Organising a wedding is a huge task. Until we went through it ourselves neither of us had really considered the extent of the planning required; there is so much to arrange when you break it down into it's component parts - venues, dresses, flowers, stationery, the (all important) wedding photographers to name just a few... the list can feel endless and can become overwhelming. Pairing that back with the added stress of the current pandemic and we can't imagine the difficulty that some of our clients are facing to make their dream wedding days a reality.
If you're reading this on the day of release, you may know that it is officially World Mental Health Day. This is an annual event that exists to educate people and spread awareness of mental health issues with the hope of breaking down the social stigmas associated with mental health problems. For both of us mental health is a topic that exists close to our hearts, so we couldn't think of a better time to share our thoughts on minimising stress (and it's associated problems) during your wedding planning.
When you start planning your wedding day, you're essentially making yourself a project manager. For many, this is the first time they have organised anything of this scale.
Unless you're super organised, it's incredibly easy to loose track of where you are (and where you need to be) in the process and this can lead to confusion, huge amounts of stress and sleepless nights.
People plan in different ways; some make lists and some keep diaries, but few possess the almost supernatural ability to arrange everything in their head and track it perfectly. We are huge fans of producing spreadsheets for EVERYTHING and find that it's hard to beat a clear and easy to read critical path to follow along with. These are relatively easy to set up, super easy to update and give piece of mind that you are on the right track to getting everything done on time (no sleepless nights here!). We have also done some of the hard work for you and provided a file for you at the bottom of this blog!
Of course, if you still don't feel confident in getting everything in place, you can hire somebody to take the weight and do the planning for you. A professional wedding planner will make the whole process super easy and will act as an agent between you and your chosen suppliers, ensuring that the planning is all in place for your wedding day to run super smoothly. As part of the Leicester Wedding Network we regularly communicate with That Black & White Cat wedding planning and think that they do a great job.
The internet offers access to resources for wedding planning like never before. You can find suppliers, research venues and look for inspiration incredibly easily all with a few clicks of a mouse or taps of a screen.
Instagram and Pinterest are wonderful resources when looking for fresh ideas and wedding trends to make your day really stand out, but being mindful of how much money is being spent is really important when it comes to managing stress.
Having that occasional flourish will certainly add a wow factor to your wedding day, but be mindful that while these "special touches" may not be expensive individually, it's surprising how quickly it can all add up.
Budgeting and tracking your spending sounds like a bit of "dry subject" but managing your finances will in turn reduce stress and worry. The last thing that you want is a huge and somewhat unexpected bill at the end of your wedding... it's not fun.
Yet again, we've come to the rescue (kind of...) and you can find a budgeting tool attached to our critical path template at the bottom of the page.
Outsourcing & prioritising
To some extent we have mentioned this above, but the easiest way of managing the stress of wedding planning is to outsource some of the elements to others. Of course, this comes with associated costs and you'll need to bear your budget in mind, but getting this right will lead to a much smoother planning process and a happier, healthier you.
The reality is that outsourcing everything would lead to a hands-off, strain free process and you'd need to make very few decision (other than the fun ones such as choosing cake flavour).
In practicality this would require a huge budget out of reach of many, so prioritising the key elements that are going to make your wedding day special to YOU is the key to success here.
Really think about which elements definitely need to be outsourced and where you could make or do things yourself. Obviously hiring a professional wedding photographer is a must (*cough),
Think about the smaller details and if they equate to the sum of their parts in making your wedding day incredible. For example, is it really a priority to have those ultra exclusive diamond encrusted Louboutin shoes, or could you settle for the crystal encrusted ones? These are the tough questions that need to be asked... (*note, we have absolutely no idea if such shoes exist, we only know that neither Louboutin shoes or diamonds are cheap...)
It's easy to get carried away, but remember:
"You are not a wedding planning robot. Take a day off, your body and mind will thank you."
What really matters
Time to get sloppy here people...
When you really break it down, what really matters in the whole wedding process is that you are stood next to the person that means the most to you in the world. The rest is really just a nice to have.
If you don't have that huge budget, if you can't really afford those imaginary diamond shoes, if you have to settle for that two tier cake instead of the seventeen tier one that you saw on Instagram that time three years ago, none of those things are really that important.
We look back at our wedding days and the things that really stick in our minds are:
Seeing our wives for the first time walking down the aisle
Saying "I Do" (or in Al's case "Do I!"... it's a long story)
The first kiss
Being with the people that we love
So don't stress the small stuff, take a deep breath, and remember that if you're both there, then you've really made something special happen.
If you enjoyed this article or would like to find out more, you can find links and resources below to related content
This is our basic critical path and budgeting file. Feel free to do with this file as you wish - it's super simple, so make it work for you!
Find out a little bit more about World Mental Health Day:
If you're currently struggling with mental health and live in the Leicestershire or Nottinghamshire areas we strongly recommend contacting Let's talk Wellbeing, the NHS's mental health service for the area:
Headspace is a wonderful resource for getting some downtime using mindfulness techniques and you can find more information below:
Last but certainly not least, we would like to leave you with a quote from Al's late Granddad Tony who always told him:
"It'll always be alright in the end."
We really hope that you've enjoyed this blog and have found it of use.
As always, take care, look after each other and stay healthy.
Al & Phil x