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Raise your hand if pretty much the second he slipped that ring on your finger you started planning your wedding. Now that we've got your attention, as busy as you'll be for the first and last four months of your engagement, there's a solid chunk of time smack in the center of wedding planning where there won't be much to do — and you'll be dying a little on the inside.
"There is so much anticipation for this exciting day," says Allann Arnold, co-owner of Belle Soul Weddings in Houston. "Planning every wedding detail helps to ease that anticipation." When you've wrapped everything up for the moment, you're left without a single distraction and a burning desire to finally just get to the big day. "It's completely understandable to want something to do," Arnold says, "and have that feeling of 'isn't there something I should be working on this week?'"
But rather than stress out as you twiddle your thumbs, why not survive the downtime with these expert tips?
Recognize that wedding planning "is a marathon."
"We sympathize with brides who want to work on the wedding all day, every day," says Arnold. But focusing on that feeling will only drive you crazy. "In order to reduce frustration and stress, however, we all need to recognize that wedding planning is a marathon, not a sprint. So, like a runner, you must pace yourself."
Date your fiancé again.
When was the last time you had time for a date night out? Now's the time to do to dinner and a movie. And while your dates can be wedding-free zones, it's OK to sneak in a little wedding talk, too. "Often the engagement period is less than a year, and that is a really special time to share with your fiancé," points out Lyndsey Hamilton, owner of Lyndsey Hamilton Events in California and New York. "Spend that time connecting with your soon-to-be and getting excited about the big day!"
Down time can mean overtime on social media, scanning for new wedding inspiration. But that's an easy way to second-guess your decisions. "I highly recommend brides avoid spending too much time on social media during their down time, especially if you have solidified all of your design details," says Mary Noon, owner of Mary Noon Events in Los Angeles. "I think it is important to be confident in your selections," she says, and sign off.
Focus on your family.
Now that you're not running from florist to photographer, you've got time to "turn your mind toward your families," says Arnold. "Everyone has done so much to help you prepare for your wedding, including hosting parties, sending gifts and organizing wedding details for you. Use this time to show gratitude to everyone that has been a part of the journey." Arnold suggests scheduling a lunch with your mother-in-law to thank her for her contributions, or a phone call with your dad so you can pump him up for your big walk down the aisle.