The Stylist wedding blog: a coping strategy for stressed-out planners

Posted by
Natasha Tomalin

The wedding planning process is like nothing else you will ever do in your life (unless you're an events planner of course, in which case this whole process is a piece of cake). There are ups and downs, highs and lows. This week our resident bride Natasha Tomalin reveals her coping strategy.

My editor told me recently that she planned her wedding in just five months and if she could do it in that small amount of time, then I can definitely finish the last bits that I have to do before my wedding in October. Except I feel totally overwhelmed and stressed by it all. Five months is an odd amount of time, not close enough to start really panicking, but far enough away that it still feels like you don’t need to worry too much about anything at all.

Everyone keeps saying, “But you’ve done all the main things, right? So why so stressed?”


I mean, I find it hard to not get angry with people on a daily basis in general life, let alone when a wedding is involved.

The truth is that when I think of how much I still have to do I go all hot and feel like I might have a mini heart attack. Yes, I’ve already done the ‘main things’ but I have so much left to do and I don’t know where to even start.  So, I’ve decided I’m going to tackle it how I would a work deadline (I have many!):


Just pretend you're J-Lo in The Wedding Planner

Here are my tips for stressed out to-be-weds:

Step 1: Take a deep breath.

Step 2: Write a physical list with an actual pen and paper and include EVERYTHING, even if you think its minor – it won’t be.

Step 3: Discuss it with your partner, get them involved and delegate as much as you can to the bridal party. You’ll be surprised how open people are to helping - it makes them feel special.

Step 4: Have a bath, put a candle on, have a glass of wine and don't think about the wedding. Have some ‘you time’ and do this regularly. NB. I don’t have baths whilst I’m at work, but if I could, I most certainly would.


If in doubt, wallow in a bath and forget about it all

Step 5: Prioritise. This is so important. If you need to send your formal invitations out in the next month, drop everything and concentrate on getting this sorted, especially if you are doing them yourself (like I am). Definitely don’t start fannying about with trying to bulk-buy the sweets for the favours just because they are on special offer (I strongly need to take my own advice on this one).

Step 6: With step 5 in mind, write a timeline with actual completion dates. Be realistic with those dates and stick to them rigidly.

Step 7: Keep telling yourself that it will all get done and it will all be fine, because it most definitely will. And if you end up not having the time to wax seal and stamp every envelope, don’t stress it - no one will ever know anyway.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please post your comments below, or on Twitter @stylistmagazine and @natashatomalin, using the hashtag #Stylistweddingblog.