Putting on the blinders: How I avoid wedding decision fatigue

Guest post by Kaitlin
once upon a time signs

I'm one of those people who has ALL THE IDEAS and wants to use ALL THE IDEAS. I've planned half-a-dozen different weddings in my mind. The December planetarium wedding. The crisp summer navy-white-orange wedding. The autumnal books and bikes wedding. The travel-themed wedding. It's a little ridiculous.

The problem with that is, I'm always worried that there's a better idea out there. As we all know, Pinterest is a blessing and a curse — and in this case, it's too much. The dresses! The centerpieces! The colour schemes! The hairstyles! I was so concerned that I'd keep changing my mind on things and either never make decisions, or lose a lot of money chasing different dreams. So I solved that issue. And the solution is simple:

Put on the blinders. Even better, put some money down.

Here's what I mean…

I bought my dress online way before we were even engaged (but that's another story). Since then, I've continued to watch all the TLC bridal shows, but I have not gone onto a single bridal-gown site. Is there a better dress out there somewhere? I'm sure there is. But I have one, and I can't afford another, and it could only do harm to indulge in things I can't have.

Another example? Centerpieces. I agonized over centerpieces oh so much. More than anything, it drove me crazy because I knew the final centerpiece wasn't important, it's just one detail, but there were so many awesome ones out there that I wanted them all, while staying in a smallish budget. Finally, I had a stern talk with myself, picked two that I liked, got my future husband's and maid of honor's opinions, and immediately bought several components of the one we agreed on. There. I was committed. No other options.

For me, putting on the blinders is the best way to stay sane, make decisions, and stick to them. Once I've made a choice, I delete the other options on my Pinterest boards and simply refuse to seek out more. If I see something tempting (like in a featured wedding on Offbeat Bride), I say out loud, “That's beautiful, but it's not for me.” Putting down money to back up the decision helps, too. It's a tangible confirmation of a decision and added pain if I change my mind.

At some point, you have to stop waffling and simply make a decision. There's so much outside influence beating down on brides, between social media, opinionated family and friends, and the ever-present Wedding Industrial Complex, that it's virtually impossible to please everyone with any given decision.

So it's time to stand firm, please yourself, and stick to your guns. Since I took up that position, planning has gone much more smoothly. I've settled on a date, a venue, a caterer, a dress, bridal party, centerpieces, and a guestbook in short order, with slightly over a year to go. Not too shabby.

What are your coping methods? How do you make decisions and avoid buyer's regret or other pressure from outside influences?

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Comments on Putting on the blinders: How I avoid wedding decision fatigue

  1. I have the same problem! I fall in love with so many ideas! And since we have a long engagement I have the luxury of changing my mind a thousand times lol. The ideas that I keep picturing in my mind I commit too and then don’t allow myself to envision it any other way!

  2. In the last two weeks I’ve really been putting the blinders on. Vendors would keep asking me what my “colors” were and four months out, I still had no solid idea. I sat down with my fiance, narrowed down a vision, made an inspiration board, and promptly deleted anything else I’d pinned that wasn’t part of the vision. That has been a huge help.

    Oddly for me I keep flip-flopping on our registry items. For example I can’t wrap my head around serveware and I keep sneakily deleting it and then re-adding it while driving my FH crazy. I have a hard time accepting that it’s ok to want things, and it’s ok for those to be nice things.

  3. This is so true. In the beginning of my wedding planning I obsessed over small details. Now my fiance and I have decided that there are really only three things that are important to us: a beautiful venue with lovely trees or plants, delicious food, and having our families get to know each other.

    If I see an idea that doesn’t support any of those goals then I move on. I ruthlessly edited my pinterest board to accurately reflect things that are within my budget or that have already been purchased.

    Hurray to simplifying! 🙂

  4. I agree to that! Well, wedding theme photos are spreading all over the internet, you can get a lot of ideas for the wedding gown, the centrepieces, every decor, the flowers and even the cake! We get so fascinated by a lot of things that make us want to have them all, but of course not. But anyway, once we get what we really want for our big day, I’m pretty sure it will be perfect. And we should never forget to capture this very magical moment!

  5. I love this! Validating and helpful.
    Ugh Pinterest the devil of perfection.
    My fiancé proposed in November and were getting married at the end May. We helped limit our choices by setting a budget and letting our values direct us. No diamonds. Our venue is nature. And we kept our guest list personal. Our theme grew from how we met (riding bikes in the park) and then were going out to eat at our favorite spot downtown with our friends and family which doesn’t really need any decor or centerpieces.
    The hardest part is the thought maybe we’ve missed something that might make our day more special but what I’ve realized is that we tend to try and cram so much specialness into our day that we miss the authentic moments and the space for them to happen. One fantastic thing after another can consume us leaving no room for the real purpose of a wedding.
    I loathe the competitive American ego spirit and it’s not invited to our wedding. Ahhhhh

  6. For this exact reason, when I was wedding planning, I would find things that I liked on Pinterest and websites and I created my own hidden inspiration board in PowerPoint. Once I found something that I really loved, I stopped looking for that “thing” anymore. It allowed me to keep my final selections totally private and my (now) husband the opportunity to see how things were coming together. The process helped me to narrow down what I really wanted and work it into a cohesive vision rather than being wowed by the next shiny thing that popped into my Pinterest feed and second guess myself. In the rare occurrence that I did find something that I couldn’t stop thinking about, I would paste the picture into my PowerPoint and see how it looked with the rest of my previous choices. I only changed one thing I had selected and that was to simplify my place cards. It allowed me to accept that it was OK to love other people’s wedding choices without having to have them myself. Our wedding turned out perfect and it allowed me to shut out the endless possibilities that Pinterest and wedding sites offer.

  7. It’s so funny, I’ve almost had an opposing experience with this. Once I decide on “a thing” I find myself continuing to look at other options of that thing, and all it does is further confirm the thing I chose, and in the end, makes me feel better about it!

    In fact, I’ve gotten a few (I feel) key pieces of my wedding day attire so far at incredible deals (dumb luck.) I tried on dress after dress until I tried mine on, 6 sizes too big, and still I knew that was it. My grandmother looked at the price tag and told me I needed to buy it, but that it was so affordable it wouldn’t even hurt the budget if I changed my mind later. But I haven’t, despite mindless unnecessary searching online. I bought my shoes, the last in the store and a perfect fit, knowing I could return them just in case this was too impulsive. Nope, I just want to wear them all the time. I found a pair of vintage earrings at an estate sale for $5 and couldn’t put them down. I bought them “just in case” but the more I look at other jewelry, the more certain I am that these are the ones I should wear (I initially planned on a statement necklace, but these need to stand alone.)

    So against all odds, it actually makes me feel good to keep looking. The more I look for alternatives to those things I have chosen, the more certain I am that I made the right choice.

    BUT I do totally agree on going back into Pinterest and deleting the things that no longer work for me, if only to tidy up my boards and clarify my vision 🙂

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