How to Deal With Stress and Anxiety Around Your Wedding (Part I)

Ideas and Inspirations

How to Deal With Stress and Anxiety Around Your Wedding (Part I)

No matter how chilled out you might be, or how simple your plans are, almost every couple feels stressed in the lead up to their wedding. So if you’re also someone who really struggles with anxiety on a regular basis, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It’s all well and good for other people to tell you, “don’t stress, it’ll all work out in the end”, (it will though FYI!), but when you’re in the throes of wedding planning yourself, it’s hard to see out the other side! So today, we’re sharing tips for how to deal with wedding anxiety and planning stress around your big day. (We also have a podcast episode on this very topic, so make sure you give it a listen!)

Feeling anxious or stressed is a normal part of life, but if your anxiety has become debilitating in any way, or you’re experiencing panic attacks, then you should definitely seek professional help. Our guide today is a realistic list of coping mechanisms, tools and tips to see you through the planning process, whatever level of anxiety you experience.

Hiring great suppliers certain helps alleviate the pressure (in particular wedding planners!) so hit up our Wedding Directory for recommendations. Oh and check out Aware Life Skills – free courses in CBT techniques to help you deal with day to day anxiety.

1. Anticipate Your Anxiety

This is one tactic I used a lot for my own wedding day – and while it’s a bit of a band aid rather than a solution, it will be especially helpful if you’re prone to panic attacks. Anticipate the moments when you’re most likely to have anxiety on the day, and skip them entirely or find ways to make them more manageable for yourself. Whether that’s a room full of people on your wedding morning, the mere thought of your first dance, or the idea of making a speech, nerves are natural, but if you think these moments might taint your day (or stress you out in the lead-up), find ways to ditch tradition and leave them out.

2. Be Decisive

I’d say this to any couple, but being decisive in wedding planning is even more important if you have anxiety. Of course you should always compare options and make considered decisions, but when it comes to things like invitation wording, table plans, or menu choices, you can be stuck for weeks going round in circles and getting more stressed in the process. Set weekly decision making deadlines, make a call, and move on to the next job on your list!

3. Remember Comparison Is The Thief of Joy

This one is easier said than done, but don’t compare your wedding to anyone else’s. Whether it’s some girl from school or some couple off Instagram, pitting your wedding against another is a pointless exercise. Don’t let anyone else do it about your day either, if your Aunt Dolores starts telling you about the amazing canapés at your cousin Jenny’s wedding, tune her out, or change the subject!

4. Set a Wide Contingency

One of the biggest sources of stress for couples getting married is money. It’s important to remember that the only thing you “have to have” to get married is the €200 registration fee. Knowing that can be really freeing. If our real wedding budget breakdown series has taught us anything, it’s that most couples go over budget. Prevent money worries in the lead up to your day by setting a hefty contingency – at least 15% – over what you expect to spend. Be realistic, and don’t plan a wedding that you know you won’t be able to afford.

5. Take Time Away from Planning

Self care might be super trendy right now, but it’s for good reason. Whether it’s regular date nights (with no wedding admin talk!), long baths with your favourite podcast on, exercise classes, baking, or board games – have nights away from your wedding. Don’t answer emails, don’t field questions, and switch off the voice in your head that says wedding planning has to be your full time job.

6. Pretend You’re Getting Married a Month Early

Because I’m prone to feeling overwhelmed, this was another trick that really helped me and my husband keep on top of our planning. We planned our wedding as if we were getting married a month before our wedding day. That meant even the final details like the ceremony booklets, the table plan, the Ikea candle run, and the bathroom basket, were all done way in advance. It meant we could spend the last few weeks having fun, soaking it all in, (and hitting the red wine).

7. Spell Things Out for your Guests

Guests asking lots of questions is bugbare for all couples getting married, and it can easily escalate into a cause of anxiety. Of course you’re happy to chat about your big day, but when it’s week before your wedding and you’re being asked about group rates on accommodation, what time the ceremony starts, and if children are *really* not invited, it can be overwhelming. It won’t totally solve things, but arming your guests with as much clarity and information as possible will definitely help. I found having a wedding website in particular to be invaluable for putting all the FAQs in one place, and directing any questions towards it.


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