Advice / Planning

The Ultimate Secret to Stress-Free Decision Making

01.22.18

Want That Wedding 

The pain of information overload and analysis paralysis when planning your wedding is real. Decision fatigue leaves me feeling burnt out and unsure of my choices. Any other brides feel me? 

What style of wedding should we have?
What are our wedding colours?
Which venue should we pick?
Which photographer should we book?
What do we want our invitations to look like?

Too many options creates a whole world of stress and leaves you paralysed, unable to make a single decision. Then, when you finally do choose something, you’re eternally haunted by all of the other decisions you could have made. Would the first venue have been better? Maybe the fourth florist would have been the right decision?

Which brings me to the point of this post… there is no ‘right’ decision. There is no perfect choice. You can spend the rest of your life second guessing every decision for your wedding, or accept that you can make the best decision at the time, enjoy it for what it is, and move on. Don’t let making decisions (or not making them) cloud the joy of your wedding planning experience.

How do you do that? The Magic Rule Of Three.

This decision making tip has literally been life changing for me. For example, only meet with three potential photographers/florists/caterers/venues. Only try on dresses at three different shops. Only give yourself three colour schemes to choose from. You get the idea. Here’s how to implement it in your own wedding planning process.

01. WORK OUT YOUR CRITERIA

Take one decision, for example, picking a photographer. Next, figure out your criteria. This is the list of things that you need this supplier to fulfil for you to be satisfied. In our photographer example, this might include a particular editing style, printing inclusions, availability to travel, a personality that you click with, and a price that is within your budget. This list is also a good place to examine your expectations, and revisit your priorities for the wedding. If photos are really important to you, then you might have a longer list of criteria and a bigger budget for this area. Or maybe you’re more interested in putting your money into the best catering you can find. The point is, be realistic about what you expect from each aspect of your wedding and how much you are willing to spend. This is best done when you are in a level-headed frame of mind, and as you make your list of criteria you can keep what is important to you front and centre. Everything else is just noise.

02. RESEARCH

Research suppliers that fulfil that criteria. A word of caution – don’t look at photographers out of your price range, try on dresses that cost three times what you actually want to spend, or visit venues that you know are out of your budget. This will result in nothing good. To avoid feeling like your budget isn’t big enough (it is, I promise) or getting caught up in a million details that, when it comes down to it, actually won’t impact your wedding day that much, only look at suppliers that fulfil your criteria. Your criteria list might be broken down into two parts – ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’. If this is the case, ensure that the suppliers fill every single one of the ‘must haves’, and don’t get too caught up on the other things. Once you’ve found three suppliers that fulfil your criteria and look like they might be a good fit for you, stop your researching immediately, and move on to Step 3.

03. DECIDE

Set up appointments with your three chosen suppliers. I repeat, only three. Meet with them, talk to them on the phone, confirm their pricing, ask more detailed questions about their services, get a feel for their working style and personality. Chances are, one of them will be a great fit for you. If this is the case, go ahead and book them! Then cross this decision off your list and do a little happy dance in celebration. Obviously if you explore your three options and are realise that none of them are the right fit you can keep looking. Again, I recommend limiting your next round of options also to three, because information overwhelm is real.

THE TAKEAWAY

The reality is, if you were thoughtful and honest when writing your criteria, and the supplier fulfils that list, then it is a good decision. A decision made based on your (pre-decided) criteria will feel a lot better than a decision made in the moment out of a desperation to be done with making decisions. The criteria also helps ensure that you feel satisfied with your choice, because you know you ticked all the important boxes. 

Limiting the number of options within every decision makes your life a whole lot easier and simpler. Because otherwise, the options for every single decision relating to your wedding are literally endless. Limiting the number of options in a single decision to three means that you have more mental energy for other things.  

Have you tried the Magic Rule of Three? How did it work for you? Do you have any of your own tips to make decision making easy? Let me know in the comments below, or email me.

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