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Planning a wedding was so much fun in the beginning as you searched for the best wedding dresses and browsed all the pretty inspiration.  But now you find yourself really overwhelmed, unable to make the simplest of decisions and feeling really stressed out.  You thought when you were engaged it would be all about sipping champagne and showing off the ring, not buying antacids at Costco.  Here are 5 tips to simplifying your wedding planning process:

Only do what you both really want.

The easiest way to make everything much simpler? Cut out the stuff that doesn't interest you, like a cake cutting ceremony or a bunch of bridesmaids. Maybe what you two really want for your "dream" wedding is a trip to city hall followed by a slice of greasy pizza.  If that's the case, absolutely do that.  If you have guests, you need to take care of them in the proper way, but other than that, you can take anything extra off the table that's stressing you out.

Be decisive.

The biggest trap brides get caught in is over-thinking every tiny decision. For example, sure, pink peonies are beautiful, but will you still think they're beautiful 30 years from now when you are looking at your album?  Did your friend Mitzi use pink peonies? What is the symbolism of pink peonies?  These are all questions that might distract you from making the simple decision of whether or not you want pink peonies in your bouquet.  Some brides love a ton of information, some don't.  If you're getting overwhelmed, stop.  You don't need to put all of this pressure on yourself, your future spouse, and this event.  Keep it all in perspective.  At it's core, it's just a party to celebrate the truly important thing--the two of you together forever.  So, think about what you like, make the decision, and move onto the next task.

sweetheart table during vineyard wedding

Organize more than you normally do.

Is your house in a general state of disorder? Have you always said you thrive in chaos? Wedding planning will test your ability to multitask and organize.  Try being more organized than you usually are. Having everything where you can readily find it will help reduce the stress as your planning gets more intense. When you are just finding inspiration, it seems like no big deal. But once you need to start booking vendors and choosing products, those random stacks of pamphlets and cards are going to seem really overwhelming. If you don't like using traditional planners or filing systems, try using photo boxes sorted by category instead.

Ask for help.

If you need help making decisions, ask for it.  You probably have a cavalcade of family, friends, and vendors just waiting to assist you.  It's tempting to be the control freak bride that has to manage every little detail, but if you are cracking under the pressure, tag someone else in.  Maybe all you need is a day or two away from planning to clear your head and give you a little peace and quiet. Ask a friend out for coffee (should probably make it decaf) or go out on a movie date night (so you won't accidentally discuss the wedding) with your sweetie.

bride with gray pashmina and large bridal bouquet

Compartmentalize your planning.

It's not until towards the end of the planning, when everything needs final approval and detailing that you need to think about all of your planning decisions at the same time. Until then, you really can do things one after the other (unless you have a very short timeline, in which you may want to revisit that whole city hall and pizza idea).  At the beginning, find your venue, and then your photographer, and then your florist, and so on. You don't need to be thinking about fondant vs. buttercream while you are dress shopping.  Use a checklist and personalize it to your event. That way, nothing gets forgotten and you stay sane.

Photo Credit: Powers Photography