You’ve most likely seen the movies that make fun of wedding planners for being over the top. Maybe you’ve watched shows about Bridezillas who have lost touch with reality. And there’s a good chance you’ve read a few articles that said you can easily reduce stress if you follow “10 steps” while planning your wedding reception.
While most of the aforementioned are well-intended, the majority miss the big picture of successful wedding planning and fail to acknowledge the long-term mental health benefits of prioritizing and being disciplined during this incredible experience.
Energy and expectation management along with work and life integration extends far beyond the days leading up to the wedding, the wedding reception itself and the honeymoon. Consider the following guidance if you are interested in achieving fulfillment on a consistent basis, not only for a single chapter of your life.
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Take Care of Yourself
If you can’t take of yourself, you can’t take care of your partner and the people who depend on you. Imagine meticulously planning the “perfect” wedding reception only to show up at the altar that day sleep-deprived, stressed-out and saying to yourself, “I want this to be over so I can relax.” Unfortunately, as a professional in the live events and entertainment production industry for twenty-five years, I heard this verbatim from brides more often than you’d think.
Can it be avoided? Yes.
How? Make sleep, nutrition and daily exercise a priority. Do this every day during the planning process so you are firing on all cylinders on your wedding day. You’ll be the ultimate host and be able to enjoy your once-in-a-lifetime occasion as much as your guests. Bonus: You’ll look and feel fabulous on your honeymoon!
When you come back, continue with your active and healthy lifestyle. It makes no sense to spend upwards of a year to get in the best shape of your life for one day and then let yourself go for the next 60 years.
Enjoy all of the deliciousness of your dream wedding and a fairytale honeymoon, but be careful not to overindulge. This slippery and habit-forming slope can easily carry over to the months and years that follow if a commitment to wellness isn’t part of your daily routine. Don’t be that recent newlywed who waits for the next year to arrive so she can say, “I’m finally going to get back into shape again.”
The “Honeymoon phase” is a misnomer. The rest of your life can feel like a honeymoon if you are with the right person, travel whenever possible, do fun activities and continue to support each other’s dreams.
Delegate or Suffocate
Being independent, hardworking and reliable is great. If you try to do more than you should on your wedding day, however, your partner and guests will suffer.
You’ll be the one sweating profusely as the guests are seated for the ceremony because you are trying to adjust a broken centerpiece the service staff knocked over. You’ll be the one missing the arrival of your friends who flew across the country to see you because you are re-cueing up music that won’t play on your iPad even though you tested it twice the day before. You’ll be that awkward bride fumbling with your MacBook because the montage you made to play while you danced with your dad isn’t playing on the venue’s screen even though they assured you “we’ll take care of it” and it looked so easy to do on Pinterest.
Instead, to significantly reduce the chances of things going wrong and increase the chances your event can be “The Best Wedding Reception Ever,” invest in a wedding entertainment director, a highly-refered Wedding Planner or a “day of” coordinator as your budget permits.
These professionals will enable you to put your signature on every detail while still allowing you to be in the moment when it counts. They’ll help you anticipate problems you didn’t know existed and proactively execute solutions.
The good ones do all of this without you realizing it. The great ones not only have a huge impact on the overall success of your milestone event, they help you maintain a desirable quality of life leading up to it as well because they save you precious time and energy.
Granted there are some wedding preparations you can do as a solo project or together as a date night activity that are fun and can save you money. There are, however, a lot tasks you should delegate so you don’t carry any unnecessary regrets of irreplaceable quality time with loved ones.
As you plan your wedding and begin the marriage, you’ll understand how taking care of yourself and delegating when possible are paramount if you want to experience the best life has to offer. Whether it’s inclement weather on your wedding day, a personal crisis, a family illness or a career snafu, unforeseen issues are going to pop up. Nonetheless, if you are in the best shape possible — mentally, physically and spiritually — you’ll be able to handle anything that comes your way. And if you put your ego aside and enlist the help of others, you can star in your own fairytale story and write your own happy ending. Cheers!
Marcello Pedalino is the Executive Director of MMP Entertainment & Event Production and author of the new inspirational book, “Celebrate Life: How to Live it Up, Discover Fulfillment, and Experience the Joy You Deserve.”