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“Wedding Planning the ADHD Way”

With a bajillion things to do before the big day, my only hope for staying organized lies in my love for lists. Event planning made less stressful for adults with attention deficit.

Welcome to the world of wedding planning the ADHD way. The ADHD me wants everything done at once, but often doesn’t know where to start – and as everyone knows, the modern-day wedding can involve a bajillion things to do. My mind often leaps from beach wedding to Vegas wedding to winery wedding, only to have the fiancé stop to remind me that we’ve already signed a contract on the venue. On another day I got a thrill by suggesting photo booths and hat-making workshops for the guests. “Why not clowns?” the sister asked sarcastically.

At one point the fiancé even threw a volcanic tantrum when I began talking about the florist and limo and we still hadn’t gotten the invitations out. “You amaze me,” he said. “I just want to get the invites out first.”

At that I laughed and said, “Hey, what do you want me to say? I’m ADHD. I mean well and just want us to have a nice wedding.” Since then he’s taken the lead on many fronts, especially on organizing the ABCs of the wedding.

Being a list fanatic, I recently compiled a list of tips that have been brewing in my mind since our engagement late last year. Most important is to keep a sense of humor. Weddings are supposed to be a happy celebration, not a work shift. Here it goes:

1. Ask for, embrace, and accept help. This can come from a mother and sister, but it is even better if it is a good friend who repeatedly offers her services.

2. If you have friends helping, know what tasks to assign them. For ADHD adults the best tasks to delegate are the ones that are detail-oriented and require organization like distributing invitations, placing items on the registry, and tracking thank-you cards. You as the bride should handle your own dress, though.

3. Less is more. Keep the wedding as simple as possible. Nothing wrong with a civil ceremony or eloping and traveling afterwards. Vegas has awesome packages. It all depends on what makes you happy.

4. If a big wedding is in the cards, make the most of your budget by looking for package deals. Hotels often have great offers, which include everything from lighting to décor to meals, and sometimes even a wedding planner.

5. The dress and pageantry are important. To limit the chaos of getting ready, try to find a hair stylist who also does makeup.

6. If need be, get a wedding planner. Professional ones cost about $1500, but that could be money well spent if it keeps you from turning into a stress ball.

7. Stride by stride. Give yourself a small reward or a pat on the back for every little thing done.

8. Try not to compare your wedding to others, especially those in glossy magazines. Try not to stress over less important things like icing texture or the sorts of flowers in the bouquet. Remember this is your day – meaning your good friends and family are just there to share your happiness.

10. Organize the way that works best for you. Some folks love software and apps, others an old-fashioned list on paper. Embrace and stick with what works best for you.

Bonus: Keep all important names and phone numbers on one document.

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