The 12 Stages Every Bride Goes Through to Find Peace During Wedding Planning
Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

August 2018

The 12 Stages of Acceptance Every Bride Goes Through When Wedding Planning

Like a 12-step programme, these are the unique stages every bride goes through when it comes to planning a wedding, in order to finally reach a place of zen.

Nobody is prepared for the unique stress that is wedding planning. It is a mammoth task that can cause even the most laid-back bride to break down in tears. Brides who’ve been there, you know what we mean. You’ve gone through the 12 Stages of Acceptance and a rollercoaster of emotions and arrived on the other side with a new sense of zen. For the unwary newly engaged, here’s a breakdown of the 12 stages almost every bride goes through.

F Shu Ling and Chin Feng’s Casual Paparazzi-Inspired Pre-Wedding Shoot in Bangkok by Sanit

1. “OMG I’m ENGAGED!”

He popped the question and you screamed, “Yes!” After the tears of joy have been wiped away, you’ve filled with excitement about planning the Wedding of the Year. It’s your once-in-a-lifetime celebration, and you know exactly what you want. You’ve always had a sure sense of style. You start Pinning gorgeous floral and pampas grass circular arches, donut walls, garden ceremonies with a backdrop of the ocean, calligraphy agate place cards, and stunning designer gowns (only those that have a low back, v-neckline, fit-and-flare silhouette, and tiny floral embellishments). Your Pinterest wedding board is looking epic!

Make the most of this phase: Soak up the feelings of pure joy and bliss as long as you can! Enjoy being newly engaged and talk about your hopes and dreams for your future life together as well as for your wedding day. Don’t rush into wedding planning, and don’t get pressured into setting a date immediately. All that will come in due time.

Steph and Weilun’s Travel-Themed Capella Singapore Wedding by Bobby Kiran Photography

2. “I’m going to be a totally chill bride. Wedding planning is so fun!”

You’re going for an intimate celebration so wedding planning is going to be super chill. You and your fiancé go on romantic dates scoping out venue contenders. Trying on wedding dresses with your girlfriends is super fun. You look like a bride! It doesn’t matter that none of the dresses are exactly what you want. You’ll find The Dress eventually. Wedding planning is so fun! What a special time!

Make the most of this phase: Enjoy the excitement and share it with close friends and family who only multiply your joy. Take your time exploring your options and getting a feel for what you want in your wedding.

3. “Wait, where do we start?!”

People start asking you when and where you’ve having the wedding, and you have no idea. You’re starting to feel a little lost. How do you know which venue to choose if you don’t know how many people are coming? How much does everything cost? What are you forgetting? Why does everyone give conflicting advice about the best way to plan a wedding? How do you even start?

Make the most of this phase: Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Sit down with your partner and talk about your budget, a wedding date, the number of guests both sides of the family intend to invite, and what kind of wedding vibe you’re both going for. Once you’ve made these decisions, you’ll be able to find a venue, and look for other important elements. When you’ve locked down the major details, other decisions will be easier to make.

Tina and Yihang’s Peach and Gold Marquee Wedding by Androidsinboots

4. “Let’s DIY everything!”

You want your wedding to be a true reflection of your story as a couple, and also make it more special and meaningful for your guests. You decide to incorporate personalised details and DIY elements like handwritten notes to each guest, a basket of flip-flops for the beach ceremony, a DIY photo backdrop, or a jumbo Jenga game. You enlist the help of your most crafty friends, and spend every evening at home becoming really handy with your glue gun.

Make the most of this phase: Get the most impact for your efforts by selecting only a few important elements to personalise and DIY. Instead of spending tons of time wrapping individual wedding favours, how about personalising the signs for an interactive flower bar, so guests can have a unique experience and bring home something they put together themselves?

5. “I need to get in amazing shape!”

You’re determined to look your absolute best, especially since your wedding day memories will be captured for a lifetime. You sign up for yoga classes, pilates classes, spin classes, and hit the gym four times a week. You cut out fat, sugar, dairy, and live on green smoothies.

Make the most of this phase: There’s nothing like a wedding to motivate a girl into getting into shape! It’s the best time to make some healthy lifestyle changes, like getting into a habit of working out three times a week, cutting out unhealthy junk food, and being aware of eating whole, unprocessed foods. Make lifestyle changes instead of going for fad diets and exercise regimes you can’t maintain, so that you’re healthy and toned beyond your wedding day.

Edlyn and Fabian’s Teochew Opera Pre-Wedding Shoot by The Peeping Thom Photography

6. “Who’s getting married, us or our families?”

Everyone has an opinion or request regarding your wedding, whether it’s for more auspicious colours, inclusion of certain traditions, or additions to the guest list. You understand that your families are celebrating as well, but you’re frustrated that your wedding vision is getting compromised!

Make the most of this phase: Wedding planning with both families is a preview of married life, when you form relationships with your in-laws. Sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk with your partner about any issues or frustrations you may be facing, and discuss solutions or compromises together. Decide on which areas you can’t compromise, and which you can make concessions on. If you’re having a problem agreeing with an in-law-to-be, ask your partner to speak to them.

Alexandra and James’s Breathtaking Clifftop Wedding in Uluwatu, Bali by Terralogical

7. “I can’t find anything I want!”

You have so much inspiration on your Pinterest board but it’s impossible to find anything you want in Singapore! If only you lived in the States and Etsy delivered to your house. You showed florists your references and couldn’t believe what they would cost. You hunt for wedding shoes and can’t find anything in the ideal height and colour. You’ve been to countless shops hunting for the perfect wedding dress but it doesn’t seem to exist in Singapore.

Make the most of this phase: If you can’t find a dress you love completely, consider getting a bespoke gown. Many bridal boutiques offer a bespoke option that you can buy or rent. Be realistic about your flowers and their seasonality. Arrangements with a lot of imported flowers will cost more, so ask your florist to recommend alternatives that suit your budget. When you find yourself feeling depressed about your “impossible” Pinterest board, look for a wedding stylist! They have much more experience hunting down décor elements and executing a wedding vision.

8. “Why don’t you care about our wedding?” *Cries*

You’re severely sleep-deprived and sugar-deprived from your strict diet, and everything is starting to feel overwhelming. Why is your fiancé not helping out? Doesn’t he care about the wedding? Doesn’t he want to get married? You lash out and break down in a fit of tears.

Make the most of this phase: Most grooms don’t care about the colours of the flowers, or the calligraphy font for the place cards. That doesn’t mean they don’t care about the wedding, and it definitely doesn’t mean that they don’t want to get married! Instead of insisting on his opinion on invitation design or ribbon width, why not ask him to select your wedding playlist or take charge of logistical elements, like arranging delivery for the catering or applying for a marriage license and solemniser.

Danielle and Nigel’s Joy-Filled Sheraton Towers Singapore Wedding by J Production

9. “Whatever. I don’t even care anymore.”

You can’t find the right shade of mauve for your bridal bouquet ribbon? Fine, that lilac one will do. Your dream pair of shoes costs an arm and a leg? Forget it then, that other pair is fine. Your Taobao shipment is late? Whatever, you’ll just forego your customised wooden puzzle guestbook and use something else. You need to make decisions about your song list, music choice for your childhood montage video, whether your groomsmen are wearing ties or bow ties? You don’t even care anymore. You just want to check things off your never-ending list so this will end.

Make the most of this phase: Decision fatigue is real. Planning a large-scale event like a wedding requires a ton of major and minor decisions to be made and tasks to check off, and you might start feeling jaded as the stress wears you down. Take a break from planning and go for a romantic date where you don’t talk about the wedding at all, but focus on each other instead. You’ll relax and remember why you wanted to get married in the first place—because you’re in love!

10. “There’s no time!”

You’re constantly on the phone planning your wedding during the train commute. Your weekends are filled with vendor meetings. You write your vows during lunch breaks. You schedule your facial, nails, and wax appointments back to back. You’re glued to your craft table in the evenings. You have 20 different Whatsapp chat groups and they’re chiming every minute with new messages. Sleep? You’ll sleep when you’re married.

Make the most of this phase: The last few weeks leading up to a wedding can get really hectic. Plan ahead by taking a few days off work before your wedding, so that you can check off last-minute tasks and get your beauty sleep. Don’t try to do everything yourself! Delegate tasks to your wedding party and your family, or simply ask them along on errands for moral support. Surrounding yourself with your loved ones will help keep stress away.

Candice and Jiwen’s Intimate Little Island Brewery Wedding by Thomas Tan Photography

11. “Finally, I think we can actually make this happen!”

The wedding date is nearing and it’s finally looking like everything will be done on time. Your vendors have gotten a handle on things, your wedding party is up to speed, your beauty regime is done, and all the stress of planning has actually made you lose weight! Instead of just feeling nervous and stressed or just plain depressed, you’re starting to feel pretty excited again! You’re going to marry your fiancé and start a life together, and that’s what really matters!

Make the most of this phase: The wedding is starting to look like “you”, and you can fall in love with it all over again. Appreciate everything you’ve pulled off, and the people who helped! Don’t stress on the little details anymore. Best of all, catch up on sleep!

12. “I can’t believe I get to marry my best friend!”

The day is finally here! You’re so happy that you’re about to get married that you completely forget all the stress wedding planning has caused. You can’t stop smiling and laughing, and you’re so grateful to everyone who helped make the celebration possible, and who supported you along the way. You see your favourite person in the world, and your heart is so full, you think it’s going to explode. It’s the best day ever!

Make the most of this phase: It’s your big day! Smile, let go of anything that isn’t going according to plan, and truly enjoy your wedding day! You only get one special day, so soak up every precious moment with your groom, your loved ones, and everyone who came to celebrate the two of you.


Credits: Feature image of Letty and Benjamin’s Incredible Myanmar Pre-Wedding and Stylish Wedding by Superpanda Presents

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