Anyone who tells you planning a wedding isn't stressful is either lying, or has never planned a wedding before.
Getting married is listed as the seventh most stressful life event on The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, and considering this list was created in 1967, that doesn't even begin to factor in the details of modern-day wedding planning.
As a bride-to-be myself, I can attest to the fact that the final two months of planning would not be complete without moments of hair-pulling stress.
It's almost expected, and there are so many bits and pieces that are flat-out uncontrollable. However, what you can control is your reaction to the stress.
Just because pop culture likes to depict brides as control freaks with a wide array of public meltdowns doesn't mean we have to act that way.
It's certainly not easy, though. And that's why you have to be armed and ready.
Here are eight ways to tackle some of the surprises that come your way during the homestretch before the walk down the aisle.
1. Organize those RSVP cards.
Spreadsheets are my jam, so before I sent out our wedding invitations, I assigned each invitation a number. On each RSVP card, I wrote the corresponding number in the upper left corner on the back.
You might be surprised, but some people will put their RSVPs in the mail without writing their name on it.
It's basically the adult equivalent of turning in your homework with no name; the same kids who did that in middle school will do it as grownups.
Instead of trying to play detective, all you need to do is consult your spreadsheet to see who the culprit is.
This will also help when it's time to hunt down the procrastinators who don't RSVP before the deadline. (And you know there are some slackers in every friend group.)
2. Tackle the fun tasks first with a lot of time to spare.
Some people might advise you to start with the least fun item on your list to get it out of the way. But I say, no way! Start with the fun stuff.
Plus, if you wait too long for the enjoyable projects, your entire to-do list will become a chore.
Take note of the items on your list that excite you. If you're crafty, maybe it's the DIY favors. If you're more into fashion, perhaps it's purchasing accessories for your bridesmaids as gifts.
Whatever your preference, get those things done early on when you have time to enjoy them.
3. Know that dress regret is normal.
There is so much pressure about the wedding dress. Thanks to shows like "Say Yes To The Dress," women are almost wired to think that choosing a wedding dress is the biggest decision we will ever make.
We also assume that when we find "the" dress, we'll stand in front of the mirror and weep happily. Reality? This doesn't always happen.
In fact, many brides worry they purchased the wrong dress, and they face a ton of anxiety about it throughout the wedding-planning process.
Part of the problem is the dress purchase happens so early on, and then we have a ton of time to overthink our decision.
Trust your gut. You purchased your dress for a reason. And turn off the reality TV shows!
4. Ask for help, nicely.
We've all seen "Bridezilla." Your bridesmaids are not your minions; they are your best friends.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, reach out to your besties. You asked them to stand by your side for a reason, and if there's any time to pull the bride card, it's now.
Arrange a girls' night, break out the hot glue guns and purchase a lot of wine.
Delegating may not be your style, but you will feel a lot better once you've divided and conquered.
5. Don't fight with your fiancé about tablecloths.
Or limo choices. Or welcome bags. Or anything related to the planning.
In all seriousness, your emotions will be running high, and so will your fiancé's. It's easy to take those feelings out on one another, and over the most minute details.
Come up with a code word or phrase, and when you feel yourselves slipping into bickering territory, call a time out.
These are the last few weeks leading up to your wedding. You don't want to spend it fighting.
6. Take a break, for sanity's sake.
If you are consumed with wedding details literally every hour of the day, you will go crazy.
Give yourself a few hours a day — or even a whole weekend — where you do something totally non-wedding related. Put your phone away, don't look at emails and don't answer calls from vendors.
Go out to dinner with your fiancé, and set a rule: no wedding talk for the entire evening.
You will need that time off, so take it.
7. You are a bride, not a travel agent.
One of the biggest mistakes brides make, especially when having a destination wedding, is getting too caught up in other people's travel plans.
You've probably set aside a block of rooms at a few hotels, and perhaps you've arranged transportation to and from the venue. You've created welcome bags for each guest attending, with itineraries and maps.
That is more than enough. Stop right there.
You are not responsible for arranging every last detail of your guests' travel plans. So when your procrastinating cousin calls you two days before the wedding in a frenzy because he can't get a hotel room, do not freak out.
Designate a friend or relative to help with these kinds of problems, and walk away.
8. Most importantly, know when to let it go.
Keep in mind the reason for all of this planning, lists, crafts and Pinning.
You have found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Ultimately, that's the most important thing to remember. That's the bottom line.
So, if one of your centerpieces is slightly askew, someone shows up who didn't RSVP or one of the groomsmen steps on your dress during formals, just breathe and deal.
At the end of the day, your wedding is one day of your life.
So, make sure you take the time to realize it before it's over, and focus on what matters.