When you've got guest lists to finalize, flowers to choose and bridesmaids dresses to find, the stress of planning your wedding can seem overwhelming. But since we think wedding planning should be enjoyable, (and even, dare we say it, fun), we've compiled expert advice for keeping calm amidst the chaos. Whether your family is driving you crazy or your budget seems to be shrinking, check out these top tips for a stress-free wedding.
1. Dawn Dwyer-Pappas author of How I Kept Control Of My Wedding: "We made sure we knew what we wanted, what was important to us and what we were willing to compromise on."
2. Sandy Malone, author of Don't Let Momzilla Ruin Your Wedding: Five Steps You Can Take to Do Damage Control in Advance: "This bride took to heart the concept that the vibe you put out to your guests is the vibe they're going to feel and follow. So rather than ruining everybody's weekend and letting her mom win, she simply let it all go. Kudos!"
3. Morgan Montgomery author of How I Took Back My Wedding: "Now don't get me wrong—planning was still stressful—there were still invite lists to be hashed out, entertainment decisions to be made, family squabbles to settle. But it's amazing how much less concern there is when you take the getting married part out of the wedding and just have a party."
4. Tammy Nelson, Ph.D. and author of Are You Stressed Planning Your Wedding?: "What decreases stress is to increase the self-care activities that tend to go to the bottom of the list most times. Self-care activities are things like getting a massage, getting your hair done or your nails manicured. These all produce oxytocin; A chemical in the body which produces a feel good, relaxed sensation. With Oxytocin flowing, there is less stress about the list."
5. Elizabeth Ulrich, author of Budget Wedding: Elizabeth Ulrich And Will Fanguy Plan Cheap, Gorgeous Wedding: "With our budget, however, there were just some dreams we had to break up with. But working within tight, seemingly impossible restrictions makes you get creative. It also makes you focus on what's important -- The little moments and the sentiment of the day."
6. Kate Awsumb, author of My Big, Fat Surprise Wedding: "We decided to have a surprise wedding because that's just our style. Neither of us are wedding people. We don't like traditional anything. We didn't want the real reason for us getting hitched—he whole head-over-heels, can't-live-without-my-partner-in-crime thing—to get buried in a pile of taffeta and birdseed and giant chair bows."