It’s November 27th. The Christmas decorations are due to come down from the loft and I’m sitting here wondering where the hell everything’s gonna go.
I’m surrounded by plastic containers, boxes and bags of wedding stuff, split between two houses. The spare room in our house is completely full, so much so that I’ve now taken over my old room at my parents house too. Everything’s organised and I have labels on each container, box and bag, and everything’s catergorised into stuff for the hen party, stuff for the ceremony and stuff for the reception. There’s a place for everything, and everything has it’s place, but my goodness there’s a lot of stuff to organise and take care of.
And… this is all just for ONE DAY.
Just the one.
I often run Q+A’s on thefilcefamily’s Instagram and I asked you guys to help me come up with some ideas of the things that YOU really want me to talk about on these blog posts, and one thing that came up was wedding planning burnout. I’m lucky to have found some awesome brides and grooms to talk to within the Instagram wedding community, and we often share ideas, inspiration and generally just cheer each other on and support each other, and lately I’m noticing that more and more people I talk to are dealing with wedding planning burnout.
Planning a wedding can be tough going. I mean, Sam and I count ourselves lucky because we already knew how we wanted our day to be when we started planning, so for us, it was literally just a case of sourcing suppliers that could give us what we want, book them in, pay the deposit and BOOM! Job done… but, it’s not that simple for a lot of other couples, and if I’m honest, as organised as we have been, I have to admit, sometimes I do just wanna close my wedding planning folder and have a break from everything to do with the wedding. Sometimes I don’t wanna talk about the wedding. Sometimes I don’t even wanna think about the wedding. I just wanna stop, breathe and remember that underneath the mountains of containers, boxes and bags, and all this preparation for ONE DAY, there’s two people sitting here that just wanna get married. That’s the most important thing in this whole giant crazy journey. And, it is completely natural to get so caught up in your planning that you start to feel burnt out from time to time.
I think the reason we feel like that is that you try so hard to create such a wonderful day.. a beautiful event that’s everything you’ll ever want your wedding day to be, and you’re planning this big “once in a lifetime” event while you’re still trying to juggle all your other balls you already have in the air. Some of us have very demanding jobs. Some of us are raising children. Some of us have other family commitments and issues that make it difficult for us to focus all our attention on wedding planning 24/7. We’re trying to have it all as well as try to plan the most special day of our lives. That’s enough to make even the calmest, most organised person feel suffocated.
And, despite the pressure that you’re feeling, believe me, It’s ok to have a break. It’s more than ok. Infact, I’d definitely 100% encourage YOU ALL to take a breather and relax a little bit for a little while.
Again, it comes down to the main advice I’ve always offered. Give yourself enough time to plan. Stress only comes from feeling pressured to do something usually before a certain deadline. So start sooner, and take more breaks. Sam and I started officially planning our wedding a few weeks after we got engaged. First thing we did was to set the date and book the venue. Once you set those in stone, your countdown has now begun and you have a set time to complete your tasks. In our experience, we wanted to get all our vendors etc booked in as quick as we could (because we were under no illusion that good vendors get booked up very quickly) and we were lucky enough to be able to have the finances to put deposits down straight away. So, it worked out well for us to lock everyone in. That made our planning process pretty quick and easy. We started planning September 2018 and I’d say by December 2018, all of our main vendors and everything was locked in and sorted, meaning we could take some time out together to celebrate Christmas. We picked up the planning again after new year, revisited some of our choices and filled in some of the gaps and took a break to celebrate my birthday and Valentines Day in February, and our anniversary in March. We did a little bit more planning, took another break in June to celebrate Sam’s birthday and took some time out over the summer as I had started my new job and I needed to get to grips with my new role and stuff… came back to planning in September and now we’re having another break for Christmas again. You get my point though, yeah? It might feel like we’ve been banging on about this wedding for absolutely bloody ages, and that probably is the case, but we needed to start early and do everything that we did to ensure we weren’t feeling completely overwhelmed with it all. You’ll see when you eventually see photos of our day, that if I had just one year to race through all the tiny little DIY projects I’ve been doing and all the other stuff that goes into planning a wedding, as well as get to grips with my new job, maintain friendships, see family, make sure that Sam and I keep putting our relationship first and just generally making it through life, I wouldn’t have survived the planning process. Trust me.
And, you could argue that the pressure we put ourselves under just isn’t worth it for one day, and that you’re no more or less married if you have the most beautiful, expensive, personalised day or if you elope and get married on a cliff somewhere, and I absolutely 100% agree with you. I feel that way too. So much so that when we first got engaged, our first thought was to run off and get married in secret. But then we thought that perhaps one day we’d regret it, so we decided we’d have a wedding. And… if you know me at all, you’ll know that I don’t wanna do anything “half-arsed”. If we’re doing it, we’re doing it right. So, we put a lot of effort into it. I wouldn’t say we’re having a big wedding, or an expensive wedding… but I want it to just be completely about us, and to make it feel as personalised and customised to us as possible does take A LOT of planning, effort and time.
And in all honesty, I’d definitely say I’ve felt a little bit of wedding planning burnout from time to time. And that’s the time I know I need a break. I tie up loose ends, finish DIY projects and put it to rest. And because we’ve given ourselves enough time, it’s perfectly ok for us to take that break. Otherwise I know I’d get overwhelmed and stressed.
I’ve never actually planned a proper big event like this. I’ve helped friends plan their weddings, but never has it been as full on as it has been this time. I’ve never got married before, and I have absolutely no bloody idea what I’m doing whatsoever. LOL! I just know that this is what we want, this is the amount of time we have to do the things we wanna do, and this is the giant list that needs to be completed with lots of dates and deadlines to adhere to. I do love my checklists, and when we first got engaged, I was all about getting everything ticked off the giant list that everyone looks at online to tell them where they *should* be in their stages of wedding planning… I still do now. It keeps my brain in order, and makes sure that I don’t forget to do anything because there is lots to remember.
And, not gonna lie… when you’re trying to juggle all your other balls as well as the big wedding planning ball, sometimes you need a bit of help.
Remember, you’re not alone in this. At least, I hope you’re not. Because that’s NOT ok. If you’re planning a wedding, depending on the kinda wedding you want, it might be one of the biggest things you’re gonna do in your entire life, and believe me, you don’t wanna do that on your own.
The problem a lot of people experience, is that once your date is set, your vendors are booked, the deposits are paid and you have a clear vision of what your day is gonna be like, there’s just this… calmness. And, it’s unsettling because in your head, you’re all like “Right, come on, what’s next, let’s get this done…” and there’s literally nothing you can do apart from just wait it out. Unless you’re me, and you insist on finding lots of little Pinterest DIYs to do to keep you occupied while you wait, of course… but for most people, they probably feel a little in limbo because they’re not actually sure what they should be doing at the point where you feel you can’t do much more. And that’s ok. Rest. Put your feet up. Go and enjoy a date night with your partner. Meet up with a mate for a coffee, or something stronger… and DON’T talk about the wedding.
It’ll do you good to get some distance from it, and you’ll come back to it when you need to, with a fresh head and probably a much more positive mindset. The burnout feeling has gone because you’ve given yourself some distance.
I know it might feel to my Facebook friends, or Instagram followers that all I do is talk about my wedding, blah blah blah… but, that’s actually not the case. That’s all I *choose* to share. There’s lots of things going on that I don’t or can’t talk about. Work for instance, isn’t something I can share with my audiences on social media because of the nature of my job. Family life isn’t something I choose to share either, because… it’s my family. Just because I choose to share my life online doesn’t mean everyone else I love wants their stuff shared too. So, the wedding is just something I can share with my friends and followers and because I do talk about it a lot, people talk to me about it a lot too. And it becomes the circle that suddenly all you talk about is the wedding, and it does get pretty exhausting sometimes. Hahaha… I love it, of course I do, and I embrace every second of being a bride to be, but it’s perfectly normal to feel like you want some time out of wedding planning, and sometimes it’s necessary, otherwise you’ll feel overwhelmed, stressed and burnt out.
No bride wants to feel burnt out. It’s the most special time ever… everyone wants to enjoy it as much as possible.
So chill out and enjoy the process as much as possible, with plenty of time to plan and plenty of breaks inbetween to make sure you don’t drive yourselves crazy.
Blow the candle out for a while rather than try and burn it at both ends.
Of course your wedding day is important, but nothing is more important than your mental health. Give yourselves some time and remember that you’re not on your own. <3