Talk with your family.
One of the first things you need to do to keep your sanity is to have frank conversations with anyone involved in your wedding. You need to talk to your fiance and family about what type of wedding you want, a budget and who is paying for what, and expectations. This can be a very difficult conversation to have, and this needs to be done early in the wedding planning process. You should know before you book your venue if your parents are contributing financially to your wedding. Also, have a set budget. Some couples open a separate bank account that is only used to pay for wedding-related items. This can help keep you from going over-budget.
Communicate with your vendors.
When you are interviewing and selecting vendors, make sure they are aware of your expectations. Don't be afraid to ask questions about the services they can perform. It's better to be upfront about what you want rather than to assume the vendor knows what you want.
Make sure you read each contract from your wedding vendors. This is so important, especially when it comes to venue contracts and catering contracts. If you have questions about what is included in your contract, call the vendor before you sign. They will be happy to explain their contract to you. This will eliminate any confusion moving forward.
Find resources that work for you.
If you are planning a wedding, you need something to keep you organized. Maybe it's a large binder that you keep all of your important documents in. Maybe it's an online organizer that keeps you on schedule. Whatever method you prefer, find something that works for you. Wedding planning is like taking on a part-time job. One secret I use for creating seating assignments and keeping track of meals is AllSeated. This is a free service and can be shared with your wedding vendors.
Limit the time you spend wedding planning.
Yes you read that correctly. It's so easy nowadays to get caught up on Pinterest and Etsy, and before you know it, five hours of your day just flew by. Limit the time each day you spend wedding planning. I tell all of my couples that you just need to carve out one hour each day to set aside for wedding planning. When you start to get stressed, plan a "wedding free" weekend where you do not do any wedding planning at all! Spend this time doing something that you enjoy doing--something you can do with your fiance. Maybe you used to go hiking on Saturday mornings. Grab your fiance and go for a hike! The wedding plans can wait.
Outsource certain tasks.
I realize not everyone has a million dollar wedding budget and you might not be able to completely outsource a lot of wedding planning tasks. But I do encourage you take take advantage of the resources right in front of you-- your friends and family. Believe it or not, your future mother-in-law might be dying for the chance to help out! Put her in charge of finding a florist. And don't let your fiance off the hook! Put him or her in charge of selecting your song playlist or have them come up with your 'signature drink' name. And your friend who just took a calligraphy course? Ask her to write out your escort cards or make a wedding sign. Family and friends love to feel like they were a part of making your big day so special. Don't feel that everything falls on you.
I know this is much easier said than done. But try not to fight with your fiance. Chances are, they are just as stressed as you. At the end of the day, remember that you are both on the same team.
Don't constantly talk about your wedding.
Are you the girl at work who updates her co-workers daily about her wedding? Don't be. Limit how much you talk about your wedding. Unless someone specifically asks you how your wedding plans are coming along, don't give a daily download. No one wants to hear about how you found your dream wedding dress but it doesn't come in 'off white'.
Realize that you are not an expert.
So you have a subscription to Brides magazine and you watch Say Yes to the Dress on the regular. You were a bridesmaid in three weddings and you have eleven Pinterest boards for your dream wedding. This does not make you an expert wedding planner, florist, photographer, caterer, or stationer. Your vendors have been in the event planning business for several years and have seen all types of weddings. They have seen what can go wrong when things are not done properly, or when there is no backup plan. Trust that your vendors know more about weddings than you do. Your photographer will know what time of day the sun will set, and your florist will know which flowers will look better in pictures based on the color of your bridesmaid dresses.