A lot of messages to couples out there in the wedding industry make planning a wedding sound like an amazing magical time full of rainbows, engagement parties and smiling shopping trips - best days of your life right?! And where that may well be true, there will also most likely be a few hiccups (ahem, tears in my case) along the way. The important thing is not to be surprised when things aren't always so rosy, and make steps to manage your mindset, workload and stress levels.
There are a few common things that trip happy couples up time and time again. From engaging in family politics, to taking on way too much DIY, these pitfalls can really derail you and make wedding planning a lot more stressful than it needs to be. Because I am all about less stress and overwhelm, I've laid out some of the most common wedding planning thought traps here in the hopes that this will help you avoid them. So without further ado, here are 9 ways to make yourself miserable while wedding planning (and how to avoid them).
1. Try to please everyone.
The number one difficulty most couples face when planning their wedding is family politics. You'll be surprised the number of people who have strong opinions as soon as weddings are involved. It's YOUR wedding, and you'll need to make peace with the fact that not everyone will be happy with every decision you make, unless you want a day that's all about everyone else and not about you. You don't have to keep every single person happy, but what's important is the way you handle yourself during those difficult conversations.
There will always be someone who wished they were there for your "real" ceremony, or who will raise an eyebrow at your choice of flowers. It's especially difficult when family members are footing some (or all) of the bill, and this might mean that a few more compromises have to be made. The bottom line is you need to do what's right for you, and if you are always kind and respectful whilst standing firm in your decisions, your relationships will stay in tact and hopefully clashing opinions won't be too stressful.
2. Compare your wedding to everyone else's (and the whole of the internet).
It's so easy to get caught up in comparison when planning your wedding. Pinterest is a fantastic tool for ideas, but it can cause unrealistic expectations which result in disappointment. But comparison is the thief of joy my friends! Everyone gets married in different circumstances and with different resources at their disposal, so comparing your wedding to others is just a recipe for big day blues. Stay in your own lane, and prioritise the things that make you happy.
3. Don't compromise with your partner.
So remember when I said you don't have to please everyone in your wedding planning? That doesn't count for partners. You're in this together, 50/50 split - don't go leaving them out. Even if they seem like they're not at all interested, your wedding should be about your relationship and life as a couple, and this might mean you have to compromise on a few things for a day that reflects BOTH of you.
4. Have unrealistic expectations.
BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE are my least favourite words used in the wedding industry. I'm serious. The amount of pressure this puts on your wedding day is unreal. Of course, I'm not saying that it won't be your best day ever, but go into it expecting that it definitely will be and you will risk feeling deflated. That pressure is overwhelming and can get in the way of you being present on the day. You might find yourself thinking "is this the best day of my life?" all day instead of just enjoying it.
It's like when you go on a night out that you hadn't planned and end up having an amazing time, vs when you go out on New Years Eve. Think about it.
5. Don't ask for help.
Trying to do it all yourself is a one way ticket to stress-town. Hire who you can and delegate the rest. Trust me, I know from experience that while you are running around trying to do everything, you're missing the important moments that you should be soaking in.
6. Spend more than you can afford.
Managing a budget is hard, especially when you don't set out a proper plan before hand. Everything costs more than you expect, and extra things always pop up towards the end so you really don't want to be worrying about bankruptcy the week before your wedding.
On this note, I've made a handy budget planning spreadsheet for you to download if you want to set yourself off on the right foot.
7. Expect your wedding to be everyone else's number one priority.
Ooof this is a tricky one. While all of your guests are no doubt over the moon excited for you, it's really important to remember that they have their own lives and their own priorities. Attending a wedding can be expensive, both financially and in time - especially if you are in the bridal party. If you expect too much of people then you are setting yourself up for hurt and disappointment. Be gracious and appreciative at all times and you can't go wrong.
8. Leave it all until the last minute.
So easily done, but also so easily avoided. Did you see my latest video on organising your wedding planning through trello? If you follow the steps on there then you will not need to worry about this point, you will be the most chill and organised engaged couple ever.
9. Expect nothing to go wrong.
And on top of this, expect to love every second of wedding planning. Confession: this was my personal downfall. If/when things get stressful while you are planning your wedding, it's ok not to enjoy it. I know that sounds obvious, but it can be easy to slip into feelings of guilt if you are not 100% enjoying every day of being engaged. It's a huge project, with basically everyone you know getting involved and sharing their opinion. It's ok if you don't breeze through it like a beautiful graceful swan having the time of your life. I just wanted to make sure you knew that.