6 emotional stages of planning a wedding

Every mood and moment of planning a wedding – hold on tight!

6 emotional stages of planning a wedding
How to cope with every stage of wedding planning. Image:

It’s one heck of a journey from ‘just engaged’ to ‘newlywed’. Here’s how to embrace every single moment of the wedding planning rollercoaster…

1. Pure joy
OMG you’re engaged!!! Welcome to, quite possibly, the most exciting time of your life! From the moment you set eyes on that incredible ring (the boy’s done good), you’re thrown into a wonderful world of high-pitched squealing phone calls as you break the news to everyone, loved-up Facebook status updates (FYI, you’re totally allowed to be smug right now), impromptu parties and endless glasses of celebratory champagne. Oh, there is a LOT of champagne. It’s the most perfect love bubble.

How to make the most of it: Take it all in. The temptation to dive head first into planning your big day is strong, but try and embrace the moment as much as you can before you start getting down to the nitty gritty. You’ll never get this time back, so soak it all up together.


2. Wedding daze
You’ve celebrated big time, flashed that engagement ring to friends, family and random strangers at the bus stop, and drank the whole of the Champagne region dry, so now thoughts turn to the actual wedding. You head to the shops and grab as many wedding mags as you can (hi!), spend your lunch breaks taking sneaky peeks at the PW website, then promptly fall into what’s known as the wed-fog. “Who knew there was so much choice when it came to weddings? Where do I start? What do I do? Someone get me a glass of champagne, NOW!”

How to make the most of it: Don’t feel overwhelmed by all the options. Have fun chatting with your fiancé about all the cool things you’ve spotted and use this as a ‘no-pressure’ opportunity to talk about the kind of day you both want. You don’t need to decide on everything all at once, so take it at your own pace.

3. Planning like a pro
Who knew planning a wedding (and spreadsheet-creating) could be so much fun, right? You’ve totally hit your stride, your negotiating skills are so on-point you’re seriously considering offering your expert services to the Brexit talks and you know exactly what you want for your dream W-day. Heck, you’ve got this wedding malarkey nailed – you should make it your full-time job. *Googles ‘How to become a wedding planner’ as your fiancé rolls his eyes.* Rude. 

How to make the most of it: You’ve hit the planning sweet spot. Now’s the time to tackle those, err, not so exciting jobs, like all the legal stuff, or the tricky jobs like the guest list and seating plan. Strike while the iron is hot and all that…


4. Big-day burnout
It’s as though you’ve reverted to your six-year-old self on a car journey, with a real “Are we nearly there yet?” attitude. You are sooo over wedding planning. Too many decisions, too much responsibility, too much goddamn wedding DIY. You want to dramatically throw yourself to the floor in anguish if anyone dares ask how the planning is going and you haven’t even looked at your big day Pinterest boards for TWO WHOLE WEEKS. This is getting serious.

How to make the most of it: Planning fatigue is a thing, but don’t worry – it will pass. As long as you feel you’re on schedule and all the big decisions are made, there’s nothing wrong with having a little break from the whole crazy process. Use this lull in proceedings to enjoy time with your fiancé without all the wedding chat. Go out, have a romantic meal and remember what this whole crazy ride is about. 

5. The finisher
Your wedding mojo is back with a vengeance and you’re like a woman possessed. All those annoying little jobs that you’ve been putting off since the creation of your beautiful, colour-coded planning spreadsheet, are finally being dealt with. Nothing gives you as much joy as watching every little task turn green (that’s green for ‘done’, FYI). Yep, you might be a little bit busy, but sleep’s for losers, right? And who needs a social life. And it’s no big deal your cat doesn’t recognise you anymore, is it...?

How to make the most of it: Harness this new-found energy and work your way through that to-do list. This is the time to rally the troops and get all your bridesmaids, friends and family on board to help with all those last-minute jobs. Oh, and your fiancé, obvs. Planning a wedding is not a one-woman job, people.


6. Nervous excitement
Wahhh, it’s almost here! You haven’t felt this elated since you got engaged and with the big day within touching distance you keep lurching from mega-nerves to giddy excitement, approximately 30 times a day. All that time and energy you’ve put into creating the dream day is about to pay off. Even better, you’re going to have all of your favourite people in one place to celebrate the BEST DAY EVER. The excitement is too much! But then the nerves, oh the nerves… But yey, the excitement. *And repeat* 

How to make the most of it: It’s natural to be a little nervous as your wedding approaches, but make sure you keep everything in perspective. Don’t let these feelings take away from the excitement as you count down to the big day. Talk to your fiancé – chances are they’ll be a little more laid-back about it all and will help you see that there’s nothing to be worried about. And relaaaaaaaax…

All gifs via GIPHY

Words by Sarah Dawson

Want more? Here are 12 times wedding planning will prepare you for married life and nine wedding planning hacks to save you time

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