It is totally normal to feel anxious and nervous as your wedding day approaches. Planning a wedding is one of the most stressful things in life that you will have to deal with but I assure you it will be well worth the effort. With all of the organizing which needs to be done in the run-up to your wedding including sticking to a budget, maintaining good relationships with family, friends and very importantly your fiancé and prospective in-laws, a never-ending wedding to-do list, dealing with uncooperative wedding suppliers and there not being enough hours in a day to deal with it all, it is no wonder you, like many other brides, are beginning to feel overwhelmed.
Whilst it is great that your pre-wedding stress will help you to stay motivated and keep you on top of finalizing all of those minute details of wedding planning it is also important to remember that this should be a special time for you – perhaps something that you have been dreaming about since you were a little girl!
I have set out below my top tips for reducing your wedding stress:
♥ Take care of yourself: My first most important tip is to cut back on the amount of hours you are taking care of wedding plans and spend them taking care of yourself.
♥ You should ensure that you are eating a balanced healthy diet including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Known stimulants which will cause chemical reactions to your nervous system by making you jumpy, nervous and high-strung are caffeine, sugar and alcohol. Try to cut back on these and aim to start drinking more water instead.
♥ Ensure that you are maintaining a regular sleep pattern. Cutting back on caffeine should ensure that your body relaxes more and you are able to achieve this better. If you are getting a minimum of 8 hours sleep a night you will reduce chances of you getting tired and irritable. Wedding problems are much more difficult to deal with after a night of tossing and turning. Try not to read wedding to-do lists before going to bed at night. If you are having trouble sleeping try some relaxation techniques such as gentle music, ask your fiancé to give you a massage, try a relaxing bath with a few drops of lavender essential oil, a lavender bubble bath or light a lavender scented candle. Breathing deeply, in a rhythmic fashion and then exhaling slowly is a guaranteed way to relax your mind, body and nervous system and it slows down your adrenaline flow and should lull you into a sleepy state. Try the deep breathing exercises too when you are confronted with a stressful or frustrating situation during your wedding planning.
♥ Your body will have lots of nervous energy in the run-up to your wedding day and even if you may feel mentally tired sometimes you need to find an outlet for this energy. Any form of exercise will not only raise your fitness levels before your wedding day but will also relax tense muscles in your body and will trigger the release of endorphins in your body which help you to feel relaxed and happy. Exercise will make you feel better, look better and you will in turn be able to handle stress better. Even if pounding the treadmill or stairmaster at your local gym is not for you alternatives you could try are walking, running, swimming, walking a dog or even dancing. Learn some new dance moves to wow your guests with at your wedding reception. You could take an energetic dance class such as body jam where you are learning dance moves to music ranging from hip hop, funk, groove, Latin disco and jazz in a friendly atmosphere. The more energy which you use up, the more stress you rid yourself of.
♥ Try alternative therapies to help you relax such as aromatherapy, herbal remedies, massage and Reiki. My wife discovered Reiki massage when she was planning our wedding a few years ago. By lying still for an hour session you receive Reiki healing which allows blockages in your body to be removed so that positive energy can flow freely. My wife said that after a Reiki session she felt re-energized and experienced a general sense of wellbeing and calm which left her better equipped to deal with the wedding plans. For more information on Reiki I would recommend you visit Sensethesense.com.
Take time out:
♥ Ensure that you take time out from your wedding plans to devote to yourself. Pampering yourself will help you to relax and unwind. You could try treating yourself to a manicure, pedicure, massage treatment or a day at a spa.
♥ Take a mini-vacation away from the stress of organizing your wedding. You will return to your wedding plans feeling refreshed and calm. You could try an activity which is either stimulating or relaxing and calm. You could even get away from it all for a couple of hours or a day – try a trip to a park, a beach, the countryside, shopping, trip to the cinema (not to see wedding related films though!) or arrange to go and visit a friend. Another tip would be to do something exciting which will completely take your mind off wedding plans, such as a theme park visit, handgliding lesson, watersports activity etc.
♥ Enjoy doing some non-wedding related activities with friends or your fiancé. Make sure that everyone knows in advance that all wedding talk is banned for one night! By taking a break from wedding planning for a day or night out it will leave you feeling refreshed, physically relaxed and ready to return to your wedding plans the following day with renewed enthusiasm and verve.
♥ By remaining organized you will alleviate your stress as you will be secure in the knowledge that nothing has been forgotten with regarding to your wedding day.
♥ Try not to be overwhelmed. You should break your tasks into lots of smaller tasks so that they are easier to tackle and also easier to delegate.
♥ Don’t turn down offers of help which you are given. If there are things to do delegate these tasks to your partner, family and friends. I am sure that you are surrounded by family and friends who you trust who would be more than happy to play a small part in helping you organize your wedding day. Do not shoulder the responsibility for every decision with respect to the wedding day. Share the responsibility with your fiancé or, if he himself is too busy, then share the burden with your family and friends. If you have bridesmaids and ushers then do ask them for help because having tasks delegated to them prior to and on the day of your wedding is in their job description as attendants at your wedding!
♥ My advice is to delegate as much of the planning as you can so that you can concentrate on the most important part of your wedding which is you being a calm, serene bride! Draw up a list of tasks ready to delegate when your friends and family ask.
♥ Make sure that you plan well ahead. Keep a close eye on your wedding calendar to help you keep track of appointments, when suppliers and vendors need deposit checks or payment, when you need to make confirmation phone calls, deadlines for making decisions on flowers, cars etc. You should not leave things until the last minute. If you are organized and plan ahead with your wedding deadlines this will greatly reduce your stress.
Keep everything in perspective:
♥ Wedding planning always throws out challenges but its how you deal with them which will avoid stress. Don’t be overwhelmed. It is not going to be the end of the world if one of your bridesmaids goes down with the flu on the morning of your wedding or the cake is dropped in a muddy puddle! On the morning of my own wedding day my wife and I discovered that there was no church organist and therefore no music for us to walk up the aisle to. A few frantic phone calls later and I had organized a friend of a friend and everyone was none the wiser! This is just my personal example of how unexpected things can happen during the run up to a wedding but the important thing is don’t let things get on top of you.
♥ Try not to get caught up with every minute detail of your wedding day. I’m not recommending that you leave anything to chance but I do suggest that you set reasonable expectations for your wedding day. The higher your expectations are of your wedding day the greater your disappointments might well be and this will lead to more frustration and stress. Anticipate what might go wrong and plan accordingly as much as possible. Have back-up plans wherever possible and this will lessen the stress you will feel on the actual day if something goes wrong with an aspect of your wedding. Remember that sometimes when things do go wrong with a wedding it can prove to be memorable in a good way for your wedding guests and in years to come they will reminisce about your wedding for that reason. The most important thing is that your guests look back on your wedding day with memories of a happy relaxed bride not of what flowers you choose for the church or which table linen color scheme you have chosen for the wedding breakfast.
♥ Avoid stress by sticking by your decisions and do not allow yourself to be swayed by other people’s opinions of how your wedding day should run. Everyone has an opinion. You have to learn to smile sweetly thank someone for their advice and make your own decision. It is not your job to try to please everyone else. Assert your authority as this is your day not theirs (even if sometimes they are contributing financially towards it). Don’t compromise on issues which are really important to you and your fiancé.
♥ Be assertive and honest whilst also being diplomatic. Try to avoid alienating anyone by being sensitive to their feelings and point of views whilst standing your ground over your own wedding choices.
♥ If there is any conflict with family and friends over the wedding plans try to explain how you feel when you and they are both calm rather than in a highly emotional state. Be assertive rather than aggressive.
♥ Try not to take everything too seriously. Laughing is a great way to reduce the stress you will be experiencing in the run-up to your wedding day. It is essential that you have a good laugh every now and then to relieve tension and to remember how it feels to be happy and stress-free! Think positive thoughts and remind yourself that you are doing a great job.
Take time with your fiancé:
♥ Try to remember why you are doing all of this planning in the first place. Ensure that you don’t neglect each other and that you spend time together without the wedding to-do list hovering in the background!
♥ Make time for conversations both about the wedding plans and about other things. It is all too easy to get so wrapped up in the wedding day preparations that you lose sight of why you are actually doing it. Communicate with your fiancé about how you feel and try to share any wedding worries with him – he might well be able to find solutions to problems which you had not thought of.
♥ Remember that the most important thing is for you to enjoy the time leading up to your wedding as well as the wedding day itself. At the end of the day even if you walk up the aisle without music and with a hastily made up bouquet of garden flowers, the most important part is that you will be marrying the man you love so don’t lose focus of that.
Finally I would recommend that you relax and enjoy this period of your wedding planning. You and your fiancé will have a unique wedding day, the memories of which will stay with you forever.
Good luck and enjoy yourself!
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