Buffet dinner or plated? Long veil or short? Band or DJ? When you first start planning your wedding, you’ll be doing some rapid-fire decision making that you might even find fun (especially if you’re Type A!). But as the months roll on, you’ll probably come down with a case of decision fatigue. Symptoms include: Saying “I don’t care!” a lot, ignoring your planning deadlines, flipping coins, scrolling through Pinterest with a glazed look over your eyes.
If that’s you right now, splash some cold water on your face and read these tips to help you beat decision fatigue ASAP.
Trust the mood board.
All that inspo you fave’d and pinned way back when the planning was just getting started? You chose it for a reason: You love it! Don’t forget this when decision fatigue hits and the second-guessing takes over. Yes, there are billions of beautiful flower bouquets out there, and it seems impossible to pick just one. But once upon a time, before your mind got muddled with all things wedding, you had a perfect flower bouquet in mind—you’ll be so glad you trusted your gut (and mood board) when you choose that original fave for your big day.
Take a break.
Our brains naturally crave breaks after periods of overstimulation. That’s why we have weekends off from work. So when you lock yourself into the 24/7 demands of wedding planning for too long, decision fatigue is your brain’s way of saying “I’ve had enough!” Give yourself that break you’re craving, and you’ll be amazed by how easy it is to hit the ground running once you get back to planning. Even if you’re in the final countdown to the big day and you think you can’t spare a moment, you can—just one day can make all the difference. Turn off email notifications, let all your calls go to voicemail (or your mom/MOH/planner if that gives you anxiety), and push all wedding tasks out of your mind. Maybe go somewhere relaxing like to the beach or on a hike. When you return from your sabbatical, even if it’s just the next day, you’ll look at the remainder of your wedding decisions list with fresh eyes and more motivation. Take these breaks frequently to keep burnout at bay.
Make sure you're delegating.
Doing it yourself may seem like the only way to do it right, but that simply isn’t true. And when you’re in the throes of decision fatigue, doing it yourself might be a downright bad idea, leading you to make a choice you don’t really believe in. Taking on too much is probably the fastest way to get into a decision-making rut, so ensure you’re sharing the duties with your spouse-to-be, even family and friends if they offer. When you’re starting out wedding planning, divide key decisions (and smaller-detail decisions) between the two of you, making it clear who has final say on what based on your passions (e.g., if your fiancé is a music buff and you not so much, let them be the end-all on what band or DJ to hire). That way, if one of you starts spinning your wheels, the other is responsible for taking over (and vice-versa).
Get the data.
It’s hard to expertly plan a wedding when you’re probably not a wedding expert. Hard data can help inform your decisions and keep you moving forward. For example, if you’re stuck on picking centerpiece flowers, and you’re getting married in a hot climate, find out what flowers hold up longest in heat. If you can’t decide what cake flavor to serve, find out the customer favorite at your selected bakery or caterer. Knowing the zeroes and ones about the decision dilemma at hand can help you finally make a choice—an informed, rational one, rather than a panic decision that came from being totally burnt out.
Remember what’s important.
Decision fatigue can make every wedding element seem like the most important thing in the world. But don’t lose sight of how little these details will matter on your big day, when your emotions will take precedent, and after, when what you’ll really remember are the moments, not cocktail napkins. Of course your wedding decisions are a big deal, and I’m not saying you’re nuts for caring. But aside from the big ones, most of these decisions you’ll make during planning will turn out to be a lot less noticeable to you and your guests on your big day. Prioritize the choices you really care about (like the food you’ll serve) and don’t sweat the small stuff. If you catch yourself in the depths of decision fatigue over something like escort cards, take a deep breath, remind yourself what a small detail they are, and give yourself some grace. Keep your eyes on the prize: marrying your favorite person, and having an amazing time doing it.