It has been waaay too long since I’ve posted anything here.  Wedding.  Getting back to work.  Holidays.  You know the drill.  And then it started to get intimidating – what do I have to write about?  Well, I finally logged back into my account and stumbled across a draft I had written several months back.  It’s about some lessons learned in the midst of the wedding-planning process.  I figured I’d go ahead a share it, and I can follow up with the post-event lessons learned.  Call it an inspirational cop-out, but it’s something.  ; )

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Sample from a Brides.com To Do List

17 days.  It’s so hard to believe.  When we started this whole engagement thing, we were at 447.  When I think about the “day of,”  I get really excited, even a bit teary-eyed, but when I think about all that’s left to do, I get more than a little anxious.  And I’ve been tested a bit lately.  Would you believe me if I told you that I filed two police reports in the last week and a half?  I know!  Seriously.  The first was for a stolen wallet, whose contents included my driver’s license, every credit card I own, my checks, zero cash (thank God), and several gift cards for stores where we’re registered.  Oh yeah, and our Costco card – and we still haven’t bought our wedding beer yet.  (Wedding beer?  That sounds so much sillier than I meant.)  The second police report was filed just today.  I was leaving for an 8 o’clock meeting this morning (who schedules these?!) when I realized that my front license plate and driver’s side mirror had been stolen.  The very same mirror that had been replaced back in 2001 when it was “watermeloned,” but that’s another story…  Anyway, just when I thought my plate was full, I’m finding a few more things added to it.  It’s causing me to reflect on wedding planning items that I wish I had done differently or that I’m glad I did the way I did…  I’m sure I’ll have a completely different list once the wedding day has come and gone, but here’s where things stand now, just two weeks away from the big day.

So here are a few lessons learned:

1)  I wish I had discovered Pinterest when I started this process.  It’s been so wonderful for keeping track of online inspiration, especially from the blogs that I frequent – namely, stylemepretty, snippetandink, greylikesweddings, and 100layercake.  It’s also much more convenient for sharing with the groom, bridal party, and vendors – as in “Here’s what I’m thinking…”

2) Remember that your groom may not have the same vision that you do.  Ask him what he envisions for your wedding.  Also, set some expectations early.  How much does he want to be involved?  Does he want to give input on everything?  Does he want to see options and then help choose?  Does he really just want to know when and where to show up?  And from my own experience as well as informal surveys of friends…fighting more during wedding planning is totally normal.

3) Delegate.  This one is very hard for me.  There are often people who sense that you may be overwhelmed and want to help.  Take them up on it.  Decide which tasks you are willing to have slightly less control over and gratefully accept the assistance.

4)  Don’t freak out when the “Yes” responses start coming in.  The “Accepts” come before the “Declines.”  I was worried that we weren’t going to be able to accommodate everyone at our venue, but we ended up with approximately 75% of the guests accepting.  (Post wedding note:  In the week before the wedding, another 5% had to decline because of sick kids, travel issues, etc.  The number ended up right where we expected.)

5)  Find a way to “let go.”  You can only do so much.  Prioritize what is really important to you and your fiancé and be willing to let the little things go.

6) Be gracious.  With your higher-than-normal stress level, it’s easy to forget that most people are really trying to help, and that cashier at the store or the person who cut you off on the road has no idea what you’re going through.  Take a deep breath, relax, smile, and say thank you.  Trust me, you’ll feel better saying thank you than if you explode at random strangers.

How about you?  Any suggestions for stressed brides out there?

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