Bride Brain is a phenomenon that affects almost all brides at one time or another. It is a condition that can strike at any moment, for some it is at the beginning of the planning process when the mind is bombarded with ideas about the big day, when, where, the dress, colours, flowers, music, the list goes on and on. For others is might be for no apparent reason in the middle of the planning stages. For most, symptoms wait to appear until closer to the date when the to-do list appears to get longer instead of shorter, it seems like everyone is pulling you in different directions and there simply aren't enough hours in the day.
Symptoms include, but are not limited to, rambling, scatter brain, memory loss, fatigue, panic attacks, short temper, crankiness and of course bridezilla-like-tendancies. Don't be ashamed if you begin to show signs of Bride Brain, it is natural for most brides to have a few or all of the symptoms, after all you are planning the biggest day of your life, most likely working a full time job, all while trying to maintain some sort of a social life. There are ways to avoid Bride Brain; here are a few tips to help you in the process:
The most important thing you can do to maintain your sanity and keep from ripping your hair out is stay organized. When you start to think about all that can be involved in planning your wedding, you may begin to feel a little overwhelmed. The entire process, when viewed in whole, can seem as though it would be an insurmountable task. However, brides in the know use a little secret weapon that makes the process organized and manageable. This little secret is called a wedding binder:
A wedding binder can be very simple and very cheap, but its value is immeasurable. This is the one spot where you will organize everything for the wedding and will serve to minimize the stresses of the whole affair. You will take this binder with you to each meeting with potential vendors and it will contain all the information for the entire wedding, making it simple to access information quickly. Sections should include: contact lists, timelines, checklists, floor plans, calendar, budget, theme/style (here you can keep ideas, clippings, pictures, etc. of items you would like to incorporate), guest list, seating chart and any other important information pertaining to the day.
I highly recommend following some sort of checklist to ensure no steps are missed in the planning process. However, remember these steps are not set in stone. If there are items on the list that can be done sooner, do them! Location, location, location, book your venues for ceremony and reception as soon as you have a date, depending what time of year you are getting married, if it is a busy venue, it might even dictate the date.
When booking vendors, make sure you book all vendors as soon as possible to avoid disappointment, vendors that can only perform one or two weddings a day should be the first on your list, i.e. Marriage commissioners, photographers, videographers, DJs, etc. If you have favours that you are making that aren't perishable, make them months ahead instead of waiting a few weeks before the wedding when the chaos has set in. Set up meetings with vendors early to go over the details of the day when your mind is still fresh and Bride Brain symptoms haven't started to show.
Most brides tend to take the bulk of the work on themselves, don't forget about your fiancé, and remember it is his wedding too, so give him a to-do list. Your friends and family are probably begging to help so take them up on their offer! They want to feel like they are contributing and hopefully (if they are good helpers) it will take some of the stress off you and your husband-to-be. So delegate when you can, no matter how small the task, they will be thrilled to be included.
Although family and friends can be a great help, some times it is best to hire a professional. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to spend thousands on a full wedding planning package. Many planners offer hourly consulting to set you on the right track, or day-of coordination packages that help you get the day set up and then professionally execute it for you. Talk to a planner to see what kind of packages they offer, what you need and how they can help.