How to avoid wedding day stress

Everyone knows weddings are all about love — but unfortunately, they’re also closely linked to stress. With so many details to manage, preparations to make, and the swirl of emotions that come with a day so big and exciting, you’re bound to bump into a few moments tinged with stress — it’s practically unavoidable. The good news is there are a few intentional steps you can take to help minimize the stress you feel on the big day.

Keep your focus. It’s easy to get lost in lists and details, but the most important thing to remember is why you’re doing this. Your wedding is a celebration of your love! Your goal should be to work hard before the wedding so you can simply relax, enjoy and focus on your new spouse. Your wedding day flies by in a blur, don’t be so distracted or worried you’ll miss the magic.

Do your research — but not too much. With wedding planning (as with life), too much research can leave you with “analysis paralysis.” Pick a theme, choose your colors and pin a few ideas to a Pinterest board. Don’t try to go in too many directions or kill yourself stalking the best deal. Make confident decisions and keep moving.

Pick your priorities and stick to them. Most people have a set budget for their wedding day, and everyone has a limited amount of energy and hours in any given day! Realize that you can’t do (or buy) it all, and pick the things that are most important. Are photography and videography your dealbreakers? Put the bulk of your budget there and cut corners elsewhere. Does the idea of sneaking in a few silk flowers repulse you? Then shift more dollars to real flowers. Everyone is different, so make your wedding a true reflection of you.

Write things down. This may seem oversimplified, but having a notepad, folder or iPhone app at the ready can help you manage details and unclutter your brain. Plus, you’ll feel better having everything wrangled into one place.

Don’t put things off. If you’ve planned a long engagement, it may be tempting to feel like you have all the time in the world. But no matter how well you plan, there are always a bunch of tasks that can’t be completed until the very last minute — that’s just the nature of weddings. Be sure to do the things you can ahead of time to lessen the burden of the final week.

Make time to relax. Anyone who has ever planned a wedding knows the details never sleep — but you have to make sure you do! It’s not selfish to carve out a little time for a massage, pedicure, yoga class or swing in the hammock with a good book. You’ll be more effective when you’re rested. Don’t forget to simply breathe.

Ask for help. Wedding planning is a ton of work as it is, but it’s even worse if you have trouble delegating because you need things ‘just so.’ Find jobs you can trust to willing friends and family members while you’re preparing for the big day — and hire a wedding coordinator or Master of Ceremonies you can trust to carry out your wishes.

Decide to zen-out. Your mindset about your big day can have a big effect on how you feel. You need to set the intention that no matter what happens — the flower girl tears her dress before the ceremony, you forgot to break-in your heels, your bustle just isn’t working like it did in the practice run — you’re going to take a deep breath, do your best to roll with it, and realize one small thing doesn’t undo the perfection all around you. Your wedding day will still be perfect even if it rains. Do your best to prepare, then relax and enjoy the day.