I wouldn’t say I’m a procrastinator by nature, but I do have a huge list of wedding planning things to do as I sit down to write this blog. I can always find time to moan and complain about how much I have to do when I’m really, really busy, and yet, here I am wasting time complaining about how busy I am.

It’s a vicious cycle, and a behavior I caught myself engaging in on a regular basis when I was planning my own wedding many moons ago.

You see, the simple fact that the tasks you’re trying to achieve are wedding-related makes them far more interesting to complain about than your everyday workload. And the inconveniences you encounter make for interesting stories to share with your mom, your fiancé, your bridesmaids… really anybody who is unfortunate enough to cross your path may learn how annoying you find the florist who has called you to confirm the same details 20 times, or the rude bridal consultant at your dress fitting who implied you might have gained a few pounds (ridiculous, of course – you were just retaining water that day).

Here’s the quandary – once I realized how much time I was spending TALKING about getting my wedding finished, I realize how much time I was wasting when I could have been getting something accomplished, and not staying up til 3 am tying ribbons on wedding favors because I was too busy to do it at a reasonable hour. And all the little tasks couples most commonly put off are things that could be done well in advance.

Are you understanding where I’m going with this?

Lots of people have this nasty habit in everyday life. Brides just tend to take it up a notch, like we do absolutely everything else. But there’s a quick and easy way to overcome this that doesn’t require sophisticate software. Check out these tips:

  1. Make sure you keep easy to read lists, and update them regularly. If you only use an Excel spreadsheet to track all your wedding tasks, it’s easy to ignore them. If you use bright colored paper or ink, and make the wedding to do list something fun to work on, you’re more likely to update it. Once a week, you should review the list and if you have more than five things crossed off of it, create a new list on a fresh page! It’s encouraging to see progress.
  2. Every time you catch yourself spending time writing an email or a social media post complaining about some aspect of wedding planning (rude guests who haven’t RSVP’d, a bridesmaid not getting her measurements to the dress shop, etc.), penalize yourself by tackling an unpleasant wedding task. Pick something you’ve been procrastinating about – the music playlist, your vows, or even thank you notes – and do it! Instead of taking the time to complain about something else wedding–related.
  3. Use the sticky-note system. Start early in your planning process, and put something on a sticky note each day that must be accomplished. It’s easy to look at a big to do list and think it’s just too much to face. But if you do the sticky-note system, and each night, you put only one or two items on a sticky note for the next day, you’ll be surprised how quickly that big list becomes a very manageable small list.

I promise that you’ll have a much better wedding experience if you get EVERYTHING POSSIBLE done a month before your wedding date. Yes, some things have to be done closer to the actual date (you can’t do seating and place cards until you have the final RSVPs, for example), but almost everything else can be done well ahead of time. Your wedding vendors will love you for not putting things off til the last minute.

The month before your wedding should be focused on spending time with family and friends, prepping for your honeymoon, and only finishing up the tasks that legitimately couldn’t be done ahead of time.

Until next time, good luck and happy wedding planning!