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Executive FunctioningWhen you imagine a wedding, you probably envision the event as a whole. An excited couple says their vows, followed by a joyful celebration with food and music. Then you realize that lots of specifics are involved. Either you freeze and don’t even know where to start, or your mind jumps from detail to detail and you can’t focus on one thing. Either situation could signal executive functioning challenges, which may complicate planning a wedding. Learning about these and choosing an appropriate strategy can help you create and structure your event.

Struggling To Start, Fighting To Finish

ADDitude describes executive function as a collection of “cognitive and mental abilities that help people engage in goal-directed action.” Analysis, planning, organization, scheduling, and problem-solving are typically handled by the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Experts tend to divide executive functioning into six clusters, but arranging a large-scale social event can make especially heavy use of three particular clusters:

  • Activation: starting projects, organizing tasks and materials, and judging how much time is needed
  • Focus: enacting and maintaining concentration, yet changing gears as needed
  • Memory: storing and retrieval of applicable details

Wedding planning entails managing time, money, and details, all of which involve the activation, focus, and memory portions of executive functioning. Unfortunately, time and money are also the make-or-break aspects of your event.

Understanding Your Priorities Is Key

Let’s stop for a moment and evaluate one important question: Who is your wedding truly for? It’s certainly a community affair, but you and your spouse are the ones getting married. Ultimately, your desires take priority. ADHDrew echoes these sentiments, pointing out that some traditions and practices may not work for you. If you struggle to remember instructions, for example, your wedding isn’t the time to try memorizing your vows.

Putting your needs first is easier if you’re footing the bill. If family members are helping pay for the celebration, you should have an honest conversation with them. This is especially true if their expectations differ greatly from your own.

Where Do You Even Begin?

ADDitude offers suggestions geared to brides, but its advice can be adapted by anyone. Keeping your wedding simple can eliminate much of the stress since it reduces the likelihood that you’ll forget details. Also, there’s no shame in accepting help. Maybe you have talented family and friends to whom you could delegate tasks. Alternatively, a wedding planner can wrangle with the minutiae and ensure you don’t forget to hire vendors or book the venue.

For those planning on their own, Sam Dylan Finch of Let’s Queer Things Up! offers two helpful strategies. Tackling the most unpleasant work first can get it out of the way quickly, helping you steer clear of further distractions. Also, breaking a larger project into portions makes the work more manageable. Developing a wedding budget may seem like a Herculean task, but working on it first and dividing it into smaller sections can help you get the job done and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Don’t forget about tech tools that can make the planning process easier. The Spruce’s Stacy Fisher discusses some popular wedding apps, but plenty of others exist. When you evaluate your options, review their features to ensure that they’re a good fit. You may need text reminders, a built-in timeline, or a to-do list to keep you on track.

Know What Works Best for You

Congratulations on your engagement! Now comes the hard part: planning your wedding. While some people are pros at organization, others struggle with the process for a variety of reasons. The idea of wrangling so many details may give you nightmares, but you’re not alone or without solutions. Simplicity and help from trusted folks and tools are essential for making your dream event come true.

Category: Wedding Planning

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