If you have ADHD, more than likely any type of “planning” is not your favorite activity. And yet, here you are: wedding planning with ADHD. Before you get overwhelmed and stop reading, listen to me: You can do this.
I know, because I have ADHD and executive dysfunction and I planned not one but TWO weddings. Lemme help ease that overstimulated brain of yours and give you some tips on ADHD wedding planning.
1. Be very transparent and have a safe word
I'm sure your partner knows you have ADHD, and that it makes for some interesting personality traits — ones that have made them love you all the more!
But this may be the first “work” project you'll do together, and these of us with ADHD work… differently, and not always efficiently. Be very upfront about how your neurodivergence affects your workflow and processes, and then come up with a mental health “safe word” for when you need to bail on a task.
For example, when I would hit a wall and either be unable to focus, or so overwhelmed I started to disassociate, I was able to say to my partner: “I'm hitting that wall.” At that point, my partner knew that his choices were to ask if he needed to do the rest himself, or to take a break and then help me get through it with him later.
2. Decide on a wedding date first thing
One of my ADHD symptoms was that I couldn't start a school assignment until the night before it was due. And it turns out that ADHD wedding planning was no different: I need a fast-approaching deadline to kick my ass into gear.
When our wedding didn't have a date, I didn't make it a priority. Once the date was official, the event became real to me, and I could start wedding planning.
Once that you have a deadline…
3. Seriously consider hiring a wedding planner
You WILL need help. Even if it's just someone reminding you to do the thing you said you'd do last week. You'd be doing yourself a big favor by diverting whatever funds you can towards hiring a wedding planner. Think you can't afford a wedding planner? Well first, remember that wedding planners can often save you more money than you pay them.
But if a wedding planner is a total impossibility, beg and plead for your most Type A friend to help you. (I bet you have one, because many of us ADHD folks literally wouldn't be able to survive without our Type A friends.)
4. Delegate, delegate, delegate!
Only take on the projects you're interested in, because you're more likely to get those done fast and flawlessly. If you're not interested in something, delegate the task to someone who is. Don't have anyone to delegate a particular task to? You may want to consider not including that detail in your wedding at all — remember, you don't need flowers, decor, or even a reception to get married.
5. Find an organizational method that works
DOWNLOAD THE SPREADSHEETS
But if spreadsheets aren't your thing, you could use a wedding app, Google Docs, or twenty different Pinterest boards — find out whatever way your brain wants to organize this event and rely heavily upon it. For me personally, I dusted off my ‘ol Pinterest account for planning my second wedding because I'm big on visuals. We also used Google Docs to work together with our wedding planner (which was nice because they could see the tasks I was slacking on and needed the most help with).
6. Ride the hyperfocus waves
You know those days when you are in that “get shit done” mode? Make the most of that hyperfocus wave to get that wedding shit done!
And, for extra bonus ADHD hacking, try and see if you can hyperfocus your way into doing the stuff you aren't that interested in.
7. Be kind to yourself
Wedding planning is hard and there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of. So if you forget a thing (or five), remember that you're doing your best.
Make sure to take a break from wedding planning if you get too hyper-focused. Come up for air — play video games, take a bath, scroll through TikTok — do whatever you have to do to give your brain a rest so you don't get burnt out.
My fellow neurodivergent brides, what are YOUR biggest ADHD wedding planning tips?