One of the most searched topics around wedding planning is actually "depression and burnout in the wedding planning process." Although this is something many couples and individuals are struggling with, it is rarely discussed in our industry. We are here to say that we see you if you are struggling in this and want to offer some of the strategies that we recommend to our own couples to help avoid burnout.
01. Delegate and don’t forget the experts:
Your wedding day is a day to celebrate your relationship with those who build it up and have supported you throughout the years. BUT it’s important to remember that it can also be a lot for the two of you to plan for all of those people. Don’t forget to lean into your family and friends support during the planning process. While your parents or that one aunt might not be the ones you want creating the dreamy centerpieces on your Pinterest board, remember that they can still be listening ears to what you are working on or going through.
This is also where planners, designers, and vendors come in. These are the people outside of your family that have expertise in all of this. We aren’t saying you should hand it all over, but honestly, it might be good to hand a little bit. These are the people that plan, create floral magic, and photograph for their life work. So OF COURSE it would lighten your load to hand some tasks to the experts---if it makes sense for your day.
02. Name your expectations:
People often worry about where to start the planning process. Start here…with those expectations that you might not even know you have or are carrying. If you can do this early on, it will save you from a bit of heartbreak down the line. Some questions to consider around expectations:
What does your wedding day actually mean to you? How might that differ from what other family/ friends want?
Is there a way that you want others to show up on your big day? Is your wedding more of a wild and bold celebration, intimate and small coming together, or maybe something completely different? Name that.
What do you need from those around you in the next few months? What do you really not need?
(this might be the more important question between the two)
03. Take regular breaks:
While it can be easy to pour all of your extra time into planning and finding inspiration, remember that planning your wedding is like any other project or goal—it should be approached consistently and intentionally, but shouldn’t consume your life. We can’t say this enough! It is natural to want to make progress, but that progress shouldn’t come at the larger cost of intense fatigue or stress, because that fatigue can truly contribute to a bitterness and even resentment during a time that is beyond joyful.
By giving yourself regular breaks in the dreaming, planning, and spreadsheet-making you are also giving yourself much need breaks to balance the other things in your life. This balance will also be radically important to hold space for renewed joy and excitement, rather than stress. Much to some couples surprise, every date night doesn’t need to be a wedding planning night. Leave room for the other good things! This is also where delegating will come into play!
04. Make peace with potential disappointment:
Here is one that doesn’t often get discussed.
Disappointment in this process is very real, and honestly, quite inevitable no matter how organized, prepared, or supported you are. Because much of this work is based in emotion and excitement, that also means that sometimes disappointment in failed plans, a smaller budget, or that family member that suddenly can’t come might feel like the end of the world. But in all reality, much of that disappointment comes naturally from organizing a celebration with tons of tiny moving pieces. Similar to naming expectations, if you can know that changes and shifts are also very much a natural part of wedding planning, often those small changes that come up can be meet with grace and patience, rather than intense hurt, sadness, or anger.
05. Don’t forget the why:
This is probably the one we want to stress the most, but also the suggestion that is much easier said than done.
As you move through all the fine details, the months of questions, and the high/lows of the party planning, we urge you to never forget the “why”— to not lose the meaning at the heart of it all: that you are finally nearing the coming to be more fully together with someone you deeply love. One suggestion in this is to check in with yourself and your partner throughout the process . What emotions are present and how do those change and fluctuate? Keeping a journal together may be one helpful idea to re-center on that “why.”