How To Stay Healthy, Happy & Sane (And Navigate Tricky Decisions): The Wedding Series

Well my fellow bride-to-be’s I’ve got a juicy instalment for you this month! In case you’ve just joined us, I’m getting married to my love in December which means there’s been lots of planning behind the scenes here at HYHM HQ. I wanted to share my take on how to stay healthy, happy and sane in the lead up to the wedding in the hopes that it might also help you navigate this exciting (and sometimes stressful) time in your life.

To play a bit of catch up, you can head over here to read the first post, but if you’re all good to go, then let’s move right along!

This month we’ve been finalising our guest list in preparation to send our ‘Save the Date’s’ and this is the part that’s been eating away at me. All other decisions have been straight forward and easy, but this one has got me good. Anxiety, doubt and all sorts of fears have come to surface and to be honest – I don’t have all the answers on how to manage this, however I do have a few tips.

The Peeps Who Share Your Day

First of all, to lighten the load of this decision let’s take a moment to remember that this is one day. Yes, it’s a very special day, but it’s also ONE DAY guys. One day! So the likelihood of all your favourite people being available on this one day is kinda’ slim. We can all calm our farms knowing that people will try their darn hardest to be there, but it’s inevitable that there will be people who won’t be able to come.

BUT and this is a big but, when planning a wedding I think it’s important to plan with the expectation that everyone on your list is coming. If you’ve booked a particular venue that holds a certain number of people, or if you’re trying to stick to a particular budget, you can’t go overboard with the invites in the ‘hopes’ that 10 people won’t be able to come. Once you’ve sent that invitation out – there’s no going back, so choose carefully and that’s what we’ve had to keep in mind with our planning.

Jimmy and I both come from pretty big families so once we started our Excel spreadsheet (yep we love the spreadsheets! Ha!) we soon realised that this was going to be one of the most tricky decisions of them all. I started googling things like ‘how to decide your wedding guest list?’ and ‘wedding guest list etiquette’ and that just ramped up the anxiety even more so we put those rules aside and decided to make up our own rules.

Here are a few tips that have helped us:

– Who are your ‘forever’ people? People that you can imagine keeping in touch with in years to come and who will be by your side through the high’s and low’s? Depending on your situation, these people would most likely be family and very close friends.

– Picture your wedding day and imagine greeting everyone individually at your reception. If you’re both excited to see this person – that’s a pretty good sign to include them in the guest list. This isn’t a birthday party, there are two of you involved making a lifelong, heartfelt commitment so it was important to us to both feel comfortable and connected to the people sharing our special day.

– This has been tough but formulating our guest list has also made me examine my friendships over the past few years. I’ve experienced guilt thinking about friends who I have lost touch with since moving interstate and it’s been hard coming to terms with the fact that some friendships aren’t quite as strong as they used to be.

Every time when these icky feelings come up, I’ve had to remind myself that I have the power to do what’s right for me (and us). It shouldn’t matter how long you’ve been friends with someone or what sort of history you have, choose the people and friendships that ultimately make you feel good. And there’s also a part of me that believes you can still have wonderful, beautiful friends that mean the world to you, but you don’t have to invite them for the simple reason being ‘you can’t have every SINGLE person that you’re friends with at your wedding’. I think that’s a pretty valid reason!

At the end of the day, don’t stew on your decision. Trust yourself and have open and honest conversations with your fiancé to make sure you’re on the same page and you’re both happy. Meditation has also helped throughout this process to calm my mind, and has helped me to make decisions from my heart rather than the ‘ego’ (the negative, fear based part of ourselves).

Choosing ‘The Dress’!

Wow! Dress shopping. Again, this can be the most exciting part and also the most anxiety provoking. What if I buy a dress that I end up hating down the track? How much money should I spend? How do I choose ONE? How will I know it’s ‘the one’?

I wasted no time and started my search for the dress 12 months out. I know it might sound crazy to some, but when I found out that some dresses can take up to 9 months, I was glad I started early. As a side note: do know that there are still options out there if you happened to have a shorter engagement.

Wedding dress shopping is very personal. Some women won’t bat an eyelid spending $10,000 on their dress whilst others will scoff at the thought of spending so much much money on one dress that you will wear once. To be honest, I think you should spend however much you want on your dress. You’re the one that gets to decide what’s important after all. Some ladies have a thing for shoes, some have a thing for flowers – the amount of money you spend is completely up to you, but of course do consider your entire wedding budget before shopping for the dress. There is nothing worse than trying on a dress to then find out it’s WAY out of your price range.

I always thought that I would just pick a dress off the rack but when I tried on a few different dresses at Wendy Makin, I discovered what style really suited me (and what I felt comfortable in). I was fortunate to have Wendy there and she gave me some great tips so it was a no brainer to have her combine the elements of the dress that I wanted and get it made. It’s also exciting knowing that I won’t see the finished product of my dress until it’s closer to our wedding date!

Some hot tips on your search for the dress:

– If you’re searching for the first time, do your research online beforehand and make note of the name’s and styles of the dresses that you like. This will make it easier when it comes to booking an appointment and by calling up in advance, you can make sure that that particular dress is in stock.

– When enjoying a day of wedding dress shopping, pick only a few stores to visit in the one day otherwise you will be too overwhelmed. Wedding dresses can be quite heavy and it can be tiring once you’ve reached dress number 20.

– Pick a few support people to join in on the fun! It was really special to have my Mum, sister and future mother in law with me on the day, but there’s no rules so choose whoever you want to be with you.

– Give yourself permission to try on a few different styles. You might convince yourself that you’ll never wear a strapless dress until you try it on… and fall in love with it. Keep an open mind! And know that you can always give yourself some time to think about the decision before saying ‘yes to the dress’.

– Don’t expect to cry when you find ‘the one’. The first dress I tried on I got a little teary, and then I almost cried trying on the final dress but don’t put expectations on your emotions. I think the key to finding the dress is making note of how you feel. If you feel like your most beautiful self (and the dress is comfortable to wear ALL day), you’ve found a winner!

– And of course HAVE FUN! It’s not everyday you get to feel like a princess and try on a pretty white dress so embrace it.

I hope these little tips help you in navigating the tricky decisions that come with being a bride to be. I’d love to know what’s been your most difficult decision so far? How have you handled it? And let’s not forget that it doesn’t matter how difficult it is making these decisions – they will all melt away on the day when you get to marry your love. 

Tash x

Image Credit: Scott Webb
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