Not long ago, I went back to my hometown to help my mother and my sister with the final planning of my sister’s wedding. About five days before the wedding, we were running errands and my sister turned to me and said that she has resigned to the fact that she probably will be too preoccupied to enjoy her wedding day. I was absolutely blown away by this. She was going to marry the man that she loves with all of her heart and for the day that would begin the rest of her life, she had settled for endurance rather than joy.

When you have spent 18 months of intense planning to bring together all of the people that are important to you, it is incredibly easy to lose sight of what really matters. You get caught up in all of the minor details that most people feel are necessary, but when it comes down to it, if you leave the chapel, beach, your home or wherever you choose to “tie the knot”, and you are married to the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with, then your mission has been accomplished.

Usually when we plan weddings, we are receiving monetary assistance from our families. Many times there is an assumption that we have to please them and make them happy too. This is not the case at all. It is a day for you and your fiancé to share with your friends and family, so it should show your style, not your parents or your future in-laws. I have found through personal experience, that if you try to make everyone happy, you have the potential to create a tremendous amount of chaos and stress for yourself. This will only complicate matters , and usually ends up being a case of “too many cooks in the kitchen”.

The next tip for maintaining your sanity is about choices. When you start your planning you will quickly notice that you have set yourself free in a world where there are endless possibilities and options from which you can choose. It is a good idea to stick to your decisions once they have been made. I have worked with many brides that have changed their color scheme a few months into it, or have continued to look at venues once they have already made deposits. There are always going to be things that you see that you wish you would have known about throughout your time in the wedding world. But if you continue to bounce from theme to theme or color to color, you will only waste time and energy and decrease the possibility of enjoying this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I also feel that it helps you relax if you designate times for planning your wedding. Due to sheer excitement, you will find that you have “wedding on the brain” and may think about it 24-7. Pick a couple of days a week and set aside a time slot to surf the internet or make phone calls to schedule appointments. This will keep you from becoming totally consumed and also give you a chance to focus on the rest of the life that is still happening around you. Delegate, delegate, delegate. When I am asked to be an attendant in a wedding, I assume that I am taking on a responsibility. It is my job to help in any way that I can, even if it means to simply be there if the bride needs someone to unload some frustrations. The point in saying this is, your bridesmaids are there for you, and most of the time, they are more than happy to have the opportunity to lend a hand. So don’t be afraid to ask for help, or make small task lists for your attendants and always remember to say “Thanks.” This will take a lot of the weight off of your shoulders and make your bridesmaids feel as though they are needed.

Finally, this is your wedding day!!! In the weeks prior to the event, take a few minutes everyday to go to a quiet place and count your blessings. Write them down so that, in times of stress you can refer back to them, smile and relax. Remember, your wedding day may be the first day of your new lives together, but it is nurturing your marriage that is what will truly bring you years of happiness.

by Penny Olson

Photo by Bellissima Photography of Pittsburgh