Planning a wedding is undeniably stressful. Your wedding day should be one of the happiest days of your life, which means there is an incredible amount of pressure for everything to be perfect. Weddings are also expensive. The average cost of a wedding in 2019 was $33,900. For that price, your wedding should be everything you have ever dreamed of and more. Unfortunately, some couples find planning a wedding so stressful that they consider not getting married at all. That does not have to be you. You can plan your dream wedding without sacrificing your mental health, and here’s how.
Set SMART Goals
You may be familiar with SMART goals from your professional life. SMART goals are popular in project management and professional development scenarios, but they are surprisingly applicable to planning a wedding as well. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-related, and the acronym functions as a checklist for setting the best goals possible.
- Specific goals are goals with clear boundaries. Planning your wedding is not a specific goal. It’s too broad. Breaking wedding planning into many smaller goals like determining a color scheme, picking a cake flavor and finding a suitable venue results in several specific goals rather than one overwhelming goal.
- Measurable goals are goals that you can see clear progress on as you work. Once again, planning your wedding is not a measurable goal. There is always something else you could do or one more detail you could iron out. Mailing wedding invitations, on the other hand, is a measurable goal. You know how many need to be sent out, and you can break that down, so you mail a specific number of them in whatever time frame you decide on.
- Attainable goals are goals that you can accomplish with enough work. Challenging goals are attainable, but impossible goals are not. Ther is no reason to set yourself up for failure by deciding you are going to create a dinner menu that every single one of your 300 guests will love.
- Realistic goals, like attainable goals, are goals you can make happen. Unlike unattainable goals, which are too ambitious, unrealistic goals are goals that will not happen no matter what you do. Having Beyonce sing live and in-person for your first dance is not a realistic goal. Putting together a playlist that has people dancing and enjoying themselves rather than huddling in corners is a realistic goal.
- Finally, SMART goals are time-related. That means you have a schedule, and you stick to it. Picking a dress by a pre-determined date is a time-related goal. Making sure your bridesmaids all have their dresses by a specific date is also a time-related goal.
Setting SMART goals can make planning your dream wedding almost painless.
Hire a Wedding Planner
If you have the financial resources, hiring a wedding planner can help you plan your dream wedding without the stress. A wedding planner’s entire job is to plan weddings. They have the experience necessary to pull your dream wedding together. Even if you cannot or do not want to hire a wedding planner, there are resources available online to help you stay organized and on track. Look for guides and checklists. Most are available either for free or for an affordable price.
Take Time for Yourself
It can be tempting to keep working without a break until you have finished planning everything. Being done with planning your wedding will be a huge relief, and the sooner that happens, the better, right? Wrong. Taking time for yourself is essential. There is no reason to be miserable and burned out in the lead-up to your wedding. Practice self-care, whatever that might look like for you. It doesn’t have to involve bubble baths and meditation, although if that’s what you find relaxing, you should do it. Go to your favorite restaurant. Binge watch a sitcom on your favorite streaming service. Take a weekend trip. Go for a hike. Your mental health is valuable, and taking care of yourself is crucial.
Do Not Lose Track of What Matters
Finally, do not lose track of what matters. Take time away from wedding planning not just for yourself, but to spend time with your partner. Your wedding is a celebration of your relationship and your future with your partner. In the end, it is not about having the prettiest table decorations or the best venue. It is not even about what anyone else thinks. Use wedding planning as an opportunity to remember why you are marrying your partner in the first place. Fall in love all over again.