Preparing for the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

The high season for weddings is fast approaching. According to statistics posted on, the majority (51%) of couples get married between May and September. But no matter the date you select for your big day, one thing is certain: planning for it can be a full time job in and of itself.

The only problem? The rest of your life doesn’t stop going a mile-a-minute just because you’ve gotten engaged and have a wedding to plan! Don’t let the stress of managing a few thousand wedding details (in addition to the details of your regular life) turn you into one of those “Bridezillas.” The secret: keep it all in perspective.

Alicia on “Getting Married in the Real World”

“The best trick to staying sane is to ditch the notion that your wedding must be a fairy-tale occasion with every detail executed to perfection or you’ll be miserable. I know we all grew up envisioning something out of a bedtime story, but the fact is we live, work, and get married in the real world. And you know what: that is actually better! So, embrace the idea that things will be imperfect and relax. You are getting married soon and even the time spent planning should be a positive and warm part of your life.”

Sarah on “Focusing on What is Really Important”

“Moving forward, your focus should be on the handful of things that will make your wedding special. That priority list is going to be different for everybody. For me, it was getting my grandmother’s farm, an already special location, ready to handle lots of good friends and family, picking meaningful readings, and securing a fantastic band that would get everybody out on the floor. Before you start following someone else’s checklist (and there are lots out there), take the time to answer the question: what three to five things really matter to us on this big day? Having that clear from the start will make it a lot easier to spend less time worrying about details that aren’t as important to you, so the rest of your life stays on track. It also makes it much easier to take the inevitable “mistakes” in stride.”

Here a few tips to help you stay focused but relaxed.

#1 Start a Binder

Go out and get a binder, preferably with tabs, and start tracking what you have done and what still needs to be done. Divide it into two main parts: one-third for what is really important and the other two-thirds for what you would like to do if life gives you that time. Next, divide both sections into subheadings: the church, the reception, clothes, pre-wedding events, etc. This might seem like a lot of work but extra time spent preparing will mean a lot less time later trying to remember everything. That way the 20% that is essential gets handled in plenty of time and then you can do any of the extras if and when life allows.

#2 Dedicate a Calendar.

There will be a lot of dates to track so make your life easy by setting a calendar strictly for this event. This way the dates will jump off the page at you: put the deposit down for the hall; go in for first, second and last fitting, pick up mom and dad at the airport etc. Write the important dates with a sharpie and the rest with a pen. You should also set aside a pocket-size calendar to carry with you so that you can cross off items while you are out or add new ones as they come up; just remember to add them to the home-base calendar.

#3 Keep It All in Perspective

Every so often, take time to stand back from all the planning and remind yourself that as long as you and your husband look into each other’s eyes and say “I do” everything is small potatoes. This is one of the happiest moments in anybodies life and the days or times that you spend thinking about it should be happy to.