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Ask Team Practical: Wedding Planning Exhaustion

Meg put out a mini-call for ATP questions over Twitter and Facebook, and one in particular stuck out.  Jenny S. wanted to know:

“How to get over having the longest engagement ever.”

I knew exactly how Jenny felt just by reading that one sentence; it was simple, succinct and shows that she’s completely over the whole effing thing.  Those nine little words were holding back a torrent of emotions, the flood of which would come forth if ONE MORE PERSON smiled brightly at her and said, “Sooo, when’s the big day?!?”

Wedding planning can suck for a multitude of reasons, but sometimes it’s just because it can take so damn long to be over.  A long engagement may be the most practical thing in the world for you and your partner, but about halfway through, the excitement has worn off, reality has set in and it’s hanging up curtains, and there does not seem to be an end in sight.  In fact, Meg wrote about this very thing in the middle of her too-long engagement, if you need moral support. What’s a woman to do when the very thought of waiting nine more months to be wed makes her go, “RAWR!!  WEDDING HATE!  INSPIRATION BOARD STUPID!  BRIDE SMASH!”?

Well… I don’t know.

Seriously, I really don’t.  And that’s because there’s not really much you can do other than just keeping planning (or just stop planning!) and wait it out, move your date up, or just haul off and elope.  Such is life, and life is a jerk sometimes.  However, leaving it at that would make me a jerk, so let’s chat about some ways to fend off wedding planning exhaustion.

  1. Set a wedding-free zone in your house.  Or, better yet, create a wedding workspace (or a wedding box?) and keep the rest of the house clear. Planning a wedding will start off with just a pile of invitations in the living room.  Then there are bridal looks on the bathroom mirror, inspiration pictures on the desk, and suddenly your wedding seems to be everywhere. You really don’t need the reminder that you have 450 more days until your wedding staring at you while you’re brushing your teeth, so get rid of it.
  2. Stop Reading Wedding Blogs.  Yeah. We said it. YOU NEED A BREAK. (You can keep reading APW if you’re just reading for the marriage and the community stuff, but we will SEE YOU if you start sneaking a glance at the How-To posts and wondering where that wedding grad got her bridesmaids dresses. Seriously, stop it. You can read about how Meg stopped reading wedding blogs back here (hint: she calmed the eff down). Yeah, she says her engagement was too long. She’s with you.)
  3. Make out with your partner as often as possible.  Married life changes things in big ways (and doesn’t change them at all in others) and while it’s a great place to be, NOT married is a great place to be also. Enjoy the state you’re in, kiss your partner like you did when you first started dating, feel those butterflies all over again and remember why you’re getting married in the first place. Also? Your partner is smokin’ hot, why are you not kissing them RIGHT NOW? Oh. They’re at work? WHATEVER, DETAILS.
  4. Get a hobby.  One of my problems while I was being DIY crazy-face is that I used my wedding as an excuse to do all the fun things I’d always wanted to do anyway.  I stressed over these details when what I should have done was hired someone to make the stupid projects I was killing myself over and then learned how to do them just for the fun of it.  A long engagement may seem like the perfect time to learn letterpress or make your wedding dress because it gives you incentive and a purpose to justify spending time and money on it.  But unlike a typical hobby, screwing up on those projects could also give you ulcers and make you a sobby mess if it gets down to the wire and you haven’t perfected your skills yet.  Go out and learn something for the fun of it, not just for your wedding.  It’s hard to brood about long engagements when you’re elbow deep in a new venture and having a blast.
  5. Stop planning your wedding and start planning your life.  Your wedding is a stop on your journey, not the destination. Make plans even farther in the future, like where you want to go when you’re not paying for a wedding, or what you want to do with your career, or how you’d decorate a house you bought together. Dreaming a little is the fun part of planning, so start doing it for other aspects of your life and stay excited for not only your wedding, but beyond that.
  6. OR, plan something else.  Know what?  Y’all need a vacation.  Something small and super budget-friendly that involves cocktails and lots of laughing.  Or a party. When’s the last time you threw just a kick-a**tastic bash?  How about that 10k in eight months, why not train for that?  Much like anything else, breaking up a large amount of something into smaller chunks makes it much easier to deal with.  So yes, your wedding is nearly two years away, but in three months you have that trip to the mountains.  And a month later there’s that wine tasting party.  And two months after that is your cousin’s wedding and two months after that…you get the idea.

Then next time someone asks you about the wedding, you’ll think, “What wedding?” Because you’ll be that busy living.

So how about it, ladies?  What have you done to ward off wedding exhaustion cause by a long engagement?  Dish!

Picture: by knfriel

If you would like to ask Team Practical a question please don’t be shy! You can email Alyssa at: askteampractical [at] apracticalwedding [dot] com.  If you would prefer to not be named, anonymous questions are also accepted.  Though we prefer if you make up a totally ridiculous sign-off like conflicted and rageful but deeply in love in Detroit (CARBDILID, duh).  We’re not kidding.  It brings us joy.  What, you don’t want to bring your editors JOY?!

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