“Planning my wedding was really easy and stress-free!” -No bride, ever.
It is no surprise that planning a wedding can bring about extraneous stress. While stress most likely affects both partners, it is not uncommon for one person to take on more of the planning load. Even couples who attempt to work together through wedding planning typically experience points of contention where one person feels overworked, overwhelmed, and just plain over it.
If you are experiencing any of the following, you may be an overstressed bride/groom-to-be:
Lack of sleep/poor quality of sleep, feeling unrested
Poor diet or appetite
Feeling low energy
Experiencing butterflies, nausea, or other stomach discomfort
Experiencing other physical symptoms (rash, skin breakouts, etc.)
Racing thoughts, heightened anxiety
Trouble quieting your mind
Feeling irritable toward your partner
Feeling irritable toward anyone else
Feeling frustrated with your future in-laws
Feeling frustrated with your own family
Having a short fuse/easily agitated
Feeling annoyed by suggestions of others
Feeling uncertain on decision-making, second-guessing yourself
Skipping out on social activities with people you enjoy
Difficulty focusing at work
Stressing about money (wedding spending or your personal finances)
Feeling down about yourself/ not good enough
Being called a "Bridezilla" or "Groom Kong" by others
Proclaiming statements such as: “I’m over it!”, “I’m DONE!”, or “I just don’t even care anymore.”
While this is by no means an exhaustive list…if any of the above items resonate with you, you are most likely experiencing high stress due to wedding planning. There are so many details involved, who wouldn’t be?
The first step toward making a healthy change is awareness. I believe that even the most stressed, busy, and ambitious people can be so while staying centered, having a healthy self-esteem, and maintaining a positive connection with the important people in their life.
The second step is doing something about it. Yes, this requires work at the get-go (reaching out to a professional, sitting down to make a game plan), but it will leave you feeling less overwhelmed and more in control of yourself and the logistics ahead of you.
Some quick tips to consider:
Make a list (or, make many lists)
Writing things out removes the necessity of having to remember. Don’t put all your trust in memory. Write out every single task, and identify what things you can divvy up between other people. If necessary, hire a wedding planner.
Talk to a counselor
Our society is beginning to embrace the idea of talk therapy much more openly these days. More people are realizing how helpful it can be to take a few sessions to focus on themselves, their needs, and their emotional state. Invest in your mental and emotional health so that you don’t have to worry about hitting a breaking point before your special day.
Give yourself a free pass
Take a personal day. Call out sick from work (that’s what PTO is for, right?). Take a date night for yourself and/or with your partner (whichever you feel you most need right now!). Don’t be hard on yourself for needing time. We all do. The most immediate antidote to stress is self-care. You deserve to rejuvenate.
Remember what it’s all about
What’s the end goal here, anyways? If I’m correct, it really has nothing to do with the cake, the caterer, the invitations, or even the dress. At the end of the day, this whole shebang is about two people in love. Take time to remember that every day and to touch base with your partner- not about wedding planning, but about the two of you. Intentionally connecting with one another will strengthen your bond and keep you focused on the meaning behind it all.
Wedding stress is normal.
In fact, I would be surprised (and a bit concerned) if you weren't experiencing it! Stress often reminds us of what is important to us; what we value. Your wedding day will hopefully be one of the most exciting and memorable days of your life. Get a handle on the stress now, and you will have stress-busting skills to utilize throughout your life and in your relationships.
If you are experiencing wedding planning anxiety and want to gain tools and skills to help manage your stress as well as strengthen your relationship with your partner along the way, check out my premarital counseling services and packages that I offer today!