydrated!
Unplanned and not perfect
Yes, we all imagine that immaculate wedding day, when everything goes as planned. Then reality hits! Unexpected guests, hiccups and unfortunate events may arrive even at the last minute. You have to embrace the unexpected from the first minute you start your wedding planning journey. When the unavoidable happens, give yourself a minute and take a step back. Assess the situation honestly and fairly. Think if you can do something to fix the situation or if you can’t, ask for help. Most people love when they can help save the day — and of course, help makes any topsy turvy situation a bit more stable. In the end, if there is nothing to be done, let it go… After all, the only thing that the wedding needs to be perfect is for you to be present at the moment and enjoy it - and of course the groom!
Don’t forget the groom!
Well, don’t forget the reason for the wedding! Just because you are tying the knot, does not mean that you should forget to nurture your relationship. Whether it’s a candlelit dinner, a night at the movies, or something a little more creative, you can step away from your wedding planning duties, for a night in order to make time for one another and reconnect.
Joanna is a mentor on 100mentors and Women on Top, a lecturer in Aegean College, Greece, on topics related to human resources management, a Doctoral candidate in the University of Piraeus in the field of Business Administration and Management, focused on Human Resources and Organisational Behavior - Psychology, a level 2 reiki practitioner and a professional in Human Resources/ Learning & Development.