6 Stages Of Wedding Planning

It seems like the second you get engaged, the planning process begins. For some folks, it’s a breeze; they hardly bat an eye at the stresses that come along with it. For others, every decision leads to a spiral of wedding-induced anxiety.

And since every stage of wedding planning — from excitement to resignation — comes with its own set of issues, we figured we’d break them down for you. Whether you just got engaged or you’re already in the thick of it, you’ll identify with these six stages of wedding planning. 

Stage 1: Excitement
Ah, the blissful few days immediately following the proposal. They are full of cloud-nine feels, big-picture planning, and an overwhelming, intoxicating joy. You and your S.O. will be cheerfully discussing your overall vision for the big day, googling venues you want to explore, and chatting about your guest list. No major boundaries are in place yet — it’s all a big brainstorm session, and it’s awesome. Savor it, because this is probably the happiest, least stressful time you will have for at least a few months.

Stage 2: “I Got This”
The tasks are starting to add up, but you’ve got it together. You’re a planning machine. At this point, you’ve probably organized everything from the guest list to vendor information in Google docs. You own Google docs. You’re feeling pretty good about being on top of things. But a hint of anxiety is beginning to creep in. You push it aside — for now.

Stage 3: Budget Stresses
Welcome to the “shit just got real” phase. All those little details and extras you thought you’d be able to incorporate without blowing your savings? Well, those are mostly off the table. You’re quickly realizing that this wedding stuff is expensive. The photographer is how much? Wait, that fee is for what? This is the moment when you might start wondering if you should scrap the whole thing and hightail it to city hall. You and your S.O. might also find yourselves arguing over things you never expected to fight about. But it will all come together, somehow. Just keep telling yourself that.

Stage 4: General Anxiety
So, you finally got the budget hiccups all figured out, but other stresses keep popping up. Your mom isn’t too keen on the fact that you invited Aunt Melinda — don’t you remember how she behaved at Thanksgiving eight years ago? Your in-laws keep rubbing in the fact that it only took them two weeks to plan their wedding — what’s the big deal?

Maybe it’s just the pre-wedding jitters, but everything seems to be extra annoying. Don’t even get us started on your relationship; at this point, you might even be wondering if this much bickering is normal (it IS!). People keep telling you to cheer up, and that wedding planning is a full-time job, blah blah blah, but that doesn’t make it any easier. At times, it requires every drop of energy and restraint not to have a complete mental breakdown.

Stage 5: Resignation
You’re just weeks away from the big day — and everything is out of your hands now. All you can do is cross your fingers and hope everything goes smoothly. It’s too late to order anything else online or change the menu. If you forgot something, you’ll just have to make it work. And you know what? You’re okay with that. It’s kind of like a zen energy has taken over, and suddenly you’re a whole new person. You did your best, and you are ready.

Stage 6: Accomplishment
There’s nothing like seeing all that hard work unfold in front of your eyes. Cue the choir. It’s a hallelujah moment. The day has finally arrived, and it’s absolutely perfect. The endless emails, the walk-throughs, the stressful family drama — it’s over. Raise a glass to yourselves. You’ve earned it!