How do you fight wedding decision fatigue?

Funny Faces
Photo of Bethany's wedding by Durbam Rhame
While trying to organize everything for our wedding, I feel so overwhelmed with options that I have become very indecisive about things.

How did you come to a decision on anything from theme, colors, dress, guest gifts, etc.? Was it hard after to not compare it to other options? How often did you change your mind before coming to final decision?

Any advice on staying content with choices I've made? -saracast

Dude, decision fatigue is no joke. Symptoms include reduced ability to make trade-offs and decision avoidance on the one hand, and then impulse buying on the other hand. Ack! Sometimes you just have to go with your gut and remember that there's never one "right" decision — there's just the one you pick. Make a choice, and then move on!

We also highly, HIGHLY recommend knowing when to say when… sometimes it's time to take a break from wedding planning.

How do you deal with decision fatigue and find contentment with the choices you've made in your wedding planning?

  1. Oh! So there is a name for that thing when I cry in the middle of a store because I can't make anymore decisions about teeny tiny things which will seem really insignificant basically the day after my wedding!

    Good to know!

    But seriously, a lot of my decisions come down to 1. Is it cheap? 2. Is it easy? 3. Do I like it? And if it meets all three, BAM! Done. Some things don't meet any of this criteria. That's the scary time.

    22 agree
    • i didn't have any intention of having wedding colors, but once i picked a few it made wedding decisions a lot easier. "i need table cloths." "here are 14 million table cloths!" "i need purple ones." "please choose from this selection of 3 purple tablecloths." "hooray!"

      14 agree
    • "a lot of my decisions come down to 1. Is it cheap? 2. Is it easy? 3. Do I like it? And if it meets all three, BAM! Done. "

      LOVE THIS! Great way to process a decision. I'm with you on this totally!

      0 agree
  2. I felt this a lot a few months into planning… "Who am I" seemed to be at the heart of it… Am I sophisticated bride or vintage bride or rural bride? Et all. What really helped me was finding the venue and the dress, once I had those everything else seem to flow from them. Yes, that meant saying no to other things but then I finally had a touchstone to come back to… I.e. what goes better with my rustic daytime wedding… two tiered homemade cake or six tiered fondant… The answer is pretty clear. Yes, i still like the choices I left on the table but it's easier this way. This is probably why themes are so popular. The other thing is just look, look, look and pin and rip pages … patterns will emerge.

    Once I made a decision I STOPPED looking at other choices in that category.

    10 agree
    • I think this is an incredibly important point, and an excellent method. My partner and I are running into this sort of problem (we're in the initial stages of planning) with things like favors and the guestbook. There comes a point where you need to just make your decision and STOP.

      There are endless ways you can handle the details of your wedding. Obsessing over whether or not you picked the "most you" option for every detail will kill you emotionally and mentally. Is it more "us" to hand-write letters to everyone as favors, or is it more "us" to make seaglass candy for favors? We need to pick which one we're going to do, and then have that be the end of it. Because the answer is, both are "us," and we're not doing both.

      It shouldn't be a no-exceptions rule that once you make a decision about details that you can't change your mind. But the exceptions need to be compelling, like, "We can't afford the centerpieces we wanted," and not, "Ugh, I wonder if we should change the centerpieces back to having candles, isn't that classier?"

      7 agree
  3. The thing that helped me the most was deciding that certain things had no possible wrong decision–like, no matter what decision we made, it'd be fine. It was very challenging to pick a cake-baker, but once we found a great one, what flavours/design/decorations for the cake didn't need to be a big decision, because we knew this baker was incapable of making a bad cake no matter what we chose. I didn't fret over the flowers, because fresh flowers are pretty period–all of them are pretty. I let the florist choose what to do within our budget since she knew best. I let friends design certain items of decor because I knew they would do a good job no matter what they chose, and I told the bridesmaids to pick their own dresses since I knew they would pick flattering ones. Seriously, save your decision-making powers for the stuff that matters to you, and just pick the first nice affordable thing you see when it doesn't matter that much. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a tablecloth that could ruin a wedding, so I picked the first one I saw and stopped worrying about it. So freeing!

    17 agree
    • This is fabulous advice! I realized that after I spent almost 3 days looking at cake toppers on Etsy I needed to reevaluate my life, lol! We did find the perfect one and it was only $30 but that time could have been spent doing much better things. I hadn't put so much effort into anything else except photography at that point. I have no idea why I got so wrapped up in the freaking cake topper!!

      0 agree
  4. One useful thought I had early on is that, by and large, all weddings are beautiful! It's ALL beautiful! When the option is between two beautiful, lovely, equally costed options, then no matter what you'll make the "right" decision.

    Also realizing early what does and doesn't matter really helps. When we realized that linens and flatware and centerpieces for the reception wasn't our priority, we could very easily leave that up to the venue to handle! I didn't want to pick bridesmaid dresses, so I didn't. I let them pick their own. It worked great! (Caveat: some folks will be stressed out with the idea of "ruining" your wedding by not picking the right dress. I tried to avoid that by giving them some guidelines and being extremely complimentary with all decisions. Because no matter what, my bridesmaids were going to be beautiful, because they're beautiful all the time![/cheesiness])

    However, even with all of those priorities in check, I still felt serious fatigue. I was lucky enough to have my sister come from out of town to help me plan. She said it simply, "Leave all the planning alone, and when I come I'll help you!" Don't be afraid to do something similar. Chances are good people are more than happy to make decisions for you! And they'll choose beautiful things that might never have occurred to you. Similarly, when we decided at the last minute to throw a rehearsal dinner, we left it up to my mother in law and aunt in law. And it was marvelous! I didn't have to do anything to get ready for it. I just had to show up. If you feel comfortable, and you have a good relationship with them, feel free to let others take over. You might be pleasantly surprised.

    3 agree
  5. Maybe it's because I'm planning this ceremony to take place in Michigan while living in Turkey or maybe it's because we're already married, but I have had a very easy time making decisions. Every time we've made one, I keep thinking that it should be harder but it just works.

    Our venue suggested two caterers, we went with the first contacted – my food tasters loved the food and they'll do a pig roast for us. We went with the only baker that would let us do sheet cakes without having a fancy tiered one; it's a bonus that they also have super yummy cakes and awesome flavors. I'll be using the linens, decorations, and centerpieces provided by the venue because this will be a destination wedding for everyone and I don't need the extra stress of transporting in centerpiece options from out of state. The ceremony will be outside with the reception under a pavilion outside, so I'm not doing any flowers.

    I know that being far away has made it easier. Everything I'm working with is second hand knowledge. But I also feel like the stress/decision making fatigue is preempted by someone else doing part of the work for me.

    0 agree
  6. For me the hardest part about wedding decision making is that it's not all about me. I would worry about what other people would think about the choice I made. I would feel I needed to confer with my fiance and then let him think it over. I thought I should ask my Mom and my friends and my future in-laws. All of that can really contribute to not wanting to make decisions.
    What helped me most with this was scheduling so that I know what desicions need to be made when and I let everyone know the schedule so that if someone's input is not in by the time it's time to descide, I just pick what ever looks good at the time. It helps me alot.

    5 agree
  7. I sometimes have to remind myself that I don't care about some things. We have decided to order a medieval dinner for our reception in april 2014 but we won't be able to taste it before december, and if we don't like it then, it will be rather a short time to hire another caterer. I was uneasy about making this decision until I remembered that I don't care about food. If it's not good, then it will be one ruined meal in my guests' lives. It happens. Now I can focus on things I care about.

    Before finding OBB, I was overwhelmed when looking at wedding blogs. So many different things, so many choices! What tablecloth will represent who I am? What will this birdcage say about me? Answer : nothing. A tablecloth is there to protect the table and a birdcage will make me pretty, and that's enough.

    I have picked my dress and it doesn't look at all like what I was looking for in the first place, so I sometimes think that maybe there is a nicer one somewhere. But I don't look at dresses anymore, because I have one that I like and I don't want to be bothered to keep looking and maybe regret that I have bought it.

    My advice would be to establish some criterias to narrow the possibilities if you're overwhelmed, and not to even look at what is not in your criterias.

    0 agree
  8. Research a bit online and then go with your gut! Oh man, I've been completely not stressed because I have not allowed myself to make choices. Because seriously, most of those things you mentioned, how are they gonna make your wedding drastically different. Will everyone have a better time if your colors are pink and blue instead of red and orange? Will people walk away disappointed if you have jordan almonds instead of fridge magnets as favors? Do you need to go over every weight of paper and every font for invitations?

    No, no, and no. When it comes to decoration, pick something you think is pretty and leave it at that, because there are always a million other options. For things like food, music, officiant, do a little research and only contact people you already feel confident about. You don't need to eat 20 cakes to find good cake, or listen to 20 DJs to find one who is good.

    And just remember that people rarely remember the details. Your guests are not obsessing over colors or fonts or themes the way you are. I couldn't tell you the colors or favors for most of the weddings I've been to. So just pick something that works and forget about it.

    3 agree
  9. Deadlines and breaks. At the out set of the whole planning journey, I made a timeline/checklist thing of when major decision need to be partially decided and finalized by. This made sure that not only did i not forget anything, but that shit was done when it needed to be!

    Most importantly though, I took wedding-planning breaks. Sometimes scheduled, sometimes not. As a student I often just didn't always have the time to be sitting around pondering our wedding, I had papers, tests, and internships to worry about so I just couldn't make or dwell on decisions. On the other hand, I had to take a break, my partner and I both did. He and I got just plain old tired of all of it. We planned date nights, days, even weekends that were "wedding-free" so that we could not only get away from the wedding shenanigans, but come back to it later with clearer heads!

    0 agree
  10. I'm in the middle of decision fatigue. Two things that are helping me is knowing that a lot of the waffling decisions have to be made this weekend because the wedding is soon. I'm going to make them and then live with whatever they are. Secondly, my finace and I set a drop dead date. It's one week before our wedding madness starts. If it doesn't happen by then, it's not going to happen. I'm really looking forward to that week to just enjoy the last bit of being engaged and my love's company.

    3 agree
  11. My wedding was three days ago, and I went through this a lot. I rushed into and regretted my dress, venue, bridal party outfits, I stressed everyone out waiting until the minute before the wedding to decide whether we were going with or without shoes for my beach wedding, I doubted some of my vendors. On that day though, everything I had decided (except a couple of vendors, always go with your gut on those) was absolutely perfect, it came together beautifully. Make a decision on whether you really hate something and need to change it (as I did with bridesmaids dresses) or you really love something but are just wondering if there was a better option as I did with my dress, which was absolutely perfect on my wedding day). There are always better options, but they are not better for you. Drop dead date is a good idea, too. You might not quite make the deadline, but you'll have more time to clear and quiet your mind before the day. And when you find yourself wandering around craft store aisles with two different sized packages of aisle numbers in your hand and a major headache, just put it down and go. Breaking up my crafts shopping trips into smaller trips with less pressure to get absolutely everything I needed and making lists where I eliminated and found multiple uses for items was helpful.

    0 agree
  12. THIS! I have commented on this topic before, but I'm not much for more-is-more so many of our/my decisions were resolved with, "We/I don't HATE that!"

    0 agree
  13. If it's down to choosing between a few similarly great options, have someone else choose.

    If you don't like their decision, you'll know. (For me it's just a sense of disappointment.)

    3 agree
  14. I'm in the decision making stage now, and I'm just trying to push through it. What has been a huge help so far has been:

    1. Decide what you require from each vendor before you start looking for them. When you're searching, you can immediately stop and discount anyone who does not fit your criteria.

    2. You're not in this alone. Assign some of the vendors to your partner. Make sure ze knows which vendors you're taking on.

    3. If you can't narrow down the vendors down to 1, then pick your top 5 or less. Hand over these top picks to your partner. Let your partner pick their favorite one out of the short list. If ze is also having a hard time picking just one, ask your partner to explain what they think of each one as ze may notice something you had not and that extra info may help you make your decision.

    4. When you're tired and don't want to deal with it – don't. Declare that the rest of the evening or day, etc. will be free of wedding talk.

    5. Once you make a decision, consider it done. Stop researching it. Move on to the next task.

    3 agree
  15. Thank you so much for posting this. I really needed to hear it today.

    0 agree
  16. I found the best thing to avoid the stress was to pay attention to my time line. When I didn't need to send invites for another 8 weeks, I held off on researching my options. When I had to talk to my caterer about food that's the week I thought about food. I also did a TON of DIY and made sure to give myself twice as much time as I thought I needed just in case I changed my mind on what I wanted.

    0 agree
  17. When I first got engaged, my MOH (who works in a hotel and has seen many brides agonize over the linen colors and hors d'oeuvre selections) sat me down and said:

    "Come up with the top 5 list of things that are important to you. Focus on those, and don't stress about the rest."

    For me, that meant finding a photographer who I was head-over-heels in-love with her work and her price, because I desperately want good photography to hang around my house for the rest of my life.
    It also meant going with the venue's "generic" chairs instead of the Chiavari chairs, and finding an affordable bakery that delivered cakes because I could care less about the size/style/flavor (but my mom wants a cake-cutting).

    I also love the comment above, that there is no RIGHT answer. It's easy to agonize over every detail, or worried about what every guest would think … but it doesn't do any good and just keeps you up at night. Go with your gut and don't look back.

    0 agree
  18. Sometimes you just have to stop and go. What is this item? Do i really want it? if yes then which do i/the other half like and go with that.

    Sometimes you just have to stop yourself looking at other choices after you have decided.

    Sleeping on it helps or ignoring it for a day or so and coming back to it. Or I'm having this because I like it. On the other hand knowing what you don't like or want helps too.

    0 agree
  19. My fear is changing my mind about what kind of wedding I want to have next year. I am going to leave some of the decor for later I think, and plan on buying two dresses. If the first one sticks and is amazing next year, I won't need another, but likewise I don't think I can wait to shop/purchase one (much too excited). I know the venue will decide much of this for me though. Generally, I am in the boat with the gals who Quit Looking once a decision is made, and generally I don't have a hard time making the executive decisions. With engagement rings, I simply deleted all diamonds from my Pinterest, stopped following ring boards, unsubscribed from jewelry newsletters/emails, and stopped looking longingly into jewelry windows on Union Square. The search is done. My ring is for life!

    0 agree
  20. I just had one of those moments when picking out suits for the groomsmen. My downfall was that I invited too many people with too many opinions. Everyone was throwing suggestions while simultaneously throwing ties at me. I seriously had to take a second and realize why we were there and why it was supposed to be a happy moment. Wedding fatigue, its totally thing.

    0 agree

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