by: Jessica

Overcoming the Overwhelming of Planning A Wedding via

Photo by By The Robinsons, via Emerald Green & Gold Engagement Party Inspiration

[Editor’s note: Hi friends! I’m just popping in to say YAY for Jessica’s first post here on Every Last Detail! If you haven’t heard yet, ELD is growing so we can provide even more wedding planning tips and advice for you all. Go here to read more about it! And be sure to give Jessica a warm welcome- she has some AWESOME insight to sharel!] 

On April 17th, 2012 the love of my life, my best friend bent down on one knee in front of a large crowd of strangers with Cinderella’s castle towering over head and asked me to be his bride. My heart was pounding, my hands were shaking, I was fighting back the tears, my excitement scrambled the things he said (which I’m sure were really sweet and sentimental because that’s just the kind of guy he is). It was happening; the moment I had dreamed of was finally here.

After calling our parents and living in the excitement and joy, we immediately started dreaming about our day. What would it look like? How do we want to make it our very own? And how would we make our wedding stand out amongst all of the weddings we’ve been to over the years as photographers? Yes, I’m not kidding. It was literally that first day that we started planning. There isn’t anything wrong with that of course, as we were living in the moment and in pure happy bliss.

Looking back at that day and the weeks and months that followed, I feel like I learned some things that may be helpful to other brides, and that is why I am here, contributing to Every Last Detail. I hope that by sharing the experiences that my now-husband and I went through will shine some light from a bride and a vendor’s perspective, prevent some potential stress for you all, and possibly even reveal insight into the little things that popped up throughout our planning process and on our wedding day.

So with all that said, Hi! My name is Jessica Devins- I am a wedding photographer and cinematographer and also a recent bride. I hope that what I have to say will help you in some way, even if it’s just one or two small tidbits.

Overcoming the Overwhelming of Planning A Wedding via

Image by Markit Photography

The first experience I’d like to share with you all is about how we overcame the overwhelming feeling of planning a wedding. No matter how large or small you envision your day to be, chances are pretty good that it will require some level of work. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning your wedding for 50 people or 500 people, either way, there are many, many details to take into consideration, and those details can be overwhelming to think about at first.

Enjoy it.

The first thing I always recommend to my friends who have recently gotten engaged is to take some time to enjoy just being engaged. Whether that’s one week or two months, take the time. It only comes around once! It’s a unique time for you and your fiancé to find ways to really connect more than you had in your relationship before. Once the planning begins you may come across topics and traditions that you hadn’t even thought about before. Spend time just talking and dreaming about your day and try to have fun while doing so. Maybe you’re the type of couple who work best while sitting at a table with a pad of paper and a pen, or at a coffee shop with a laptop. We found that we enjoyed planning much more on the couch with an iPad. Find what works for you both because what we learned, you will spend many hours doing just that.

Talk about it.

There are so many things to think about when planning a wedding and, it can get very overwhelming quite fast. Before you know it, all of your conversations will be about your wedding and anytime you talk to anyone it’s the only thing you actually want to talk about. Don’t worry, you’re not alone- I’m sure most brides have been there to some degree. I remember when a friend of mine was planning her wedding and it was the only thing she talked about. To someone who wasn’t that involved in the planning, it did get a little frustrating at times and I found myself distancing myself from her. Having remembered that, when it came to our wedding I made a point to not do that to my friends. I intentionally would not bring up anything to do with our wedding until I was asked about it, and even then I tried to speak with intent. What I now realize is how that actually didn’t help me. Looking back I think of the different times I had conversations about our wedding and how much stress that actually did relieve. It’s not an easy task to find a good listening ear, but I encourage you to find a few people who will let you just roll off your thoughts- but maybe warn them first so they know what to expect.

Take breaks.

Just like with any job, you both deserve breaks. Planning your wedding can absorb just as much time as a full-time job- especially if you choose to not hire a planner (which we didn’t do and now would strongly recommend doing). About six months into planning, I started to feel an overwhelming amount of pressure. Without warning I started to panic about the smallest of things. We were getting married in 8 months and I felt as if we had been only causally making decisions. I felt like there was so much to do and that there was no way we could pull it off. I was terrified that things would be left to the last minute and I would just have to deal with it not getting done. Did I really need to panic at that point? No, not at all. I’ve known people who have planned their wedding in less than three months. I had time, and I was totally fine, but it didn’t feel that way. So what did I do? Yep, you guessed it. I went into planning overdrive. I felt the need to talk about the wedding and make decisions in every spare moment of our time. Those next three months were the most stressful. Our social life suffered, we rarely saw our family and our happy-excited feeling had morphed into tension and impatience. Five months out from our wedding, I broke down. I just couldn’t take making decisions anymore. My wonderful fiancé was my savior. He suggested that we start taking planning breaks. Not to go back to “casual planning”, but to allow ourselves to find the joy in it again. We forced ourselves to be social again, have dinner with our families and make time together where any wedding talk was off limits. After implementing these breaks, it only took a few weeks before we felt the joy and excitement about planning our wedding come back.

Overcoming the Overwhelming of Planning A Wedding via

Image by Concept Photography

Set a budget- a realistic one.

We didn’t set a budget at first. We had an idea of what we thought a wedding should cost, not what they actually cost. What we thought things would cost, and what the end cost ended up being were two very different numbers. If we were able to do it over again, I would spend more time researching how much things for a wedding actually did cost before building the ideas of what we “needed” to have.

Set goals.

In the first few months of being engaged we set out to do three things: find a venue, pick a date, and hire a photographer. After that we tried to follow a generic timeline that we eventually customized to fit our needs. Setting a due date for certain tasks was extremely helpful for both of us so we could know what to expect from one another. My fiancé would take on certain tasks and I would take on others. We were both responsible for things because this was our day that we were planning for.

Delegate, delegate, delegate!!!

I can’t say it enough. Ask for help from your family and friends. People love to feel important, and they want to be a part of your day because that means they are a part of your story. I absolutely love that our family wanted to help out as much as we’d let them. My fiancé’s parents were wonderful and hand-crafted many of our details. My mom was excellent at helping us with the little details and the need-to-have items that ended up being pretty time consuming to gather. Now, I am a bit of a control freak. I like things done a particular way and if it’s not done that way I would re-do it. No joke. I’d ask for help and then not accept it. Crazy I know… which brings me to my next tid-bit…

Letting go.

There are things you can control and things you can’t. Things that in the end won’t really matter. Did it really matter that our coordinator lost the flowers for the groomsmen and family until after the ceremony? Or that the sprinkles on the cupcakes were not quite our wedding colors? Or the fact that our outdoor venue lost power the day before and we had to play the learn-about-generators game? Absolutely not! I’ll tell you what DID matter… that at the end of the day we were married. It may not feel like that now, I know, I’ve been there. But looking back on all that went “wrong” or what did or didn’t happen, it is just a part of our unique story- which I wouldn’t trade for anything. As long as the day ends with you married to the love of your life, nothing else that could possibly have happened (or not happened) matters.


How have you overcome the overwhelming feeling in your wedding planning? I’d love to hear your tips and experiences as well!


Want more Wedding Planning Tips & Advice? Go here to find more! 

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Overcoming the Overwhelming of Planning A Wedding via
Jessica Devins is a wedding photographer and cinematographer based in Minneapolis, MN, and also a recent bride. Jess hopes that by sharing the experiences she had when planning her wedding, and the insight she gained, she will be able to help Every Last Detail brides!

2 responses to Overcoming the Overwhelming of Planning A Wedding

We love your comments, but please remember to keep them kind and positive, as this is a place for inspiration and sharing information. We have the right to remove or not approve any negative or harmful comments.
  1. Charmaine (a Bride)

    Take breaks, delegate and set goals really great insightful advice

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