Wedding stress busting

All you need is love and … to look after yourself.

Wedding planning is hard, and stressful, so very stressful. And we all know that stress has a huge impact on your body and your mental health. And we all want to go into our wedding day, and our married life, looking and feeling our absolute best. So I’ve put together some tips on how to look after yourself while wedding planning.

Leading up to the wedding day

Get yourself organised – Now is the time to organise yourself, especially if you are organisationally-challenged. Get yourself a wedding planner, any kind will do, whatever suits your personality and lifestyle, and use it.  She said yes have a beautiful one, you’ll feel better knowing that there’s not a chance of you forgetting anything.

Start a exercise plan – If you are wanting to lose a few kilos for the big day, or just want to be in the best possible shape for your wedding day, then formulate an exercise plan. Enlist the help of a nutritionist and/or personal trainer if you like, or just rope in the bridesmaids for added incentive.  Exercise as well as making you look great, will also make you feel great,and it’s also a great stress buster.

Skin care/Hair care- Now is the time to think about how you’re going to get your skin and hair into tip top condition. Talk to your make up artist and your hair dresser about the best way to do this. They may suggest regular treatments and/or products to use leading up to the wedding day, to ensure you have the perfect canvas for the day.

Multi-vitamins/supplements – Now is a good time to talk to a professional about what type of vitamins or supplements it may be a good idea to start using to make sure you both look and feel your best. You may need to think about a supplement to help with stress, or energy to help you get through the wedding planning intact. Make sure you are getting enough fruits and vegetables too.

Water – Up your water intake, nearly everyone doesn’t drink enough water, so increasing your water is a great way of helping with hydrating your body.  It will give you glowing skin, and help you flush out toxins. If you’re not a water fan, try using sliced fruit in your bottle to add a tasty flavour.

Delegate – Don’t try to wear too many hats. Make sure  you do your research with vendors, so you know they are professionals, and can do the job, and trust that they will on the day. Sometimes you need to choose what you can let go of and delegate. There are always lots of people who are just waiting for you to ask for help.

Wedding week –

Exercise – Keep up with the exercise. It will help relieve stress, and zone out in this busy week.

Wedding day contact – Choose someone to be the wedding day contact. Someone who you can trust to make decisions on the day so you can relax. This is where a wedding co-ordinator or day of wedding co-ordinator would step in.

Pamper yourself – It’s time to book in for a massage, or some other type of treat for yourself. It’s your wedding week, it’s time to indulge yourself.

Good People – Surround yourself with good people. The type of people who will bring you good vibes, not stress.  If you have to deal with a family member who you know will stress you out, then be very selective with how much time you spend with them.

Set aside more time – Give yourself way more time than you think you’re going to need to complete errands, everything will seem to take much longer than you think, which will leave you running late, and thus stressed, something we are trying to eliminate remember.

Wedding Eve – Don’t go too hard the night before the wedding. It’s ok to have a celebratory drink with the girls, but you want to be waking up fresh faced and bushy tailed, not like a zombie, with dark circles and a monster headache.

Sleep – Make sure you are not burning the candle at both ends leading up to the wedding. There’s a reason it’s called ‘beauty sleep’

Wedding Day

Eat – Make sure you have something in your belly during the day, to stop you feeling faint, and the wine going straight to your head.

Exercise/Fresh Air – Go for a quick walk with the girls in the morning before breakfast.  Getting some fresh air will make you feel amazing.

Water – Make sure you are hydrated, especially if you’ve planned a outside summer wedding.

Mediation – If you’re a mediation fan, then this is the perfect time to practice a little quiet time to re-focus your mind and energy as you head into a full-on day.

Focus on what’s important – Make sure you take a little time on the morning, especially if you’re feeling stressed out, to focus on what’s important about the day.  That you are getting married to your soul mate, nothing else matters!

 

When to say no, when to compromise and when to go with the flow.

All you need is love and …to learn when to say no, when to compromise and when to go with the flow.

When I sat down to research and write this piece, it became apparent to me that the principles for the successful navigation of the wedding planning process and  successfully navigating marriage are quite similar. Although I have yet to find a need for a seating chart in my marriage, and 17 years in I don’t think there will ever be a need for one, so in that respect they are different. So while you are reading this piece, be mindful that you can take some of the advice and apply it to marriage as well as wedding planning.

Wedding planning is hard, this we know. In fact if anyone says to you “Oh I loved every minute of planning my wedding, it was all so much fun” they are lying. They are a big fat liar McLiarsons.

With my experience in the wedding industry, and the many articles I’ve read, blog posts I’ve perused and Facebook rants I’ve been privy to, the number one issue couples (well let’s be honest, mostly brides) have is every man and his dog seems to have an opinion on how you should plan your wedding.

So with that in mind I’ve put together some tips for how to handle those sticky situations and those well-meaning friends and family (who we know only want to help) during the wedding planning process.

Come up with a budget, and stick to it – When you first start planning your wedding, you need to sit down together and have a conversation about money (I know boring as hell, but so important) You both need to decide on how much you can realistically spend on your wedding day, and what type of wedding you want. Is it going to be all out, over the top, dream wedding, or maybe something a little more scaled back? This will help you make all the big decisions (venue, photographer etc) when you know exactly how much you’ve got to spend on each element. Having a set budget means that you also have a good excuse to say ‘no’ to suggestions “Sorry I really can’t incorporate those swans  you really want into the wedding Great Aunty Fanny. I can’t afford it!” Soz not soz!

Make sure you’re both on the same page – Make sure you both converse about what’s important to you for the big day. Are there some non-negotiable items that you must have or that are priorities to you? For example, he may be a big fan of a particular type of car and really want those as the wedding cars, where you couldn’t care less what type of cars you arrive in. So you budget for those cars, and if someone offers their opinion on another type of car, you can say ‘no’. If you are both on the same page you will be in a better position  when people start questioning or offering their opinions. You will know exactly what the other person thinks and wants and can stick together.

Make sure your partner will back you up – Weddings and wedding planning can bring out the worst in people. A lot of people in your lives will have set opinions, whether solicited or not, on your wedding plans. If you’ve already had the discussion about the budget and your priorities, then you’re in good shape.  You also need to know that your partner will back you up if/when you have to say ‘no’ to a suggestion. Also be aware that some people will go for  the “divide and conquer” technique, where they will offer their suggestion on you first and if you say ‘no’ then they will try your partner. But once again if you both know the plan and know that you both  have each other’s back then you’ll come out on top.

Stick up for what’s important to you – It’s your wedding day, you get to do it your way. If there is something that you really want (priorities and non-negotiable items) and someone questions your decision then make sure you stick up for what’s important.  You don’t want to look back on your wedding day with regret on something that you gave up to keep someone else happy.

Don’t be emotionally black-mailed, especially by family – Split families can be  a hotbed for emotional blackmail (the whole if he’s coming then I’m not type of childish behaviour, can rear it’s ugly head) Make sure all your family members know that you will not be held to ransom on your wedding day. Remind them that it is your day, and that they need to ‘pull their heads in’ and if they can’t then maybe they should not come.  You’ll find nine times out of ten, they will start behaving. No-one wants to miss a wedding.

Every-ones on the same page – If your parents or other relatives are financially contributing to the wedding then you need to have discussions at the beginning with them all about your plans. There can be times when their money will come with strings attached ( an example: if they are paying for flowers, then they want to pick the flowers) and if you’re all good with that, then great, if not then you need to discuss and come to a compromise. I know, maybe easier said than done, just make sure they know how much you appreciate their contribution, but, that you have your hearts set on your plans. And if they still won’t play ball, then you need to decide if the money they are contributing is  worth all the hassle.

What can you let go of – There may be times where you just need to let go of some of the control or your expectations and go with some-one else’s idea to keep the peace. But only if it’s something that is not one of your priorities. For example one bride let her mother in law choose and order the wedding favours, because it kept her involved (and happy) and it wasn’t really a priority for the bride. Win, win I say!

Remember what’s important -You love each other. You  are choosing to share your love story and commitment with your friends and family on your special day.

 

I Love You

All you need is love and … creative ways to say I Love You.

 

Falling in love can be relatively easy, staying in love can be a little harder. Sometimes life happens and gets in the way, and it’s easy to take each other for granted and not put the effort in. It’s important to show  your loved one how important they are to you, and it doesn’t need to be extravagant (sky sign-writing) or expensive (round the world trips) Below is a list of cute, creative and inexpensive ways to show that special someone how much you love them.

1 Mixed tape (or CD or USB stick) – use a selection of your and their favourite songs.

2 Go screen free – set up a media free day/evening/time and just be present.

3 Plan a surprise date – maybe take them back to where you first met.

4 Hand made card – nothing beats hand-made with love.

5 Freshly baked cookies.

 

6 Love letter – a hand-written love letter never goes out of style.

7 Mirror message – write a message in the steam on the bathroom mirror.

8 Lunch love note – slip a little love note into their lunch box.

9 Make their lunch for them.

10 Flowers – you can never go wrong with flowers.

11 Breakfast in bed – surprise your loved one with breakfast in bed.

12 Funny video – send them a funny video/meme or youtube video.

13 Cook dinner – surprise them with their favourite dinner.

14 Early morning text – Text a sneaky cute ‘good morning. I love you’ text.

 

15 Cute photo – send them a photo of the two of you together.

16 Ask how their day was – and actually listen.

17 Let them pick the movie.

18 Teach them how to do something you love – share your passion, and be patient.

19 Walk on the beach together – build sandcastles, write you names in the sand.

20 Go window shopping together – pretend you’re mega rich and can buy anything.

21 Write them a poem – not all poems need to rhyme.

22 Take a bath together – bubbles, wine, candles.

 

23 Go for a park up – find a secluded spot with a great view and enjoy a picnic in the car.

24 Back row at the movies – sit in the back row of the movies and snuggle.

25 Fill up the car – fill up their car for them as a surprise.

26 NSFW text – send them a little X rated text.

27 Board-games – play a favourite board-game together.

28 Favourite magazine – buy the latest issue of their favourite magazine.

29 Dessert – pick up dessert on the way home, even if it’s a magnum ice-cream.

30 Toothpaste – put toothpaste on their toothbrush for them.

31 Post it note – use a post it note to send them a sweet message, on their steering wheel.

Remember it’s the thought that counts, not how expensive it is. So go forth and spread that love around all over the show.

Date Nights

All you need is love and … date nights.

So you’re in the throes of wedding planning, it’s stressful, time consuming, expensive, he’s not agreeing with you, Great Aunty Fanny is trying to tell you what to do! You’re getting a bit overwhelmed, you have a job, maybe some kids, a mortgage and a wedding to plan, aaaargggh!

It’s time to remember who you’re planning to marry and why!

It’s time for a date night.

Date nights are a great way to re-connect with each other, and remember that you guys had fun together, before the wedding planning and the kids, and Great Aunty Fanny. And the good news is they don’t have to be expensive, (which is awesome if you’re saving manically for a wedding) it is after all about just spending time together. You don’t even have to leave the house (which is great if you don’t have a babysitter for the little people) And while a dinner and movie, is cool, if that’s what floats your boat, there’s heaps of other ideas for some different date nights.

Here’s a list of ideas

  • Learn to dance together – you could include this as part of your wedding planning, but learning a dance for your first dance, or try something completely different, hip hop any-one?
  • Night classes – great opportunity to learn a new skill/language together.
  • Walk – just go for a stroll around your neighbour-hood, it’s free!
  • Go out for dessert/coffee – a way less cheaper option than a full meal.
  • Cook a new meal/dish together – choose an interesting/new/yummy sounding meal off the internet, or a magazine/cookbook. And prepare the meal together, put on some music, pour a glass of something nice, and enjoy each other’s company. Bonus is you actually have a meal to share together at the end of it.

 

  • Do something touristy – is there something in your town/city that all the tourists visit, but you’ve never been, check it out.
  • Head out of town – just jump in the car and drive, stop along the way for fish n chips or an ice-cream.
  • Picnic – prepare a picnic and head to a local beach or park.
  • Coffee and a walk on the beach – grab a takeaway coffee and head to the beach for a stroll.
  • Board game at home – dust off the old monopoly game (or whatever game takes your fancy), even a card game. Grab some snacks, a bottle of something and enjoy the game.
  • Visit the local pet shop or SPCA – take some time to play with the animals.
  • Pot luck dinner – organise a pot-luck dinner, that way you don’t have to do all the work, and it’s cheaper and have a adult dinner with adult conversation.
  • Star gaze together – super cheap and super romantic. Lay a blanket on the ground and gaze at the sky. Of course there’s an app for making sure you actually know what you are looking at (Nightsky)
  • Surprise – One of the couple is in charge of organising the date night.
  • Share items on your bucket list – it may inspire future date nights.
  • Brunch – Brunch may be easier to wrangle a babysitter for, and will generally be cheaper than a dinner out.
  • Karaoke – You either love it or hate it. If you love it hit the local karaoke club and sing a duet together.
  • Hire a kayak – Take a trip around your local harbour together. You can usually hire kayaks by the hour reasonably cheaply.
  • Quiz night – Check out your local bar for when their local quiz night is. Form a team with others and be amazed at the obscure general knowledge your partner has.

 

In the midst of wedding planning, or just life in general, it’s so easy to get caught up in just getting through the day. It is so easy to unintentionally disconnect from each other. We live in a society where FOMO (fear of missing out) means a lot of us are glued to our phones/laptops and not paying attention to the person sitting on the other end of the couch.