Navigating Wedding Planning: Effective Tips to Manage Anxiety
Planning a wedding is often glamorized as a joyous and exciting time in one's life, filled with anticipation and dreams of a perfect day. Movies portray some family drama, all water under the bridge or resolved by the time the wedding comes around and a glowy bride waltzing away with her new husband under the stars, happily ever after.
However, the harsh reality of managing numerous tasks, expectations, and emotions can sometimes lead to overwhelming or crippling anxiety. It's important to recognize that anxiety is a common response to such a significant event. While our job is to certainly support you and your fiance through the planning process and make the day run as smoothly as possible, we aren't licensed therapists. But, we can share with you some valuable tips to help you manage anxiety during wedding planning, ensuring that you can enjoy the process and embrace your special day with calmness and confidence.
1. Establish a Realistic Vision:
Setting realistic expectations from the beginning is crucial. Remember that your wedding is a celebration of love, and perfection doesn't equate to happiness. Discuss your vision with your partner and prioritize elements that truly matter to both of you. Focus on what makes you happy, rather than trying to please everyone else.
2. Set Boundaries:
An overwhelming mother-in-law? An older sister who is a bit too eager to plan a re-do of her wedding? We suggest setting boundaries early on and throughout the planning with overbearing, but hopefully well-intentioned, family members early. Try some of these phrases:
"I appreciate your input, but my partner and I have decided to handle this aspect of the wedding ourselves."
"Thank you for your suggestions, but we've already made our decision regarding x, y, and z." (then don't share what those decisions are for them to rebuke)
"We value your opinion, but we would like to have the final say on ___."
"We understand that you want to help, but we would prefer to handle the planning and organization ourselves."
"It's important for us to make decisions that reflect our own preferences and style as a couple."
"We've hired a wedding planner to assist us, so we'll be relying on their expertise for the majority of the planning."
Breaking down the wedding planning process into manageable steps can alleviate stress. Develop a timeline that includes tasks, deadlines, and important milestones. By organizing your to-do list, you can approach each task systematically, reducing the likelihood of feeling overwhelmed.
3. Set Expectations:
Quite the opposite of setting boundaries is setting expectations. Perhaps the person you've asked to help plan a shower or bach party is less than enthused or shows no ambition to actually get it done. While asking that person from the start, set the expectation.
"While I'd love for you to stand by me on my wedding day, I also want to lay out some of the items I'd like your help and support on. Would you take the lead in planning a bachelorette party for me? I'd be happy to share some of the thoughts and ideas I have. I also understand it may be too much for you to plan by yourself, so my sister is also willing and able to help if you'd like it. Is that something I can count on you for?"
And be honest with yourself and them. If you would actually prefer a quiet weekend to visit wineries or a spa day, share that! Don't be ashamed of spending your time how you want. Not everyone wants to go wild in Nashville.
If it helps, create a slide deck of the expectations of your wedding party. Include what you'd like them to wear for the event (and rough pricing), expectations for wedding festivities, if overnight accommodations or travel is required, etc. Set these expectations upfront with your party people and try not to take it to heart if someone feels they can't meet these expectations.
4. Practice Self-Care:
Amidst the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, don't neglect self-care. Prioritize activities that bring you joy and help you relax. Engage in regular exercise, practice mindfulness or meditation, take breaks from planning, and spend quality time with your loved ones - especially your fiance! Spend time together remembering why you're getting married and nurture that relationship. Nourishing your physical and mental well-being will contribute to a calmer mindset.
5. Communicate Openly:
Effective communication is vital, both with your partner and with vendors. Clearly express your thoughts, concerns, and expectations, ensuring that everyone is on the same page. Miscommunication can lead to unnecessary anxiety, so be open and honest about your needs while listening to others' perspectives.
6. Budget Mindfully:
Financial concerns often contribute to wedding planning anxiety. Establish a realistic budget early on and stick to it. Research costs, prioritize spending, and consider creative alternatives. By being mindful of your budget, you can avoid unnecessary stress and focus on the most meaningful aspects of your wedding.
7. Take Breaks from Planning:
Occasionally stepping away from wedding-related tasks can work wonders for your mental well-being. Designate specific days or times when you and your partner agree to put wedding planning aside. Engage in activities that allow you to relax, recharge, and reconnect as a couple. Creating a healthy balance between wedding planning and personal time is crucial.
8. Seek Support:
Remember that you're not alone in this journey. Reach out to friends, family, or support groups who have gone through the wedding planning process. Sharing your concerns and seeking advice from those who understand can be incredibly reassuring. Additionally, consider professional help if anxiety becomes overwhelming and starts interfering with your daily life.
Have a frank and candid conversation with your planner as well. We are a team with you and when we know how we can best support you, you better know that we're doing all we can behind the scenes to make it the best experience for you.
If that means pulling you out of the getting ready suite to have a few minutes of nobody in your face or asking questions, we got you.
If that means making sure there is medicine in your clutch at the reception, we got you.
If that means scheduling more downtime for you to rest in the timeline, we got you.
If that means getting you club soda instead of alcohol, we got you.
Wedding planning is an exciting and transformative experience, but it can also be overwhelming. By implementing these tips to manage anxiety, you can navigate the process with greater ease and ensure that your wedding day is filled with joy and cherished memories. Remember, your wedding is about celebrating love, and by taking care of yourself throughout the planning process, you'll be better equipped to enjoy the journey and create lasting happiness.