You're engaged! Hot on the heels of hearty congrats are unsolicited advice, strong family opinions, options to make your head spin, and expenses to make your jaw drop—not to mention the pressure to plan a perfect wedding. Take a deep breath (or three), and read on for tips to help keep things in perspective.
couple eating cake

1. Be organized, divide, and conquer.

Yes, you do need a plan to wedding plan, and there is a natural flow to follow-can't set a date without a venue, for example! Refer to timeline and checklist resources to create a plan that works for you, and tackle only a few tasks at a time. Don't worry about decisions that don't need to be made now.

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2. Give up on perfection.

Ok, not completely. This is your day, and it's going to go perfectly as long as your definition of "perfect" has some wiggle room. Hiccups are inevitable, but if you focus on enjoying the process and having a ton of fun at your wedding, figuring out all the details, and how they fit together, will be less daunting.

3. Set a budget.

It's much easier to get carried away-and disappointed-if you start planning without a budget. You may still consider a dress or venue that's above your cap, but setting limits early makes you less likely to set your heart on something you know costs more than you want to spend.

4. Delegate.

Most of your friends and family will be happy to pitch in, but you do need to ask for help (not demand or expect it), trust them to come through for you, and be mindful not to overload any one person with too many responsibilities.

5. Give your brain a break.

Yoga or meditation can give your mind a much-needed rest from racing over your to-do list. Practice them regularly, and you'll be in the habit of breathing deeply and summoning a sense of calm whenever you start to feel overwhelmed.

How to Calm Your Nerves

6. Go on dates.

Spend quality time with your fiancé doing the sorts of things you enjoyed doing before you got engaged … and don't discuss the wedding! Whether that means a movie night or a bike ride or cooking a meal together, it will remind you what's really important-your relationship.

7. Stay healthy.

It's easy to overdose on chocolate when you're stressing about the guest list, but try to eat well and exercise frequently. Not only will you look even better in your dress, you'll have more energy and be better equipped to handle anxiety.

8. Do something for someone else.

Volunteer at a home for the elderly, babysit for a friend's toddler, or help your cousin with her college apps. Redirecting your energies in a way that brings someone else's life into focus will give you a fresh perspective on your own.

9. Talk about it, but not 24/7.

Seeking advice, sharing excitement, and venting are all important parts of planning, but don't let the wedding hijack all your conversations and girls' nights out.

10. Take time out to unwind.

Ease the pressures of planning with "me time": go for a walk, relax in a warm bath, book a massage, or spend a morning in with your favorite book or TV show.

11. Choose a bouncer.

Tell your mom or maid of honor she has full permission to turn Bridezilla away (gently but firmly) should she try to crash your party.

12. YouTube Will and Kate's wedding.

Remember that three billion people won't be watching you get married! You will be surrounded by people you know and love, and who know and love you!


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