Download a free venue comparison spreadsheet
Wedspiration > Advice > Why Is Wedding Planning Stressful?
Advice
Why Is Wedding Planning Stressful?
When it comes to wedding planning, the stakes are sky high. You’ve got one shot to pull off THE best day of your life. Yikes. It’s a lot of pressure – even Bridechillas often crack. Here we provide some insights around why wedding planning is stressful and some practical strategies to cope.
why is wedding planning stressful?
ABOUT
heart
Words by Karina Lowndes
date
31 March 2024
SHARE
Pinterest

Congrats, you’re engaged! Pop the champagne, say “fiancé” until it feels normal (hint: it won’t) and, well, buckle up – love is in the air, but so is the inevitable scent of stress that seems to follow engaged couples everywhere (*sigh*).

It’s a widely accepted truth, but why is that? Why is wedding planning stressful? We think this is a valid question that’s worth exploring. After all, shouldn’t your engagement be a time of pure joy?

If you’ve been pondering these same questions, you’re about to learn why matrimonial meltdowns are so common during the wedding planning process, as well as some practical strategies to cope.

Why is wedding planning stressful?

For as long as most can remember, western culture has often depicted wedding planning as a whirlwind of joy. Images are always of sentimental moments and happy tears. However, behind the Instagram-worthy wedding photos and the romantic comedies we all love, there lies a reality many engaged couples and their entourages face – wedding stress.

Here are some of the reasons stress so often goes hand-in-hand with planning a wedding.

Expectations vs. reality

With the advent of social media came a surge of idealistic images that inadvertently set the bar impossibly high. The wedding we’re told by many sources we should desire often doesn’t line up with the reality of our lives—and more crucially, our finances.

While the vast majority of players in the wedding industry do this job because they love people and creativity, the truth is you’ll be served content that is (often inadvertently) designed to lift the consumer to an aspirational space. Social media amplifies this, with a constant stream of picture-perfect weddings that appear effortlessly stylish and serene. This disparity between what is real and what is marketed can be a significant source of stress for couples as they navigate the world of wedding planning.

Time restraints

There’s a lot that goes into planning a wedding (trust us, we wrote an entire book on it). In fact, it’s a full time job for some (cue: wedding planners). In isolation, the process of planning a wedding is somewhat manageable but life doesn’t stop just because you get engaged.

If there was an option to press pause on the rest of life’s demands and focus entirely on wedding planning, stress levels amongst engaged couples would certainly plummet. The reality however, is that most are trying to juggle the process of planning a wedding alongside everything else – work, family, recreational and social commitments etc. It’s a lot and for those who struggle with time management, it can be particularly challenging.

Wedding costs

Weddings aren’t just an investment of love and time; they’re also a significant financial investment. The sheer cost of modern weddings can be shock. Couples often find themselves navigating a complex web of expenses – from catering and a venue to the photographer and entertainment.

Budgeting for a wedding is where reality sets in hard. It can take constant, conscious effort strike a balance between creating the day of your dreams and a day that won’t leave you in serious debt, often leading to stress and even conflict. There’s pressure to “have it all” (and between cars, dresses, jewellery, styling and more, there’s lots you can have), regardless of the financial outlay. This pressure can transform wedding planning into an exercise in maintaining financial solvency rather than celebrating love.

Logistical complexities

From selecting a date to finding that elusive perfect venue, logistical wrangling is a formidable foe in the world of wedding planning. Coordinating vendors to ensure they work cohesively, managing timelines, special guest considerations, transport, accommodation, back-up weather plans, access times, run-sheets… the logistical dance can feel like a crash course in elite project management.

Emotional rollercoaster

There’s so much that comes into play when planning a wedding and it can trigger a rollercoaster of feelings. One minute you’re confidently making decisions with momentum, the next you’re doubting your decision to have a wedding all together. Please know this is normal.

The thing is weddings bring so many things into focus – family dynamics, expectations, traditions, values around money and time, relationships – and they can all hit a nerve at different times.

For couples, different opinions around this stuff can quickly escalate and it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Keep this in mind and don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’re not on the same team.

Coping strategies

While wedding planning stress might be prevalent, it’s definitely not insurmountable. There are simple strategies you can use to ensure you arrive at the altar with your sanity and relationship intact. It’s all about taking control where you can and letting go when necessary. Here are some tips.

Set your wedding priorities

Not everything has to take equal priority. Sit down with your partner and figure out the things you want to give the most time, attention (and potentially, money) to and focus on those things first. Everything that comes in after that is a bonus.

Our top tip? Get crystal clear on these ASAP. They can really help be a north star for the rest of your wedding decision making. If you’d like some help getting started, we’ve got a free guide to step you through exactly how to determine your wedding priorities, which you can find here.

Community support

One positive to come from social media is that it allows engaged couples everywhere to connect and share their own experiences and insights around wedding planning with each other. This type of free advice and support is invaluable to those who feel they’re alone in the way they feel.

Delegate

Utilise your support network and outsource small tasks that they can complete on your behalf. If the people in your inner circle are in a position to help, and the tasks are within reason, they’re usually very happy to do so. Remember it’s your partner’s day too and they should be shouldering some of the load if they’re currently not (and if you need tips of getting your partner to pull their socks, we’ve got your back).

Set a budget

Weddings are notoriously expensive and financial pressure (in any context) is extremely stressful for most people. Set a realistic budget at the start to minimise wedding stress in the lead up to your big day. Here’s how to start your wedding budget. And here’s the ultimate wedding budget worksheet for you to feel absolutely in control.

Leave it to the experts

The wedding industry is made up of so many incredibly talented people. If you’re finding certain parts of wedding planning stressful, outsource it a profession (e.g. florists, coordinators, stationery designers etc.). The less DIY you take on yourself, the less load on your plate.

The catch, of course, is that if you’re engaging suppliers to help you with things, there will inevitably be a cost involved. Sometimes though, you’d be surprised to realise how much time DIY takes – time that you might have to take off work.

Practice self care

Investing time in self-care is not a luxury; it’s a necessity when the the throes of wedding planning. Regular exercise, healthy eating, and mindfulness practices are all smart things to do, as is drinking a fountain of water every day. But in seriousness, try and make a habit of doing kind things for yourself daily. Start with one thing and gradually build.

Perspective

At the risk of sounding trite, when the stress of planning begins to weigh heavily, it’s important to take a moment to breathe and remember why you’re getting married and what the day really represents. Focus on the significance of your union, not just the event. Know that on the day, all the minute details won’t matter as much as we like to think they will. What really does matter though? The vibe and energy you and your partner are bringing (not ensuring there are 50 perfectly reflexed roses at your venue entrance). You instinctively know this, and it really is just so true – take our long-married word for it.

Good communication

Open and honest communication throughout the wedding planning period is so important if you want to avoid feeling disconnected and to make sure that everyones’ expectations are being managed.

First and foremost, we’re talking the communication between you and your partner. Make wedding planning fun by designing date nights around it. Take your laptop to a bar and plan out-of-home. Or order takeaway, light a candle, crack a good wine and allocate yourselves one task to tick off together.

If things are getting spicy in a not-sexy way, consider starting “what wedding?” times, when you both aren’t allowed to discuss the wedding and instead focus on connection outside of this upcoming event. It’s vital you try not to let the wedding take over your relationship, just as it’s wise that you both have shared responsibility in the planning and budgeting for it.

Setting boundaries with well-meaning (or otherwise) relatives, is also vital to maintain control over the planning process.

+++++

While there are a number of potential stressors when planning a wedding, it’s important to remember that the wedding day is exactly that – a single day that is going to deliver you some incredible memories for a long life spent together in a marriage.

It’s also prudent to think about stress in a different way. Why should it be bad? Stress can be one of the best propellers to get-sh*t-done – is it possible to reframe the way we think about it as less “wedding planning is causing angst” and more “there’s stuff to do and these internal alarms are going to get me motivated to get them done and get back to maxo-relaxo mode”?

Our advice is to acknowledge that the planning process may feel tense at times and face it head on – together. This way, you can develop a deep resilience that will serve you not only on your wedding day but in the years to follow.

NEXT:

On demand wedding planning advice? Meet We Do Crew. 

24 best short wedding dresses of 2024.

Asking for money as a gift without the awks.

Other Advice articles
View all articles arrow right
wedding wines

Advice

The Ultimate Wine Guide For Every Wedding Season: What Wines To Serve (And How Much)

Sure, weddings are first and foremost about love but they’re also about showing guests a good time and there’s a fair assumption that there will be wine served – and plenty of it. Hence we’ve put together our ultimate wine guide that covers what wines are most suited to the season you’re getting married in and how to calculate how much wine you will need to ensure no one is left feeling thirsty.
wedding tax my debunked

Advice

OPINION: Does The ‘Wedding Tax’ Actually Exist? Yes (And No)

Something you should know about the wedding industry: it’s full of legends. Not people who want to skim off the top of their couples. Here we shed light on why the wedding tax is a myth.
outdoor wedding

Advice

Planning An Outdoor Wedding? Read This.

What could be more romantic and magical than an open-air soiree with your loved ones? Outdoor weddings are hard to top – if the conditions are right. Read on to learn how to choose the location and timing of your alfresco wedding, along with a host of other top tips.
best wedding planning book

Advice

Get Wed: The Wedding Planning Book for Zero Regrets

If you’re looking the best wedding planning book on the market*, Get Wed is your tome. It’s more of a must-have tool for any couple wanting to know how to plan a wedding that says ‘this is us’ (*biased but well-researched opinion).
Articles you might like
social media pressure

Advice

How to Overcome Social Media Pressure When Planning Your Wedding

Social media has is perks when it comes to wedding planning but it also has its pitfalls. For engaged couples, there’s a subliminal message that their wedding should look a certain way, which can create a lot of confusion and overwhelm. Here are some tips on how to stay in your own ‘lane’ when planning a wedding in the age of social media.
country NSW wedding

Real Weddings

REAL WEDDING: Tiarne + Brandon – BoxGrove

Country weddings used to conjure up images of hessian table runners and guests dancing The Nutbush. Now, couples like Tiarne and Brandon are putting a more modern spin on things by bringing a bit of fancy to some of the most beautiful country NSW wedding venues.
micro wedding venue NSW

Inspiration

STYLED SHOOT: Romantic Micro-Wedding (Literally) on the Water

Get ready to re-think whatever wedding plans you have in motion. This micro wedding venue on Sydney’s Pittwater is an absolute gem and we’ve put together a styled shoot to show you just how special a celebration here can be.
wedding wines

Advice

The Ultimate Wine Guide For Every Wedding Season: What Wines To Serve (And How Much)

Sure, weddings are first and foremost about love but they’re also about showing guests a good time and there’s a fair assumption that there will be wine served – and plenty of it. Hence we’ve put together our ultimate wine guide that covers what wines are most suited to the season you’re getting married in and how to calculate how much wine you will need to ensure no one is left feeling thirsty.
Looking for more ideas?
We’ve brought together advice, articles, and inspiration on our Wedspiration to help you find your feet.