There's no sugarcoating it: wedding planning is stressful.
From dealing with demands from your parents and future in-laws, to figuring out which relatives and friends to include on your 150-person guestlist, every bride-to-be will feel varying degrees of anxiety as she plans for the big day.
Fret not, ladies; this is completely normal and (unfortunately) unavoidable.
Contrary to popular belief, however, just because you are the bride does not give you free reign to mutate into one of those bridezilla personas in the process.
Seriously. It does not. Doing so will only alienate you from your loved ones and generate even more stress for yourself and others -- not to mention, constantly being angry and frustrated won't do wonders for your emotional health and well-being, either.
As I go through my own wedding planning journey, here are five tips I've used consistently to de-stress in between all the bridal-related emails and frenzy:
- Keep a list of your top priorities. It is easy to get caught up with the details (e.g., the flowers!, the centerpieces!, and oh, what will guests think about our selection for favors!), but keeping a list of what is truly important to you and your fiance -- and referring to it on a frequent basis -- can help remind you not to sweat the small stuff, especially when you start to feel overwhelmed.
- Practice yoga, meditation and/or breathing techniques. I'm a huge proponent of yoga, and this is primarily due to its emphasis on the mind-body connection. Practicing yoga allows you to take a few steps back and reconnect with yourself. Being more mindful and aware of your intentions and emotions will help you be more compassionate and calm when dealing with any stressful situation -- and in turn, make you a happier person, in general.
- Exercise! If you're not into physically contorting your body into various yoga poses or find meditation exercises slightly awkward, then vent out your frustrations through high-impact, cardiovascular activities such as running or even rock climbing. Not only will the adrenaline rush clear your mind, it will also sharpen your focus, which could help you approach various wedding-related disagreements and problems with a fresh new, positive perspective.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate. More often than not, your family and friends are beyond happy for you and want to be involved -- so reach out for their help, sit back, and relax. It may be your day (and your future husband's), but don't think you have to do it all on your own. Just remember that while your loved ones may be willing to help you, they definitely don't need to -- so always be gracious, and thank everyone properly and frequently.
- Spend quality time with your significant other. Many brides like planning their weddings by themselves, and while there's nothing wrong with that, isolating your fiance in the process can result in emotional distance or even resentment, so don't forget to make quality time for him. Hold hands, go for long walks, go out to that new restaurant or play in town. Not only will it help remind you that you are both in this together, as a team, it will also remind him why he fell in love with you in the first place.
When it comes down to it, remember that planning for your wedding day is basically practice for planning your future together -- you'll have to deal with budgets, demanding in-laws, overbearing parents and more for the rest of your life with one another, so the earlier (and better) you learn how to effectively handle and manage your stress, the more emotionally healthier and happier you will be. And we all know how the saying goes... "happy wife, happy life", and that process starts with us first, my fellow sweet bride-to-bes!
In addition to women's style and fashion, I highlight all-things wedding on my column every other Wednesday. Make sure to check back for local wedding events in the Greater Washington area, as well as wedding planning tips and advice! You can also subscribe for email updates to be delivered directly to your inbox.