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How to Enjoy Planning your Wedding

Updated on June 10, 2012
Enjoy every minute of your wedding, AND every minute of planning it! Photography by Collin Albertus.
Enjoy every minute of your wedding, AND every minute of planning it! Photography by Collin Albertus. | Source
This is what all the planning comes down to - YOUR big day! Photography by Collin Albertus.
This is what all the planning comes down to - YOUR big day! Photography by Collin Albertus. | Source
You don't have to have a big fancy cake. Choose any size, flavour and colour that YOU want. Photography by Collin Albertus
You don't have to have a big fancy cake. Choose any size, flavour and colour that YOU want. Photography by Collin Albertus | Source
Choose decor and seating arrangements that work for you. Photography by Collin Albertus.
Choose decor and seating arrangements that work for you. Photography by Collin Albertus. | Source

What Happens When You Don't Stop to Smell The Roses...

He's finally popped the question and asked you to marry him, congratulations! You can just picture yourself walking down the aisle about to marry the man of your dreams.

You've decided that you want to plan the wedding yourself instead of hiring a Wedding Planner. So, where do you begin?

Who are you going to choose to be your bridesmaids ? Are you going to get married in a church or out in nature (maybe on the beach?) What style of wedding dress are you going to wear ? What flowers are you going to hold? What flavour is your cake going to be? There are so many questions that it can be quite overwhelming of where to start.

Suddenly, getting married and planning your own wedding seems almost impossible - you're stressed, you're moody and you can't think straight. Wasn't planning a wedding supposed to be FUN?

Yes, it is! So, stop right there - breath, relax, calm down. Planning your wedding is supposed to be the foreplay to your big day. Yes, it takes some careful planning if you're organizing the wedding yourself - but, it's not something that you should get all worked up over and stressed about. Why would you want to take away the joy and excitement of planning your big day? For most people this is a once in a lifetime event.

Let me give you an example of how not looking after yourself, being stressed and set to auto pilot mode can turn out. This happened to me a few years ago when I was planning our wedding.

We'd decided over the month of September that we'd get married the following April and started visiting wedding venues immediately. South Africa has the most beautiful wedding venues, especially if you're looking at getting married outside - which is what we wanted. Choosing bridesmaids was easy, my friend offered to bake our wedding cake, we came up with the colour scheme and table decorations and I found my dream wedding dress (to rent) by chance. Everything went smoothly - or so I'd thought.

What I didn't realize was that I was completely stressed out. I became robotic - trying to arrange things during lunch hours, before and after work, as well as on weekends - I went into auto pilot mode.

Back then, I didn't even know what meditation was and I had no time to exercise.

I remember the day clearly. It was a weekday. I'd gotten ready for work, locked the door and security gate to our house, driven to work and worked a full day. I remember coming home and seeing the front door to the house wide open. I could see this from our garden gate. If felt as though my heart had suddenly stopped and was also pumping blood at an enormous rate at the same time.

All I could think about was that our cats were inside and so was some stranger. I had to get them out - that was priority number one. I started having trouble breathing but ignored the tightness in my chest. I crept into the garden quietly, careful not to make a sound. As I got closer I became slightly more panicked. What if the intruder was still in the house? My husband (fiancé at the time) wasn't home yet - anything could happen. I ran outside - the fastest I'd ever run (all the while thinking about my cats) through the complex screaming at the Gardner and handyman to come to the house NOW! Someone had broken into our house! They came back to the house with me and explored each inch of every room and the outside garden. They even checked under the bed. There was nothing! Not any sign that someone had broken in.

Then they asked me if I was sure that I'd locked the door when I went out. Of course I had! What kind of a stupid question was that? I lock the door every day when I leave, why wouldn't I? Finding nothing, they called the landlady who also had a good look around the house. They tried to calm me down as I was adamant that someone had broken in. Yet, nothing was missing - everything was still in it's place and untouched. They left and I sat counting the minutes until my husband got home.

Later that night after running through the events over and over in my head I tried to make sense if it all. If I did forget to lock the front door and the security gate - and then forget about doing that, did that make me crazy? For me, that was the worst - realizing that I'd become so stressed out without even realizing it, that I'd forgotten what I'd done that morning. And then, if that wasn't bad enough - I went totally loony telling everyone that someone had broken in. I wasn't able to look anyone in the face over the days that followed...I was mortified!

What do you think is the most stressful part about planning a wedding?

See results
Decide who's important in your life, and invite them.
Decide who's important in your life, and invite them. | Source
You should enjoy your Bachellorettes - if you don't want to look like a clown (like I did) - then say so at the beginning before they plan the night! You have the say in what you want and what you don't want.
You should enjoy your Bachellorettes - if you don't want to look like a clown (like I did) - then say so at the beginning before they plan the night! You have the say in what you want and what you don't want. | Source

Easy Ways to Enjoy Planning Your Wedding - Without The Stress!

  1. Set the date. As soon as you become engaged, set out a date for the wedding - even if it's years away.
  2. Plan according to the months. In the early months you will need to book your wedding venue, find a Wedding Officiator (if you're not a member of a church) and select your wedding dress. In the last few months before the wedding, you can get down to the details in choosing your flowers, wedding cake and music.
  3. Choose who YOU want at your wedding. If you're planning and paying for your own wedding, you can decide who you want at your wedding - and who you don't. This goes for work colleagues, your parent's friends, distant relatives, "friends" who you haven't spoken to in years, etc. This is your day - don't try to make it about anyone else.
  4. Work out a budget. Go online, do some research and set aside amounts for the venue, honeymoon, dress, cake, flowers, invitations, etc. Remember, to keep some aside for anything additional you might need or for last minute emergencies.
  5. Keep "you" time. Block off times to plan your wedding and keep up with the things you did before getting engaged. You can still go to the gym, read, paint, go out on date nights, see friends, etc. It's important to keep having fun while you're planning (though the planning is also meant to be fun).
  6. Meditate. With all that's going on during this time, it's important to spend a few minutes each day quietly unwinding and reflecting. 10 minutes of meditating is all that's needed. Sit with candles and incense - play something soothing in the background. I wish I had known about this during the weeks before I got married.
  7. Get your partner involved. Of course, the ladies enjoy doing most of the planning - but, after-all this is a day for both of you. Ask for his opinion in what he would like. If he doesn't have too many ideas, or would rather you made all the decisions - don't be upset, be grateful that he puts this amount of trust in you. You can keep things a secret and surprise him on the big day. Just be sure it's something that he will like as well. Similar to what he will be doing by planning the honeymoon and keeping that a secret.
  8. Don't expect perfection. Of course, we all want things to go 100% and as planned - but that's not life. Some things won't be perfect, but remember - these are small things that won't matter in the long run. What's important is marrying the man of your dreams!

Wedding Planning Keepsake File

One thing that I wish I had done when planning our wedding, was to keep a large file of wedding planning ideas and mementos.

Some ideas to include in your Wedding Planning Keepsake File:

  • The date that he asked you to marry him, and how it happened
  • Photos of wedding venues you had to decide between
  • Wedding invitation samples
  • Diary entries of your wedding planning
  • Details and photos of your Bachelorettes party
  • Romantic sayings
  • Wedding planning tips
  • Wedding planning checklist
  • Pictures of wedding dresses you like
  • Pictures of make-up and hairstyles you like
  • Ideas for the food menu
  • Song choices and inspirations


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    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Kelly - thank you! I don't think there are many brides out there who don't get stressed or a little frazzled when planning their wedding. We need all the help we can get, and I too would have loved some extra tips 5 years ago! Thanks for commenting :)

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      Wow this is a great topic for a hub. I've been married now for 15 years but I vividly remember the painful process of planning the wedding. I would have loved to read these tips before planning mine years ago! Voted up! Kelley

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Lindylane - I agree, we do share the same approach! Thanks for your kind words! Have fun with the rest of your planning :)

    • lindylane profile image

      lindylane 5 years ago from Madison, WI

      This is so beautiful! I love your healthy, fresh perspective. Judging by the similar ideas in this hub and the wedding hub I just wrote, we seem to share the same approach. Voted as truly useful, as well as interesting and beautiful. P.S. Your pictures are so lovely! :)

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Alex Jose - thanks so much for your feedback! Enjoy the rest of your day! :)

    • Alex Jose profile image

      Alex Jose 5 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

      Beautiful hub with lovely pics. Voted up as beautiful.

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Lady_E - I couldn't agree with you more, moving house is also heavy on stress, but it should be fun - sort of like an adventure I'd say. I'm going to try and look at it that way the next time we move house. Thank you for your beautiful words and for taking time to read and comment - I appreciate it :)

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 5 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks. This was useful and beautiful to read. A pity we can't bookmark but I have copied the link to a document and saved it. Sorry, that you got so stressed.

      They say buying a house, planning a wedding and moving home are some of the top things that give people stress.

      I hope you had a beautiful wedding and I wish you a happy Married life.

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Sunshine625 - It's always great when someone else helps you plan ideas for your wedding. Even if they don't agree with what you're saying - it will probably make them realize even more what the really DO want! It's also a lot less stressful, and a lot more fun. I'm glad you were able to share that with your daughters. Thanks for reading! :)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Beautiful photos! I had fun planning both of my daughters weddings. Actually I made suggestions and they both did the opposite, but we had fun disagreeing. Ha! Their weddings and receptions were spectacular even though they were on a limited budget. Fabulous hub and ideas.