How to Manage Wedding Stress

I’m writing this post at the end of January, just over 3 months before our wedding. And I have no idea what’s to come in the next few months of planning, but I’m currently lying in bed at 1am, unable to sleep because I’m feeling stressed and anxious. And I’m absolutely DONE with this feeling taking over and spoiling my experience, so I’m going to find a way to deal and manage it!

Every element of wedding planning is a mammoth task, it all takes so much TIME and there’s SO MANY things involved with each element you’re planning. Even something as simple as *wracks brain trying to think of the easiest part of wedding planning so far* the favours, can be turned into a marathon of multiple emails, tastings, design ideas, design approval, deposits, invoices, contract signing, final preparations…all with a smile on your face – because it’s your wedding, of course! Even listing it doesn’t seem to give it the credit it deserves! Whilst it’s very easy to say ‘just ask for help’, it’s really not as simple as that, when you’re the one managing the day. It’s incredibly time consuming and life encompassing, and there’s no way around that (unless you have someone else planning it for you)! I assume that it’ll be much easier to ask for help when the day gets closer and we need help organising and doing, rather than just the booking/planning that I’m doing now.

So, it’s only natural, that whilst you’re trying to plan the wedding you’ve dreamed of since you were a kid, manage your budget and keep everyone happy (along with everything else going on with planning and, you know, WORK and LIFE), you allow your mental health to deteriorate. It’s so easily done, but I really hope I can find a way around this.

The plan: to make a list of things that I think I might help alleviate these feelings. And then make a conscious effort to take my own advice over the next couple of months – I’m one of those people happy to give advice, but terrible at taking my own! I pray it works. Shout out to my incredible Maid of Honour (I know you’re technically a ‘matron’ because you’re married, but it doesn’t have the same ring to it!), who’s been so wise and supportive when I’ve needed her (as always). And a couple of her pointers made this list. I love you girl 💖

1. Make a checklist 📝

I’m a sucker for a checklist anyway, but with SO many things to do, any bride will want one! It’s an overwhelming list, and I find it so easy to see all the things I’m yet to do, panic, and try to do everything as soon as I can! But that’s not realistic, not when half of the things on there won’t/can’t happen till 4 weeks before the big day! But checking things off as you get them done will really help.

2. Formal planning time 📚

Related to point 1…have a list with dates of when you can/need to do things by. It shows that you’re on top of things and that you don’t need to have everything finished just yet! Then step back and distance yourself. Have a date/time each week when you review the list to check your progress…this way, you don’t need to think about it the rest of the time.

3. Make time to spend with a loved one 💕

Ban all wedding talk if you want, or take the opportunity to vent, but set a coffee date with a special person. Someone who you know will distract you/calm you down/let you talk your frustrations out/talk you through problems.

4. Equally, make time for you 😌

Find an activity that you find peaceful and calming, and devote time to that, and that alone – don’t get distracted! Reading in the bath, colouring, yoga – whatever it is, set aside time for you and it, and allow yourself to become completely immersed in ‘chill’.

5. Talk to your venue contact 💒

They do this for a living, it’s second nature. So if you have a question, why are you stressing about not knowing, assuming an answer, or googling it? Ask! You’ll feel better!

6. Write down any problems 📓

My wonderful Maid of Honour once told me (years ago now!) to keep a notepad by my bedside for any of those nights when you have a million things flying round your head. This has proved to be invaluable advice, as the nights are when I seem to struggle most with overthinking. Sometimes even writing a problem down, without necessarily solving it, can make you feel better.

7. Be honest 💬

Talk things out with your fiancé, bridesmaid, parent, sibling or friend, don’t keep it all bottled up. Even just getting things out in the open and off your chest can feel like a weight’s been lifted. They love you, they’ll take the time to listen, and help if they can.

8. Get some fresh air 🍃

Whether you go on a walk by yourself in silence or with your earphones in, fresh air will do you the world of good!

9. Plan a month in advance 📆

This was a piece of advice I saw on a website over summer. The woman had planned her wedding, imagining it was a month earlier…which meant that even the smaller things (that you might forget about, or stress over at the last minute) like service cards, tealights and bathroom basket were taken care of! This left her and her fiance with a calm and stress free few weeks in the run up to the wedding. I can’t remember where I read it, otherwise I would give credit, but organisation Queen over here loves that idea! I hope it works…

10. It’s YOUR DAY make YOUR DECISIONS 👰🤵

SO many people have said this to me. And thankyou, I salute you, because this has turned into a little mantra. There’s so much drama that can go on with a wedding, from family politics to the table runners being the wrong shade of blue. Whilst you will accommodate certain needs and politely take suggestions into consideration, remember it’s YOUR DAY. This is the first page of a brand new book, and the start of the rest of your lives together. For everyone else there, however close you are – it’s just another (very lovely, hopefully!) day. If you know that there’s a certain detail or two that will stress you out for months in advance, or you’ll hate on the day, just don’t do it, simple!

11. Take a breath, try and find a solution 💪

Whether your brain’s in a muddle over the seating plan for the third hour, the vendor you really wanted to use can’t supply a specific item you had your heart set on, or you can’t have the band/DJ you wanted – it’ll be okay. Naturally, when it’s your wedding, every task becomes personal because you invest so much in it. Every element is just one building block in the tower that is ‘your big day’. And sometimes, something will happen that will shake the tower, or a brick will be removed, and you’ll feel like you’re absolutely powerless to keep it all together. Take a moment, take a breath…find a solution. Work out HOW you’re going to deal with that problem guest, talk to family, source other vendors, get on Pinterest and fall in love with a new decor idea, ask for recommendations from whoever let you down, knowing they’ll recommend similar products/services to their own. I promise, that as soon as you find a solution to the problem, your stress and anxiety will melt away.

12. Acceptance 💖

Nobody can control everything. You can only do what you can and then ride out the rest. Focus time on accepting that what will be, will be, and be disciplined when your mind tries to tell you that you need to control everything. You don’t! Things will fall into place.

If you reached this point, well done and THANKYOU for sticking with it. This is probably the longest post I’ve ever written, and I had no intention of it turning into an essay…but it’s something I felt passionately about sharing. It’s something I’m sure every bride and/or couple will struggle with, and if I can help in any way, it’s worth the rambling!

Much love,

Lynette x

The Pros and Cons of Wedding Fayres

Before I start, full photo credit goes to the UK Wedding Event website. I made sure that all of the photos used were taken on the day we were there – so you can actually get a sense of the vibe we were feeling when we were walking round 😊

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After we got engaged, the main thing people said to me (after congratulations!), was ‘Go to a Wedding Fayre/Fayres’. A lot of Fayres are on Sundays which is one of my work days, so we only managed to get ourselves to one, back in the Easter Holidays. Which some might think was a shame, but honestly, it was a lovely afternoon, a great experience, and we didn’t come away feeling like we needed to source more ideas – we actually had too many!

I’d already done a fairly substantial amount of research by the time we went to the Fayre, hosted by The UK Wedding Event at the Harrogate Sun Pavilions. It was 6 weeks after our engagement, and by this point we already had the venue booked, colour scheme decided, and I’d sat for hoursssss on Pinterest looking at centre pieces, flowers cake, decor ideas… (Yes, organisation Queen is in her ELEMENT with this wedding planning malarkey!) There’s SO many ideas out there for any kind of wedding, and social media has proved to be a WONDERFUL tool (particularly Etsy, but I’m going to come back to that another time).

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I’ve put together a list of Pros and Cons about the event. Obviously, this is totally personal so I’m not claiming it’s the gospel truth, but I thought you might be interested 😊

PROS:

Meeting Local Suppliers:

One of the things that Ed and I had decided quite early on, was that we wanted to source as many LOCAL suppliers as possible. For a multitude of reasons, but the main two being:
a) We want to support local business
b) We have so many ties to the area (including him proposing at Knaresborough Castle)…it just felt like a really nice bow to tie our whole relationship together.
THIS was where the Wedding Fayre really delivered. We were able to meet local businesses (it turns out that one company that we’re definitely going to go with LITERALLY lives round the corner from us!), that we wouldn’t have found had we just sat on Google. 

Getting Ideas:

This is the main reason for all of my friend’s Fayre recommendations…there’ll be things there that you won’t find scrolling through Google or Pinterest (unless you have a million free hours). There was a guy at ours for example who did engravings and carvings into a variety of objects for place names, seating plans etc etc. I’d never have thought of using a mirror engraving as a seating plan, but there you go!

Goodie Bag:

YESSSSS who doesn’t LOVE a goodie bag?! With The UK Wedding Events team (who organise Fayres all over Yorkshire), you get a canvas tote on arrival with a floor plan of what’s where, and a bunch of wedding magazines and flyers. You’ll pick up more little freebies as you go round, but my fave (obviously) were the food stands 😉 Stood in Valley Gardens, eating strawberry/champagne fudge is NOT a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Spending time with your fiance:

Ed and I live together so we see each other every day, but because of work and house stresses the last few months, we’ve not had an awful lot of time to spend together in a ‘going out and doing things’ sense. I value every minute I spend with him anyway, but getting out of the flat and doing something adventurous or different is always lovely – and fun! 
As much as anything else, it’s nice to be able to start your wedding journey together. I know lots of partners will have different plans for who does what, as it’s not possible to do everything together. So being able to spend some time ‘wedding-ing’ (just the two of you as well, without any family or friends present) is really special. Especially when you’re recently engaged and it’s all still new and exciting and a bit weird, and people keep on congratulating you!

CONS:

Businesses going for ULTRA HARD SELL

I would definitely recommend going with a BIT of an action plan about what you want (or perhaps more accurately, what you DON’T want), because some people will try to do the HARD SELL. And I mean like, jump down your throat before you even get to their stand and won’t let you leave without signing up to their mailing list. So BE STRONG and just say no 💪 (Politely of course, you don’t have to barge past them, by all means have a conversation with them…but stand your ground). 

It’s Busy

We went later in the day in an attempt to avoid the crowds (although this COULD mean you miss out on freebies, but it was a risk we were willing to take). And it paid off for us getting there at 3pm, but I can imagine it being very cramped in there earlier in the day.

Getting emails MONTHS later from companies you had no idea existed

Kind of linked to the Hard Sell point I made. This is the problem with anyone you show any interest in…they insist on you writing down your name and email address. Which is great to essentially get a free reminder a few days later about the suppliers you liked, but I got a GDPR email from a random company a few weeks ago, which sent me into a mild panic: the name wasn’t anything to do with weddings, and it took me Googling the website link to realise it was a wedding ring company! Panic over, it wasn’t a stalker. But I’d totally forgotten I’d even given them my details. We weren’t interested in the slightest but I felt bad for the guy who had very few names on his sheet, so I suppose I’ve contradicted my earlier statement. At the end of the day though, it’s totally up to you how you choose to spend your experience; a s**t ton of emails might be a help to some, but may be a nuisance to others. 

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All in all, they’re great events to attend, and whilst there are a couple of cons, they really don’t outweigh all the pros – and this post wasn’t necessarily about reviewing the experience, it was to give you a general idea. I hadn’t read much about what to expect from a Wedding Fayre when I googled ahead of our visit, so I’m putting this out there in the hope it finds someone who really needs an honest opinion. OR, maybe you just fancied a nosey…it seems people are curious about wedding related thangs!

If you’ve enjoyed reading this, stay tuned by subscribing/following my blog because I’ve got plenty of other wedding post ideas! 😊

Lynette x

The Most Fun Things About Starting to Plan Your Wedding

So whether you’ve just gotten engaged, have been engaged for a while, are married and are feeling nostalgic, or single and just curious…this post is for you! Getting engaged is such an incredibly special time, and is exciting in sooooo many ways! There’s a lot of love flying round and when it was such a big part of our lives, it seemed only right to share with you lovely lot 😊

Being a Princess 👸🏻

Whether you’re trying on sparkly jewellery, walking round a Manor House, meeting vendors or the big one, trying on wedding dresses – it’s all just utterly magical. You’ve imagined how it might be for years, so you can’t believe it’s actually happening – it feels like a fairytale!

Admiring your ring at every opportunity 💍

It feels so weird (and very grown up) to have something on that finger, and 6 months later, I still find myself playing with it. FULL CREDIT to Ed for picking the most gorgeous ring ever, I’ve been in love with it since I clapped eyes on it, and will be for the rest of my life. Cringe? Maybe, maybe not. But this is a wedding post, if you weren’t expecting a bit of mush then…well I don’t have any words, because mush is GOING to happen! 😂 Please feel free to click close now if you don’t want mushiness. Because there will be more 😉

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Getting special Wedding Planners 📚

I’m super organised anyway, so this is SO FUN. I actually have two different books, plus a checklist on my iPad (I’m totally ON THIS 😂), and they’re a great way of:
a) The obvious one, planning (Guest List, Colour Scheme, Vendor details etc.)
b) Scribbling down potential ideas (that may come to nothing, but are good to have: signature cocktail, signage ideas, decor thoughts, etc.)
c) Noting down special meetings, dates or thoughts, to look back on in years to come.

Plus they include fun pages! One of mine includes ‘Our Wedding Guest Predictions’ (where we can guess who’ll cry the most, who’ll be the first on the dance floor, and who’s most likely to be found at the buffet). They also include space to write your vows (if you’re doing your own), plan your fitness regime (if you want to do one) and a colouring page, for when you’re mega stressed and need to chilllll.

Seeing beautiful venues 🏰

This was our first port of call when it came to planning, and it’s a bit of a surreal experience…
You get to see beautiful places, gorgeous grounds, get treated like royalty (because everywhere you view wants your dolla)! We thoroughly enjoyed our venue viewing experience, not just for those reasons, but it was the first time it was actually ‘real’. And the love is allllllll around 😊

Browsing on Pinterest 📸

I can’t believe how much you can find on there! My favourite thing has been to put in our wedding’s colour scheme and get ideas for venue decor, flowers, cake design…the list is potentially endless with so many things on there!

Following Wedding Dress Boutiques on Instagram 👰🏻

I’ve never Insta stalked as much as I have on the Bridal Factory Outlet‘s account. Before I got my dress, it was just amazing to get ideas and get wrapped up in wedding-ness. Now, it’s a comparison game, and basically thinking everything is mediocre compared to yours (in the least horrible way possible I might add!)… there are SOOOO many gorgeous dresses out there, but surely, if you’re still falling in love with other dresses, your dress isn’t YOUR dress. So, the feeling of ‘well it’s lovely, but not amazing’ is just a sign that the dress you bought really is ‘the one’. Which by the way, I thought was just a turn of phrase. Until I put mine on. And now I can totally vouch for the fact that it’s not, and ‘the one’ is a genuine thing.

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Starting to Check Things off your to do list 📝

I mean, I love a checklist anyway, but when your wedding checklist is SO long (I had no idea how much there was to do until I started planning, there’s so many things you wouldn’t think of), it feels good to start making a dent in it.

Browsing through etsy 💻

Until I started planning, I had no clue about the amazing-ness of Etsy! For ANYTHING, not just wedding decor, stationery and gift ideas, there’s THOUSANDS of things on there! Things you’ll never have known existed, let alone thought of before; and what’s best, is that you’re supporting small businesses (more on this another time)!

Being in an engagement bubble with your beloved 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨

The first month or so of our engagement became a whirlwind: we were running out of room in the fridge because it was full of Prosecco (#priorities) and everything in life seemed to have a shimmery haze around it, just because there was so much LOVE flying around! It’s almost cringey, and almost movie script worthy, but it really is such a special time, and I had no idea how magical (and insane!) it was going to be. Plus, I had NO idea that Ed was going to propose, so it took quite a while to actually believe it was happening! I was speechless that day (which has NEVER happened before), and I really struggled to be sociable at our celebratory meal that evening with my parents 😂

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Wedding plans have been put on hold for now (we’re distracted with work and moving), but all the BIG things that need booking way in advance, have been done! Which is VERY exciting! More on these another time…

If anyone has any fun planning memories or something they’re looking forward to, please feel free to share below!

Lynette x