Oh So Perfect Advice: How To Handle Wedding Stress
This month's topic for our resident wedding planning expert is one that we can certainly all relate to. How on earth do we handle wedmin stress? Whether bridezilla is beginning to rear her ugly head, or you're cowering in a corner nursing a bottle of wine, here's Samantha to give us some much needed advice...
"The last few weeks of wedding planning have suddenly become really stressful and it’s starting to affect my relationships. I’m being a terrible friend bossing around my maid of honour, and an even worse fiancé – I just can’t stop myself snapping at my husband-to-be every time the wedding gets mentioned! It’s really starting to upset me now, my mood is at a permanent low and I feel like I just want the wedding to be over – help!"
First of all – let me send you a big, big cyber hug! Secondly – let me tell you that you’re not alone! There’s no denying that wedding planning can be very stressful, and you certainly wouldn’t be the first bride to admit feeling this way either. When wedding planning reaches its most complicated, it can be easy to get caught up in the negatives and emotions of it all and lose sight of what it’s really all about…
…but? It’s about you getting married. It’s about saying ‘I do!’ It’s about realising how much you love somebody, and making that commitment to them in front of all your nearest and dearest.
It’s not about whether Auntie Jacqui and Uncle Marvin can bear to spend one afternoon in the same room as each other, and it’s certainly not about whether or not anyone will notice what colour ribbon was on the guest book either.
Whilst all of the little wedding details can be super exciting to think about and plot and plan, they’re certainly not worth losing your head over. Try to keep sight of the bigger picture and what’s really important…
Here are some top tips to help you get your calm back:
Take a break
Your wedding doesn’t need to be on your mind 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It’s OK to take some time off to think about something else for a few days. Maybe even for a whole week!
Ban the word ‘wedding’
Make an agreement with your fiancé/family/best friend to ban the word wedding from your vocabulary on certain days. For example, no one is allowed to discuss anything wedding related on Monday through to Wednesday… or after 6pm on a Saturday… or at the dinner table…. or when Game Of Thrones is on… etc.
Have a pre-wedding mini-moon
Who says the honeymoon is only allowed after the wedding? Book a cosy weekend away with your fiancé to have some fun and relaxation and remember exactly why you fell in love in the first place… that’s why you decided to get married after all isn’t it?
Write a list and scribble it out!
Jot down all the things that are bothering you or making you feel most stressed. For each one, ask yourself out loud – does it really matter? If the answer is ‘yes’ then sit down and write the reasons why, and what you can do to fix it. If it’s ‘no’ draw a big line through it and yell out ‘it doesn’t matter!’ Maybe ask your bridesmaids to do this with you for a bit of moral support, and an outsider’s perspective too!
Delegate, delegate, delegate…
Believe it or not, there are lots of people who will want to help you with your wedding! Bridesmaids are there to be useful, and mothers LOVE any opportunity to get involved. Why not offload a few of the smaller tasks to them and take some of the stress off yourself for a while.
Call in the Professionals
No, I don't mean a shrink! Many wedding planners now provide a helping hand for couples organising their own wedding by offering a one-off wedding help session. Book in an hour or two with your nearest wedding planner to talk through your plans so far and check you're on track with all that you need to do. Some (myself included!) even offer this service over the phone or Skype to lend a listening ear and offer some tips and advice to help you on your way.
Step away from the Pinterest board!
Pinterest is a beautiful blessing, isn’t it? But it’s also a bit of a curse! Let me say this simply – your wedding will (probably not/ very unlikely/ it’s pretty doubtful) look exactly like that one there in that picture. That picture (probably not/ very unlikely/ it’s pretty doubtful ) wasn’t even a real wedding in the first place. Be inspired, but don’t become obsessed…. you’ll only disappoint yourself later.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Whatever the bridal blogs may tell you, truthfully, the biggest part of your wedding day is the bit where you say ‘I do!’ After all, isn’t that technically what the whole meaning of the day is really all about?
Don’t lose sight of why you are doing what you are doing. You are getting married. Not designing a feature shoot for Hello Magazine.
Feelings Come First
People won’t remember what shade of cream the napkins were, or how many teeny tiny lavender buds were mixed in with the confetti you scattered next to the home-made bunting (which, by the way, was an exact colour match of the bridesmaids’ knickers.)
People remember how pretty you looked when you smiled your way down the aisle; how they teared-up a little when your dad made his father of the bride speech; and what incredible shapes Granny threw on the dance floor to the sounds of Robin Thicke.
Don’t let your memory of the wedding be how stressed out you made yourself trying to figure out many portions of wedding cake it might take to fill up a vintage vase on a dessert table.
Right now. Turn off the lap top. Put down your iPad. You’re reading wedding articles again and you shouldn’t be. Now, go apply a face mask and make a cup of tea. (Or get back to work - you office time rebel, you!)
Samantha Kelsie is a professional celebrant providing bespoke wedding and commitment ceremonies to couples all over the UK and Internationally.