Saying that weddings can be stressful is a damn cliché and it is a serious understatement. Everyone anticipates it but still, when the stress ultimately comes around, we don’t know how to deal. For me, dealing with stress starts with understanding why the situation is stressful and finding ways to take control and tackle the cause of my stress head-on.
Why the stress?
So, we all know it’s going to be tough, so why do we allow it a) to surprise us and b) to happen. If we are anticipating it, surely we can avoid it? Well, I don’t think that is entirely possible when a wedding is concerned and here’s why:
Everyone involved wants to give you a perfect day
From your Fiancé, your mother, siblings, bridal party and suppliers. Everyone involved in your wedding wants it to be perfect for you. Put simply, everyone is going to put a lot of pressure on themselves and that is going to create a stressful environment, at times. It’s okay, if we try to be understanding, we could probably avoid or at the very least, alleviate some of the stress. If your Fiancé is shouting at you about serving dinner 30minutes later than originally planned, four months before the dinner is set to take place, try to understand that this does not mean that he is a lunatic (I mean, he might be but you would have probably figured it out before this point). He has likely succumbed to the mounting pressure of making sure you have the day you have been dreaming about since you were four years old. Try to give him a break, make him a cup of coffee and let him have his rant about dinner timings, you’ll probably both feel better afterwards.
Weddings are expensive (as f)!
Guys, I don’t know about most people but paying for wedding related things is just about the most cash I have spent on something that is not an investment. In the beginning, it feels like every day you are dropping serious cash on something for the wedding. Venue hire, photographers, wedding dress etc, the list goes on.
Start with a budget and live by the budget. It will be much less stressful spending money if you know you will still be able to have what you need to create your dream wedding.
People have opinions
You know how no one would dream of telling you how you should decorate your own home or what clothes you should buy or how you should wear your hair? Well, put the word wedding in front of that and all of a sudden, everyone is entitled to an opinion. Maybe their opinion matters to you or maybe they are actually entitled to an opinion but my advice on dealing with opinions is the following:
- Decide whose opinion matters to you and why and then do not, I repeat, do not ask anyone else for their opinion. It will just either confuse you or upset you. Resist the temptation to discuss every detail about your wedding with everyone in your life because they will naturally offer up opinions.
- Respect your parents. Regardless of whether or not they are helping you pay for your big day, they are still your parents and you really should try to create an event that will make them happy too. It’s a really big day for them – they love you – be kind!
- Set boundaries. We didn’t really do this and on reflection, I think it probably would have helped. Once you’ve decided whose opinion matters to you and who will be helping you plan your day, it might be wise to have a chat with them about what your intentions are. If you have a very specific vision for your flowers, let them know that so they are aware that the topic is off limits. If you don’t have much concern over the wine list (haha) then perhaps you can let someone who does, run with it.
It is emotional
You are planning your w e d d i n g. It’s kind of a big deal. Especially to your parents and family. I sometimes feel that it has become ‘uncool’ to admit your wedding is a huge emotional milestone in your life. You have found the love of your life, that is amazing! Now you are planning on declaring your love in front of all your friends and family. There will be tears. Perhaps embracing that it is going to be an emotional journey is all you need to do to stop beating yourself up for wanting it to be perfect.
It is hard work
If you don’t have a wedding planner, planning a wedding is seriously like a second job. There is a reason why wedding planners exist, there really is enough that needs to get done to keep them busy. That’s not to say you and your family can’t get it done on your own, you totally can but it is a lot of work!
Oooh, this one is a killer. Expectations can cause a lot of problems at weddings and in many different ways. Close friends might expect to be part of your wedding party, distant friends and family might expect invitations, your friends might expect that their children are invited, your guests might expect an open bar. And those are just a few guest related expectations. You might be expecting a more lavish affair than your budget allows or might be expecting too much from your parents, suppliers and bridal party. I think that one thing brides and all wedding guests could do in order to help combat wedding stress is to kick all expectations to the kerb.
If it is not your wedding, remember that (maybe repeat to yourself a few times – “this is not my wedding”, if you feel like making a special request). Unless it is, don’t expect anyone to cater to your specific requirements. If it is your wedding, be realistic. Expecting something that your budget simply cannot allow is just going to make you miserable. Accept your budget and work with it.
The truth is, I don’t think that there has ever been a wedding in history that did not create some form of stress for the couple and their closest friends and family. The best thing you can do to help with the stress is by preparing yourself and giving yourself a break when the stress inevitably rolls around.
I haven’t had my wedding day yet but I am told that it is worth all of the stress. Remind yourself why you are doing this in those moments when you ask yourself why you ever thought planning was a good idea. I bet it will do wonders to melt the stress away.
*Do you have any tips or tricks on how to combat wedding stress? Let me know in the comments if I am missing a trick (highly likely)!*