Wedding Overwhelm: Why More is Less for the Bride

By Hayley Devlin, The Brisbane Bridal Coach

Wedding favours. Unless you’ve actually planned a wedding before, you may not know that these are the gifts given to guests to say thank you for coming. 

Ok, so apparently an invitation, a nice dinner and the pleasure of being part of the happiest day of your life isn’t enough, you also need to give a present. 

Fine, it’s a wedding, it’s traditional... favours it is!

Unsure where to source these little tokens of appreciation, you jump online. Trusty old Google will help you find the perfect thing.

One “wedding favours” search and 0.49 seconds later, Google delivers. About 1,070,000 results. Fantastic! Surely with all these matches you’ll easily find something you like. Having so many options can only be a good thing, right? 

We all know that choice is important; it’s empowering. Your choices will make your wedding different to your cousin’s wedding, or your colleague’s… or any other wedding you’ve been to. But in a world already jam-packed with temptations and beautiful distractions, is it possible that there is simply too much choice? 

Here we look at the phenomenon of choice overload in the wedding industry and explore the idea that while some choice is good, more is not necessarily better.
 

What is Overchoice?

According to Wikipedia, Overchoice (yes, it’s an actual thing!) is defined as “a cognitive process in which people have a difficult time making a decision when faced with many options”.

We’ve all been there, struggling to make a decision because there are so many choices available. From 31 flavours at Baskin Robbins to 125 shades of MAC eyeshadow, there are literally billions of things out there for us to spend money on. The internet provides a whole world of endless options and the wedding industry is no exception. 

With brides-to-be passionately pinning, tweeting, sharing and #ing everything from hay bales to honeymoons, it’s no wonder you might be feeling just a bit overwhelmed with what to choose for your day.
 

The Problem with Too Many Options

In his 2004 Book The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, American psychologist Barry Schwarz explains why too much of a good thing has proven detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being.

When faced with too many choices, we often experience confusion, pressure and a fear of making the wrong choice. We start to question ourselves, “what if there’s something better out there if I just keep looking”? This can lead to procrastination and inability to commit, when the “freedom” of choice is replaced by the debilitating condition of over-choice, also known as choice-overload or analysis paralysis.  As the French say, “trop de choix tue le choix” which translates as “too much choice kills the choice”.

Gemma's Dilemma

One example of choice overload and wedding planning is the story of Gemma. After joining a few of the Brisbane Brides Facebook groups two years prior to her wedding, she started snapping up bargains. Items that other members were on-selling after their own nuptials.

Unable to resist a good deal and with so many lovely bits and pieces being posted each day, her plan was to buy all the things she liked, then figure out later what to use and what to resell.

Ten weeks out from the big day and Gemma called me; she was an emotional wreck. 

Their spare room had long since become “the wedding room” but she couldn’t go in there without breaking into cold sweats, sometimes even tears. With thousands of dollars worth of stuff crammed in, it was impossible to choose what to use and how to pull it all together. So many different options in terms of colours and themes, she was completely overwhelmed and had been for quite some time.  

Being a bridal coach, I was able to help cut through the clutter by going back to basics. We had a long chat and together we identified the right style for Gemma & John’s wedding which, you’ll be pleased to hear, had a very happy ending.

Ok, so Gemma’s case was extreme, however thousands of future brides face similar choice-related dilemmas every day. From the dress to the decorations and yes… those oh-so-important wedding favours, trying to choose can be exhausting!
 

Overcoming the Overwhelm

When faced with too many options we have a natural tendency to try and simplify. This could be based on cost, eg “I’ll just go with the cheapest quote”, or convenience; choosing something because it’s easy. While both of these are important considerations, they aren’t necessarily the best way to plan the most important event of your life! 

To help you overcome indecision, reduce stress and frustration, my suggestion is to create a unique Wedding Concept that you absolutely LOVE.

A Wedding Concept forces you to think very carefully about what you want, what your wedding priorities are and how you can infuse your personalities into every element. Working from your core values and what’s important to you, you can use this as the framework for your planning.
 

Identify what you want and how to get it

Spend as long as you need to on your Wedding Concept and figuring out what you want. The clearer you are from the beginning, the easier your journey will be. 

I find it baffling, the number of brides I meet who get right into the planning, often spending a fortune yet still don’t have a definitive idea of how they want the day to be. Honestly, how can you expect suppliers to deliver your perfect wedding if you don’t know what it is?

Once you’ve poured your heart and soul into your Wedding Concept, document it. Well. The more detail and effort you put into it, the less overwhelmed you’ll be when all those beautiful distractions appear. If it doesn’t fit with your concept, you don’t need it. End of story.

Armed with your vision, you can easily build a plan to make it a reality. Having a clearly documented guide will streamline your wedding planning, allowing you to enjoy the experience. No bridezilla moments for you! If in doubt, stay focused and keep it simple. 

Coco Chanel once said “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance”. Who am I to argue with that?

Learn more about simplifying your wedding planning with bridal coaching here.

 


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In this beautiful digital world we live in, it's easy to find all the information you need to pull off a stellar wedding. But with the good comes the bad... read more




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