Thursday, May 28, 2009

Five Ways to Stay Focused and Excited for Your Wedding

Although planning your wedding is one of the most exciting times of your life, it has no doubt brought with it a little stress, a few more sleepless nights and one-or three-stress-induced headaches. Some days are glowing. You find a knock-out vendor within your budget, your dress fits like a glove and your bridesmaids are all getting along perfectly. Other days it is hard to get going.

I remember there were times throughout my 17-month engagement that my mother asked me if I was still getting married.

“You haven’t mentioned in weeks,” she said nervously.

It was because I had bridal burnout. But it doesn’t have to happen to you.

Here are five ways to stay focused, motivated and excited for your Wedding Day.

1. Don’t overdo it -at first, I mean. Most brides are thrilled to get engaged and want to jump feet first into wedding planning mayhem … but try to avoid this pitfall. Think of your wedding as a marathon (assuming you have more than six months to plan it … otherwise, that baby is a sprint and you don’t have time to lose focus).

Just like any successful marathon runner will tell you, you need to train hard (by being organized and informed) and set your pace. The same goes with planning your wedding.

2. Organization rules. (It really does! But what I mean here is to follow the rules of organization.) It makes sense that if you are organized with your wedding binder, you know your budget and-most importantly-you’ve given yourself enough time to plan your wedding, that things will fall into place. Although I definitely went through wedding planning dry-spells, I was lucky because I’d allowed almost a year and half to plan the event. I had that time to spare. If you plan your wedding far enough in advance, you don’t have to rush to the finish line … you can make a few pit stops along the way.

3. Get inspired. Download a theme-appropriate screen saver from American Greetings or create your own using a picture of your bridal gown, your engagement photos or a group shot of you and your bridesmaids. Seeing your wedding vision on a daily basis will help you keep track of your goals.

4. Divide and conquer. If you find yourself getting low on time, divide your to-do list into more manageable chunks. I created a one-page calendar for each of the three months leading up to my wedding. On the back of each month, I wrote a list of what I had to accomplish each of the four or five weeks in that month. It was comforting to look at one week at a time and it was rewarding to mark things off of the list.

5. Keep quiet. If you are really feeling the pressure, designate one day, a weekend or a full week (depending on how long you have before your wedding) as “NO WEDDING TALK” time.

Don’t check your wedding-related emails (unless an important vendor is at stake), don’t look through magazines or websites and don’t discuss the wedding at all. It is much like taking a break from work. If your wedding planning is starting to lose its zest, then step back and take a breather. You’ll return refreshed and ready to tackle the next thing on your list.

Has wedding planning stress affected you yet? What did you do to combat it?

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