Advice for a less stressful wedding

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Rylan Posts : 23 Registered: 1/12/09
Advice for a less stressful wedding
Posted: Feb 11, 2010 12:03 AM

For those of you who have been through your own wedding, helped others with weddings, or have just observed the chaos that sometimes surrounds weddings, what advice would you give to a couple to help make preparations for and the wedding day itself less stressful? I'll start:

1. Delegate tasks to people that you trust for that task. This may be to the bridal party, family members, or people that you hire. Trying to do everything yourself is daunting and can be extremely stressful. However, delegating to the wrong person (or delegating with unclear instructions) can cause another set of stressors.

2. Set aside a few minutes after the wedding ceremony to spend with your new spouse. The day of the wedding is extremely busy, and these may be the only moments for many hours that you will have that are just the two of you.




Julybride2010 Posts : 13 Registered: 1/4/10
Re: Advice for a less stressful wedding
Posted: Feb 11, 2010 12:23 AM Go to message in response to: Rylan

I have not been through many weddings and i'm still planning mine, but I have a really great tip that I learned from myself just this week.

Don't think of EVERYTHING that you have to do. I was thinking about centerpieces one minute and then my dress the next, the ceremony next etc... I sat down and made a little list of what I needed to focus on that month. This month for me it's picking up my dress, putting down the next deposit for the venue, my daughters dresses and centerpieces. Now I feel like i'm a little more in control of things. Next month I have the next group of things to think about and get done. There is so much that it's too easy to get stressed out like I was doing. I mean, I still think about other things like the menu and favors, but i'm not going to "worry or stress" about them right now!

   When is my wedding
Wedding Ticker from


AmyJustin2010 Posts : 201 Registered: 1/18/10
Re: Advice for a less stressful wedding
Posted: Feb 11, 2010 10:10 AM Go to message in response to: Rylan

I honestly think that most of the stress surrounding weddings is self-enflicted. All you really need for a wedding is a bride, a groom, an officiant and two witnesses. All the rest is extra (I'm paraphrasing from AOTB here).

The times I see people getting really stressed out about a wedding are the times when people try and micromanage every detail. It seems the more intricately planned and obsessive the wedding is, the more stressful it is to the bride and groom.

You wanna know my recipe for avoiding wedding day stress? Pick out one or two elements that are important to you and take a "whatever" approach to the rest.

My priorities:
Church Wedding
My dress.

Shared priorities:
The food and open bar. We weren't about to go easy on the food. we want food, we want good food, and we want tons of it.

FH's priorities:
Wearing his dress blues.

So with those priorities, we were able to only worry about the things that we felt were worth worrying about. The rest, although we are having other things, wasn't stuff to stress over.

I've heard of brides going to their reception hall just to see how the plates will be arranged on the tables. It's when you worry about miniscule details and overbook your schedule with them that you get super stressed over a wedding.



Amy & Justin--Buffalo Sabres Fanatics :) 


FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: Advice for a less stressful wedding
Posted: Feb 11, 2010 10:50 AM Go to message in response to: Rylan

Great topic for discussion! I think society/American culture has put a lot of pressure on brides-to-be to have the perfect wedding. Television shows, movies, bridal magazines, etc. send the message that you must have a platinum wedding. One of the best pieces of advice I got when planning my wedding last spring was from my Priest. He told me not to buy more than 2 bridal magazines. He said, "They are fun to look at, but they put a lot of pressure on you". Then he told me not to get carried away with all the extras. He said that when brides go overboard with "stuff" it takes away from the ceremony, which is the most important part. I think he gave me great advice. Keeping things simple allowed me to focus on what was important... and that was marrying my DH!

Francie Elaine, The Bride Whisperer  



ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Advice for a less stressful wedding
Posted: Feb 11, 2010 11:54 AM Go to message in response to: AmyJustin2010

Good points, especially Amy's.

Look, I was the most laid-back bride ever. Some of it was probably my personality, but some of it was certainly my attitude. I also agree that most wedding stress is self-inflicted. I barely stressed at all, and not over any of the typical things that brides stress over. Here's some tips, both from my own experience and from 3 years of talking to people on these boards:

1) Like Amy suggested, figure out your priorities and focus your time and budget on them, rather than trying to have the best of everything and spreading your resources thin. Unless you have unlimited time and money and your day-to-day life stops until your wedding, you're not going to be able to do it all, so focus on what is important to you and your FH rather than worrying about everything.

2) Choose professionals that you trust. Then step back and allow them to do their jobs. For example, I did not choose the photographer with the prettiest sample photos, as anybody can take some good photos and display them well. I chose someone with whom we 'clicked', someone who seemed pleasant to work with and trustworthy as well as professional.

3) Don't sweat the details. Put down the wedding magazines and step into the real world. Yes, displays in wedding magazines where the napkins perfectly match the sashes on the BM dresses are beautiful. In real life, however, wedding guests rarely notice or care. Is it really worth it to spend 3 months looking for the perfect fabric to make your own chair covers when you could rent ones that ALMOST match and then spend those three months living your life rather than stressing about chair covers?

4) Don't live your wedding. Yes, it is important to you - but remember that nobody (not even the groom) is as invested in the details as you are. Your friends and family want to talk about things other than your wedding every so often. Your FH might like to go on a date without it turning into a wedding meeting.

5) Please don't approach your wedding with the attitude that it is the most important day of your life. Yes, it is a big day, but it's not all downhill from there! With this attitude, not only will you be putting additional pressure on yourself for everything to be perfect, but you'll feel pretty let down after the wedding, even if everything goes perfectly.

6) There is no wedding bible. Be aware of etiquette, but remember that the entire point of all these complex etiquette rules is to avoid hurting people's feelings. Keeping that in mind, there are sometimes cases when etiquette rules should be bent in order to avoid offense. An example from our wedding: though married couples have to be invited together, a friend of mine's husband was deployed and she doesn't like reminders of the fact that she is alone and he is in danger. So we didn't put his name on the invitation, because we knew that doing so would upset her. This is also true for non-etiquette situations. You do not NEED a combination of three colors just because magazines do it. You do not NEED a limo because most people get one for their weddings. You do not NEED to wear a white dress, dance with your father, or serve champagne. These things are NOT rules.

7) Realize that things will come up. You do not need to make a backup plan for every possible thing that might go wrong, but think about some of the things that are likely to go wrong and how you would react. Freaking out won't change anything and it will make you look like a brat. If something goes wrong, take a deep breath and think about the best solution. Or let the people you've hired deal with the problem. If the cake falls over, the bride does not need to clean it up.

8) Don't stress yourself out by looking at wedding planning timelines and realizing that you're 'behind schedule.' These things are guidelines only - and most of the time, there is no reason to do things as early as they suggest. Heck, some of them suggest that you have your venue booked a year and a half or two years in advance. I wasn't even engaged that long, so how could I book my venue that early? And guess what - everything got done. Follow your own schedule, and don't worry about what or the knot says you should have done by a given point.

9) You are probably a busy woman, with or without having to plan a wedding. Your time is precious. Don't try to do everything in person. For example, you don't have to visit a vendor in person to get their prices. Any vendor worth doing business with will provide you with some information before meeting them in person (sometimes this takes a little convincing, as they WANT to get you there in person and make the sale). But why should you waste your time looking at vendors you can't afford? Why should you waste your time on an in-person meeting with your photographer what you need to discuss can be discussed via email? I met ONE TIME in person with each vendor. If they needed me for anything after that, they had to email me (I would recommend email over phone communication because you'll have a paper trail. That way, if there's a discrepancy somewhere, you can pull up an old email and say, 'You told me this on X date - here it is.')

10) Make a decision and close the menu. Don't keep looking at dresses, for example, after you've ordered your dress - because you'll just confuse yourself or find something that you like better. Don't second-guess your decisions. Trust that you made the decision for a reason and that it is the right one. Make it and don't look back.

11) At some point, you will reach the point of no return. Stand back, let things happen, adapt to changes if necessary, and ENJOY YOUR WEDDING. Don't stress if the salad is served before the champagne toast, when you had planned it the other way around. Nobody except you will know or care.

12) Plan the wedding you can afford. Don't try to compete with anyone else, including magazines. Money is a HUGE cause of stress - but if you know your budget, know what you can and can't afford, and STICK TO IT, you won't have any money-related stress or surprises. Why look at 5K dresses when you only have the budget for a 1K dress? You're just going to stress yourself out. Don't even look at options that aren't in your price range. Plan the wedding you can afford and be proud of it.

13) Don't stress about anything if your wedding is more than 6 months away. You have tons of time.

14) Don't stress over decisions at all. Nobody will know the decision you didn't make - they'll only see the one you picked. You are the only one who will be comparing your dress to the dress you almost bought. Everybody else will just think you look beautiful.

15) Be flexible. So your ideal venue and church aren't available on your ideal day. It's not the end of the world. Either pick a different day, or pick a different venue or church. End of story. Your wedding will be special regardless of whether it's on a special date or in a special location - if you can't get the 'special' stuff, don't sweat it. You'll just have new special stuff.

16) Don't make any key decisions two years in advance, including your wedding party. Brides frequently change their minds on everything from dresses to food. And a lot can happen between friends in a year or two. Go ahead and think about it two years in advance, but don't ask anybody or book anything until (at the earliest) a year ahead of time. If you don't believe me, look through the posts about BMs in this forum. There's ALWAYS at least one issue with WPs, many of which are due to the bride asking people too far in advance.

17) Prepare for the marriage, not just the wedding. The wedding isn't the important thing, after all. Don't neglect your relationship or your marriage prep. It's not all sunshine and roses, and the more you discuss things ahead of time, the better you'll deal with the issues that will come up. Everybody should have premarital counseling. It's not just for couples with 'issues'. It's for discussing the future marriage and giving you ideas on what to talk about and how to prepare.

18) Everybody's family is crazy. You're not alone. And weddings tend to bring out the craziness. Also realize that your normally crazy family will not be perfect just because you're getting married. A sister or FMIL who has never liked you will not suddenly be your best friend or bond over your wedding. Weddings tend to magnify issues that already exist, and they don't mend relationships. Expect that.

19) Know the things you can control and those you can't. Scenario A: DJ plays the wrong first dance song. Ok, this you can control. Correct the mistake and have him play the right song. Scenario B: Best Man gets a flat tire on the way to the ceremony. Not much you can do about this one. Just send someone to pick him up and let the guests know that the ceremony will begin 15 minutes late (or whatever). Don't stress about the things you can't control.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People


FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: Advice for a less stressful wedding
Posted: Feb 11, 2010 11:59 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

I think you could write a book! Great post!

Francie Elaine, The Bride Whisperer  



NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: Advice for a less stressful wedding
Posted: Feb 12, 2010 12:21 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

My favorite saying: Close The Menu. It's true

Mine main one is: Stop watching Platinum Weddings, or any wedding planning show. I couldn't even stomach these shows once I got engaged b/c I am in the "real world" and I didn't need anything making me feel like I wasn't good enough. I think I flipped through more bridal magazines before I was ever engaged than I did afterwards. I probably flip through now more as well.

And I also have this and this is what I always tell my friends who are getting married: You aren't going to notice SHIT on your wedding day. I'm not even kidding. You won't notice if the flowers are dark red, and not bright red; if a candle isn't lit; if the placecards aren't just right; if your BM has the "wrong" shade of shoe on. I totally promise this. I had to ask my mom SO many things afterwards like "did they put this out? were the frames set up?" b/c I seriously did not notice anything but the people constantly talking to me and pulling me in 100 different directions. I had purchased little glowstick bracelets for the reception (b/c they were $1 at Target) for the kids, and it wasn't until 6 months later that I realized my mom totally forgot them at home!

On your wedding day, u need to totally put yout trust in your vendors, family, friends, WP and not think about ANYTHING but getting married, and not puking from nerves!! :)

New Jersey: We have dumps, bays and cement boots and we know how to use 'em


FutureMrsDJLeo Posts : 615 Registered: 2/26/09
Re: Advice for a less stressful wedding
Posted: Feb 12, 2010 2:05 PM Go to message in response to: Rylan

I think everyone has given great advice on this thread, and this thread is awesome because weddings can be very stressful, but you can definitly control how stressful it gets!

I know this is repeated over and over, but it's so true, just remember the important thing is you are marrying the one that you love. In the end, all of that little stuff doesn't matter and really isn't going to make a difference. For example, you chose to have a Swaroski (no idea how to spell it!) Crystal cake topper, that's great, but if you didn't would you look back and regret it?

Second, and this was something I had to tell myself when I started to stress out, and have told myself whenever I feel I'm about to stress out, is "will it really make a difference?". My example, I was freaking out about the color I wanted the BM's to be in, thinking it wouldn't go with my dress, I wanted a fun bright fuschia color but my dress is very elegant and fancy. Finally I thought about it, would people really say "OMG the BM's color does not look good with her dress!" NO! No one is going to notice all those little details except you. When I'm debating between things, sometimes I'll ask someone with a nuetral opinion "would these make any difference to you?" and they say no, or if something would stand out and look tacky, they still say no.

I know the example of napkins matching the sashes on dresses was used, and rather they match or the one is 2 shades lighter, no one is going to notice. Are the guests going to be holding up the napkins to the sashes and critizing you? If they do, then they obviously have some other problems and should be worried about that instead! I work in a shoe store, and I see it all the time with people who will want a shoe to match perfectly for their purse or belt. They have to hold the shoe on top of the purse and see if the color is exact. I tell them the same thing everytime, "Are you going to be walking around like this?" and bend my knee back and hold my foot up to my waist and 9/10 people say "your right!" (there are still some people who are set on the matchy-matchy though).

So I guess I'm just trying to say, when I begin to stress out about little details the first thing I ask myself is "will anyone else notice this"? If not, it's definitly not worth the stress!


CSUFgrad08 Posts : 114 Registered: 6/19/08
Re: Advice for a less stressful wedding
Posted: Feb 12, 2010 3:16 PM Go to message in response to: Rylan

This is all really good advice ladies! My wedding is July 3rd and the other day I as about to have a nervous breakdown because I was going through my wedding timeline I created and I realized I have a zillion things to do. Luckily, my soon to be hubby is laid back and knows exactly how to make me feel better :) After reading all your suggestions, I'm starting to feel better already. Thanks!
wedding website


2dBride Posts : 158 Registered: 3/16/09
Re: Advice for a less stressful wedding
Posted: Feb 14, 2010 12:06 AM Go to message in response to: Rylan

I always tell people to ask themselves:

  1. Do you have a person to marry?
  2. Do you have an officiant?
  3. Do you have a marriage license?
If you have all these things, then the wedding will be fine, no matter what else goes wrong. Any little missteps will just be funny stories to tell people years later. If you don't have all these things, I'd advise trying to correct the missing one(s) before the ceremony.

Our wedding Web site and items for sale


CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Advice for a less stressful wedding
Posted: Feb 14, 2010 8:38 AM Go to message in response to: 2dBride

Accept that your vision will not be perfectly matched by the reality. Enjoy the picture you have in your mind of what your wedding and reception will look like....and then the day before your wedding, DELETE THAT PICTURE FROM YOUR BRAIN. Prepare to look at the big picture, the overall effect. You know all the details and if you focus on specifics you will miss the big picture.

Your cake is not going to look exactly how you pictured prepared to look at it like you had no idea what it was supposed to look like and see it as its own piece of artwork. (My cake was a huge disappointment at first. I had a very hard time with it. Everyone around me saying how beautiful it was and me thinking "that is not what it was supposed to look like" About an hour after I first saw it, I had accepted it. I still don't love how it looked. Everyone else did. And if the photographer had gotten a picture of my face when I first saw it, there would have been an expression of "okay, not what I envisioned. Not what I ordered...Deal with it and don't panic. It's just a cake, it's just a cake." as I was trying to talk myself into liking it) I had such a high expectation of the cake, that it is still a source of WD disappointment. (I know I am not the only one who did not have cake joy.) But you know what I did love about that cake? OMG it was the best thing I've ever tasted! My guests still talk about how amazing my cake was. Guests are not going to remember what it looked like, but if you cake tastes awful, they'll notice that. Someone else at my church who got married about 2 months after I did, emailed me shortly after the wedding to ask where I got my cake from (she had leftover cake after church). They were not available on her date, and she went with our 2nd choice. She has told me that her cake was dry and my cake was SO much better. == So, the look was off, but the taste was on. Don't judge your cake by its frosting!

And I think that is true for your entire event.....don't judge your cake by its frosting. Judge it by its taste. Maybe everything doesn't look perfect, but are your guests happy? Are you married?




Rylan Posts : 23 Registered: 1/12/09
Re: Advice for a less stressful wedding
Posted: Mar 10, 2010 11:25 PM Go to message in response to: Rylan

Wow, these are some great pieces of advice. One thing that my husband and I were told over and over before our wedding was that whatever mishaps might happen, at the end of the day we would still be married. It really is the marriage that we should focus on rather than just the wedding.




TRACYJOHNSONBRA... Posts : 42 Registered: 2/8/09
Re: Advice for a less stressful wedding
Posted: Mar 11, 2010 8:06 AM Go to message in response to: Rylan

Two pieces of advice

1) Enjoy every moment. Whether it is a best man showing up late (We had to stall about 5 minutes.) to the embarassment you may get at your bachelorette party last minute shopping or whatever your wedding brings, look at it as you are creating lifetime memories enjoy them.
2) Make it your own. You have dreams, ideas, and plans, use them.


MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Advice for a less stressful wedding
Posted: Mar 11, 2010 6:12 PM Go to message in response to: Rylan

I just went to a wedding this weekend. During the ceremony, we got to the point where she puts the ring on his finger. Only. . . .she'd forgotten the ring. It was a classic uh-oh moment. Then, the groom's father gets up, takes the ring of his finger and gives it to her, during the ceremony, and she uses his ring on her new husband.

She smiled, and laughed, and the wedding party laughed, and the guests laughed, and it was so sweet how the father of the groom offered up his own ring. It was a great moment. It was sweet, charming, and completely unplanned.

So my tip for a stress-free wedding?

Remember that it's the moments that are unplanned that can provide the best memories.


"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson


2dBride Posts : 158 Registered: 3/16/09
Re: Advice for a less stressful wedding
Posted: Apr 24, 2010 8:58 PM Go to message in response to: Rylan

Remember, what you need for a wedding is:

  • A partner
  • An officiant (in most jurisdictions)
  • A marriage license (in most jurisdictions)
  • Witnesses (in some jurisdictions)
Absolutely everything else is optional. If anything else goes wrong, it will be a funny story in ten years, and will not affect that you are now married to your partner.

Our wedding Web site and items for sale


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