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The Ultimate Guide to Thriving this Holiday Season & Mastering the Wedding Planning Process!

A checklist that covers all the essentials!

1. Focus on family and the people you're lucky to have in your life!

Everyone knows the overwhelming “getting ready to host the whole family for a holiday” feeling but the craze doesn’t have to bring negative vibes along with it. Taking a moment to just soak in being surrounding by all the people you love is a pretty great feeling. Too blessed to be stressed!

Making memories with the people in your life who you love is truly what it’s all about. This is especially important on your wedding day/weekend extravaganza! It’s all about celebrating you and your partner and the love you share — focusing on each other makes the process WAY better.

2. Be sure to organize your time to get in all the necessary “must-get-done” things!

Nervous about trying to fit all the holiday gatherings into your schedule and still make it to dinner with your family on time? The 3 holiday parties, charity function, and shopping for all your gifts aren’t so bad to coordinate when you plan your time out well. Maybe use a good planner or the calendar app on your phone to track all your events? Whatever method works for you — try to keep a solid list of all your RSVP's so you don’t feel overwhelmed and bombarded when the dates come quicker than expected.

Although the wedding planning process seems daunting, it really can be much simpler with a little bit of planning and organizing early on. When it comes to all the details — leave them to the pros when possible! The wedding industry experts really know what they’re doing so give them the chance to help you. (Trust me — they love this stuff!) Whether it be choosing the floral arrangements, ironing out the menu details, or making sure the operations of the big day are all in order — let those who know the in’s and out’s of weddings best help take some of the weight off your shoulders.

3. Plan your budget the best that you can!

In terms of holiday gifts — we all know this can get crazy. From Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to all the "Happy Holiday" promos — it’s extremely easy to stock up on gifts and buy for every family member and friend. I’m sure the gift recipients won’t mind the influx but maybe your bank account will. If you set aside some money earlier in the fall to put towards gift ideas or even just clearly outline the gifts you’re planning to give; budgeting isn’t too far out of reach. It’s a very useful tool that helps avoid the big finance hit all at once.

To reference having a budget for the big day — this can be a little bit tougher. Sitting down with your partner and maybe even your parents or family to go over some financial aspects of the planning and where your budget is capped at is extremely important. It’s supposed to be a very joyous day and overall process — don’t let it get to the point where your budget puts a damper on everything. There are ways to create incredible events with any budget in mind but having flexibility is definitely important too!

4. Take some time to de-stress and enjoy the process!

Make every step of the way more enjoyable when possible. Sure, grocery shopping for all the ingredients to make your grandma’s famous pie recipe isn’t necessarily the fun part… but who says it can’t still be a good time?! Every step of the way leads to the end goal which ultimately means that every step has its own value. Also, don’t overanalyze having the “perfect” holiday. Sometimes the things you don’t plan for make the best memories!

The same sentiment goes for finalizing the guest list. Yes I know it’s hard narrowing down your list and having to reconsider inviting Melissa from high school because you’re pushing your limit - but at the end of the day, the people who will be attending your wedding are coming to celebrate you and your partner. That’s what matters! And reminder - don’t put too much pressure on yourself to try to get everything done all at once. If you set your own small deadlines to have certain decisions made by, it will relieve stress from the situation.

5. Remember that the little things do make a big difference!

Whether it’s the silly family traditions you keep reinforcing year after year or the perfect accent color in your table centerpieces — little things definitely go a long way! Focus on what’s important to you and your family and hold true to those things. When it comes down to it, the reason for celebrating both the holidays and your wedding revolve around the company you share it with.

Here’s to having the happiest of holiday seasons and enjoying all that the wedding planning process entails! Keep these 5 pointers in mind this upcoming holiday and wedding season!

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