While many people who know me may describe me as “laid back,” throughout this planning process I’ve realized that they couldn’t be more wrong. In some areas I think I’ve maintained a light and reasonable grasp on things, but private freak-outs, anxiety, and momentary stupidity have unfortunately become the norm.
After being prescribed adrenal pills because my mental stress is using up all of my adrenaline (not leaving enough for my physical needs), I had to figure out some ways to chill the #!@% out. I found a great article online (that I’m kicking myself for not saving to share), which led me take some time to really analyze what’s working for me and what isn’t. Although I might not FEEL normal right now, after talking about it with others, sadly this isn’t totally abnormal. The doctor in fact said that they oftentimes call the adrenal issue “Wedding or Vacation Syndrome,” after he jokingly asked me “You’re not planning a wedding or something, are you?” and was answered with a blank stare.
Below are some adjustments that I’m really working on:
Time Management—It seems easy to find yourself completely consumed with everything wedding-oriented. I’m finding it much more healthy to designate days of the week where I will focus on bearing down on wedding details/plans, and then afterwards go a day or two where I try to not even DISCUSS the wedding, let alone plan or research (which can be a challenge). I don’t typically stray at work anymore, unless it’s during my lunch hour.
Chillax on the Lists—I’m a list-maker. In college I would make a daily “to do” list, sometimes even factoring in times, which I realize is strange. I feel like I have a better hold on things if I have a list. While they’re very necessary for me to function, I’ve had to kick back. I have one large “master list” for wedding things, but I don’t look at it daily—once a week is it , and I cross off whatever I’ve accomplished! If I need smaller sub-lists (which I do), I really try to not obsess over them (doing so makes me feel overwhelmed).
Keeping Time in Perspective— I have deleted myself from those notices from TheKnot.com saying that you have ____ days until your wedding. When a new month rolls over, I tend to also feel more rushed. I know May is coming up, I’m more ahead of my planning than I feel like I am, and too many reminders of this variety make me break out in hot flashes. They’re done.
Take It a Little At a Time—Dave Ramsey’s debt philosophies say, “Pay off the smallest debt first to create the greatest momentum in your debt snowball.” I’m applying that to tasks AND budget. Taking care of some smaller tasks throughout the week instead of just focusing on the huge ones is helping me to feel like I have more accomplished, and less to worry about at the last minute. To take the Gospel of Dave Ramsey that much further, I’m also using his envelope system. I’m marking envelopes for the photographer, flowers, decorations, favors, hair/makeup, etc., and putting the appropriate amount of cash in each. I’m a visual person, and this is giving me assurance that I’ve got what I need, and it’s ready when I need it. Just like with the “debt snowball,” I’m starting off with the lesser amounts.
Live Your Everyday Life—I don’t want to look back after all of this and feel like the last 8 months of my life have been dedicated to JUST to the wedding. Eric & I have been trying to do more non-wedding things, like having people over for the Super Bowl, to dinner, outside functions, etc.. It gives me something else to focus on during my “down time” from the wedding madness.
Unwind—Some people may find exercise, meditation, talking about it with someone who understands, writing, and tons of other things as good ways to unwind. Figure out what relaxes/calms you, and really try to dedicate some time to it.
Accept That Nothing is Perfect— Including your wedding! And no, figuring out WHAT will go wrong doesn’t necessarily need to become the pinnacle of your life.
I’ve found another helpful article that I’d suggest anyone reading who is going through some similar issues. It more analyzes some typical wedding stressors, and some solutions to think through:
Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here.