Wedding planning is a lot to cope with, whether you’re going minimalist or maxing it out with all the extras. But the last thing you want is to go into your special day feeling (and looking!) harried and exhausted. Here are our best tips for getting to the altar with less stress.
Premarital counseling is a chance for you and your intended to have a space and the time for structured, intentional, meaningful conversation around what you value. That might sound like one more chore to fit in before the wedding, but it’s actually critical to better planning and communication, and feeds into our next point.
Know what matters
This is incredibly challenging for most couples. There are hopes dreams, unspoken assumptions, fears, pressures, social obligations, family expectations, and financial concerns involved in planning and pulling off a wedding. Most of the time, reality won’t meet your expectations.
If you can set a clear vision at the start of the process for what truly matters, you and your spouse can make choices that are less influenced by stress, pressure, and mistaken assumptions, and are more in line with what will be meaningful and fulfilling. But it takes communication, honesty, vulnerability, and discipline. That guided counseling experience early on in the pre-wedding stages can really help give you the tools to work through pulling off this massive event, and also navigating life together in the aftermath.
Let it go
Everything won’t go as planned. It won’t be perfect. You can’t control it all. When you focus on what matters, it’s easier to let go of all the other things–and tempering your expectations and letting go of all the details is incredibly helpful in reducing stress in the lead up to the wedding.
Work on having an attitude of creative problem solving; when you reach an obstacle, look for what new opportunity it’s affording you. Help each other by reinforcing what matters and encouraging a perspective of opportunity not crisis when you reach challenges.
Kindness to each other is a recipe for marital bliss. Kindness to those around you improves your outcomes and reduces stress. In the midst of all the stress and pressure and whirlwind of tasks, don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Sleep. Hydrate. Exercise. Spend time in nature. Connect with friends and family.
Yoga is a low-impact way to burn off stress, and you may want to investigate the benefits of yoga for stress management in the lead-up to your wedding and let go of some of the pressure that way. Quality sleep is also huge in reducing stress and improving your capacity to handle challenges with emotional equanimity and to find creative solutions to problems. Many brides find body and beauty treatments soothing and–bonus–they check another item off the to-do list.
The lead up to the happiest day of your life shouldn’t be all about building contrast. Share the love, enjoy yourself and your partner, and get to “I do” with less stress by taking the time for premarital counseling early, understanding what really matters to you and your partner, letting the rest of it go, and by practicing kindness to others and yourself.