Planning a Wedding: 5 Helpful Tips to Help Battle the Stress

A wedding is a special single-day event that requires weeks of preparation so that every detail falls into place. For brides-to-be and wedding planners, getting to plan an entire day’s worth of events for a group of people to celebrate together has never been more stressful. With the different elements to gather, numerous parties to coordinate with, and endless decisions to be made, planning a wedding might not be as simple as planning a vacation trip or throwing a birthday party.

Wedding Stress - Take a Breath

However, the brides can still get all their to-do lists checked while staying sane in time for the big day. On the wedding day itself, brides should look like a million dollars, not like they spent the last 4-week planning a wedding. So for all couples who are planning to get married, make sure to include a few de-stressing activities to balance the yin with the yang. Here are a couple of tips to remember for the stressed-out brides and the anxiety-ridden wedding planners:

  • Mix business with pleasure. Planning a wedding involves a lot of meetings and conferences, which can become a bit tiring after a couple of rounds. Make the experience more bearable by having a friend tag along or inviting your siblings to attend as well. Not only can you accomplish tasks for the wedding, you can also spend some quality time with your family and friends as well.
  • Build a support group. Gain advice and encouragement from previous brides and experienced family members. Any other bride will definitely understand what you are going through so don’t be afraid to ask for help, for guidance, and even for just a quick pep talk whenever you feel overwhelmed. Planning a wedding is never an easy task but with more people helping out, nothing is impossible!
  • Schedule in rewards along with the milestones. Finally gotten around into finishing the dreading task of tallying RSVPs? Reward yourself (plus the groom as well) with a massage appointment or a foot spa date. Treat yourself for all the hard work you have done in planning a wedding and enjoy the small victories in a healthy, beautifying way that will help keep you fresh for the big day.
  • Spa day is a must! In any bridal checklist or wedding planning checklist, a spa day for the bride and her bridesmaids is a permanent entry. A week or a couple of days before the wedding day, get to decompress and relax on a girl’s day out session to achieve that perfect bridal glow. Take note not to try any new beauty treatments or experiment with peels and scrubs to avoid causing rashes, swelling, or breakouts during the biggest day of your life.
  • Don’t forget about date night. Yes, it is always about planning a wedding with brides and grooms. However, do not lose focus on what the real objective is – the love between two people. So, in between all the busy schedules, set aside a day for a date with the fiancé. Make sure to do activities, which are unrelated to the wedding so you get to enjoy the last remaining days of actually being engaged.

4 Creative Wedding Invitation Ideas That Will Surely Wow Your Guests

At the start of the entire wedding planning process, the wedding invitation sets the mood and the feel for the entire wedding day. Even with months before the big day, the wedding invites give the guests a sneak preview of what the wedding might just be like. All the important details of the day are also included in the invite – the hosts, venues, date, time, attire, and other noteworthy instructions.

Creative Wedding Invitation Ideas - Alternative Wedding Invitations - Wedding Invitation Sets

With the rise of modern technology and the evolution of the wedding industry, today’s brides have a number of different approaches when it comes to wedding invitation ideas. From simple laser-cut paper sets to the elaborate digital slideshows, wedding invites have now taken numerous shapes and forms. Its flexibility allows the soon-to-be brides and grooms to truly make their own wedding invitations and wedding day unique.

Creative Wedding Invitation Ideas

For those getting tired of the traditional paper invites and for those who simply don’t fit with the formal wedding announcement suites, here are 4 stands out wedding invitation ideas that are sure to make a statement:

Say it with infographics. This period of social media has brought us with visual data in its most compact and most attention-grabbing format in the form of infographics. This kind of wedding invitation idea may come in any shape, size, or even theme. It can tell anything from how the bride and the groom met, the different places they have visited together, and even the important dates in their individual lives. Print out the design on cardboard and mail them as invites or post them online for a quick Save-the-Date announcement.

Go digital and go paperless. For the earth-loving couples, going green is the way to go, even in the smallest details. The newest wedding invitation idea came from environment-friendly couples looking for ways to cut paper usage and costs. Invites can be sent via emails or all information regarding the wedding can be posted on the couple’s own wedding website. Photo slideshows, video montages, and any other digital artworks can be saved in a flash drive or a memory card and sent via mail to all guests for a more high-tech approach to the wedding.

Use and reuse. Give the invited guests an invitation that they will surely love keeping through printing the wedding invitation on fabric or linen. Even long after the big day, the fabric may be transformed into a tea towel, table runner, or even a simple hanging artwork. No unused parts for this cool wedding invitation idea!

Tickle the taste buds as well. Why not give your guests a little sugary love while announcing your big day? Another unique wedding invitation idea is to print the invites as a chocolate bar wrapper. Include edible goods along with the announcements, like granola bars, cookies, and even little finger snacks.

Overall, these wedding invitation ideas are just a few suggestions of what might work perfectly with each unique couple. Seize the moment and let your unique personality shine during the wedding day itself through the wedding invitations. After all, the entire day is about you, your beloved partner, and love.

What To Do With The Bridal Suite

Decorating the bridal suite is something that you may want to do for the couple, and it will require some communication with the groom or mother of the bride beforehand so they can slip you the key or have you check into the room. Check with the hotel beforehand on check-in time; that will determine whether you should decorate before the wedding or leave the reception early to do it.

Lighting dozens of candles in votive holders will set a very romantic mood; see if the hotel can light them for you just before the bride and groom are to arrive (be sure to coordinate this so that you or someone can call the hotel and let them know when)-it can’t hurt to ask, and you won’t have the anxiety of wondering if you set your best friend’s wedding suite on fire!

Rose petals look beautiful, but when stepped on, they grind a beautiful red stain into carpet. You’ll be better off buying the faux petals from a craft store-just as pretty but without the hefty price of paying for the hotel to clean their carpet. Arrange the petals into the outline of a heart on the bed for an ultra-romantic look.

Your Wedding Ceremony Duties

Ahh, the wedding ceremony, the culmination of everything the bride has hoped for and planned for so long. As maid of honor, you have the honor of standing next to her as she vows to love and to cherish her new husband so long as they both shall live. The wedding day is an emotional rollercoaster, and any bride can go from frantic to giddy to nervous to weepy in the span of a few minutes. She’ll want you there with her for every minute of it, whether it’s to hold her hand, check her makeup, reassure her, make her laugh, or help her into her ensemble. Your job is to be there for her for whatever she needs on the wedding day, and that includes a few things that are a given, such as signing the marriage license after the ceremony, holding the groom’s wedding band during the ceremony (your thumb is a good place for it), and holding the bride’s bouquet during the couple’s vows. Also, if the couple has decided to do a traditional receiving line after the ceremony, you’ll need to arrange the bridal party and get them ready for that. You can enlist the help of your fellow bridesmaids for this task.

A very important job that the maid of honor must know how to do is securing the bustle on the bride’s wedding gown. A bustle is simply a way to beautifully bundle up the gown’s train so that the bride can walk and dance with ease once the ceremony is over. Bustles can be secured in many ways, including buttons, snaps, or ribbons. You may want to go with her to her final fitting and have the seamstress show you how it’s done.

If there isn’t a wedding coordinator to corral everyone for pictures after the ceremony, you may be charged with this task. Ideally, everyone has been instructed to meet at a central location after the ceremony, usually at the altar of the church or wherever the ceremony took place, but if there are stragglers, make it your mission to track them down unless you are told otherwise.

TIP: The Emergency Kit

Every Good Maid of Honor’s Secret Weapon: Any maid of honor or bridesmaid worth her salt will tell you that it is your job to anticipate what will be needed on the wedding day and be ready for it. That’s why you should put together a wedding day emergency kit, and stock it with items that could save the day in a pinch that no one else will think of. Putting together all these supplies will probably run you about $50, so see what you have around the house first, before you go shopping.

Here’s a list of ideas for the kit:

  • White chalk to covers stains (God forbid) on a wedding gown
  • Straws so the ladies in the wedding party can hydrate without ruining their lipstick
  • Safety pins
  • Double stick tape
  • Nail glue/nail file
  • Deodorant
  • Breath mints or gum
  • Clear fingernail polish
  • Mini sewing kit
  • Over-the-counter pain reliever and/or antacid
  • Granola bars or something to munch on (By the way, make sure the bride eats something!)

Wedding Toasts & Etiquette

There is no hard and fast rule of etiquette that requires the maid of honor to make a speech or a toast, so if you count yourself in the group of people that would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy, don’t worry. It’s quite possible that you don’t HAVE to make a speech. These days, wedding celebrations are so varied and personal, that it is not always a given to hear toasts at a wedding reception. It’s not uncommon in some regions for toasts to take place at the rehearsal dinner instead of the actual wedding, and it’s possible that the families may be very informal or nontraditional and may choose not to make toasts a part of the wedding celebration. Again, consider your couple: if they are very traditional, then you can probably expect to hear the best man make a toast at the wedding reception and if you choose to or if you are asked to, you may follow him with a toast of your own. The best thing for you to do is to simply ask the bride whether there will be toasts and whether she would like you to make one. If she asks you to make a toast, or if you’ve simply decided that you want to, here are some guidelines to follow.

When To Toast

The traditional best man speech takes place during dinner at the wedding reception. If there is no seated dinner and there is a buffet or a spread of hours d’ oeuvres instead, the toasts usually start after everyone has served themselves, but within the first one to two hours of the reception before too many guests have started to leave. Traditionally, the best man serves as the emcee and gets the toasts rolling, so be sure to coordinate with him beforehand and find him when it’s getting about that time.

How To Toast

First off, be sure you have a drink in your hand! Something like that is easy to forget when you’re nervous. It’s always in good taste to start off your toast by thanking the couple and their parents for inviting everyone to such a lovely event. If you have a short anecdote or story about the couple (and it’s in good taste), that’s a great way to engage your audience and get them laughing and relaxed. Conclude your toast by wishing the couple happiness and by raising your glass and saying something like, “To Jane and Joe!”

What Not To Toast About

Just because the best man rehashes Joe Groom’s drunken college conquests (and he just might), absolutely does NOT mean you should follow suit. If you want to be funny and tell a story, go ahead, but remember that there are several grandparents and maybe even great-grandparents in attendance! Don’t make the bride or groom uncomfortable, and for goodness sake, don’t scandalize Great Aunt Nellie! Your toast should focus on their love for each other and everyone else’s love for them, NOT past indiscretions or tasteless inside jokes.

You’ve probably also seen plenty of movies where the best man or maid of honor has had a stressful day and a little too much to drink and uses their toast as an opportunity to vent…please don’t do this! Keep in mind that this is a sacred, very special event, and it is not about you. That may sound harsh, but we’ve all experienced the awkward angry speech moment, right? Not fun.

How To Come Up With A Good Toast

Start thinking about your toast several weeks before the wedding. Do a little research and check out a book like Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations to get ideas for how to start it off with a quote or poem. Think about what makes the couple so perfect for each other, and express that in your toast. Look through old pictures or letters for inspiration. Be yourself-don’t feel pressure to be funny or sentimental if that’s not you-it’ll just sound unnatural and forced. The bride chose you because she loves you for who you are, so if you’re sappy and sentimental, feel free to get a little weepy and tell the bride how much you love her. If you’re sarcastic and cynical, be that…as long as you are not diminishing the bride and groom with your humor. The maid of honor can rock the wedding toast no matter her personality!