How to plan a wedding without going insane

Let’s face it: not every bride-to-be wants to spend every waking moment planning her wedding. A lot of modern women who are focused on their professional lives simply don’t have the time and energy to obsess over a wedding while simultaneously keeping their sanity intact.

The thing is, weddings don’t have to be as time-consuming as you might expect them to be. There are emotional ups and downs, and certain tasks take longer than others, but if you don’t want your wedding to take over your whole life, there’s absolutely no reason it should.

So here are some tips from someone who is in no way a wedding expert, but who reluctantly planned a wedding and lived to tell the tale:

  • Think about who you are: A wedding should reflect your identity as a couple. I mentioned in a previous post that your wedding is like your first public declaration of your “personal brand.” Focusing on your personal brand can help you filter out the stuff that doesn’t reflect who you are and what you want to represent. This may also help keep you focused when every person you’ve ever known is trying to give you his or her expert opinion.
  • Don’t try too hard: There are a million cool wedding ideas out there, but they might not fit with what you want your wedding to say. Despite what TLC might want you to think, it’s not a competition to see who can have the most off-the-wall wedding (unless that’s genuinely your style). To be honest, my husband and I had a pretty ordinary wedding, but it was what we wanted. Your guests will have fun, but if they’re not talking about it in five years, does it really matter? You’ll remember it for the rest of your life, but nobody else has to.
  • Don’t get lost in the internet: The internet provides more wedding resources than any one person could possibly navigate through. Unless you really, really want to wade through the muck of information out there, find specific websites and tools that will actually help and stick to them. Some social media tools, like Pinterest, can help you filter out the clutter and organize your thoughts. You can find tons of great ideas without having to visit dozens of different websites. I also highly suggest cutting the social media cord on the day of the wedding. No texting, no tweeting, no emailing, no Facebooking, unless it’s for strict wedding-logistics purposes. Enjoy every moment, but do it without a smart phone in hand.
  • Look beyond the wedding: The build-up to your wedding day can be overwhelming. Many brides spend months or years planning, and the rush of emotion culminating in that one day is huge. But that high doesn’t last forever, and sooner or later you’ll have to go back to everyday life. Take this as an opportunity: relax, enjoy the freedom that comes with no longer being a bride, and start thinking about what it means to finally be married.

In the end, marriage is about so much more than a wedding. The details of your big day don’t have to define the rest of your life. Eventually, people will even stop asking you about your wedding. (I haven’t reached that blissful day yet, but I’m sure it’s coming.) After all, the wedding is only the beginning - it’s what you do for the next 10, 20 or 50 years that really counts.

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