Hi y’all! I hope everyone is geared up for an amazing Christmas weekend! We’re getting close here in the Coleman household. (It’s Tuesday…I still have a very tiny second 🙂 There’s a mountain of presents still left to be wrapped, and a much needed grocery store trip to bake some Christmas sweets that I only really mess with this time of year. The tree is up (and gorgeous), we actually got Christmas card photos taken AND mailed out, matching Christmas PJ’s have been purchased and some great photos are on the books for the day of! This will be the first Christmas without my wonderful Daddy being here with us, so we’re trying to focus a lot on the family love this year! Losing Daddy was a terrible part of life, but in some ways it drastically brought our two families closer together: and for that, I will always be grateful. My hope for everyone this holiday season is to have hearts full of love, family, good memories, kindness and faith in humanity. Hug the people you love and TELL them you love them, and do something kind for someone else! We could all make things sweeter than a pay-it-forward Starbucks drive through line!
Since the holidays are basically upon us, and it’s not typically a time of year known for little stress, I thought this week would be the perfect time to touch on the topic of planning stress. If you’re smack in the middle of your wedding planning, and it’s the holiday season: well, that’s definitely a double whammy! BUT, it’s possible to survive the two things together and make it out relatively unscathed 🙂 It’s also possible to plan this entire event with minimal stress; key word: minimal, not zilch. There’s going to be some tough days and stressful moments. A wedding is a huge event: there are moving parts and pieces everywhere, and so many tiny little details that make all the difference it seems. There’s also things like money, time, opinions, other people’s schedules, other people’s personalities…you get the picture. Lots of things in your control. Also, lots of things out of it. For some of it, you’ll just have to remember to breathe, stay strong in you and your partner’s goals, take the actions necessary and have a little faith. Let’s talk about some of those things that are IN your control, though, and can make the ride a little smoother!
Up first, we talk time. Don’t be in a rush! Seriously. The more time you give yourself to plan, the less stressed you will be in pretty much everything, money included. A year to a year and a couple months is a pretty perfect window. Sometimes, for whatever reason, a long planning season just isn’t in your cards. And that’s totally ok: it’s also ok to do yourself a favor and scale back on the intensity of the event if you have to make it happen in a time crunch. At the end of the day though, if you want to save stress you will have to compromise somewhere. If you want an event with all the bells and whistles, time is for sure your friend. Another good friend is some good help! There’s no rule that says only one partner plans the whole thing (usually the bride). They should be included, it’s their day too! Bear in mind that everyone is different: for us, I was (clearly) the main planner, but as the event got closer, Ellie became more and more involved on her own, without me having to drag it out of her! Some people see from a distance, some see a little closer up. We’re all different, and thank God for it! A lot of our planning consisted of me picking 3 options I loved, and then her making the final pick. For me, I knew she was included and her opinions and wants were being heard and that’s what I was looking to accomplish. Figure out a system that works for you as a team, in whatever roles you choose, and rock it out!
One of the biggest stress relievers for me was definitely my bestie! She was in the wedding, and she was my lifeline of sanity throughout the whole thing. I don’t know what I would have done without her! When you’re the main planner, pretty much every day is consumed with some type of wedding plans, and when you’re not actively planning, you’re THINKING about your plans. I needed someone who could let me vent, talk through my thoughts and keep my meltdowns in a safe space. Whomever that person is for you, find them, keep them close, and find a special way to thank them for putting up with your insanity when it’s all over. It’s also a good idea to let this person be someone NOT your partner. It can be tough when wedding planning seems to take over your whole relationship (that’s certainly not the only thing happening in y’alls lives, although it feels like it!) Sometimes, the best stress reliever for all parties is to be able to vent/talk/think safely somewhere else, because even if your partner isn’t the main planner, they have their own stresses about the upcoming event! Point is, when it comes to making decisions, include your partner. When it comes to venting and losing it for a second: probably pick a safe bestie that’s down to let you lose it and then help you find it again.
Set yourself up with a solid planning schedule from the beginning. The wild and wonderful world of the internet has awesome charts and tables to help you figure out pretty much anything. Pinterest was my go-to for pretty much everything. Any questions I had about how things were supposed to go, inspiration for design and color, and pretty much any other detail: it was perfect for me to be able to save all the things I liked and needed in one place. My board was basically the hub of all my plans and inspirations for the entire event. I also used Wedding Wire to find all of the vendors that I didn’t already have from knowing someone working in that industry. Wedding Wire and the Knot are both owned by the same company now, though the setup is slightly different. I just preferred working with Wedding Wire so that’s the one I used! Essentially, it’s a catalog of all the different wedding vendors and you can set the search specific to your area. Because of their reputation and reach, most of the top rated vendors in your area will list their business on here. A lot of stress was minimized by finding and utilizing the right resources to help me. There is SO much on the internet: don’t get lost in a black hole. Find reputable sources that give you exactly what you need and you’ll spend less time frantically searching or being overwhelmed by the plethora of never-ending choices.
Of course, I gotta throw this in there: hire a good wedding coordinator/planner! Some people are totally down for the idea of the planning their whole wedding themselves and just having help the day-of. Some people have no CLUE what goes in to planning a wedding but are willing to give it a solid go and figure it out, and some have no clue and no desire. All three are perfectly fine! Just know which one you are, and hire the right help accordingly. Wedding coordinators offer services from day-of, to partial planning help, to full-on planning and executing the entire event for you. A lot of couples will attempt to have the event without any assistance, to help the budget. Oooooffff. Lots of stress! At the bare minimum, you need a day-of coordinator. Attempting to actually enjoy and be present for the event, while simultaneously trying to make it all happen, is honestly pretty much impossible. A lot of venues will actually require in their contract that you at least have a day-of coordinator. Bite the bullet on this one, and consider what the actual benefit of the service is to you. If you have no clue on what to do, but you’re willing to figure it out, go with the partial. If you have SOME clue on what to do, and know you can figure it out by putting in the effort, go with the day-of. If you have no clue, no time, and a good budget, go with the full-on service. After going through all the ups and downs of making all these moving parts come together, you want to be able to be present and enjoy it, while someone else handles the stresses of any issues that pop up!
Lastly, let’s talk about some self care y’all. Ya gotta know when to say when and take a break. This kinda ties right in to my first point in this post: take your time. When you give yourself some room in the timeline of planning, you give yourself some room to take a break and regroup. There will be times in the planning where it’s pretty chill, and there isn’t much to be done. Take advantage of them. Cause there’s also going to times where there are literally like a thousand things happening at one time, and stress will be running super high. When those times happen, it’s ok to take a break. The world will not fall apart and the whole event will not be ruined because you take a mental health day, or a day to just spend some time with your partner NOT talking about fonts and papers and colors and menu choices. Put it all down for a little while, get some fresh air, drink some coffee, do something fun, just do something NOT wedding. It’ll still be there when you get back. Think of these times when you’re laying out your planning schedule, and group big things that need to be done into spaced out intervals, giving yourself the ability to take those breaks when you need them. This is a big deal! Not only are there a thousand things to do, there’s a thousand emotions going on too. It’s your wedding. You’re getting married. Sometimes you gotta feel the feels! It’s pretty normal for your stress levels to already be just a little bit higher based on the stakes of a big life change. So be kind to yourself. And to your partner. And to the people helping you. It’s all going to work out and come together.
Merry Christmas, and happy planning y’all!