Last week, I briefly mentioned that wedding planning was already stressing me out. First off, I am 100% aware that it is all self-inflicted. No one and nothing is a bigger trigger for my stress than myself. I totally take the accountability when it comes to totally making myself an anxiety-ridden mess when it comes to this wedding. Secondly, I am not trying to complain about being engaged. I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes and wanting me to shut up about it. “We get it, Katie. You’re engaged. Stop complaining!”
I would never ever complain about the fact that another human being decided they want to hang around me for the rest of their life. No one is more surprised by this fact than me. It’s an honor and the biggest compliment I have ever received. When you first get engaged, you have a little window of time where you can just be engaged. You don’t have to browse bridal magazines or bookmark every single wedding blog. You don’t have to search high and low for venues. You don’t have to pick colors or flowers or dates or guests. You can just be happy and blissful and in full-on celebration mode. It was a lovely little snippet of time that I wish I could relive for just a second. I didn’t know how much I would miss it.
I have learned quite a few things in the small period of time that I have been engaged. The first thing I learned very quickly is that weddings are expensive. No matter which was you slice it, if you want family, friends and good food, you’re going to have to dish out some dough. It’s just the way it is. There are definitely ways to budget and save and be a savvy bride, but it’s a lot harder. I see a lot of DIY projects in my future! I also learned that it’s very hard for me to be the boss of all this. I’m not a timid, indecisive person, but I am a people pleaser. It’s hard for me to just make decisions for myself and not care about how it’s going to affect others. This has been another challenge that I know I’m going to keep struggling with throughout the wedding planning process, but I think with a lot of reassurance from my groom, that I’m going to be okay with this.
Life is stressful enough as it is, adding a giant life event into the mix can make things seem even worst for you. I want this to be a joyous and happy year. If I let the stress take over, nothing will turn out the way I wanted it to. Before I get even deeper into the planning process, I have made a few guidelines for myself when it comes to not only this wedding, but also managing my stress in general.
1. Get organized. Messy is stress. Clutter is stress. Being totally and completely unorganized is just a recipe for stress up the wazoo. You’ll be totally overwhelmed and unprepared to manage tasks and create a solid plan if you’re a total hot mess. If you’re a bride to be like me, I suggest detailed bookmarks in your browser. I recommend a planner or a binder with all your to-do lists. I would be lost in all of this wedding stuff if I didn’t have deadlines and due dates that I am determined to stick to. Getting organized will relieve a huge weight off your shoulders and make your whole process go smoothly.
2. Consult and consider. When making a plan or working on a project, it’s important to consult those around you for advice. Where would I be if I didn’t run almost all the wedding decisions by my groom or mom or best friend? I wouldn’t be able to be happy if I didn’t think that other people close to me weren’t happy with the way things were going as well. Consult people you trust with things you’re unsure of. Ask for advice, listen, and truly consider it.
3. Accept help. If the people around you see you’re struggling, chances are they will ask you if you need any help. Some people will insist upon helping. If they really love you, they’ll be there every step of the way. No one likes to see someone they care about fraught and exhausted by stress. Sometimes, we’re too proud to accept help. We want to do it all on our own. We want to take all the credit and do it our way. I’m telling you, this is not the way to go. Take other’s help! You’ll save on time, money, and sanity. Don’t go crazy trying to juggle 100 different balls in the air. Let others juggle a few for you. You’ll be glad you did.
4. Breathe. This is my final and most important guideline. Take some time off from the planning and preparing and stressing and just breathe. Designate a day or block of time in your schedule where you do not talk about the wedding or big work project or whatever is keeping you from relaxing. Have fun and focus on only that! While it’s hard to turn your brain off, it’s essential to recharge your batteries every now and then. We’re not energizer bunnies. We get exhausted. We get burnt out. In order to keep going and going and going, we need to take breaks. We need to take breaks or else we will lose our damn minds.
Katie recently finished her undergrad at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. She enjoys wasting hours on Facebook and tweeting things no one cares about. When asked the question, “Do you do marathons?” She promptly responds, “Of course! Which show?” Follow her @KatieGarrity! Or read her personal blog where she talks incessantly about Ryan Gosling and hummus here!