9 minute read
The moment is finally here. I spent the first 7 years of my career ordering artisan crudite displays, tasting Napa Valley Cabs, thumbing through linen swatches and re-designing entire warehouses based on the colors of a corporate logo. It was a tough life planning events (really, it was). I went on to spend several years helping execute some pretty big moments, between high stakes corporate events and weddings. Now, the time has come for me to plan our big moment and the experience has been – interesting.
As many of my friends know, I use ‘interesting’ often and it usually means a mix of good, bad and curious. I’ll go with ‘introspective’ instead. Regardless of the fact that I was surrounded by all things wedding and event planning for several years, I never considered myself to be one of those people who had every detail of my future wedding planned out. About a month before the proposal, my then boyfriend of nearly 3 years, casually turns his stool at a local dive bar one night and asks “what kind of rings do you like?” I was caught off guard and really had no clue how to answer that question (don’t worry, I was very quickly urged by my mom to submit my correct answer ASAP). December 2017, it happened. The question was popped and planning commenced. Maybe it was because I had never thought very specifically about my future wedding and didn’t have one set idea of how it would be done, but once I started down the rabbit hole, so many ideas came flooding in about what our wedding ought to be.
It turns out, I had a long list of preconceived notions about how I envisioned my (our) wedding. That dissonance between fantasy and reality, past and present, can feel jarring and even cause an unwarranted feeling of self-doubt or disappointment. Not only was I battling my notions of the ‘ideal’ wedding reception, wedding dress, wedding body, wedding party; but I also struggled to overcome the dissonance of what I thought my family and friends expected. Anyone who’s ever experienced giving a presentation in front of a room of people will understand that these stressful moments are always much worse, and much bigger in your mind than they are in reality. When I realized that I was mostly fighting myself and needed to let go of expectations (mine and others), planning our wedding together became a lot more fun. Building a life with a spouse is one of the most impactful things you could do in your life.
As you prepare for this major life event, you owe it to each other to maintain as much joy and perspective as possible. Here are my 5 DO’s to care for yourself as you plan your wedding:
Plan for the present. Just like fashion and beauty, it’s no wonder we have a picture of the ‘ideal’ everything when it comes to wedding planning. Magazines, media and society in general reinforce our view of perfect weddings, perfect wedding dresses, perfect wedding weight, on and on. With these influences setting your context, it can be easy to feel like what you have, is less than. It was important for me to detach myself from the weddings I had seen before, or read about in blogs, and focus on what actually made sense for me and us, right now. Even if the contexts are self-constructed and from your past, realize that your perception of perfect may have worked then, but that it may not now.
Remember the entire point. When there’s a giant ‘to-do’ that lies ahead of your union, it can be easy to forget the point; you and your boo starting a life together. Much to the surprise of Mike and I, we decided to take our wedding overseas and get married in a private villa in Thailand. We considered other options and decided that this option would be the most meaningful to us once the wedding was over. We wanted to spend time with our families together, and create unforgettable memories in a new and adventurous place (wish us luck!) As you go into planning your wedding, it can be helpful to imagine yourselves post-celebration; think about the feelings you want to have and what you want to remember, after it’s over.
Trust yourself. There are endless options and people will give their opinions, sometimes whether you want them or not. When it comes to making decisions about your wedding, go with your gut, do what makes you happy and try not to look back. Be careful when it comes to asking for opinions. Weddings are personal and subjective, so don’t be surprised or easily offended if someone doesn’t agree with you. That being said, it’s fair to want to protect yourself from too many opinions, or strong opinions, so that you can listen to your own intuition. Take it upon yourself to decide how you’ll manage decisions and how opinions of friends and family affect them.
Set aside planning time. Planning a wedding while running a growing business made me apprehensive on many levels. The first week after we got engaged I felt totally distracted with planning a wedding in less than a year. I knew I couldn’t afford to lose focus, both from a mental and time management perspective. Additionally, I began to feel like wedding planning was starting to dominate my and Mike’s conversations and when one person was ready to make decisions, the other was preoccupied. We decided very early on that we’d schedule time to plan and discuss the wedding so we could be fully present, ready to make decisions and maintain boundaries on how much time we spent on it. Just as important as it is to plan ‘on’ time, be sure to plan ‘off’ time too; for me that’s going on a run, listening to a podcast, reading, yoga–alone time that let’s me recharge.
Be open to help. One of the best things we did to stay balanced and calm during this time was to hire a wedding planner. Especially since we’re getting married 8,377 miles away, working with a planner was necessary. Having started down the road with Alexa (irony), I would hire a planner even if I got married 10 miles away. Aside from the logistical organization, there’s a great deal of emotional benefit from working with a 3rd party who’s managed countless weddings, has systems in place, and has just the right amount of detachment (slash professionalism) to take your own anxiety down a few notches and let you enjoy the process.
Have other suggestions on how to practice self-care when planning your wedding or in general? We’d love to hear them, leave a comment below! Want to treat yourself or a BFF before her wedding? Send a Gift Card or a Curated Box. Our Stylists curate a lingerie, loungewear or sleepwear set based on her style & size preferences and include a surprise self-care gift too. Every box donates a new undergarment to a woman in need. Learn more!