The wedding industry finally got me. Even as a Wedding Planner, it got me. I went into a large retail store (we’ll call it Fed, Laugh and Beyond) with resolve that I needed nothing. And came out with everything with the word “Bride” on it. As if I was under some sort of spell. Makeup bag labeled “Bride”? got it. Floral, silky “day-of” bathrobe? Got it. Cheap jewelry that says “Mrs.” On it? Yep. Got that too. Did I need any of it to make my wedding day perfect? No. But did I enjoy buying it? Oh ya. Why? At the time? I couldn’t tell you.
I incredulously explained this experience to my mentor who (when she regained breath from laughing) said this phenomenon is called “Bridal Nesting”. This is a mindset that often sets in about 6 months out from the wedding. Brides want to prepare for the wedding day and of course, make everything as magical as possible, which I guess is what I was trying to do by buying things I thought would come in handy. In retrospect though, I feel like while the things I bought are fun to have, there are other things brides can do that are muuuuuuch easier on wedding budgets…
- Down-sizing: This word scares a lot of people but like all lifestyle adjustments, there is a huge range. As far as weddings go, this does not mean scrapping everything you’ve been planning for the last year and getting married in a tiny home. This trend is much more about finding what you want to invest in with your wedding budget that is special and unique to you and your partner. Often couples I work with find a lot more joy with something personalized to them than the big budget items. Sometimes it’s the favors. Sometimes it’s the whole wedding style. Find your signature to your wedding and you and your partner might not need everything on your checklist.
- Meditation: I see those raised eyebrows! Listen. Meditation gets a pretty bad rap as a cartoonish image of sitting cross-legged and chanting “ohm”, but in reality, it’s quite the opposite. Modern meditation is the practice of mindfulness. In fact, a better way to phrase it is self-care. This looks like taking a few minutes a day to yourself to reflect and breathe in a quiet space. And honestly, don’t we all need that? This is an excellent way to rid yourself of wedding stress or anxiety and a great wedding gift to give yourself.
- Non-store-bought cleanses: Another great self-care technique that is cost clever but does not need to be extreme or impact your health. I respect the heck out of Saint Beyoncé but you will never catch me downing glasses of hot water and red pepper. My cleanses are no more than 1 day (because ladies, the secret’s out. We eat). If I feel run-down or a need to re-energize, I do several glasses of herbal teas, fruit juices and homemade vegetable soups. You should never feel weak or hungry on a cleanse. This practice is meant to be a short term way to fortify your body not deprive it of nutrition. Give yourself the energy you need for this fast-pace time in your life!
- Giving Back: If you’re already feeding your body and mind in preparation for your big day, try feeding your soul by doing something that benefits others. Whether it’s big or small gestures, I notice brides who also volunteer in their community or give back as part of their lifestyle are calm, confident people, that are not easily overwhelmed by stress that can sometimes grow in the final months before their wedding.
- Upcycling: Possibly one of my favorite new trends, this is the act of taking something and repairing, refurbishing and reusing it for a new purpose. A large part of my design platform is restoring antiques and turning them into pieces my clients can use for their wedding. Upcycling is easy and is a great engagement project for you and your partner. One couple I worked with toured several estate sales until they found antique china, candlesticks and pieces of furniture they could work on together. Three months later, with some silver polish, reupholstering and teamwork, they created gorgeous, unique reception materials for a fraction of what they would have bought them for. What’s more, is they had fun restoring everything together and were excited about what they did as a team! This is a great opportunity to stay involved in the engagement process with your partner and create a wedding day you’ll both love!