How to alleviate wedding stress
This simple guide will provide steps and actions you can take to be a stress-free bride.
It starts with a “Yes” and sometimes a lot of screaming and tears, it finishes with “I do” normally with less screaming and more class.
The journey from engaged to walking down the aisle is a helluva journey and one like no other really, it will be one of the most exciting things that will ever happen in your life but it is not without its complications.
Every bride wants a wedding that is loved by you and your partner, cherished by family members and has all your guests raving about it afterwards.
If you’re prone to stress, worry or anxiety (and even if you’re not) then this can all be exacerbated by trying to make this incredible dream a reality.
Having performed at hundreds of weddings, spoken to hundreds of couples, been designated as an official wedding counsellor by some brides and having written a book on the very subject of overcoming wedding planning stress I feel like I’m qualified to talk about this.
So having hopefully instilled some sort of belief that I know what I’m talking about, without further ado here are 7 steps to take in order to help your wedding planning stress.
The 7 steps to overcoming wedding planning stress
Lose the idea of saying to yourself “well, if money was no object…..”
Money is an object and no wedding is worth going into debt over.
The stress of debt and money worries is horrible and something to avoid at all costs, pardon the pun.
The first step in planning your wedding should always be to work out just how much money you’re going to spend on it and then sticking to that number.
Typically it falls on one person within the partnership to pick up the reigns and guide you both towards the wedding you both want.
One person organising a wedding.
That’s a lot for one person.
You need to gather together a few people who are going to be there for you as support, sounding blocks, shoulders to cry on and most importantly people who are going to get almost as excited as you are.
This is typically going to be your mum, maid of honour, bridesmaids and maybe other females you’re close to but it can be literally anyone!
Emotional support is important at all times in life and it is honestly one of the best wedding stress antidotes there is.
Have you had a completely free choice over who you’re marrying?
Do you and your partner have enough disposable income to even get married?
Have you got a roof over your head and food in your cupboards?
The very fact you’re reading this means you’ve in all likelihood answered yes to all of the above.
This and SO many other reasons are such powerful ways to invoke a feeling of gratitude within ourselves.
Gratitude is such a lost art in modern society.
The beauty and fashion industry in particular thrive on people not feeling grateful for what they have already both within themselves and as physical products.
Consumerism demands that you do not feel good about yourself.
But how does this relate to your wedding?
Anytime you’re feeling stressed about your wedding and a particular decision, take a step back and understand how fortunate you are to be in that situation.
Stuck on a floral centrepiece decision? Isn’t it great that you can afford to have flowers.
Mother-in-law interfering? Isn’t it wonderful that she wants to have input into your day, imagine the pain your partner would be going through if she had abandoned them or had no interest whatsoever.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Would you like to elevate your level of gratitude? Look at the wedding stress tips at the end of the blog.
Now I’m bracing myself for impact for the next step….
- Getting over your wedding.
I’m not going to lie, I’m a little nervous about writing this one but it needs to be said.
I can already feel the daggers being sent my way.
It’s vital to understand that it’s completely ok for your wedding to be and feel like the most important in your life.
*Hides under a table*
It’s just as important to understand that your wedding isn’t the most important thing in everyone else’s life.
I’ve spoken to brides before who are infuriated that their bridesmaids haven’t sent them photos in their bridesmaid dresses within a few days of receiving it.
Other people, no matter how much they love you have other things going on in their lives, often big things.
To them, I’m sorry to say, your wedding isn’t their number one priority.
Your wedding stress is only going to increase if you have expectations that everyone cares about your wedding as much as you do.
This does NOT mean that they don’t care about your wedding BUT unfortunately your wedding doesn’t stop your friends having break ups, financial issues, work stress and all manner of other problems.
- Letting go of the idea of control
As humans we tend to naturally be huge balls of anxiety and worry.
Anything that’s outside of our comfort zone tends to feed the ball of worries.
Here’s what’s odd and, for me personally, is truly mind-blowing.
How many of the things that we let bother us are actually something that we have any control over whatsoever?
The answer is “a lot”.
Let me talk about control a bit.
We have control over two things, our thoughts and our actions.
Getting infuriated at something which isn’t in our control is utterly futile.
Swearing at an old lady in front of you going at 28mph in her Fiat Cinquecento in a 40mph zone achieves nothing.
Well nothing except feeding that ball of anxiety and stress.
It isn’t going to change the speed of that poor old lady and nor should it.
You’ll be forgiven for wondering how trundling octogenarians relates to your wedding stress, allow me to explain.
Bridesmaids not liking the cut of their dresses – not in your control, let it go.
People not RSVPing, not in your control – all you can do is ask again.
People asking if they can bring their kids to the wedding – it’s your wedding you decide if you’re allowing children or not.
While all of this might feel different to swearing at a snail-like pensioner the level of control is identical.
If you’d like your wedding stress to plummet then check out the wedding stress tips at the end of the blog.
- Learning acceptance of even the most rubbish things
In my book, Blissful Wedding Planning, this was one of the hardest sections for me to write and explain to people.
The concept of Amor Fati, or for those non-latin speakers (i.e everyone) having a love of your own fate.
Sounds fancy but all it means is that no matter what happens in your life you accept it as what has happened.
No matter how difficult, unbearable or upsetting it is.
IT has happened and it’s down to you to fully accept that, no matter what IT is.
This may sound very harsh or very cold but it isn’t – this is what is difficult to convey to people.
We cannot change what has happened so we either choose to expend energy wishing things are different or use our energy to make the best of the only opportunity which is in front of us.
This by absolutely does not mean that we aren’t allowed to get upset or angry or emotional about even the worst events in life but it does mean that accepting them is the least stressful course of action.
Rain on your wedding day? Upsetting but have a contingency plan.
Guests decide at the last minute not to turn up? Crappy thing for someone to do but you can still make the most of the day.
Member of the waiting staff breaks his ankle as he’s walking behind the top table? Awful, doesn’t have to change anything. (Actually had this happen at a wedding!)
Essentially it is how we decide to respond to events that happen within our lives (at a wedding or not) that determine how happy we are.
Taking everything in your stride is a surefire way to reduce your wedding stress.
7. Plug Alert
The absolute best way to reduce your wedding stress in my opinion is to become a Stoic Bride by buying my book Blissful Wedding Planning: Becoming a Stoic Bride.
It was written for the sole purpose of helping people exactly like you on the path to actually enjoying your wedding planning and de-stressing your whole life at the same time.
Actions to take to reduce your wedding stress
- Elevating your gratitude
This is a beautifully simple exercise.
1. Open up any notes application you have on your phone.
2. Write down something about your wedding that you’re truly grateful for.
3. Think about what that thing truly means to you.
4. Repeat that EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. until you have a list.
5. Bonus points for setting a reminder on your phone to tell you to do so each day.
You’ll be amazed at just how much this tests you and improves your mood in just a few weeks.
- Recognising Control
These are the steps to take next time something about your wedding (or even your life) stresses you out.
Deceptively easy and yes, easier said than done.
1. Ask yourself if you have any control over what has upset you.
2. If you have control over it then do what you can do to take charge of this so that it doesn’t upset you. Then let it go.
3. If you have no control then let it go.
- Allowing emotions
Something crappy happened, something upset you?
1. First see the recognising control exercise above.
2. Still annoyed? No, good! Yes, see step 3.
3. Decide how long you’re going to allow yourself to be annoyed for? The next hour? Until lunch time? For the rest of the day?
4. Be really annoyed about this for the rest of that time, then stop being annoyed.
- Getting through crappy times
Something really rubbish happened, something that has truly blown you out of the water.
1. Ask yourself, can I get through the next 1 second ok?
2. Then get through that second.
3. Ask yourself, can I get through the next 5 seconds ok?
4. Then get through those 5 seconds.
5. Ask yourself, can I through the next 10 seconds ok?
6. I think you can see where this is going.
Breaking these seemingly impossible times down into its individual seconds makes it much more manageable.
I hope that this blog has given you a slightly alternative way to look at your wedding planning and perhaps even your life.
This advice has come from my work as a Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist, a professional wedding magician as well as my love of Stoic Philosophy.