Wedding planning is stressful. A survey found that 40% of couples called wedding planning “extremely stressful”, and 71% of couples said wedding planning is worse than any other major life event!. Let’s clarify Mental Health Preparation for Wedding Planning .
So, while there’s probably no way of escaping some wedding day stress, it’s still important to chip away at some of that anxiety in practical ways.
I know a list of new things to do isn’t what you need right now, so I’m not going to suggest beginning a new daily meditation habit or swapping out showers for luxurious bubble baths (though, if those bring you joy, don’t neglect them!).
But I do want to share a quick list of some practical, actionable steps you can take now to protect your mental health in the lead up to your big day.
1 | Make a short list of priorities and stick to them.
There are so many components to planning a wedding and its accompanying showers, parties, and receptions.
And I know, I know—your only priority is that you’re married at the end of the day.
But there are probably some tangibles that you’d like to see happen, right? So, choose 3-5 things and focus your attention there.
2 | Make sure trusted people surround you.
Once you’ve identified your priorities, it’s essential to have people you trust around you. Why?
So you can delegate!
Give yourself permission to delegate the things that aren’t on your priority list to others. That way, you can give your full attention to the areas that are most important to you without overburdening yourself.
3 | Make sure your necessities are covered as you get closer to the big day.
As you get closer to your wedding events, some things will start to fall to the side.
Before you get too close, make a plan to ensure you have the basics—like food!—covered, whether you prep meals for your freezer or ask for gift cards to cut down on the cost of eating out.
This might also be a good time to stock up on your personal necessities, like toothpaste or shampoo. Things that are minor annoyances on a typical day could be a breaking point on the days before your wedding.
4 | Make time for yourself.
You’re going to have plenty on your plate, and it will be all too easy to neglect yourself.
Get your planner and block out some time just for you.
Then set the wedding planning aside and instead nurture yourself.
Read a beloved book. Watch your favorite movie. Do some yoga. Have lunch with a friend.
You’re not only a partner or spouse-to-be, so dedicate some time to connecting with who you are when you’re not planning your wedding.
5 | Make time for your soon-to-be spouse.
Just as it’s easy to neglect yourself, it will also be easy to overlook your betrothed!
It’s common to get wrapped up in planning and forget to enjoy one another’s company when other things demand your attention.
Like you did for yourself, make a point to schedule a date night (or day!) with your spouse-to-be. Stay away from planning topics. Instead, talk about your history, or focus on it after the wedding.
Don’t forget that the pair of you aren’t business partners! Make a point to rekindle some fun before your big day.
BONUS: Make sure your expectations are realistic.
Wedding days in the movies tend to go one of two ways: everything is beautiful and perfect, or everything that can go wrong does. There’s really no in-between!
The good news is that your wedding day likely will fall somewhere between those two extremes.
Now, you’ve been dreaming about and planning your wedding for months (or maybe since childhood!), so perhaps that doesn’t seem like good news. But I promise it is!
Our expectations aren’t just feelings—they’re actual, physical pathways in our brains formed by our past experiences. So, if movies have trained you to expect weddings to be either perfection or disaster, your brain will create that pattern for you, leading to your expectations.
Research from University College London suggests that having lower expectations correlates to more happiness. The gist? It’s not so much the circumstances or events themselves that lead to happiness. It’s how they compare to your expectations. Even the loveliest day likely won’t feel lovely enough if your expectations are too high.
On the other hand, expecting the worst is a direct road to gloominess and can make you more easily manipulated (not a good thing when suggestions and advice are coming at you from every well-meaning acquaintance!).
As the adage says, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. And while that may not be true for all things, in the case of your wedding day’s level of perfection… it’s probably accurate!
~ Christin Sanders