How did you get yourselves out of a wedding planning slump?

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Our editor Megan is engaged and planning a wedding. We're tagging along with her as she plans over the next year so y'all can read, advise, and/or commiserate…

This was literally days after getting engaged. Ask me how many dresses I've tried on since?
This was literally days after getting engaged. Ask me how many dresses I've tried on since?

Why did I get so much done the first couple weeks of being engaged, and now I'm doing NOTHING? I was on a freaking roll! Guest list, hashtags, narrowing down dates… even looking at wedding dresses! We've been engaged for over a month, and now I'm dead in the water.

So, instead of things that I've gotten done, here are…

The things that I feel bad about not getting done:

Getting my ring re-designed

My ring was given to Mike by his bubbie, so it's too big and not my style. Instead of getting it re-sized, until I figure out what custom ring design I want, I've just secured it with one of my gold rings I always wear, and have just let it flop around my finger for over a month. It's driving me nuts, but I'm kind of at a loss design-wise. How did you guys handle rings that didn't fit?

Reaching out to more vendors

Man, that shit is hard. It's kind of like asking someone out on a date… you don't really know them, but you like the way they look, and they've written some cute things on their profile, so you want to reach out. But then what if things go wrong? And you don't end up being a match? But you've already agreed to go through with this wedding thing together… and, ugh. What made you guys eventually pull the vendor email trigger?

Articles we found helpful:

Did you ever get into the doldrums of wedding planning? How did you get yourselves out?

Meet our fave wedding vendors

Comments on How did you get yourselves out of a wedding planning slump?

  1. Don’t overthink it or overwhelm yourself–we went with our guts. I met with three photographers, and only one really had the style I liked when I really delved into her portfolio. She was the only one I didn’t meet in person, too–we just spoke on the phone! I just got a great vibe from her and loved her work, so I knew she was what we wanted.
    Think about weddings you’ve been to and what you loved about them, and think about how you can incorporate that into your wedding–then find vendors that can do that. We wanted a DJ who wouldn’t be an overly interactive (aka obnoxious) MC, so we went with the DJ my brother used, who I remembered did a great job without being really mic-heavy!
    Bottom line: Ask around, go with your gut, and don’t overwhelm yourself with choices.

  2. Some very good advice in here, especially reaching out to your vendors for help. While for many couples this is their first rodeo and those of us that have been in the wedding industry have been there, done that many many times. A lot of know short cuts or solutions to many planning issues and concerns and have contacts to assist our clients to ensure that they get the most out of their day. Our goal as wedding professionals should be to get people the wedding they want regardless of if they our client or not and putting them in touch with those that can assist them. One of the benefits we offer our clients is vendor assistance as well as wedding day timeline planning (to the minute). This helps our busy clients focus on the important parts of their day to make the wedding experience that much more enjoyable!

  3. My apologies for being “that” girl, but do you remember the name of the designer of the dress you’re wearing in the top picture?! I found a dress that looks very much like that on Etsy but am not interested in buying a wedding dress sight-unseen…especially with a no-return policy. So if the dress you’re wearing is available commercially, I would be very very interested in finding it!!

    • You’re not the only “that” girl, Emily. My first thought was, “WHERE CAN I SEE THAT DRESS!?”

    • Oh man, that dress was awesome! I fell in love with it via Pinterest, clicky clicked over and saw that it was made by Truvelle, which is a dress designer based in Vancouver, whose flagship store happened to be walking distance from the hotel I was staying at in The ‘Couve. All their dresses are awesome sauce. The one I’m wearing in the pic is the Sierra wedding dress.

      • Ah crap, so it is the same dress. I found it on Trouvelle’s Etsy page, and I didn’t want to buy it on Etsy for the reasons I enumerated above, and I didn’t want to fly to Vancouver from my home in Atlanta….I was hoping someone had made a nearly identical, widely distributed dress. Jealous you got to see it in the flesh (or, in the fabric, as it would be)!

        • Try seeing if there are local boutiques that carry her line. I just bought Truvelle Shannon in Minneapolis MN and they carried almost her whole line (I originally fell in love with Sierra, but it didn’t give me the omg I want it feeling when I tried it on even thought it’s gorgeous in person too). The store I bought it from also only charged $35 for shipping and covered any other fees since it’s from Canada. Plus no sales tax in MN since it’s clothing, and clothing is a necessity. 😀

  4. We got stuck in the slump for months. In that time, we had two photogs and our caterer back out for various reasons.

    3 months before the wedding we threw out everything we’d planned and started fresh. We had a small ceremony at a beautiful venue and everything was part of the package deal. I am so glad we went with this option.

  5. Oh Megan the skirt on that dress is EVERYTHING!!
    How did you walk away from that??

    • Dude, SO in love with that skirt. But not-so-much the top — I’m not a fan of strapless. There were talks with the sales girl about customizing it to have a different top. But then I’m getting into “creating a whole new dress” territory. And I might as well have someone just create a whole new dress for me! But yeah… it was hard to walk away from it. I still have golden sequin-studded dreams about it. 😉

  6. Don’t be afraid to call/email vendors you’re interested in. I’m a photographer, and I can tell you that we all expect you to talk with multiple people, and aren’t going to be crushed if you decide to go in a different direction because we aren’t the right fit. It’s even ok to meet with a group, and to decide none of them feel right and go back to the drawing board. You don’t want to drive yourself crazy with options, but don’t feel like you have to pick from the first three you contact just because. If it doesn’t feel right, trust your gut. BUT – get the ball rolling. The worst thing is to find someone you love only to find out they’re already booked.

    As for the ring situation – my husband had a similar issue. He just couldn’t decide what he wanted. His idea in his head was a simple band with a couple inlaid diamonds. But after exhausting options like that (where every one got the nose wrinkle) we decided to take a day and go out and hit up every jewelry store we could think of. He happened to find a ring he loved that was completely different than what he thought he wanted in his head. We’re talking a chunky ring with a tension set solitaire. I actually had a similar experience (hated the way the halo ring I thought I wanted looked on my hand!). So, get some rings on your finger. Figure out the style you like, and what looks good, and THEN take those ideas to wherever you want to go get the ring re-designed. It’s a lot easier than trying to imagine something from scratch, and you’ll feel a lot more confident about your decision. (I used to work in jewelry, and I’ve seen a lot of people struggling with this. You aren’t alone!)

  7. Taking your time on the ring is ok. My future sister-in-law had her ring redesigned and it was complicated and fraught process with the jeweler. You should know what you want and shop around for jewelers. Also, make sure you understand how the sizing will affect your chosen design.

    As for vendors, I’m an extrovert so sending that first email is easy for me. But I don’t think they have any attachment to us as customers. I have to hunt down responses from people who I want to PAY A LOT OF MONEY TO and I don’t understand why. So, I don’t think you should feel like you’re crushing anyone by not choosing their services. They clearly don’t yearn for us!

  8. In regards to ring-that-doesn’t-fit: my engagement ring was an heirloom piece from my now-husband’s family. It was too big for my dainty little hands. Pair that with the fact that I don’t like wearing rings with “things that stick up”, this thing wasn’t going to live on my finger.

    I wore it on a simple chain around my neck for the year and a half we were officially engaged.
    It now lives in a ring box in my firebox.

    For ring designs: google all the things. See what trips your trigger.
    Then go to a couple jewelers with photos (NOT big-box franchise stores, but a place or artist who actually makes jewelry). Show them your ideas; listen to their ideas. Get quotes. Get time frames. Get a contract.

    As for venues/vendors: My first venue choice fell through in the slowest train-wreck one ever saw (I complained about it here on the Tribe eons ago). Six months before the big day we had to jump from a venue the offered nothing and charged for everything with strict rules attached, to a venue that was practically all-inclusive with flexibility right where we needed it (couldn’t decorate the walls, fine; but hell yes they let us have a fire-breather!)
    How did we choose?
    I set arbitrary limits and stuck to them. You might be able to find “filters” that are more solid.
    I *wanted* a specific wedding date. If a potential venue didn’t have that date available, they were scratched off the list no matter how pretty they were.
    I needed something easy for hubby & I to get to that was also a good middle-ish point for guests traveling from all over the state. Anything too far in one direction or another was out.
    So on and so forth.

    I had a friend whom I enlisted to be my wedding planner. She helped a great deal in hunting down links of potential places for me to check out.

    Meet with venues, read reviews. Note where friends, family and associates host their big events.
    Come armed with lists of questions of what’s important to you and what isn’t.
    Firmly know what your deal-breakers are (we can’t have a chocolate fondue fountain?!?! We’re outta here!)

  9. grrrrl congrats!!!!

    keep it you, keep it simple….

    i just put my head down and got stuff that mattered to me done….
    everything else? its a grand ol day…marrying the love of my life. forever.

  10. As someone who has worked in a chain jewelry store and done a lot of research out of personal interest, definitely go try stuff on! Then when you’re ready go find a private jewelry who you trust and like their portfolio.

    That being said, unless you get the ring sized until then you really shouldn’t wear it. Letting it flop around and hitting against another ring is both bad for the metal and the stones. It puts it much more at risk for knocking the stone out, chipping it, or breaking it completely depending on how old the stone is and what kind of inclusions it naturally has.

    Diamonds are the strongest gemstone but because of those natural inclusions (which are carbon and fractures that occur as the diamond forms) it really only take one good hit in the right spot to chip or completely break the stone. Especially if it’s something you wear everyday. (Anything aside from diamonds, sapphires, and rubies are way too soft too use in a wedding ring for every day use unless you were meticulous in upkeep and very careful about when you put it on. In general it’s not recommended)

    Until you’re ready to design it I would suggest either taking it off completely or taking it to a jeweler and having a temporary sizer put in.

    Also have them check the stones to make sure they’re in good condition and not loose in their setting. As gold gets older it can get brittle and break or bend or a prong can get bent or broken. So depending on the age of the ring and everything, when you are ready to redesign the ring, the gold may have to be scrapped all together.

    I’m not trying to scare you but we always had problems with people thinking their wedding rings were basically invulnerable and wearing them 24/7 which then caused the ring to have expensive repairs needed whenever they did finally bring it in to be looked at.

    So having this checked out now can save you a lot of grief in the long run. And the golden rule to keep your jewelry safe is “last thing on before you leave the house, first thing off when you get home!”

    Good luck with all your wedding planning and I hope you find the perfect ring design! 😀

  11. I’m not planning a wedding, but I’ve am currently going through an experience that has made me empathise with what you’re going through. In January, I decided to put together a themed event for myself and my community to happen in June, for about 200 people. I announced the event in late March and it went VIRAL. Within two days, I had two THOUSAND people who had clicked attending, and many more wanting to come. Suddenly, instead of hosting a small(ish) event for people I know, I had a lot of pressure to put on multiple events to meet demand, and I had to consider that my event now had a completely different audience than what I had initially intended.

    The event is now two weeks away, and over the last few months, there have been so many times when I. Just. Couldn’t. I was originally so excited to contact sponsors, collaborate with performers, plan decor, and so much more. Instead, if I’m not stressing about contacting people and organising plans, I feel guilty about all the things I haven’t done. I stress about the things I’m changing for my new audience, and the things I’m not changing. It just feels so overwhelming that I often felt lost at where to start, and the time just keeps slipping away.

    A friend of mine gave me the best advice; “set short-term goals and distant long-term goals. Don’t bother with mid-term goals – all your short-term goals will hit speed bumps and will end up turning into mid-term goals anyway. So just write a list of the things of things that you need to do NOW, and a list of things that need to happen right before the event to get it off the ground. Everything else will just fall into place anyway.”

    So don’t worry about it Meg! We all have on-days and off-days, and us busy women need to remember that it’s okay to relax and do nothing for a week or more. It will all come together in the end. 🙂

  12. I went through the same thing, and I don’t think you need to “get out of a slump”, it’ll happen in its own time. I know things can get booked up really quickly, but your wedding is still over a year away. In the first flush of excitement of course you’re going to be racing around planning things like crazy, but that’s not sustainable for a whole year, and no one expects you to have everything sorted within two months! So inevitably you’re going to feel a “slump”. That’s fine: sometimes you need a break from planning and you might find that ideas need time to settle in your head. In another month or so you’re likely to get back into planning feeling fresher and with clearer ideas on what you want, ideas you didn’t even realise your brain was working on when you were thinking about other things.

    In terms of vendors, your first contact can be very low-key and casual. “I’m in the preliminary stage of gathering information and seeing what our options are, would you be available on this day and what sort of prices do you charge?” is a good way of making contact without commitment, which still gets you the information you’re looking for.

  13. I can’t comment on getting a ring redesigned but I think how I decided on what I wanted might help! I looked at hundreds of rings at first. All different styles, stones, etc. But there was a ring from some clothing retailer I saw on a Pintrest board, a tree-branch holding a rough-cut stone and I fell in love with the idea of it. From there I narrowed down my search to my “top ten” that I loved and sent my not-yet-fiance the list. He did the same with his engagement band.

    I think you just have to start picking designs that you like and start narrowing it down. Look at your smaller pool and see what you like universally about these things!

    As for wedding vendors. Start a conversation with them! A vendor wont be worth their salt if they don’t want to get to know you and what you’re about as a couple. Don’t be afraid to talk to multiple vendors at the same time. I did with our Photographer but ended up going with the one that I shot with before. She knew she was getting my business but still spent an hour getting to know me and what I wanted.

    If something feels off about a vendor, address it with them (if you have hired them) or run (if you haven’t and it feels like a deal breaker).

  14. I remember having a wedding slump. It was in winter and I was feeling all blah because it was winter. It seemed like we’d already done a lot and it felt like it was too early to start on the rest. Since I’m super freakishly organized I had a to do list based on when things were needed and I figured I’d start at the beginning and tick things off one at a time. But then I hit a project I didn’t FEEL like starting that day, but it was next, but I didn’t want to, and then … SLUMP! Finally, my MOH told me to just do the projects I felt like doing regardless of the “due date” I’d made up for them because as she put it “Everything is due on the same date, October 31, so just do whatever makes you happy that day and it’ll turn out better.” She was right and I worked on things in a sort of haphazard way when the mood struck.

  15. Don’t feel too stalled- I’ve been engaged for 1.5 years and we have yet to find a venue (so we can pick a date, and make invitations, and etc. etc.), despite looking at venues and talking plans every month singe the engagement. I’m gonna assume, for your sake and mine, that stalling out during wedding planning is normal. Sounds like you need something inspirational and happy to rev that engine again. And for what it’s worth, I’ve emailed, met, and talked with about three dozen vendors (mostly venue and catering) and even gotten along well with some. NONE OF THEM took it as a personal rejection when we decided we couldn’t make their thing work for our wedding (usually for budget reasons, which everyone understands). Wedding vendors are like good roommates, in that regard- they don’t make you feel like you must be BFFs or they’ll slash your tires.

  16. I totally can relate. I got engaged in March and have a wedding planned for November. I have all the big stuff booked. Food was our most important to us so we took care of that before anything else. In all honesty, I’m just looking forward to being married and could really care less about the details of the actual wedding day. I worked in fundraising for a while and have planned a ton for gala style fundraisers over the years. Planning a wedding now just feels like another fundraiser and I am seriously lacking motivation. Traditional wedding ideas/planning do not interest me either. People keep asking about theme, color scheme, etc and the all look at me funny when I tell them I don’t have one or I’m not doing that.

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