Ask Dahlia

6 Ways To Make Planning Your Wedding Not-So-Stressful.

I had been dreaming of my chance to make my big day a reality, probably since around the time that I was old enough to understand what a wedding was. (I am actually fairly certain that I am still “married” to one of the neighbor boys that lived across the street when I was 6.)

While it was the most fun, and I relished in feeling like a princess for the most part, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” totally rings true. Many of the moments in which I felt like throwing in the towel, thinking who needs a wedding anyway, we should just elope, were created by me, myself and I.

Anybody who knows me knows that I am a dramatic person, the littlest things tend to make me act as though the world is ending, so yes, I was definitely a bride that had some pretty significant “bridezilla” moments. This brings me to my very first piece of advice, and these exact words were said to me by multiple people, many, many times. Most of the time I ignored them, only because apparently, I am the type of girl that has to learn the hard way for herself.

  1. Don’t sweat the little things. I was hyper-focused on minute details such as, exactly how many mercury glass votive holders were going on each table and their placement. I don’t think my bridesmaids would have been surprised if I had brought a measuring tape to venue tours to ensure that everything on each table was a perfect number of inches apart. “Aesthetically pleasing,” is what I walked around ranting about like Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were on my guest list. What I didn’t realize was that, this, 1. Is very annoying to all of those people that had to deal with me while I rocked back and forth in a corner, simultaneously pulling my hair out, and 2. My wedding was going to be a blast if even if one candle was a half inch off in placement, with or without Meghan and Harry in attendance.
  2. Let everyone you’ve asked to be involved, play their part. The people who support you have agreed to participate in your big day, and aren’t actually trying to be intrusive, even if that’s how it feels. If you have someone involved in the planning process who appears to be countering every idea you have, most likely, they love to be involved and are one of the most opinionated people you know, just let them state their opinion. Even if they are presenting what you believe to be the worst idea ever, acknowledge it, and if you hate it, don’t use it. But try not to argue about it. There were plenty of times when I let some of these conversations roll me into a tightly wound ball of stress. Trust me, the heart palpitations and insomnia? Not. Worth. It.
  3. Trust your ladies. By this I mean, do not stick your nose where it doesn’t belong. The people you’ve chosen to stand next to you and play an essential role in the most momentous occasion of your life, want to be there! Let your sister, your best friend, your cousin, your mother, whoever it may be, plan your shower and keep it a surprise. You’ll have your own vision, and you might even think that no one knows you better than you know yourself, but when you walk into a room that is filled with every woman who has ever loved you, clapping and smiling for you, it will be truly humbling. My advice on the shower and the bachelorette party? Take a back seat because your girls got you. Leaving these things to the people who are supposed to plan them for you is the best decision ever, and they most likely planned these events better than you could have yourself.
  4. Compare a few vendors, but keep the list short. The best thing you can do for yourself during this entire process is to not overwhelm yourself and others. This is especially true if you have someone else helping you to cover the hefty expenses. The vendor search is so time consuming, it might even start to feel like an additional full-time job. Trust your gut, if you fall in love with something, stop looking. Try to stay somewhat flexible and be open to small changes in your original vision. The list is long enough already between the venue, the dress, cake and entertainment. Don’t forget about the print service for invitations, the tux, gifts for the wedding party, etcetera, etcetera, the list goes on. Pick a few vendors and then narrow it down to the one you think is the best fit in each category.
  5. Lists, Lists, Lists! Creating a list for everything is going to feel like a lifesaver and keep you from going insane with the jumble of thought bubbles that pop up in your head throughout the day. Let’s be honest, it is easier to count the times that we aren’t actually thinking about the plans, than the amount of time that we spend drifted off into wedding la la land.  I had a list for absolutely everything; it was a big help in staying organized and less-overwhelmed. I didn’t have to worry about forgetting something, I knew I’d written it down somewhere. I’m a huge advocate for the good old-fashioned paper and pen, (I am not one to pass up the chance to purchase a cute journal,) but if you are more technologically savvy than I am, use those devices!
  6. The Dress. It’s the big moment that we’ve all been waiting for, if you’re anything like me that is. I could not wait to try on dresses and feel like a real-life princess. I spent countless hours researching the vision that I had for my dress; I knew exactly what I wanted before I ever stepped foot into a boutique, and nothing was going to change my mind. I was so wrong. I tried on a few dresses in the style that I decided I just had to have, and the silhouette was incredibly unflattering on me. Just as I began to feel like I was back to the drawing board, my consultant zipped me into a dress that I would have never, ever picked out myself. Well, pop the champagne ladies, it ended up being the one. I cried, the girls I brought with me cried, and it was a done deal. I was one of the luckier ones that got to experience the perfect “say yes to the dress” moment. Bottom line, trust the person who gets paid to know what looks fabulous on your body type, even if it’s not what you pictured on the hanger, it just might be your dress. Oh, and I do strongly recommend trying your very best to keep it a secret from that wonderful person you decided to marry. I promise it will make first look one of the most memorable moments for both of you. I forever get to say that my husband really did tear up when he saw me for the first time, and if something like that doesn’t make you feel the love, I don’t know what will.

The last little tidbit I am going to leave you beautiful brides-to-be with is, if nothing else, try to remember that when your day finally arrives, you are going to blink and it will be over. After months and months of dedicated, intricately detailed planning, you glance at the clock at the end of the night and you feel like Cinderella with a carriage that is about to turn back into a pumpkin. My advice to help combat the post-wedding blues would be to make sure you take several moments throughout the entire day to just scan the room, soak it in, take mental photographs of the crazy amount of love and happiness that is surrounding you. Steal away to a quiet corner for a few minutes with the love of your life, and remind each other to enjoy every single second of it.



Lauren MacDonald
Author, One Blue Dahlia.

Email me at to ask for advice!