What to do if wedding planning is sucking the joy out of life

Guestpost by Kirsten Hansen on Jul. 3rd
Mason Drinking Jars with Flower Lids available here.

Mason Drinking Jars with Flower Lids available here.

Have you been wondering if you're the only one not squeeing every moment about your upcoming wedding or feeling like your inner curmudgeon has come out to play? It's okay. You're not alone.

This wedding planning thing can suck hard. Not everyone loves planning a wedding and some people downright hate it. Drama happens, things go wrong, and planning is a whole heck of a lot of work.

If that's you right now, then maybe we can help make things at least a little better.

Take a break

Seriously. Give yourself time off to do things you enjoy. Even better, do things as a couple that have nothing to do with venue tours or fittings or guest lists. It can be easy to let wedding planning take over your life — but it doesn't have to be that way. Life isn't waiting for your wedding to be over and it will go on after the wedding (avoid setting yourself up for post-wedding blues). Maybe you need a weekend, maybe you need a month. Just know that it is okay.


So you may have realized that this wedding thing can be kinda complicated. Or maybe you are just not a planner by nature. Well, then make it simpler. I'm not talking about getting a better spreadsheet. I mean flat out simplify. If you don't need it, then don't worry about it. Letting go of things can be super-freeing. And you know what? Nobody will know. It's easy to get lost in all the amazing details that you could include (paper straws, the ultimate geeky favor, handmade brooch bouquet). Yes, some people do all of this and it is amazing. Some people don't and it is totally okay, too.

Or sometimes simplifying means having someone else handle it. Maybe you have a relative or friend who has been dying to help with something. Well, why not let them? If you're worried about their commitment to your vision, choose something that isn't a top priority for you and just let them do it (or not). It's one more thing that's out of your hair and it can make them happy. Maybe you need a wedding planner or day-of coordinator.

Sometimes simplifying means just cutting it all back. Can you invite fewer people? Can you have cake and punch instead of a full dinner? Can you go with a second-choice venue if it means you don't have to decorate for three hours or arrange transportation? There may be compromises, but if it means life not sucking as much, it's probably worth it.

Make space for quiet at your wedding

For all of you who don't like the idea of being front and centre at your wedding, it can be managed. Maybe you need an intimate ceremony with just a few people and then a big party later where everyone celebrates together. Or how about private vows before, during, or after the ceremony? Give yourself or your partner time to slip away and make sure you have somewhere to go. Even if you aren't worried about being the centre of attention, it can be awesome to have a private dinner or some down time with your wedding party. If you need to have a quick swig of something, then give yourself a few moments to do that.

Focus on your priorities

Sticking to your priorities is important whether it's being eco-conscious, saving money, having all your friends and family present, a chocolate cake with raspberry filling, bitchin' DJ, or eloping. Do your best to make it work. Maybe it won't be perfect, but if you keep your focus on these things then the rest of it can be a little easier to let go.

Value your relationships

Weddings can bring out the crazy in people, but do your best not to let it get in the way before you need to fire a bridesmaid. You may see the best sides of people you hadn't expected, and you might see the worst sides of others. Maybe you're negotiating a new relationship with your parents or you're figuring out how to communicate with your partner. If you want them around after the wedding, try to talk it out (and practice good conflict resolution methods).

Do it differently

When all else fails, it's time to change. Maybe this means eloping. Maybe it means a surprise wedding. Maybe it means getting weddinged later. It could be changing the time or location. But if wedding planning is making you miserable, then make a change if at all possible.

How are you coping when wedding planning makes your life suck? What sacrifices are you making for your own sense of well-being?

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About Kirsten Hansen

Kirsten is an academic out in the world, or at least out in Canada. She has been involved in teaching university courses, worked for a non-profit organization, researched and played with technology, and is an occasional freelance writer. When not working, she can usually be found with her nose in a book, playing video games with her husband, designing jewelry or cards or baking something delicious. Her house has been likened to a zoo with three cats and two ferrets frequently misinterpreting who is in charge.