Coping with Wedding Planning Stress

By Omar A. Ruiz

The Signs of Wedding Planning Stress

You have probably seen some of the most spectacular weddings on the planet. What you probably don’t know is the amount of stress and sweat that went into putting together such marriages. It doesn’t matter how resilient you are, and wedding planning stress almost always finds its way into the engagement period.

Usually, your in-laws and/or parents are making some financial contribution to your wedding. In this case, they will want to have a voice in how the money is spent on the wedding. You might have to make concessions here and there in trying to make everyone happy.

If you and your partner go with the option of paying the wedding bill all by yourself, you are risking going into debt. Or not being able to afford the wedding of your dreams. Needless to point out the unpleasantness, you’ll have to contend with in this latter scenario.

Whichever direction you take then, there is likely going to be something to throw your stress levels on overdrive.

Wedding planning stress explained. 

By wedding planning stress, we are referring to that physical, mental, and emotional fatigue or utter frustration associated with organizing your wedding. Often you have a lot on your plate – calls to respond to, social media posts to comment on, people to attend to, and things to follow up on. It can be immensely draining.

Pre-wedding stress can sometimes sneak in unannounced, both for the groom and the bride. You don’t realize it. You are aware there is a lot on your plate, and you are busy doing all you can within the time you have. You can’t help noticing that you are getting into arguments more often than usual, and you have difficulty controlling your emotions. Everyone seems not to be doing enough to check items out the ‘completed’ list of things to do. Every miscellaneous thing you try to fit in seems to overrun the budget. Frustration. Stress appearing in all manner of guises.

Unless you know what to look for, it can be tough to realize you are stressed out. And unless you’re aware of the stress, you likely won’t do something about it. So here are the warning signs to keep an eye out for.

1.     Not enjoying the process anymore.

Come on, isn’t this supposed to be the happiest time in your life? Yet there you are, feeling mad and about to burst at the next person that says “Hi” to you. Being engaged should be the most exciting achievement anyone can make. If it is anything less than enjoyable to you, then something is not right. The stress of wedding preparation is taking a toll on you, and it is time to do something to bring back your happy self.

2.     Not doing some of the things you love doing the most.

We usually draw happiness from doing the things we love. From long baths to long hours at the gym and everything in between, doing these things makes us happy. When you stop, it means you have lost touch with your source of happiness. This can only mean one thing: time to dial back everything just a bit.

3.     Being unwell from time to time

Trying to get your head around too many things at the same time can take a toll on your health. And that stress can manifest itself in all manner of ailments, including stomach aches, headaches, muscle aches, and more. You could even lose your sex drive or always feel low on energy. If you find yourself under the weather every other time, the pre-wedding activities are likely stressing you out.

4.     Constant fights with your fiancé

The engagement period is not the time to fight the person you love and want to spend the rest of your life with. Quite the opposite. Such can only point to one fact: a stressful situation affecting one or both of you.

Stress raises your cortisol levels, the hormone responsible for increasing your heart rate and blood pressure to help your body fight a perceived danger. While this is the body’s natural “flight or fight” response intended to keep you alive, it should not occur all the time. But that’s what happens when you continuously encounter stressors, keeping you on edge.

5.     Falling back on bad habits

Perhaps you just stopped smoking or are recovering from some other unhealthy behavior. If you find yourself returning to these habits during your engagement period, it’s not a sign that you’re losing the fight. The situation is probably just too stressful for you, rendering you unable to use your better judgment—time to get help.

How to handle wedding planning stress

You can overcome wedding planning stress in any number of ways. Here, we look at the handiest methods that will get you back on track in no time.

Start by delegating tasks.

Having too much on your plate is a quick recipe for stress and frustration. It is worse if you are handling something you have limited knowledge of, or that is unexciting for you. Quit working yourself up, get someone to help you out.

People come together during wedding planning. The chances are that there will be at least one knowledgeable person for each task. Allow them to take up those areas and focus only on what you are most excited about. Delegating will free up your schedule so that you can afford to enjoy the planning process as you focus on the essential aspects of the wedding planning. 

Hire a wedding planner

If you are looking to achieve perfection with your wedding, you’ll be highly perceptible to frustration when things show signs of not going as you want them to. The best insurance for such a scenario is to enlist wedding planning services from Tasha Brackens, Principle Event Producer of Tasha Brackens Events.  She lives only to plan weddings and knows just the right vendors to trust with your wedding. Her involvement helps reduce any chances of something ever going wrong and causing you unnecessary stress.

Schedule a break and spend quality time with your fiancé

This could be a date night or a weekend away from all the hustle and bustle of wedding planning. The idea is to create time to spend with your significant other – in a setting that’s free of any wedding related material or conversation. Use this time to create a connection between the two of you, the bride and groom, and intuitively remind one another of why you’re taking this important step.

Reset your perspective

When the pressure is overwhelming and just about to get the better of you, take a deep breath, and ask yourself why you got there in the first place. Why are you having the wedding? Put things into perspective and set your eyes on the bigger picture. It is the place you should never lose sight of.

Keep everything orderly  

Losing an important document can throw you off balance. But you can avoid such a circumstance by keeping all inventory and documentation well organized. This will ensure that your home remains neat and comforting, which has a significant impact on your mood and even mental health.

Sometimes you can do everything to keep from feeling the pressure, but it still finds its way in as you focus on the details. Don’t wait to get there. Be sure to go for premarital counseling early on to prepare you and leave you better equipped to deal with all the pressure that comes with wedding planning. 

Omar A. Ruiz is a licensed marriage and family therapist focused on providing clients with a safe space to explore, reflect and create steps towards achieving your goals. His services can be schedule in office in Wellesley MA or virtually. You can find out more about Omar @talkthinkthrive.

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