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Conquer The Stress Of Wedding Planning

by Kathryn Lemmon, Wedding Zone Staff Writer

Your wedding day and the months prior, are a time you want to remember fondly, not recall as a stressful, chaotic period. Impossible you may say, but it can be done by remembering a few simple things: be organized, plan ahead, delegate and communicate.

The best place to start your wedding planning is by talking to friends and family about their wedding experiences. This way you'll pick up great ideas - and also learn from their mistakes. Then get reading, surround yourself with wedding magazines, and wedding websites.

It's important for you and your fiance to sit down together, early in the process to figure out exactly what you want. Prioritize and communicate. Decide what is and what isn't negotiable and go from there. A couple needs to choose their battles and be willing to give in on certain things so they can stand firm on other issues.

Couples should also resolve to stay united and make decisions together. Even an innocuous decision, such as telling your future in-laws you're having a harpist at the ceremony, should be checked out with your intended. Emotions tend to run high at this time, so a couple should vow to be accountable only to each other and thus minimize possible tension.

Setting a budget together, and sticking to it, will reduce your stress level. Once you've established how much money you have to spend start looking at venues, photographers, DJs, wedding gowns etc.

If figures aren't your forte, ask for help from friends or family, but beware, everyone has an opinion. Some people can get down right pushy or have different expectations from your own. Conflict, and stress will arise if too many people try to run the show or take the leadership role. Suggestions are fine, but you and your fiance should stay in charge. Compromise if necessary. If parents are helping financially but you still want to have the final say, you need to make this clear early on. Just be sure everyone knows where they stand.

It also pays to call around early and get quotes before making bookings so you can juggle your budget if necessary. The last thing you need is to be stressing about how you're going to pay for everything. Remember to keep a record of spending as you go, being careful not to overstep your budget.

Don't forget to delegate tasks whenever possible. Don't try to do it all yourself or you'll end up truly stressed. Although brides often play a larger role in wedding planning, grooms are capable of taking on their fair share.

If possible look for a venue that does most of the work for you - catering, flowers, music, cake, and ceremony venue all rolled into one. That takes a huge chunk out of your organizing schedule.

Another option, if you can afford it, is to employ professionals to organize the entire wedding leaving only minimal tasks for you, which leaves plenty of time to add those personal touches. Paying someone else to do the stressing is a great idea!

Be true to your wedding checklist, to keep stress at bay. Once you've set your wedding date, make a checklist of what you need to do and work through it. Remember you run the list, the list doesn't run you! Use a three-ring binder, accordion file or some other means of keeping all your wedding information together. This requires some organization but it pays off in the long run. If you've never used a daily calendar before, this is a great time to start.

Finally, there's a good reason people often start planning their nuptials a year in advance. Having more time to work out the details, means less stress. Consider your wedding date carefully.

If stress does become an issue, here's some suggestions:

1) allow thirty minutes for a long walk, every other day

2) reduce your caffeine intake and switch to water

3) take a "time-out" day for something fun

4) dim the lights and enjoy a long, hot bath--together

5) make an appointment for a massage


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