Since we're heading into planning season for 2020 events, I wanted to make sure I put a blog post out into the world for those who will encounter decision fatigue during planning - AKA everyone. This one has been in my drafts for many, many months (I have 20+ blog posts drafted at any given time), and I figured the timing now is perfect for sharing.
As an event professional, I'm used to making thousands of decisions throughout the year with and on behalf of the clients that I work with. But, it's a lot easier to do as an objective third party looking from the outside-in. When I have to make decisions in my personal life, it's a whole other story! So, I'm putting myself in my clients shoes for a moment. I can totally imagine how exhausting it can get to have to make decision after decision regarding their wedding or event.
Here are some process tips for avoiding decision fatigue:
Get specific with your vision + priorities.
Before you start planning and researching, sit down (along with whoever needs to be a part of the decision-making process!) and make a l list of priorities and vision for the day. What does the day look like? Oceanside, rustic, historic, tented, destination, local... write out descriptive words of how you want the day to look and feel. Cozy, upscale, warm, colorful...
Then, start to write a list of priorities. Go ahead and list out all of the elements that you're daydreaming of and agree on which ones you're going to prioritize. Unless we're talking about an unlimited budget, every single person planning an event needs to prioritize in some way. Perhaps you've been dreaming of an elaborate gown, or have your heart set on over the top food and beverage experience. Or know you want to go all out with an amazing band. Identify what your top priorities are (aim for 3) so that when it comes time to make tough decisions (like choosing a menu or whether to go band vs. DJ), you can remind yourself (and others) about what is a priority vs. what is not.
Do your research + ask questions
Take the time to do your research and ask questions during the hiring and planning phases. Even though you have wedding vendors to help guide you, self advocacy is always important when it comes to planning the wedding or event of your dreams. It's OK to ask for several quotes in each category (I actually encourage it!), and it's OK to ask questions about customizing proposals to better fit your needs. Some pros have set packages that fit their working style best, others are more open to customization and even offer a la carte services. It just depends on what you're looking for! Be transparent about your budget and what is important to you. If a vendor is proposing something that isn't the right fit, be direct by telling them that it isn't a priority for you. During the hiring and planning process, don't be afraid to ask lots of questions! There are some rules of thumb when it comes to how to get the best photos, create the best flow for food service, etc... but when it comes to the little details, there can be a lot of leeway to adjust.
Make a decision + move on
Right - easier said than done. Truly though, the only person holding you back from enjoying your wedding experience (or any event) is yourself. You will be your own worst enemy when it comes to second guessing the decisions that you make. The only way to truly enjoy the process and day-of is to prepare and then forget. Do your due diligence during the research and planning phase, make decisions with conviction, and then MOVE ON from them.
Share in the decision making
Another tip - delegate decision making for the things that aren't a priority for you. Is there a detail that needs to be confirmed, but it's not a big priority for you? Allow a parent, your fiance, or MOH to make the decision for you. It allows them feel more involved and that they have stake in the planning process, and allows you the mind space to focus on the micro decisions for the things that DO matter to you. This goes back to setting priorities. By delegating the lower priority items (like brunch menu, certain song choices, cake flavor... whatever it may be), you get to focus on the big details that mean the most to you.