Having a stress free wedding is one part logistics and two parts emotional. All the wedding planning in the world can't always conquer your nerves if you don't allow for that. By all means, plan to your heart's content, especially if that is therapeutic for you. It makes perfect sense that the more organized you are throughout, the more relaxed you will feel when the wedding planning is over. But without a healthy dose of going with the flow, and an understanding that things don't always go as planned, (and that's OK), you won't enjoy your day and all the perfect and imperfect things that are going to go along with it!
At the top of the list, is being able to change your mindset and accepting of whatever is to come. It's normal to feel somewhat anxious, but what a shame it would be if it prevented you from enjoying the wedding planning process. There are a few preventative measures you can take to keep those worrying thoughts at bay. First of all, you must believe in your heart that worrying is not going to help anything. At face value, it's easy to believe that worrying serves no purpose, but on a deeper level we somehow think that it does. You must be prepared to give up your belief that worrying serves a purpose. Thoughts that might run through your head are that you don't want to overlook anything, or be surprised. Of course you want to act responsibly and perhaps you believe that's what you're supposed to do, being that you are the bride. Without getting too deep into psychology 101, it is helpful to distinguish between solvable an unsolvable worries. Take a closer look to see if it's something that you can do something that you can prepare for, or something that is out of your control. And how likely is it that a problem will occur and is it a realistic concern? If it is solvable, start brainstorming.
From a practical standpoint there are a few things you can do to ease the potential worries. The earlier in advance that you start your wedding planning the better chance you have a feeling that things are complete and ready. The old-fashioned list is the best way to stay on track. If everything on your list has been crossed off, it's time to now put your faith into the plan and the people you hired to make that plan come to life. You spent dozens, maybe hundreds of hours getting ready for this day and make careful selections, now there's nothing more to do except enjoy.
Other practical things you can do include one last call to each of your vendors to check in with them. Find out if they have everything they need and if not do your best to resolve it. I recommend doing this about two-4 weeks before the wedding so that you won't be under pressure at the last moment. Expect that in the last week you'll be busy with family and friends and won't want to be bothered. Expect also that you may end up with no choice and that too will be OK.
Hiring someone to help you such as a month of coordinator gives a lot of brides and grooms an off a lot of relief. As the date begins to approach they have someone to turn to for support. The person makes the confirmation calls, organizes the timeline for the day and becomes a liaison between the venue and the vendors so all needs on both ends are met. Even if nothing were to go wrong, it's often helpful for brides and grooms to know that they have someone there, just in case. And the knowledge that that someone is there for just such emergencies puts people at ease.
I highly recommend that you take the whole week off from work before your wedding day, if possible. There are still a handful of tasks that can’t be done before that week and friends and not only that, friends and family will likely be in town wanting to spend time with you. There are simply not enough hours in the day and having to divide your energy among all those parts will definitely take its toll on your stress levels.
You can choose to enjoy your day, despite the small things that might go wrong, or you can choose to be OK with whatever happens. That choice is totally up to you. It's perfectly understandable that you want everything to go smoothly and ideally everything goes perfectly, but it's important to know that that isn't always the case and it doesn't necessarily need to be. You're marrying the person of your dreams, with all your friends and family that love you by your side. If you can keep in mind that that is the most important thing and let go of the small details, then chances are you'll have the most perfect wedding ever.
Wedding planning for a big party may likely cause more stress in the planning stage, as there is more for you to account for and budget for. Likewise you may feel more stress having so many guests in attendance, rather than a smaller and more intimate sized group. If you aren’t focused on a having a big wedding, just invite your closest family and friends to celebrate with you. For others, a large crowd may actually put them at ease, so it's helpful to know which way you lean to reduce your stress level as much as possible.
Communicate necessary details with your guests. Be sure that they know everything they need to know. When guests already have all of the necessary information, you won’t have to worry about getting phone calls and emails when you have a million other things on your mind.
Even though you’re hosting the shindig, you don’t have to feel like you should be running around doing anything once the moment arrives. You have a team in place for that. Make sure you relax and have fun with all of your guests as much as possible.
Ask for help, if necessary. A wedding isn’t built in a day. Tons of details go into the wedding planning and you may realistically not have the time to dedicate. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to take people up on their offer to help if they offer. If you have friends or family who do, lean on them for assistance or consider hiring a wedding planner or consultant to assist in the planning and execution of the big day. Those that love you, support you and want to see you at peace.
If you want to alleviate the jitters it helps to know yourself and what triggers your stress. If you know you do best alone then plan to get ready solo, just with the help of your hair and makeup artist. If your best friend always puts a smile on your face keep her nearby and let her know what you need from her. For others having family and friends distracts them from feeling stress and if that's the case with you, plan to have your posse by your side. If only your man can do the trick there's nothing wrong with seeing him before the ceremony or the first look if that's what you need. Don't worry about the rules, just take care of your needs. After all, it's your day, right?
Stop the pattern of being indecisive about every single wedding planning decision if that’s the path you are on. Keep the big picture in mind. I know it can be easier said than done but think about it...will the world come crashing down if you choose a less than perfect cake, florist, or necklace? So many brides get stressed out about these decisions but in the scheme of things, they are really insignificant if you are marrying the man of your dreams. Your friends and family love you and are just happy to be there with you celebrating. You are your harshest critic and it helps to remember that when faced with wedding decisions to make.
Plan on having comfortable shoes on the big day. Don’t kid yourself, you won’t have any interest in wearing those five-inch heels that you may have originally planned on for the entire night and day. Consider wedges, a small heel, of flats to change into at some point so your stress levels go down while your comfort levels go up. On that note, consider a loose fabric dress, such as one made of chiffon. You will be much more comfortable, won't have to carry around the extra weight of a big beaded ball gown. The more comfortable you are, the less stress you will feel. Likewise, you’ll want to make sure that you eat enough to keep from feeling lightheaded and stay hydrated and headache free by drinking lots of water throughout the day.