Practical Wedding Planning Advice for a Stress-Free Wedding Day

Bride getting hair doneImage from Saskia Photography submitted to Mountainside Bride

In the two years I’ve been blogging, I’ve interviewed dozens of brides and the number one wedding planning advice I've seen time and again is: enjoy the day.

Easy to say, but how is that done exactly? How do you “fully enjoy your wedding day”?

Well, one way is to avoid sweating the small stuff.

How do you know what is (and isn't) the small stuff?

How do you know if it’s small? One visualization trick I adopted while planning was to consider whether or not even one of my guests would get up and leave if a detail was off.

Here's a little hint: They won't leave, period. It's doesn't matter what you choose for decor or favors. None of those things really matter to your guests. They're there for you.

When I was trying to achieve perfect butter cream smoothness for my DIY wedding cake (which never happened) I would imagine what would happen if one of my guests got a close-up glimpse of the gloppy, bumpy mess of frosting. How will they respond? Would they scream “DEAL BREAKER! This butter cream is a hot mess. You should be ashamed of yourself serving such crap at a wedding. I'm leaving!”
No! Of course they wouldn't.

Why? Because they were at my wedding to support Hubs and me. I realized each guest is far more interested in our happiness and in having a good time, than in celebrating the smoothness of my buttercream, or the fold of my napkin, or the novelty of my chotchkies. (Yes even the most well-thought-out, meaningful, hand crafted wedding favor is a chotchky that many of your guests will leave behind.)

Is it Really Going to Happen Like That? Go Ahead Get Ridiculous!

I found that when I was feeling stressed or pressured, I tended to take my fears to the most illogical extreme.Think Adam Sandler sing-songing “They're all going to laugh at you!”

So one day, I decided to examine my fears in their full crazy-assed ridiculousness.*THAT* certainly put things into perspective!

I worried about my iPod DJ being tacky, so I asked myself: Would my guests storm away because we had an iPod DJ? How about a silent protest, sitting in their chairs arms folded, refusing to dance, glaring at me for being so thoughtless? Um, yeah..probably not.

When I worried about forgoing the full bar and serving beer and wine instead, I asked myself if my guests would really gather around me in a tight angry mob chanting “CHEAP! CHEAP! CHEAP!”  Nope.

I loved my gown, but only paid $99 for it at David’s Bridal. I pondered whether anyone would touch the made-in-china fabric of my gown and shriek “eeeeeewww, naaaaasty” Of course not!

So what do you have to lose with your choices?

In the big picture, not a whole lot. No one will shun you for your wedding day choices. No one will take away your birthday, and you certainly won't find yourself estranged from friends and relatives based on your wedding day details.

You love these people. They Love You. Focus on that.

Want to avoid wedding planning stress and enjoy your day to the fullest? Stop worrying so much about the details and start focusing on your relationships. Think about how you want you guests to feel on your wedding day and make decisions based on that.

Chances are your guests are there for you, not your favors, not for your dress, and certainly not for that by-the-numbers rubbery chicken breast served on the buffet.

They are there for you.  Be there for them.  Be present for each person you talk to. Thank them for being at your wedding. Be aware of the magnificence of the moment. Laugh a lot. Enjoy the feeling of you talking to the people you love wearing your beautiful gown and hanging on the arm of the partner you just committed a lifetime to.

Your happiness will be the most memorable thing at your wedding (both for you and your guests), not your cookie favors!