Wedding planning? It’s hard. All of those pop culture references to Bridezilla, dealing with stressful inlaws, and handling premarital money problems are rooted in one very real fact: weddings can make us crazy.
The “why” is obvious: it’s a very expensive, elaborate, day that could ostensibly be the single most important day of your life.
So if your nerves are running hot, forgive yourself. The wedding day is the fairytale ending; the planning process is the final test—slaying the dragon before reuniting with your proverbial prince or princess.
Here are five tips for managing your stress in the run up to your wedding day.
Prioritize What Matters Most
Wedding days are made up of hundreds of moving parts. Vendor arrival and prep times, choosing linens (and having them laundered and pressed!), coordinating family flights and hotels. You name it … it’s probably on your mind!
If you’re one to get hung up on the details, challenge yourself early to let some things go. Yep—try to not agonize over every last frilly or minimalist corner. Why? Because if you let yourself stress over every aspect of your wedding, you will likely find yourself excited for the day not because of your impending marriage but because the stress will soon be over.
To combat this impulse to nitpick, make a list of your top ten priorities.
Making sure Mom and Dad’s flights are scheduled ASAP
Nail down the recipe for your signature cocktail
The Bridal Party’s matching gowns and boutonnieres.
Then, give these things your attention. You can’t micromanage every detail of the day; so zero in on what matters most, and give yourself a break.
Ask For Help
If you’re one that struggles to let go of responsibilities, ask for help. Beyond your list of ten priorities, entrust wedding planning and tasks to people you trust. Parents, your soon to be spouse, the bridal party, and especially your wedding planner are all here to support you.
Asking for help frees you up to stress less, revel in the moment, and enjoy the last few weeks or months before you get married.
Consider delegating things like:
Delivering your first dance track to your DJ
Assembling handmade boutonnieres
Creating place setting tags
Coordinating vendor arrival and prep times
Relying on people you can trust creates a feeling of support and excitement around your big day. Just remember: you don’t have to do this alone!
Keep Dating (Your Intended)
According to a recent survey from Zola, 43% of couples say that wedding planning creates a strain on their relationship. Doesn’t that seem wrong? You don’t want to reach your wedding day furious or upset with your partner. In a perfect world, the planning and run-up to your wedding should be one of the most magical periods of your relationship.
This is why it’s important to keep putting effort into nurturing your relationship. Your partner is your teammate; when you’re stressed, you want to be able to rely on them, confide in them, and find comfort in spending time together.
Maximize your time together by going on dedicated date nights. Some nights, don’t even talk about the wedding! Just hang out, dream about the future, and revel in the warm glow you feel when you’re with them.
You’ll reach your wedding day excited, in love, and way less stressed.
Take Care of Yourself
When we’re healthy, we handle stress better. This is why it’s so important to take care of your physical and mental health while planning your wedding.
If you’re exhausted, not eating well, not exercising, and drinking a bit too much wine over your planning sessions every night, your ability to manage your wedding stress is going to suffer.
Take care of yourself by prioritizing the routines and habits that make you feel your best. Keep going to spin class twice a week; keep eating a balanced diet; keep getting your eight hours of shut eye every single night.
It’s also important to keep up with our mental health maintenance. If you regularly see a therapist, continue to do so. If you take medication to help manage your stress or anxiety, make sure you never miss a day.
Our overall health is a critical factor in how well we handle the stress of—and how much we enjoy—our wedding day.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
If all else fails, remember: after the wedding, the real fun starts. You’re married!
There is a degree of stress in wedding planning you’ll never be able to avoid. Things are costly. It’s difficult to coordinate vendors. And everyone has opinions, advice, and criticisms to offer.
In the thick of planning, it can be very easy to lose perspective. But rest assured that, before you know it, the months of planning and the big day will have come and gone. So do your best to savour the moment.
And at the end of the day, you’ve won the big prize: you’re married to the love of your life. What could be better?