Wedding planning slump: how do you get re-energized?

Guest post by Ocelot
Photos Andy Chrisst
Photos Andy Chrisst

If you know anything about neurology or brain cells, I'm currently mired in a slump I'd compare to the action potential “undershoot” — the point where the membrane can't do what it's supposed to because the ion channels are inactivated. If you're not familiar with that, let's just say I'm so burnt out on “wedding stuff” that all I can do is loaf about on the couch and whine (or wine).

After a whole pile of crazy from family and several friends having weddings this month, I'm so burnt out. I'm getting really sick of talking about wedding stuff. It's kind of lost its novelty. In fact, I've been so burned out on it that it's taken me over three days to compose this post. I could barely get myself to think about how pooped I was… and thinking's pretty much all I do.

It's almost a few months before my wedding date and I have a ton of stuff left to do. This is a pretty vital time in planning. Lots of stuff needs to happen NOW, including my most important personal detail, choosing my wedding dress. The dress is so important to me that I've been squirreling away floor-pennies to pay for a fantastic seamstress. And, I just don't have the energy to even LOOK at the swatches or designs she's sent me. Every time I try, I get the urge to take a nap instead. I am so inactivated that I can't find any fun in it anymore. And that worries me!

What's a gal to do in this situation? How can I perk up enough to get tasks done? Here's what I've been trying:

  • Spending time with my Mister. Trying to remind myself what this is really about!
  • Dancing my ass off at a hail storm of weddings I'm attending this month. See, weddings ARE fun!
  • Setting up a NO DRAMA zone. I have little patience right now and I'll listen to your concerns tomorrow (or never).
  • Delegating. Even though it's really hard for me to give up control and trust that people do well, there's only so much I can fit in my brain. This is a thing I really need to work on anyway!
  • Napping. Don't know how it's helping, but it's sure not hurting.
  • Doing a little thing every day, no matter how little — reading a few Tribe posts, making a list of shit to remember, making one phone call. It's not exactly POWERING through it, like I would like, but it's progress and that feels good.
  • FEEL GOOD about progress, no matter how little. (It needed a bullet of its own!)

It's not ground breaking innovation in bridal motivation. It's just what I've found myself doing to keep from totally giving up or getting overwhelmed. I suppose these are good things to do even if you're NOT feeling burned out. They are pretty easy.

Any new suggestions on ideas to help me out of the wedding planning dumps? I can always use more tricks up my sleeve!

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Comments on Wedding planning slump: how do you get re-energized?

  1. I have been going through a period of being burnt out on planning too! I just had my bachelorette party (a month in advance). It was out of town so I made it a “no planning” fun time with the girls weekend. It helped me re-energize and refocus.

    • I had a long-ish engagement (I guess? 2.5 yrs?). About a year into it I became overwhelmed by wedding “stuff” and looking at wedding stuff and trying to decide on stuff I wanted in my wedding. I’m not talking just about material things, it was everything wedding related, services and all, that I was tired of looking at.

      Because I still had enough time, I declared a one-month ban on anything wedding related. I put away the magazines, didn’t visit the websites, and stopped talking about WEDDINGS in general with people.

      It was a huge relief to know that I didn’t have to look/read/think/decide on anything. After 30 days I felt recharged and was able to really focus on getting it all planned.

      I told this to a friend who was going through the same thing, but on a tighter schedule. She decided to take only 2 weeks off (she delegated a lot in order to keep things moving), and it helped her too.

  2. I’m also having a slump, but for many different reasons.

    For you, maybe having a crazy workout session will make you feel energized enough to tackle something? Working out always gives me energy, even if it’s just playing Just Dance or DDR. 😀

  3. A little bit of exercise goes a long way- even if it is just a twenty minute walk. Exercise=endorphins=happy time.

  4. ugh I’m in the same boat. I have a lot done but there’s still so much left to do. And I have trouble cold calling people – even though I’m calling them because I want to buy something from them.
    There are some major things I still need to get done, but I’m really not motivated to do them.
    I tend to work well when there’s a reward (even if it’s just praise – who am I kidding, especially if it’s praise!). SO maybe if I tell myself “if I do X this week, then I can go out to play pool”
    That actually might work.
    I should also get my fiance, mom and bridesmaids to pile on the praise when I get this stuff completed. lol!

  5. Studies show that the brain releases ‘happy’ chemicals when ever you finish a project, keeping a list of everything you’ve finished will help you boost that. Finish everything that’s mandatory first and you’ll realize how unimportant some of the small details are the closer you get to the day of. Obviously everyone’s opinion of what’s the most important is different but it felt really good to be able to mark stuff off the list because the project was only important to the esthetic, not the over all feel of the day. Not ‘making’ 120 flowers was one of the best decisions I made in terms of keeping my sanity, and my friends were too enamored with food, drinks and having a good time that most of them don’t even remember the centerpieces.

  6. When we hit a slump we go for a walk or play some Final Fantasy just to keep our minds fresh, or we cook something together, just anything that reminds us why we’re doing this

  7. To get past my planning slump I created “Wedding Free Wednesdays.” I give myself permission to not worry about the wedding for at least one day a week. If I want to do something, I can (like oogle but there’s no pressure on Wednesdays! I also look over my To Do list at everything I’ve crossed off! It really helps to see how much you’ve done!

  8. Oh, ma’am! Do I feel the undershoot! Though mine is 90% Federal grant writing and 10% wedding. I am greatly pleased that I somehow think I have the big things still on track, but we made a lot of the major decisions early on and that’s helped a lot as the wedding gets closer!

  9. Can you get an event planner to help you? I’m guessing that your procrastination is coming from the enormity of the decisions that need to made. Does it feel like any decision you make is going to be the wrong one? Having an experienced person to advise you and set some realistic expectations might take some of the load off. If it were me, having someone to say “I’ve used this ____ several times and everything was great” would help me sleep at night.

    • Anne, I think you are on to something. When I find myself in this kind of slump/procrastination mode, I am usually having some apprehension about something having to do with the task(s) at hand. Either I don’t feel confident about my ability to do it, or I don’t feel confident about a decision or something like that. So sometimes I have to do something to get PAST the apprehension, like get help, or just DO EET, and find out it wasn’t that bad, or whatever.

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