In the United States, an estimated two million couples tie the knot in grand banquet halls, commanding cathedrals and scenic outdoor venues every year. The ceremonies themselves are typically joyous but reserved affairs, which means it’s the receptions afterward that tend to get all the glory. Ice sculptures, live Bruce Springsteen cover bands and wacky photo booths decorate the wedding reception venues all across the country — and why not? Weddings are celebrations.
But while the Big Day itself is considered the payoff, the road that leads there tends to be littered with arguments, awkwardness and general anxieties. In fact, wedding planning is one of the most stressful things that a couple can do together, but all signs are pointing to a still-burgeoning industry. Event planning is slated to grow at a rate of 44% between 2010 and 2020, after all.
Still, it’s far too easy to lose sight of the real goal: to organize the wedding of your dreams down to the smallest flower-bouquet detail. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of three things to do to maintain your sanity while planning your wedding with your spouse-to-be.
1. Plan as a couple, relax as individuals.
You’ll have plenty of time to spend together when you’re actually married, so take some time during the actual planning stages to remember to do something for yourself. Go out for drinks with your pals. Eat a carton of Ben and Jerry’s while watching Game of Thrones with the lights out. Just don’t go too crazy with your alone time; you still need to be limber while scouting out wedding reception venues.
2. Consult a professional planner for tips.
Rugged individualism will only get you so far, even if you’re co-planning the entire spectacle with your loving spouse-to-be. It’s good to admit that you simply don’t know everything — and expert wedding planners actually do. You might think it’s a frivolous expense, but it just might save you big in the long run. After all, can you really put a price on a dream wedding celebration?
3. Be prepared for the eventual comedown.
You’ve just spent the better part of a year (or more) mapping out all the details for what’s purported to be the happiest day of your life. And there’s nothing suggesting it won’t be. But what you have to remember is that there will likely be an eventual letdown once the guests all file out of the banquet hall and you’re left alone with just your partner next to you. Of course you’re excited, but this is when the emotions are bound to hit you the hardest. It’s best to just let it happen.
Right off the bat, it’s a good idea to pick out a handful of special event venues — especially wedding reception venues — so you can book your ceremony plenty early in advance. The rest you can leave up to your creative impulses. Or, as you’ll soon have to get used to saying, “our” creative impulses.