The Inevitable Wedding Planning Slump

Most couples planning their wedding will experience a “planning slump”. According to statistics, the average American engagement period lasts 14 months, but in my experience in the Chicago area, it’s more along the lines of 9 – 14 months. For example’s sake, during the term of a hypothetical 12 month engagement period, the “slump” often occurs between months 6 – 9, or let’s call it the "Third Quarter”, aka Q3. Let’s break it down. Q1 is when you make all of the big decisions: the budget, the date, the church/officiant, the venue, the caterer, the Dress, photographer, videographer, DJ/band, florist, as well as decisions such as the first draft of your guest list and your wedding’s ”style”, color scheme, etc, etc…

Then comes Q2 when you make the secondary decisions such as bridesmaids dresses, your hair/makeup vendors, hotel blocks, transportation arrangements, etc…

Then you hit a slump. As you can tell, most of the major decisions have already been made! But it’s a bit early to work on the nitty gritty details such as menu cards (you haven’t finalized your menu yet!), the ceremony program (uhm, you haven’t figured that out yet!), the escort cards (you don’t know who’s coming yet!), or to draft your wedding day itinerary.

The slump is inevitable, so don’t sweat it! Enjoy the break because Q4 can get CUH-RAZY; prepare yourself! Most couples I work with hit this point and it’s totally normal. But, if you are totally itching to move forward, here are some things you can do to keep yourself ahead of the game:

- Start pre-marital counseling (if you plan to go this route) - Collect addresses for your invitations - Select and order your invitations or work with your stationer to design and print them - Work with your officiant to personalize your ceremony - Decide on ceremony music for your processional, bride’s entrance, interludes, recessional, etc. - Plan your honeymoon! - Take engagement pictures with your photographer - Discuss travel arrangements with your out-of-town guests - Schedule your wedding dress fittings (great seamstresses book up fast!) - Look for fabulous wedding day accessories - Decide what you want to do for your guestbook, cardbox, escort card display, etc. (be creative!) - Start compiling a Play & Do Not Play list for the DJ/Band as well as “special” songs, i.e. introductions, cake cutting, first dance, father/daughter dance, last song of the night, etc.

I could go on and on! Don’t leave things til the last minute or you will be kicking yourself. :)

Did you experience a slump or are you currently going through it? What are you doing during the “down time”?