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Tips for a Stress Free Wedding

It's the start of the year and if you're like the rest of us, you probably have your own list of resolutions you'd like to implement for 2016. Whether it's self improvement, career development, romance, family life, we want things to be better, steer clear of problems and get rid of or at least minimize the things that cause us stress.

If you're planning a wedding this year, I bet that's on top of your list and might even have a separate list altogether just for that (I can almost hear you under your breath mumble "Just for THAT?!").

But trust me, I've been to hundreds of weddings and though details may vary, they're more or less the same. There's the ceremony, the cake cutting, bouquet toss, the guests, booze, food, decorations, speeches, music, dancing.

But what it really boils down to is YOU.

The couple. It's what it's all about.

That's why I think there are more and more people opting for civil weddings, getting hitched at City Hall (San Francisco's btw is absolutely stunning), the in & out type of deal. Because they realize they don't need all the bells and whistles, just the "I do" from their partner.

But that's a whole 'nuther blog post and let's get back to you.

The bride who feels like juggling 10 things with one hand.

Sweetheart, it doesn't have to be stressful. You're not meant to just enjoy THE DAY but the process as well. This can and is supposed to be fun, the days leading up to. And more often than not, all you need is to just step back, refocus and remember what this is really about. Not your guests, not your parents, not your friends but just you and your soon-to-be.

So when you find yourself starting to hyperventilate...try the following:

1. Relax.

Ok, so you've decided to take the plunge of having a full out wedding. After realizing every single thing you need to take care of (and what they cost), you start to get the jitters and wake up immediately thinking of wedding related things to take care of.


Take a chill pill.

This is not a presidential banquet you're planning. Take a breath, go for a walk, have some quiet time by yourself or with your partner and truly make the decision to accept that everything will be ok. Because they will. Things may not go 100% as you planned but nothing, really, can ruin anything. Not if you let it.

So what if not every single person who RSVP'd shows up? Their loss, not yours. What if the DJ forgot to play the right song for your first dance? So what? You'll play it in the bedroom after the party's over and the real party's about to go down (*wink*). It's all about perspective. Relax. All is well no matter what.

2. Write it down.

I mean everything. Break it down into sections (guests, food, music, photography, hair & makeup, venue). Everything's more manageable (and trackable) if we break them down to bite size pieces.

Make a timeline -- what should have been taken care of each month prior to the wedding and a draft schedule for the actual wedding day (from preparations to the end of the reception).

3. Delegate.

Get some help girl. You don't have to do this on your own. Don't be afraid to ask. Enlist your girl friends, your BFF, your mom, your sibings, your co-workers, even your neighbor (if you're that close). Choose people who you know will be on it and who you feel genuinely cares about this event and not someone you have to babysit along the way.

Ask them to let you know of progress or hiccups but if you trust them, make sure they're aware that you're cool about them handing problems their own way. No need for micro management.

4. Hire a team. Hire the best.

Instead of scouring for individual vendors and meeting and following up on each one separately, you can actually keep things simpler by hiring teams or glam squads such as the Maghoney Wives. Shameful plug? Maybe. But it works. And, you almost always get a significant discount if you hire them as a package. So #1, you save time by just communicating via 1 channel for otherwise several vendors and #2, you save a lot of mooh-lah. Simply a no brainer.

5. Know what you want and make it known to the vendor.

So you're spending a good amount of money you've worked your ass for, make sure you get every penny's worth. Do you have a Wedding Board on Pinterest? Send those ideas to the respective vendor and let them know your vision. Sometimes ideas are hard to express through words but photos speak a million. I always encourage my brides to send me anything and everything that inspires them for their big day. I don't just file them away in a folder on my computer but I review them, thoroughly, almost memorizing each and every one of them before I show up at their wedding. I make sure I cover most if not all of them.

Like a particular hairstyle and make up? Let your hair stylist and makeup artist know. Send them pictures or weblinks.

Think it would be cool to play you and your partner's favorite song from your first date for your first dance? Let the band or DJ know.

Vendors in general, especially good ones, not only do not mind getting these requests but truly appreciate them because it helps them up their game and give you exactly what you want.

6. Ask for mooh-lah not material gifts.

Maybe you've dreamed of this day since you were a kid but back then you had no clue as to how much it entails. Well, it entails quite a lot of $$$ and the thought of debt right after the wedding stresses you the f*#k out. Fortunately, we're in a day and age when it's all good to request for mooh-lah instead of material gifts. Whether it's through a website like Honeyfund, or a cash box or a money dance, this can ease some of the financial pain post wedding.

7. Get an assistant.

Aside from #3 which is to delegate, assign someone who's going to be your main event assistant. An alternate person vendors can reach out to if you're not available. It can be your partner, your mom, your bestfriend. Think of them as your own personal coordinator.

8. Get yourself ready.

This is your wedding day. You want to be the best version of yourself -- physically, mentally, emotionally. But we must admit, mostly physically. A hell of a lot of photos will be snapped on this day, posted on Facebook and IG and girl, you want to look good.

So don't wait until 2 months prior. Waaay ahead, start eating right, exercise regularly, sleep right and clear your head.

Be present on the day of your wedding. Enjoy each moment not worrying if you look ok and regretting all the seconds you could've skipped the weeks prior.

9. Ask your partner what he/she wants.

Ok, your wedding is a celebration. But not just of you, but the two of you. You may be in charge of most of the planning but never forget to ask what your partner would like. Don't assume you know him/her enough to know what they want. Ask for their opinion. What food they want served. Did they want chocolate or vanilla for the cake? Is there any particular color or style they want for their suit? Does he want his family at a certain table? If, after a few questions, you feel that he's comfortable leaving things at your own hands and you're ok with it, so be it. The important thing is, you considered their thoughts instead of selfishly going at it on your own.

10. Pray.

Meditation. Quiet time. Releasing to the Universe. Whatever you call it, however you do it. Talk to that higher power. We should always be doing this anyway. Give thanks that this celebration is made possible but more than anything else, give thanks for your partner and the beautiful married life that lies ahead.

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