Marriage. If you’re a Princess Bride fan, you just read that in Peter Cook’s voice (“Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what brings us togethaw today [giggle, giggle].)
Weddings and marriage are big business these days on both sides of the coin. Weddings are without a doubt expensive, and with a 40 – 50% divorce rate in this country amounting to an average of $20,000, it’s safe to say ending a marriage is becoming almost as expensive as starting one.
With the popularity of shows like “Platinum Weddings”; I am sure that there are those couples (a.k.a Bridezilla/Groomzilla’s) out there who are paying through the nose because they want the over the top, elaborate weddings, but I am just as certain (from personal experience) that weddings are becoming more expensive through no fault of the couple themselves.
The number one response why weddings are becoming so expensive I have gotten from friends who are walking down the aisle, or who did so recently, is the pressure from outside friends and family members about who they need to invite, what type of favors they should have, where it should be, etc. I experienced a lot of this myself while planning my wedding in 2011. There were numerous arguments between myself and certain people over who was included at my wedding and who wasn't. It is so distressing for this to be the biggest reason I have heard so many friends recently overwhelmed about their weddings—it’s not so much because of what the couples wants and desires are, but rather because of external influences that are, or were driving them coo-coo for cocoa puffs.
So to you brides and grooms out there, I have some advice of what I learned along the way to help keep your stress levels at a minimum:
- Number one; remember, no matter who is interfering—this is not their wedding and your marriage. In the end, you have to what makes you happiest. This is your day, not theirs and if they truly love and value you, eventually they’ll also come to respect your choices.
- Since it’s usually brides who do the most stressing out, keep in mind that no matter how much planning you do—something will inevitably go wrong. Just anticipate it and go with the flow.
- While we’re on the subject of you brides out there, do yourself a favor: have someone (friend, family member—whatever) helping you and your bridal party get ready. This person should not be in the bridal party. Make sure this a level-headed person, who thinks quickly on their feet, and doesn't stress out easily. You will need this anchor to help you when your bridal party is running around getting themselves ready.
- Speaking of how much brides stress out, grooms—do your partner a favor and step up to the plate okay? I know that more grooms are becoming involved in the wedding planning process, but there are still so many that say “Whatever you want honey.” Dollars to donuts—if you’re other half is stressing out, eventually their stress will spill over into your little private bubble of not dealing with the wedding and cause too many arguments to count.
- That being said, brides; if your sweetheart is one of the rare ones that wants to help you out—for goodness sake, let them!!! Don’t assume that they don’t know what you want, or if you’re afraid they won’t quite get it right, give them projects you’re not so worried about.
- This may sound old school, but I always recommend investing in a small binder, making it compartmentalized, and keep all of your notes, prices, and ideas organized. I thought my fiancée was crazy with this idea, but I’ll tell you, it was a real life saver. When you know where everything is, your life will become a million times easier.
- Be flexible! Okay, so the flowers you wanted aren't in season and they're double the price to fly them in…but, really? They’re flowers there are ways around it, especially if you’re crafty. When I got hitched I was told by the florist that the flowers I wanted weren't “do-able” because they grow in the ground. Uh, I thought all flowers grew in the ground? (I kid you not, this was what he told my fiancée and I) What could I do? I simply said thank you for your time, went to a local farmers market, bought the flowers I wanted and made my own bouquets.
- On that note, it’s never a bad idea to have a Plan B, especially when it comes to details. In reality, sketching ideas out as a “just in case” plan with your partner will only help serve you better in the long run. Have two choices for everything; that way if one falls through you have a back-up already.
- Last; but certainly not least—ENJOY yourself!!! What’s the point of having a wedding if you’re not even going to take the time to enjoy it? Dance, eat, drink (if you can), and be merry—this is your day, don’t waste a second of it on stress.
If you’re one of the unfortunate ones I did not publish this in time for and are already half-way through your wedding nightmare, there are still other things you can do to decompress. Try going for a massage, take a yoga class, have a couple of drinks with your friends (don’t talk about wedding stuff), stick your face in a pillow and scream (at least this way the neighbors won’t think you’re being murdered)—do whatever it is you need to do to get back to your happy place, but find your way back there as soon as possible.
If you’re both stressed out, get out and do something together that you both enjoy. Reconnecting with your soon-to-be spouse will help you both realize why you’re going through this havoc in the first place!
If all else fails, just print out the stress reduction kit in the slide show above!
Your wedding day should be one of the happiest; most memorable days in your life. You're not marrying stress—you're marrying the person you love. In the end, that's all that matters.