How to Plan the Perfect Summer Wedding (Without Losing Any Sleep!)
Did you know that June is the most popular month of the year to get married in the United States? Over the past few years, over 40% of weddings happened during the summer, which means that you’re in very good company if you’re planning to say “I do” in the next couple of months.
With more than 130,000 couples choosing to get married in June of 2016, it should come as no surprise that there are a ton of great summer wedding ideas out there, including providing your guests with a sweet treat in the form of an ice cream bar, hosting a combination summer camp and wedding feast close to home, or going all out and exchanging your vows in paradise with a destination wedding in the tropics.
But just because the summer months equals more fun in the sun, it doesn’t mean any less stress when it comes to planning your wedding, and stressing out over making sure that everything is just right for your big day.
Wedding planning is arguably one of the biggest stressors that you’ll ever face, even though your end goal is one big joyful celebration, and you’ll probably be dismayed to find that you will be faced with back-to-back headaches and sleepless nights.
And nothing puts a bigger damper on your day of joy than being too exhausted to be able to enjoy it – not to mention having to cover big bags under your eyes. Yikes!
Then there’s the fact that research has shown even short-term sleep deprivation caused by temporary bouts of stress can have long-lasting effects on your well-being. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to health issues like a weakened immune system, memory loss, and even weight gain.
Simple Tricks for Stress-Free Wedding Planning
So how can you keep stress at bay and get the sleep you need to stay happy and healthy while planning your wedding?
Check out these 5 little tricks to take some of the stress out of planning your summer wedding…
Don’t worry about the weather: You knew when you chose the summer months for your nuptials that Mother Nature might not get the message and send you the perfect day. So don’t freak out if there is rain or scorching heat – just be prepared with an extra tent to keep guests dry and some standing fans to keep them cool. Just say no to checking the weather forecast obsessively and focus on enjoying yourself, instead!
Keep your schedule clear on the big day: You might think that getting all of the “little details” like having your nails done on the morning of your wedding will save you time and trouble but your best bet is to try not to squeeze too much in during the hours before the vows are exchanged. If you have too many activities planned for the morning of your wedding, you might end up missing out on precious memories. Your best bet is to stick with the bare necessities, like hair and makeup, right before the ceremony.
Resist the temptation of checking in on your venue: You may find yourself tempted to cruise by your wedding venue as the big day approaches, but according to wedding experts, you’ll most likely be disappointed (and even stressed) by what you see. Wedding planning pros recommend that you hold off for the “big reveal,” just like your guests, in order to be wowed by all of the hard work that went into making sure that your big day is just right.
Earmark some “alone time” for you and your new spouse: This is a big one! You need to set up some time with your partner during the reception, even if it’s just a five-minute dressing room check-in, or making sure that the two of you make the drive from the church to the after-party. Sparing a few minutes during the excitement to touch base with your new spouse will help you both to stay calm and centered, and it just might end up being one of your favorite wedding day memories.
Keep it all in perspective: The bottom line here is that you can’t control everything – zippers will break, centerpieces will tumble, and bridesmaids just might fight. But at the end of the day, the marriage is what really matters, and if you’re able to laugh off the little things, your guests will be able to do the same thing, ensuring that everyone is as thrilled about you marrying the love of your life as you are.
7 Tips for Awesome Sleep (Even While Planning a Wedding)
And if you want to walk down the aisle without luggage under your eyes, check out these 7 simple tips for getting great sleep during the planning of your wedding…
1. Stay on Schedule
Even though you’re doing your best to keep your stress levels down as your big day approaches, you’re most likely going to feel them creeping back up as the date of your wedding gets closer. One of the best things that you can do to keep yourself calm and well-rested is to keep things as “normal” as possible.
Stay on track with your regular schedule, both during your days and nights, even if it might seem as if sleeping in later than normal or taking a couple of days off is the best thing you can do for yourself. Tons of mental health and sleep studies have shown that consistency in your schedule is the straightest path to keeping stress at bay and the easiest way to get to sleep (and stay that way) each and every night.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but sleeping in when you normally wouldn’t is a no-no, due to your sleep-wake cycle being thrown out of whack. The last thing you want to do is hop onto the crazy carousel of late nights followed by late mornings.
If you do find yourself having trouble falling asleep on occasion, you can get back on a sane sleep schedule by turning in early the following night, instead of sleeping late in the morning – trust us, you will look and feel much fresher!
2. Cut Down on the Caffeine
Don’t panic on this one – we aren’t suggesting that you give up your morning cup of Joe or your after-lunch latte. But we are letting you know that caffeine can stay in your system much longer than you might realize, meaning that it pays off to be smart with when and how much of it you consume.
Caffeine can continue to work for more than six hours after it’s been consumed – and that counts for all forms, not just coffee or espresso. So your best bet is to put down that cup of cola, coffee, or tea by no later than 2 o’clock each afternoon, if you want to avoid sleep disturbances at night.
3. Watch Your Alcohol Consumption
Again, no panicking! There’s no need to avoid alcohol completely to get the restorative sleep that you need to be a fresh, glowing bride on your wedding day.
But you do want to watch how much you have, just like you do with the caffeine. Yes, even though you’ve been hearing about how effective a good “night cap” is for years.
Alcohol does have a sedative effect, which makes falling asleep go much faster, but it also has a tendency to disrupt your sleep cycle and prevent you from entering the deepest phase of sleep, which is where all of the key benefits come into play.
To make sure that alcohol isn’t going to throw off your ability to get the high-quality sleep that will keep you well-rested and at your freshest, make sure to imbibe in booze that takes longer to drink (think beer versus hard liquor) and avoid alcohol of any kind at least three hours before you turn in at night.
4. Keep Your Weekends for Rejuvenation
While planning your wedding, you’ll most likely be tempted to spend much of your free time out and about getting everything just right for your big day, which obviously be a good use of your weekends.
But don’t forget that you need to be focusing on self-care as your wedding date approaches, and that means scheduling in some time for exercise and relaxation, as well.
Hitting the gym during the weekend can be a great way to not only make sure that you fit into your dream dress, it can also promote better sleep quality by helping to ensure that you’re worn-out and ready for bed. Just be sure to work out well before bedtime or you could end up staring at the ceiling, thanks to the heavy dose of endorphins that comes with feeling the burn.
And be sure to give yourself some “me time” during your weekends, as well, by taking a nap or two, squeezing in some yoga, or even springing for a massage.
5. Stay Cool
Sleep experts have found that the ideal temperature for getting deep, refreshing sleep is right around 68 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that you need to keep a cool head while in bed.
Your best bet is to not only crank down the AC during the sultry summer nights to get the best sleep possible, but to also create a cooling cross breeze by adding a fan or two to the bedroom.
You can also take a hot bath or shower before bed to help encourage that sleepy feeling – the drop in temperature after you leave the hot water and hit the cool air will leave you feeling relaxed, drowsy, and ready to climb between a set of refreshing cotton sheets.
6. Write Your Worries Away
As a bride-to-be, you’re bound to have a million things on your mind at any given time, and all of those thoughts whirling around in your brain can lead to sleepless nights. Not good!
Before you hit the hay and find yourself tossing and turning with thoughts of seating plans, bridesmaids dresses, and honeymoon plans racing through your mind, try sitting down and writing out all of the things that you have swirling around in your brain.
Taking the time to get your thoughts down on paper can help you to clear your mind and leave you feeling as if your problems are well on their way to being resolved, instead of just the unfinished business that can leave you awake when you should be drifting off to Dream Land.
7. Create a Sleepy Time Routine
Staying on a regular sleep schedule isn’t the only way that you can help yourself get better sleep while in the midst of wedding planning. There has also been quite a bit of research that has shown that having a set bedtime routine can help prep your mind and your body for a good night’s rest.
We’re not just talking about brushing your teeth, getting into your jammies, and crawling into the perfect bed here, although those bedtime staples definitely help. No, we’re talking about creating a nighttime routine that is specific to your unique needs when it comes to getting to sleep.
Try imbibing in something that you love to do and find ultra-relaxing. That might be a warm bath with essential oils, some light yoga or mindful meditation, or curling up in your favorite chair and reading for half an hour before turning in for the night.
No matter which relaxing practice you choose to build your sleepy time routine around, be sure to take part in it each and every night, right around the same time, in order to cash in on the benefits of drifting off to sleep faster and easier than ever before.