If you’re planning your wedding and struggle with ADHD, it may be feeling completely impossible to get started, let alone stay organised, keep on track of your wedding budget, and remember all the little details along the way.
As a fellow Bride with ADHD, I found it extremely difficult to start wedding planning – the list of tasks were never-ending, the checklists overwhelming, and the whole thing just exhausting!
Why is Wedding Planning with ADHD so hard?
Though the way ADHD manifests itself in each person is quite individual, it is usually a combination of hyperactivity, difficulty paying attention, and possibly impulsiveness. A definition I resonate most with is that it is a unique brain wiring which requires engaged interest with a clear, purposeful intention (in order for an individual to pay attention).
Wedding planning doesn’t come easily to most: it is often fraught with difficult decision-making, balancing expectations, nervousness about organising and then hosting a really important event, and also anxiety over being the centre of attention for a day. These challenges are not insignificant, and so of course can be exacerbated by the neuro-divergent brain. Some of the biggest hurdles for people with ADHD to overcome are procrastination and staying focussed – both essential to planning a wedding.
How Planning a Wedding can pose Unique Challenges for Couples with ADHD:
- Organising and managing details: Wedding planning involves managing a lot of details, from the guest list to the venue to the catering. Couples with ADHD may struggle to keep track of all of these details and may find it overwhelming to stay organized.
- Staying on task: With so many tasks involved in wedding planning, it can be difficult to stay on task and complete things in a timely manner. This can lead to stress and anxiety as the wedding date approaches.
- Making decisions: Planning a wedding involves making a lot of decisions, from the colours and theme to the menu and music. Couples with ADHD may struggle with decision-making and may feel overwhelmed by the many choices involved.
- Managing time: Wedding planning requires a lot of time management, from scheduling appointments to completing tasks on a timeline. Couples with ADHD may struggle to manage their time effectively and may find themselves falling behind on tasks.
- Communication: Communication is key in any relationship, but it is especially important when planning a wedding. Couples with ADHD may struggle to communicate effectively with each other, leading to misunderstandings and stress.
How to Overcome the Challenges of ADHD when Planning Your Wedding
Each of these are expanded below, but people with ADHD often benefit from having a short, simple list to work through, so here’s 5 key Ways to Overcome ADHD when Wedding Planning:
- Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner + Using a Wedding Planner Book
- Delegate as Much as Possible
- Set a Date (Deadlines are your friend)
- Assign and incentivise yourself a few tasks each month
- Take your time with the Budget (and any big-budget items)
Consider a Wedding Planner + Wedding Planner Book
The first thing to consider is whether your budget can stretch to include a wedding planner.
Although a professional planner is not a necessity, if you are feeling extremely anxious about planning your wedding, it might be worth the investment.
Personally, I did not hire a wedding planner, but I did spend six months following my wedding designing what I believe is the most simple, user-friendly wedding planner book – especially for people with ADHD. Additionally, couples with ADHD can use journaling as a strategy to stay organized, focused, and on track – I’ll explain more about this at the bottom of this post for those interested.
Delegate as Much as Possible
If it’s not within your wedding budget to hire someone to help plan your wedding, but you don’t believe you can do it on your own, then you can either seek out close friends or family to delegate to. If you are having a Wedding Party, then be very mindful of who to choose as your bridesmaids or groomsmen – of course you want your nearest and dearest by your side, but it will certainly be an advantage to have a friend or family member who is invested in helping you stay organised.
Set a Wedding Date, and Deadlines along the way
Although people with ADHD are brilliant procrastinators, we also benefit from having deadlines. Once you have a date set, you should find it much easier to stay motivated, and importantly get those to-do’s ticked off!
To be able to set a date, consider the season you wish to get marry in, including perhaps where you wish to honeymoon, if planning to set off right after; how long you will need to save and budget for your Big Day; and the demand for the area in which you want to marry. Some destinations, such as those with a small pool of wedding vendors, will book up earlier, and therefore you may need to consider whether you have time to secure all wedding vendors for your ideal date.
Divide tasks month-by-month, and incentivise yourself to complete them
Personally, I couldn’t stand to look at a checklist with 50 things listed. Instead, once I’d set my wedding date, I set timelines and deadlines according to when each needed to be completed (I will of course procrastinate right up until that deadline). So, divide tasks month-by-month, and incentivise yourself to complete them.
If you have ADHD, you may notice that your to-do’s fall into ‘now or not now‘ categories and you can only manage to tick off a task if it is literally due right now (anytime later is ‘not now’ and easy to put off). Planning, and especially wedding planning, is certainly a ‘not now’ task, and one that is prone to being forgotten about. Although it may feel like something you can procrastinate from doing, actually, a lot of those wedding to-do’s are due now, because if not organised in time, you will miss out on the best wedding vendors to bring your day together.
I later incorporated this idea within the wedding planner book I designed – as I recently wrote for Stuff.co.nz, “I didn’t realise at the time, but I was designing a wedding planner book to perfectly suit people with ADHD“
Budget Carefully (No Impulsive Spending!)
One thing people with ADHD often struggle with is impulsivity, and when it comes to your wedding budget, and spending on big-budget items, there is just no room for buying on impulse. Looking back at my own spending, I can now see that ordering an extremely expensive wedding dress, without even having the ability to see it in person (let alone try it on) was most-likely caused by my ADHD-impulsiveness. I’ve shared our wedding budget breakdown before – and in hindsight, spending 20% on a single item was a little foolish (and also what can happen if you’re not careful).
Discuss your wedding budget with your partner, and break down what you are both comfortable spending on each aspect of your wedding. Certainly don’t commit to any big-budget items without being on the same page.
Once you have completed these 5 steps, depending on how long you have until your wedding, you can begin the 12 Month Countdown to Your Wedding, or head to our Wedding Planning Guides & Checklists.
& Finally, Journaling to Aid Wedding Planning
Here are some tips for using journaling to help with wedding planning:
- Use a wedding planning journal: This can be a physical journal or a digital one, depending on your preference.
- Use your journal to track details: Use your journal to keep track of all the details involved in wedding planning. Write down the guest list, vendor contacts, and important deadlines.
- Set goals and create a timeline: Use your journal to set goals for wedding planning and create a timeline for completing tasks. Break down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable ones to make them less overwhelming.
- Brainstorm and make decisions: Use your journal to brainstorm ideas for the wedding, and write down your decisions as you make them. This can help you stay organized and keep track of what has been decided.
- Reflect and communicate: Take time to reflect on your progress in your wedding planning journal, and communicate with your partner about any challenges or concerns you may have. Use your journal as a tool to improve communication with your partner and stay on the same page throughout the planning process.
Ultimately, the best wedding planner book for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. The way I designed the little white book can be a great fit for couples with ADHD. The simple and intuitive layout, along with the integrated checklists throughout the journal, can help keep wedding planning organised and focused without becoming overwhelming.