Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Invited Guests

It's a given that some wedding planning decisions will be more challenging than others.  One of the trickier ones is who to invite.  And while the old adage, "the more the merrier" sounds great, it may not be the best decision for you.  In addition to the obvious family and friends you plan on inviting, take into account you and your fiance's budget and wedding vision when creating your guest list. The number of guests you invite is linked to your wedding budget, so make sure you are staying within your financial margins.  Depending on who is footing the bill, you may not be the only one who has a say on the guest list.  If your parents or in-laws are paying for your wedding, they have a legitimate claim to inviting many of their friends as well.  Most couples have limits on the number of people they can invite and it's not easy to leave some friends or co-workers off the list.  Couples may feel bad or guilty for inviting some and not others.  In these cases and if it feels comfortable, you may want to talk to the individuals you cannot invite.  Let them know your budget constraints and your guest limits. It may also help to let them know that someone else is responsible for that part of the budget and therefore, the guest list numbers.  Most people are understanding.  Some couples even have a small party after their wedding for uninvited guests to toast the couple and their recent nuptials.
The number of guests should correspond with how you visualize your wedding too.  If you pictured a small wedding, don't feel pressured into planning a grand event on someone else's account.  Of course, you still have to take into consideration who is paying for your wedding.  As you're composing the guest list, be confident with your decision making.  Know that while you'd love to invite everybody, it's not always possible.  Remember that you determine how you feel and if someone who doesn't receive an invitation tries to make you feel bad, you can shut those negative feelings out.  Choose to stand by your decisions instead, knowing that they are what's best for you and your wedding day.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Into Action

As the spring season begins, it's an ideal time to make sure you have an exercise routine in place.  Regular exercise has so many benefits, it'll be hard to find an excuse not to squeeze in a half hour several times a week. For starters, exercising will help keep you in shape for your wedding.  Instead of worrying about fitting into your wedding gown on your wedding day or your swimsuit for your honeymoon, start exercising to maintain your current figure or to get into the shape you want.   You will also feel more energized when you exercise.  As you work off fat and build more muscle, your body becomes stronger and your endurance lasts longer.  Regular physical activity is linked to improved sleep too.   What bride can't use a bit more energy and better sleep while planning her wedding?!
In addition to helping you physically, exercise plays an important part in your mental health.  Working out is a great stress reliever.  Being physically active, is a healthy way to deal with the many emotions you're going through.  Most people feel more relaxed and in a better mood after exercising.  It also gives you some much needed time for yourself, away from wedding planning.
If you already exercise regularly, keep it up!  If you don't, it's not too late to start.  To successfully begin an exercise routine, pick an activity you enjoy.  It doesn't matter whether you go to the gym, swim, play tennis, or bike ride, as long as you commit to doing it for a set period of time several times a week.  Make sure not to set your goals too lofty if you're just beginning.  You can always work your way up.  If you're afraid you won't be able to follow through, ask a friend to partner up with you.  The more enjoyable and fun you can make your exercise routine, the more likely you are to stick with it.  Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Time Management

With the recent change in time and losing an extra hour, we are all feeling the days speeding by.  Those of you planning a wedding may feel it more since you have time commitments and dates to contend with.  So it's critical that you utilize key time management skills to help you accomplish all of your goals. Here's a brief overview of some time management basics.  The first step in time management is to make sure you have some set goals that are clearly defined.  A good goal will be specific, measurable, and time bound.  For example, I will choose and order 100 party favors for wedding guests by next Sunday. In this example, you are specifying what you need (i.e., party favors ), how you will measure this goal (i.e., once it's purchased, you've achieved your goal), and when you plan to have your goal completed (i.e., next Sunday).  Now create a list of your goals, big and small.
Looking at everything you have to do for your big day is overwhelming; breaking it down into more manageable pieces will help you achieve better outcomes, not to mention decrease your anxiety.  Next, you want to prioritize your goals.  Ask yourself which goals are most important or need to be taken care of first.  Keep in mind, that while some goals may seem more important, others, like buying a wedding gown, may take more time.  Use your judgment to determine which goals need to be at the top of your list, taking into consideration time limits, booking schedules, ordering issues, vendor availability, etc.  Delegate some of your to do list to your fiance or others who can help you.  Remember to give them specific and time bound duties.  It will help keep them on the right track, as well.  Once you've prioritized your list and determined what needs to be done first, you're ready to get started!  Work at it and cross it off your list, once you've completed a goal. Wedding planning books and organizers can  be helpful too.   In all cases, don't forget to feel the sense of satisfaction once you've achieved each goal.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Lighter Side

Groucho Marx famously said, "a clown is like aspirin, only he works twice as fast."  While you're busy with the many things you have to do to prepare for your wedding, take note, that laughter can help you get through some of the more stressful moments.  You will no doubt come across times where things don't seem to be working out or falling into place as smoothly as you had hoped.  Your stress levels increase.  You may begin to feel more overwhelmed or anxious.  Stop and breathe. People handle stress in different ways.  Taking a step back and trying to look on the lighter side is one way to manage through challenging periods.  Ask yourself, is this worth getting upset over? It's easy to get upset, but it's healthier for you not to let unexpected situations get your mood down.  I remember some of the challenges I faced during my wedding planning.  In retrospect, is was a good learning experience and my husband and I were able to find and share the funny side of it.  Once we changed our wedding planning woes into stories of comic relief, it was easier to move forward.  It is also important to note that our bodies respond positively to positive thoughts and emotions, such as those from laughter.  We naturally feel better when we are in a good mood and vice versa.  And since this should be a time you're feeling good in body and spirit, I'd encourage you to shake off the stress and laugh out loud .