You’re engaged – congratulations! You are in the middle of one of the happiest periods of your life, with an amazing (if difficult) journey ahead of you. It can be all too easy to slip into a crazed, stressed-out mindset. Before you get too far along the engagement road, here are some tips to retaining your sanity in the lead up to the big day.

Date nights

Make sure you set aside one night a week (or thereabouts) for time together. A home-cooked meal, eating out, or a movie are important ways of keeping your relationship sane as well as yourselves.

Stay hydrated

Wedding planning is hard work. Keep that body and mind hydrated; it helps you concentrate and keeps you healthy.

Set a date quickly

This should be one of the first tasks you should get done. This way you have a time frame to work with.

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Alone time

Most people need time alone to function properly. Schedule this in as well as spending with your other half.

Be realistic

Everybody wants the perfect wedding, but sometimes the demands involved can be ridiculous. Keep yourself in check and be realistic about your expectations. Nothing is perfect.

Pamper yourself

Treat yourself to a spa for a massage if things are getting super-stressful. If you are saving the pennies, an indulgent bubble bath with candles and music also works a treat!

Yoga/meditation

A great way to not only cure stress, but keep it at bay. Short practices a few times a week will have you feeling full of energy and positivity.

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Keep track of your budget

When you start a budget (also one of the first tasks on hand) don’t just forget about it. Keep tabs on it as you go along.

Set ground rules

Sit down and exchange I wills and I won’ts: “I won’t get mad at you over silly wedding stuff” and ”I will keep you involved in every decision” are great ways to keep each other in check.

See friends

Keep sociable with best friend movies nights and wine every once in a while, it will keep you sane.

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Vent to your friends

This is what friends are for! Things will make you mad, there’s no doubt about it. Have a healthy vent and let them do the same when theirs comes around.

Have a wedding-only email address

You will be signing up to who knows how many wedding-related gifts, packages, and vendors? Get one, it’s the best way.

Get Pinterest

There are tons and tons of ideas and pretty pictures on Pinterest, and it is almost made for wedding planning.

Get advice from married friends

They’ve been there and done that, so listen up. Mistakes are the best way to learn what to do and what not to do yourselves.

Stay active

Maintain regular exercise in your lifestyle. It will keep you healthy, happy, and better equipped to deal with stress.

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Ask for help

Sometimes you can hit a road block in your planning, so never be afraid to ask for help or advice. Your family and friends will be more than willing to give a hand.

Avoid fad diets

Fad diets are wedding planning’s worst enemy, so avoid like the plague. If anything, they will only make you put on weight and feel moody and terrible most of the time.

Involve people in the wedding

A great money saving tip is to swap a wedding gift for some help in the wedding. You may know a musician, florist, or someone who has a good eye for design and decoration.

One thing at a time

Don’t let things spiral out of control by spreading yourself too thin. Prioritize and focus on one thing at a time.

Keep a diary

Write every down – everything. It’s all about dates and scheduling. An organized person is never without a diary.

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Buy bridal magazines

Just like Pinterest, magazines are full of ideas and great visuals. On top of that, they have advice, vendor recommendations, and sometimes even discounts and coupons. A great investment.

Shop around

You wouldn’t buy the first dress you try on, so don’t settle for the first vendor either. Look around and make sure you are getting the best price.

Keep the groom involved

Hopefully covered in your ground rules, this is an important one. Don’t take the weight of the world on your shoulder and push your groom out of the picture. Share the responsibility.

Delegate

Bridal parties and groomsmen have duties too! Put your boss hat on and let everybody know what they are expected to do.

Get plenty of sleep

Along with diet, exercise, and hydration, sleep is a major part of good wedding planning. Stay rested, healthy, and on target.

Banner photo credit: Butter Studios