How do I STOP planning the wedding?

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But the little bird nest ring holders would be so perfect! Photo by CinEmotion
Most of my wedding planning is done. There's not much left really, except the minor things that will get wrapped up right before… but I feel like there is so much left to do and keep getting the urge to add more, and more!


I try to remind myself that we are on a budget and what we got already is fine… but then why do I want to add, for instance, photos or drawings of us around the venue? I am stuck in bridal over-planning mode!

How do I STOP organizing and planning and take a step back? Is this just feeling that will linger until the final days where I can actually SEE things come together? -cilitra

Our first suggestion is to read this post: When to stop looking at wedding inspo. But we're sure other Offbeat Bride readers have more ideas…

How do you know when it's time to step back and stop making more work for yourself? And how do you ACTUALLY stop the wedding planning obsession once it's started?

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Comments on How do I STOP planning the wedding?

  1. I think this is the double-edge sword of working with a small wedding budget. We’re in the same boat so planning and prepping early was mandatory. If you want to have an inexpensive DIY wedding you have to plan ahead, shop early, and make project plans.

    We still have things to purchase but we’re collecting them along the way and doing our DIY along the way. It’s hard to stop adding more to the list.

    I have recently got back into knitting and sewing a lot more and that helps. Perhaps, try directing your energy somewhere outside the wedding.

  2. You are obviously aware you need to take a step away, so do it! Your wedding will still be there when you come back.

    Go out and do something that isn’t related in any way to your big day. Avoid shopping, and avoid the spa if you think that will prompt you to stay in your wedding fever mode. Go out on a date with your groom, don’t talk about the wedding. Talk about you two, your interests, why you love one another. Do something that freaks you out. It will help relieve a bit of any anxiety you have, whether you are aware of it or not.

    If you are really struggling then call in some support. We all have at least one friend who won’t put up with our BS. Someone who will take us out and make sure to steer clear of anything that will have your mind churning about things you could add to your wedding.

    And remember that less is more. The more you keep thinking about things to add, the more you will nit pick what you already have. Trust that you have the big things taken care of. Marriage license. Check. Groom, Check. Everything else will fall into place.

  3. You want to keep adding, keep doing, because it’s FUN!
    You’re (most likely) super happy, excited & running on love adrenaline. We just got married last Saturday, and I was fighting the urge to add projects/ideas right up to the last moment. Before we left home to travel to our venue I ran around the house plucking every picture of the two of us that I could find & packing it into a bag. It’s difficult to stop…but it’s important to try. Take a little time to savor your hard work, make sure that it’s organized & detailed for ease of setup & display. Then STOP LOOKING AT IT. No more blogs. No more magazines. Take yourself out for a cocktail. Meet your friends. Snuggle down with your (almost) wife/husband. Just enjoy the moments! They go by so fast, and there’s nothing better than the anticipation.
    Best wishes & happy marriage!

  4. I’ve reached a dead-end in my planning due to outside forces making it impossible to continue planning. (Nothing bad – just a potential move that we don’t have a date for.) Since most of my planning is done, I really don’t have anything left to do except agonize over details that I don’t need to do. Here’s what I’ve done:

    I made a master list of what I’ve done and have planned, that way I won’t forget anything when I can get back to it.
    Then I put everything – props, notebooks, clippings – into a few boxes and shoved them into a closet so I’m not constantly looking at them.
    I already have a couple of projects lined up to keep me occupied: getting my car working so I can eventually sell it, knit a sparkly shawl for my mother for Christmas, exercise for health reasons, and continue to develop the relationship with my fiancé so we have more of a marriage foundation after the wedding.

    It will actually give you more of a break than you’ll ever imagine, which you really need before the whirlwind of the day itself. Enjoy the time off and “date” your fiancé/e again. Good luck!

  5. In my opinion the only way to stop planning is by going on a holiday somewhere where you don’t have access to anything related to your wedding. Otherwise you will keep thinking about the wedding and what else needs to be done.

  6. I did the same thing. Some cool things came out of my “additional planning” but only because I got some additional money to go with it.

    I agree with the comments about redirecting your energy. Clean. Sew. Craft something for someone else. Plan/buy Christmas presents and get the Christmas cards done early. My understanding of physics is that something at motion will tend to stay in motion, so rather than STOP, take your awesome motion to something new.

    It honestly takes a little while to calm down the wedding planning storm. Lots of people have this problem. Here are some OBB links:

  7. Think about other times you’ve been working on something lovely – let’s say a school project, a birthday cake or a work of art – and you’ve gone “Wow, this is awesome. And I finished it! Yay me!…Oh, self, but what if I added sparkles over there / rearranged this not quite dried, glued down piece / erased and redrew this bit ?…Dang it, now it’s messed up! Why didn’t I leave this lovely thing alone the first time I finished it ?” We’ve all done that at some point. Remember that kind of mistake every time you’re tempted to add onto the wedding.

  8. I’m getting married in December. I had been voraciously devouring wedding porn…until about two months ago. One day I got on Pinterest and did the usual scroll-scroll-scrollllll and I realized that I kept seeing the SAME things with the SAME comments on them OVER AND OVER AGAIN and it hit me like a ton of bricks that suddenly I was really, really, really sick of “planning” my wedding. It hadn’t bothered me before, but it suddenly did. I’ve also pretty much stopped looking at wedding porn from featured weddings on OBB, not on purpose, but it just happened around the same time as the Pinterest thing. I’m much more interested in getting practical answers at this point and less interested in dreaming of the could-be. I’m really ready to freakin’ get married already. I even had to tell a bridesmaid that it was time to STOP experimenting with decor ideas and lock it down!

    While you may not have a distinctive moment like I did, perhaps since you are cognizant that you will need to take a step back at some point, you may try to be observant of your reactions to stuff. Are you as excited about the idea process as you were when you first got engaged? Or is it starting to feel like…OMG, another project on my plate? Or even when you look at your favorite featured weddings (for the gajillionth time) and start thinking “that’s nice, but it’s not MY wedding.” Whatever it is, hopefully you will start to see some changes as you check off tasks and move closer to the date. Stick to your to-do list and resist the urge to add more!

    • I had kind of the opposite experience. The more I planned, the happier I was. I’m a planner/control-freak, so it went from “crafting a celebration” to “controlling the shit out the plans I’ve made.” And giiiirl, I loved it. But it’s still just viewing the wedding as another project/chore to complete. It really is hard to keep seeing the wedding as “yay us!” rather than “Omg, another thing to do? Can this be fucking done yet?”

  9. I love this site and the whole tribe. Even though our wedding is still 280 days away I have most of the planning done. I am taking a break until January 2014. Then I will need to kick into execution mode, putting the plans into action. I don’t look at dresses anymore because I have mine. I am so happy with it! People have asked to see it and every single person has gasped or breathed ” it’s so beautiful” . And I beam, not so much because they like it but because I love it. Seeing it through their eyes is nice though. I only see the FH for two days every week. Every time I see him I love him more and more. He says things that really let me know he loves me, with all my imperfections, perhaps because of them?? I have never felt so cherished and completely accepted by someone other than my parents. Sigh….

  10. I’ve only been engaged for ONE WEEK and already I can feel the obsession trying to take over. I’ve decided to take regular ‘no wedding’ days, whole days with no wedding blogs, no wedding books, no wedding conversations… I have to be especially careful with the internet, because it’s NEVER ENDING. Any book or conversation or project has an end, but once you get started on a wedding forum, you might never get out! I plan on really limiting my online wedding ‘planning’–people did FINE planning weddings before they had the internet… I don’t need to spend hours a day zombie-ing out.

  11. For me I can’t just “leave it alone”. So what I do is commonly write things down. I make lists of what I have, what I need, who is doing what, etc. So things are down to a science, while that seems over doinging it, what I’m doing is making sure I’m organized, and I feel like I’m planning, but nothing new is being done. It’s more of an OCD comfort I guess. Sometimes at work, I’ll just make a list of something, like the music. It sounds odd but it helps me. Maybe if you find something similar that can help with the desire to plan more.

  12. Make a list of all the things you want or have to do that have NOTHING to do with the wedding. Have dinner with a friend/family member. Go on a date with your spouse-to-be. Exercise! Read a book. Send an email. Wash the dishes. Change out seasonal clothing for the new season. Whenever you find yourself obsessing over the wedding, STOP, back away, and take this list out, and do SOMETHING on it. And REFUSE to let your wedding-talk take over while you’re doing them! Redirect your energy to things that you might have been putting off/avoiding because of wedding planning.

    Another idea – restrict yourself to ONE day a week for wedding-related stuff. Sometimes, making yourself completely stop doing something is really stressful, so allow yourself a day a week to indulge. Then, LET IT GO the other six days. You might find that all those things you’ve been obsessing over just don’t really matter!

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