Procrastinating about wedding planning?
True confession. This week I started to research a blog post about procrastination, but found myself so quickly overwhelmed that I wanted to procrastinate.
Okay, most of us procrastinate over something, myself included. The last thing I need is to get stuck writing on the topic of not getting stuck. Ironic. So, I have redirected to what was really my main point anyway. Planning a wedding is a lot of work. I mean, whether you are just getting started, or in the thick of it, planning a wedding is a major project, right? I have yet to meet a couple that is not already busy BEFORE they started planning their wedding.
Last year, I booked a couple just ten weeks prior to their wedding date. (And no, there was no shotgun involved.) I gave them a list of things to do right away, and when I met with them a month later, at six weeks prior to their wedding, they were completely on point and caught up. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed. I am always amazed at how much we can get done when there is truly no time to spare. With that said, here are my best kick-starter suggestions for you.
- Keep this in mind. People like to say they work best at the 11th hour. No, they get it done at the 11th hour because they have to. But, had they started earlier, had time to work without pressure, had a chance to revisit and improve on their work, then they would be doing their best work. I know you want to have an amazing wedding. Give yourself the time you need to actively, intentionally, thoughtfully plan it. Whether that is ten weeks, or ten months.
- Make a list. I don’t know why I fight this step myself sometimes. I am not doing myself any favors. Until I get my tasks on paper, I am walking through life with a brain that feels like there is an asteroid shower going on inside. My To Do’s are dangerously floating in my head, crashing into each other, with no apparent logical direction. Once my thoughts are on paper I am free.
- Find a way to make the planning pleasant. Make a date to get started. If you don’t want to do it alone, or having someone else there to help you focus on making your list is helpful, get your significant other or a good friend in on this. Go somewhere you won’t be tempted to do anything other than plan. Your favorite coffee shop? A park? The library? Someone else's kitchen table? Find a happy spot.
- Break it down. Go ahead, make your big ‘ol hairy list of everything you can think of. But, don’t go home and post THAT on the frig. NO WAY! That sounds like the perfect recipe for procrastination. Instead, decide a due date for each task. You can break it down by month, or go further and break it down by week. Make your own wedding planning calendar. Post one month at a time on your frig at the most. But, whatever you do, plan to have it all done a month before your wedding. Most couples don’t do this. But, if you do, you will thank me for it. I promise. I hear it all the time. The last month will kick your butt in the stress department. Interestingly, I hear this most from the grooms.
- Get ‘er done! For some people, a check mark on a list is the best reward. But, for most of us, we need something a little more tangible. You know what floats your boat, so sprinkle some rewards in there. Go ahead. Be generous. You are going to earn it. And, when you do, you will deserve it! Maybe you need to set up some accountability? Find someone to check your list weekly. Pick someone that also has some skills of encouragement and will celebrate your victories along the way.
- Remember this. The longer you wait to book your favorite and most spectacular venue/DJ/photographer/florist/videographer/officiate/baker/musicians/photo booth/beauty, someone else may be booking them for the day you need them. What? You say I am pushing you too fast already? It’s okay. You can take your time. Take months if you want. I am just telling you that you may end up with your 2nd or 3rd choice vendor, but I am certain someone will be available to work your wedding. This industry is not short of vendors. I guess my question is always the same. If you find someone you really like, why wait and let them slip away? I get emails months after a tour telling me they have decided to book, but when they ask of our availability, the calendar looks different than it did before. At some point, we even sell out.
- Finally, don’t stress. You got this. If two busy professionals who don’t plan events for a living can plan a wedding in ten weeks, AND have time to learn to dance, you can do it too. Besides, planning it all out is what is going to eliminate/annihilate/destroy the pressure and stress. I believe in you. You can do it! Follow these steps (please feel free to tweak them to fit you), and you will not only have a wonderful wedding, but you will enjoy the time leading up to it.
Oh. And, if you want to chew a little on some thoughts about procrastination and avoiding it, check out these tips from Unstuck.com and this short video called Eat That Frog. Strangely, after viewing both of these references I experienced a day that was twice as productive. It was like magic.