Maybe it was receiving the bill from your caterer’s “free” tasting. Maybe it was that third time your mother suggested incorporating your Aunt Matilda’s knitted lampshade cover into the wedding theme. Or maybe it was when you went into your final fitting only to discover that the seamstress had altered your wedding dress three sizes too big. Whatever the trigger, you felt it coming. It started as a little twitch in your left eye and before you knew it, you were in full bridal breakdown.
The stress of planning a wedding can be overwhelming. The pressure to make it a perfect execution of your vision, while at the same time accommodating to the expectations of your closest friends and family, can sometimes seem like too much to bear. While you may have your own stress-relieving techniques, find suggestions below on how to stay cool, calm, and collected as you plan for your big day.
It’s the Journey, Not the Destination
John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” It’s easy to get caught up the chaos of it all. But when you’re planning your wedding for upwards of two years before the actual date, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. Sure, things will inevitably go wrong – the baker may forget to include your aqua blue, gum paste gardenias in his final sketch; the officiant may accidentally double book herself on the day of your initial meeting – but taking those things in stride and remembering that it’s all part of the experience can do wonders for your blood pressure.
Share the Load
When you find yourself knee deep in skillfully crafted schedules for tasting, fitting, and meet and greet appointments, it’s hard to avoid those moments when you may feel like you’re going it alone. You’re not. You’ve asked your bridal party to stand with you at your wedding for a reason – because they can be trusted when you need a helpful hand or a supportive ear.
And don’t ignore other friends’ or family members’ offers to alleviate your stress. Whether you enlist your roommate from college, who’s just released her new clothing line, to assist you when you’re shopping for that perfect dress; or your uncle, who also happens to be a sommelier at one of the hottest restaurants in town, to help find you that perfect Pinot – feel free to share the load if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
You’re probably watching what you eat a little more carefully now that you’ve set the date. You may even be hitting the gym a little more often or pounding the pavement to work every day to make sure you look your best in that perfect dress. But exercising is also a great way to stay stress-free. It pumps up your endorphins (those good-mood boosters produced by your body) and helps to take your mind off of the tensions of the day. Yoga is another great way to stay both flexible and unflustered, but don’t overdo it. As with all things, moderation is key. Don’t overexert yourself – a full-leg cast doesn’t make an ideal “something new.”
Keeping organized can do wonders for your sanity. Whether you’re a techie who has an app for everything, or you’re a planner-toting guy or girl on the go, any amount of appointments, meetings, or projects can be better tackled when you keep careful track of them. Only you will know what will be the best way to organize all of this information, but keep everything together in one place and keep your calendar up to date. The planning process will be a lot simpler if you don’t have a million sticky notes attached to every inch of available wall space.
Hire Someone Else to Stress for You
A demanding job, social calendar, or school schedule can make it difficult to just get through a normal day without having to worry about going through a few dozen swatches to ensure your bridesmaids’ dresses match your chair covers. If just thinking about planning your wedding day makes your head spin, consider hiring a wedding planner to do the work for you.
Make sure you hire someone you trust, as being in the dark about these decisions can often be as harrowing as doing them yourself. Your wedding planner will be able to suggest venues and vendors for you, set up meetings, and essentially streamline the process for you, allowing you to focus on your everyday life.
The months leading up to your wedding day don’t have to be remembered as the most agonizing of your life, especially when leading up to an event that’s meant to be such a joyous occasion. Remember, you’re not the only one who’s stressed about the details of your wedding and you’re not in it alone. Keep calm, stay focused, and enjoy the process.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.