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What to do when you're ready to elope - or call the whole thing off

Planning your wedding starts out as an exciting project. The possibilities seem endless! You dive into Pinterest and google images with anticipation, copying and saving mountains of information. It's like being treated to a dessert buffet.

Then you decide it's time to get organized. You find an app or chose a binder, maybe both. Budgets and timelines become reality. And you start wondering HOW you can possibly pull it all off. There are too many choices and maybe not enough time and money.

Everyone wants to tell you a wedding disaster story or is compelled to offer advice. You may briefly consider elopement to escape the craziness.


There is hope!

Remember that this is a process. It had a beginning and there will be an end. Take a minute to review why you started this journey and take another look at your goal.

Engagement and wedding planning is a time for making memories and setting the groundwork as a new family.

And you want to enjoy the process, but that seems impossible!

Here are three steps to help you pull it together.

1. Put down the tablet. Go take a hot bath and listen to your favorite music or put on your shoes and take a walk. Do something that helps you de-stress NOW (but not a binge you will hate yourself for later). Then put time to relax on your calendar - at least 20 minutes every day. I don't need to explain why; you know it's important.

2. Schedule one day a week (at least) that is a wedding free zone, no wedding planning allowed. Rediscover the rest of your life: make a coffee date with girlfriends or arrange a quiet dinner and movie with your beloved. Even take time to scrub the floor, if that makes you feel good. Let people know (and remind yourself) this is your day off from wedding stuff. You will have a better perspective and more energy for the rest of the week if you do.

3. Prioritize and get help. (Ok, since I'm a wedding planner, you probably expected this. But your help doesn't have to be a paid professional.) Just don't try to do everything yourself. Yes, delegation has its risks. The greater risk is to your mental health. From past experience, I'm guessing that you have less than 3 months to the wedding and most likely just a few weeks. And you realize that you can't possibly get everything done.

Start by crossing off anything you think isn't that important. If gluing bows on the escort cards won't change whether guests find their seats, the task can safely be deleted. If you need them done to be satisfied, ask an aunt or bridesmaid to take on the job.

In the end, no one will know what you don't do. As long as they are fed and mostly comfortable, people won't care. If guests see you enjoying yourself, they will be happy. The reason they are coming is to celebrate with you. And at the end of the day you will be married!

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