Tips for Planning a Wedding and Staying Sane

wedding gowns hanging in a row
When I was planning my wedding, I was terrified of being perceived as one of “those” brides. You know, the bridezillas.

I didn’t want to be that bride who obsesses over every detail of her wedding and constantly reminds the bridal party that this wedding is “her day.” (And even grooms can be this way, too — it’s not always singled out to one gender.)

For the most part, I kept my head on straight. Though I’m sure I snapped at my fiancé, Mike, and was rude to my mom at least a few times. And I got overwhelmed. At times I had a hard time seeing the wedding as a celebration of our new life together, rather than an event that had to look like the perfect representation of our love.

If I could go back, here’s the advice I’d give myself:

Get rid of Pinterest-inspired expectations

Pinterest will be the death of you — and your relationship with everyone you love.

In the past, I’ve written about the problems with social meda (read here and here). I’ve talked about how Pinterest creates hyperbolic expectations for all things in life. And weddings are perhaps the premiere example of this.

What’s important to know about Pinterest is that the majority of wedding decor, table settings, etc., are props. Most of those perfect photos are the result of photographers, makeup artists and designers who got together and hosted a styled shoot.

Those photos are meant to give you a bit of inspiration. Not necessarily a budget-friendly example.

It’s important to be realistic. Talk with family and your fiancé about your budget and make sure your expectations meet that budget. Figure out what’s important, and prioritize. For example, maybe you’ll still have beautiful florals and handwritten welcome signs, but then maybe opt for a budget-friendly option for tables and chairs.

Communicate about your budget and remember that Pinterest should be a tool for inspiration, not an avenue for avarice, insecurities and false expectations.

Remember that your wedding is going to be beautiful no matter what

I’ve had the most fun at some of the most inexpensive weddings.

During weddings, there’s something that hits you on an emotional and spiritual level. Seeing two people come together and unite as one under God is a joyful and humble experience for those in attendance.

Even if you only said your vows, ate your mom’s staple spaghetti at the reception and threw some homemade cake in your partner’s face, your wedding would still be stunning because it’s not about the aesthetics — it’s about the commitment.

Before I got married, I never really appreciated the vow exchange. But I will remember the moment when Mike and I became husband and wife for the rest of my life. We were both sobbing as we looked in each other’s eyes, and in that moment, we felt the Lord’s presence with us.

At that moment, the florals and the menu and the music didn’t matter. What mattered was Mike and me saying our vows before the Lord.

Enjoy every step, even when it’s hard

Wedding planning is stressful. During the process, some things will work together perfectly, while plenty of others won’t.

But enjoy it.

You’ll probably hit a point in the wedding-prep process when you’ll get burnt out. You’ll probably lash out at your fiancé, and anyone else who gives you an opinion about your wedding.

But in those moments take a deep breath. There is plenty to be frustrated about, but remember that you and your fiancé are about to experience a taste of God’s love.

It’s not easy to decide to get married and stick it out through thick and thin. But it’s a journey. Don’t allow planning your wedding and a desire for everything to work perfectly to get in the way of what is really important: your marriage honoring Jesus.

Take each moment as it comes, and stop trying to plan the perfect wedding — because that’s not what really matters in the end. Not to mention that your friends and family will all like you better if you don’t turn into bridezilla.

About the Author

Dani Fitzgerald
Dani Fitzgerald Brown

Dani Fitzgerald Brown is a small-town journalist living in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, a small city outside of Pittsburgh. She’s married to her best friend, Mike Brown, who can make her laugh no matter the circumstance. Dani often listens to audiobooks, drinks copious amounts of mint tea and is constantly munching on popcorn.