Today we’re going to tell you how to stop stressing about your wedding.
That sounds way easier said than done, right? Not really. Stressing out or getting anxious about your wedding is a very common thing that happens to every bride at one time or another.
Unless you’re stressed out about WHO you are marrying, everything else is really just the icing on top. :)
Why is it, then, that so many brides and grooms can’t stop stressing out about the wedding? The Big Day? The pre-wedding festivities? That’s because there’s so much pressure on you, on the weather, on the day, on the location — that is so much pressure for one day and that can, in itself, be so overwhelming at times.
But it doesn’t have to be, and we’re here to walk you through a happier phase of wedding planning.
There are 10 things you can do right now to alleviate anxiety about your wedding, stop stressing out about the wedding details, and make yourself a calmer, cooler bride.
Calm and cool looks sooo much better on everyone than uptight and pensive. And it won’t give you additional stress. We’ve worked with both kinds of brides and the cool, calm ones? They have a much more relaxing, fun, and chill time.
When you’re uptight or stressed about your wedding, you can’t enjoy it fully. You can’t be present in the moment because you’re so freaking worried about everything going as planned.
You can’t even enjoy the present RIGHT NOW — the beautiful thing that is these months of planning and sorting out the details — because you’re laser-focused on perfection.
I’ll be the first to tell you: everything is going to be just fine. More than just fine, great, really. The fact that you’re reading this blog post and searching Google for “how to shop stressing about your wedding” or “how to stop wedding anxiety”, etc. means that you’re doing a great job planning since you’re worried about how it ill turn out.
If you stop caring or didn’t care AT ALL? Well, that’s when the you-know-what hits the fan. And that’s not going to happen to YOU because you care enough to want the stress to melt and the fun to begin.
So, let’s get to it then. :)
Here’s your guide to how to deal with stress and anxiety around your wedding, and, really, how to STOP stressing about your wedding.
Stop Stressing About Your Wedding
These simple steps will stop stress of your wedding in its tracks. You’ll be so much happier by following these tips, making stress on your relationship due to wedding a thing of the past. Plus, any wedding stress groom OR bride related (hey, it’s not just brides who stress out!) can be appeased with these easy-to-follow tips.
1. Stop comparing your wedding to other weddings.
If everyone’s wedding was the same, what would be the point of all the fun and detail-planning? It’s OK to want your wedding to have certain aspects — like those killer cowgirl boots on the bride or those cool twinkle lights in the garden patio — but your wedding will never be exactly like someone else’s (nor should you want it to).
Your wedding is going to be awesome because it’s YOURS. No two weddings are the same, as no two couples are. Embrace the things that make you different: your story, your venue, your location, maybe even your budget. Work with what you’ve got and it will be as awesome as you make it to be.
2. And then stop comparing yourself to other brides.
This is a big deal and once you can get rid of self-doubt or anxiety about yourself, you can move on to be a more organized, less stressed-out bride.
There’s no need to start sweating for the wedding to try and change your size (unless for health, being healthy is great at any size); likewise, there’s no need to have any major surgeries to change your appearance. Your future spouse wants to marry YOU, so obviously they are head-over-heels in love with the person you are.
Embrace in and find a way to love the bride YOU are.
3. Change the wording in your mind.
My most favorite quote ever is by the great Thomas Edison and I apply it to so many things in my life. It can be applied to the anxiety and stress you feel while planning your wedding.
because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
People often go into the idea of planning a wedding thinking it’s way too hard, too stressful, they’re in over their heads, it’s overwhelming, and they’ve never done this before so they have no idea what they’re doing.
Does this sound familiar?
Everything is hard until you do it, and then it’s easy. You learn as you go. And weddings are often dressed in overalls and look like work because, in a way, it is work.
But nothing in life that is worthwhile is done WITHOUT putting in the work. When you break down any large task into smaller ones, it becomes so much easier to do.
And you can do it!
For instance, take your wedding.
Q. When broken down into smaller parts, what is a wedding, really?
A. The biggest, coolest party of the year where everyone celebrates your love.
Okay, now let’s take it one step further: your wedding is… the best party of the year where you invite the coolest best friends and family members ever, people celebrate your lifelong commitment, everyone eats, drinks, and dances. Then everyone goes home.
It’s pretty funny, really, how it can be broken down this way, but it’s so true!
And everything about the wedding? It’s all about YOU!
YOU pick the food.
YOU choose the best drinks!
YOU dance your faces off to the most awesomely-curated playlist ever made.
YOU both get to pick out fun outfits, and then you pick out really nice outfits for your bridesmaids and groomsmen to wear.
YOU get to ride around in a limo / bus / car / van to your favorite locations and PEOPLE TAKE PICTURES OF YOU.
YOU look AMAZING, everyone wants to talk to you, dance with you, take selfies with you.
Does this really sound so bad? NO! So, stop stressing about your wedding and re-position your thoughts: you’re throwing a party. A HUGE party. But that’s what it is.
Don’t overthink it, just do it. Change the phrasing of “wedding” in your mind to “super-fun-mega-party” and you’ll have more fun planning it, I promise. It seems to magically melt away the stress that often gets attached unnecessarily to the word “wedding”.
4. Anticipate the anxiety-filled moments to lessen or eliminate them.
OK, real talk: if you are prone to anxiety or stress on a regular basis, chances are you’re worried about your wedding bringing out these panic-filled situations on the big day itself.
Worrying about them will only heighten the fear, and giving in to your fears will only make them seem BIGGER.
Instead, figure out what things in your wedding are going to potentially trigger your anxiety, and then find ways to prevent these things from happening. For instance, if you’re really worried about walking down the aisle because all eyes are on you, and you don’t like to be the center of attention, you can change the scene.
Anxiety about walking down the aisle
Instead of a very long walk down the aisle, pick a ceremony location where the aisle is shorter and more manageable. This makes the time you’re actually “on” and everyone is watching you much shorter and, thus, less stressful.
In addition, walking down the aisle with someone, like your dad or brother or anyone you choose, can make the “center of attention” anxiety less heightened, since you’re sort of sharing the spotlight. And while people are looking at you, they’re only watching as the ceremony unfolds; they’re thinking about how beautiful you look, or noticing the beadwork on your gown, or trying to catch a glimpse of your significant other as they watch YOU walk down the aisle.
And remember, everyone there is guilty of a human flaw: we’re all totally self-absorbed! So they may be watching you and you’re trying to walk as fast as humanly possible, but once they get a glimpse, give you a smile or a thumbs up, they’re back to thinking about themselves! :) They’re wondering if their hair looks ridic, or if their dress would stop being so clingy, or why they picked this pair of shoes when they knew it would kill their feet.
There’s even an old Dr. Phil quote that makes me laugh, and perhaps it will help you stop stressing around your wedding:
if you knew how little they did”
― Dr. Phil
Stress about dancing at your wedding
If you’re worried about dancing in front of the guests at your wedding, let me assure you: most people are not good dancers. We’re all in there, shaking it and doing the best we can. Just watch any video of me as a guest at a reception! Ha!
Truly, though, the first dance is something that makes some couples stressed out, just the idea of slow dancing or semi-slow dancing through a two, three-minute song.
To stop stressing about your wedding dance, choose a very short song, make it a funny one that guests will laugh at instead of a slow, cheese one, or take dance lessons.
If you take dance lessons, your stress and anxiety will fly right out the window. Now, you’ll KNOW how to dance! And you’ll have the practice and confidence to go out there and do it, something that makes anyone nervous.
There’s almost always a Groupon for ballroom dance lessons whenever I pop into the app. I’ve never taken them, but wish I had, so maybe this year I will. You can find places for inexpensive dance lessons in your area here.
Does dancing make you VERY stressed out about your wedding? Stop it altogether and skip the first dance! It’s your wedding, so there are no rules; everything is up to you as a couple.
Anxious about your wedding: mistakes, mix-ups, messes
If you’re worried about something going wrong at your wedding, stop. In most cases, your wedding will go off without a hitch. If you’re married at the end of the day, it was a success… right?
If something bizarre happens, though, like your cake never arrives, you’re missing a boutonniere, or it rains on your wedding day, don’t sweat it. These are things a good MOH can take care of (and you may never even know about it!)
You can’t prevent disasters from happening, but you can plan ahead as best as you can and trust in your ability to pull off the best wedding ever.
Many things can be fixed — hey, sheet cake from the grocery store, you’re not so bad! — and you probably won’t need to do a thing. Most “mistakes” aren’t even visible to guests.
Worried about family drama at your wedding
Does family drama have you racking your brain about your wedding, wondering why you can’t just elope? ;) Don’t let it get you down.
Remember, your wedding should be a celebration about you and your future spouse as a couple; not anyone else’s drama! This is where your Maid of Honor or a bridesmaid will really be helpful as a support system for you: clue them in on the drama that has you anxious and have them combat it, or have them talk to you about it, or ask them if you can vent a bit. Just having someone to talk to can deflect the stress that can accompany wedding planning or the big day itself so that support is definitely tantamount to have in place.
If someone is driving you crazy about your wedding planning, take the helpful tips but don’t feel pressure to do everything or anything presented. If your mother-in-law thinks you should wear a wedding dress with long sleeves, but you don’t want to wear a long-sleeve wedding dress, what do you do? Wear the dress you want! You do you!
If your mom thinks you should definitely wear a veil but you aren’t going to wear a veil, what do you do? DON’T wear a veil. (Here are alternatives you may have in mind instead.)
But if your mother in law thinks you should consider inviting your great aunt, even though you’ve never really met, invite her.
And if your mom thinks you should check out the venue she heard about, go check it out together.
It’s all about balance: ALWAYS, always, always be kind and respectful, but choose the things you want in the end. It’s YOUR wedding, after all.
And don’t you forget it.
5. Stay on budget.
Choose a budget. Stick to the budget. When in doubt, cut the guest list down or buy cheap wedding invitations or find cheaper wedding favors to keep the budget down.
One of the biggest stressors of weddings? The cost. So, do what you need to do to keep those costs as low as you need them and your anxiety won’t keep hitting you on the head every time you make a wedding purchase. ;)
6. This too shall pass.
One of the funny things about planning a wedding? You spend a lot of hours all-consumed in it, for many months of the year, sometimes even longer.
But then the wedding is here, and so quickly (almost too quickly!), the party is over.
The part is over, but not the fun. Seriously, the fun is just beginning.
Like all things — good and bad — this too shall pass, and one day, your wedding planning will be all done. You’ll be married. You’ll be living it up, best friend in tow, watching tv in your pajamas and having sleepover parties for years to come. You’ll have a puppy in your lap and you’ll be eating chocolates, laughing out loud to things said on The Bachelor and sipping from a glass of wine.
Maybe you’ll hear the pitter-patter of feet as your kids get up YET AGAIN after bedtime, trying to figure out a way they can sneak in one more sip of water or one more bedtime story.
And life will be freaking awesome.
So, if you just need to get through the wedding planning stress? No prob, Bob! You’ve totally got this! And you’ll survive it, I promise!
7. Get organized! Stay organized!
If your stress around your wedding has to do with the fact you have NO IDEA what you are doing, let me tell you a secret: when I planned my wedding, I had no clue either.
You never know how to do something until, well, you DO IT.
And now that I can plan weddings in my sleep, make them look awesome, and I even get excited to plan the next one, I can tell you there’s one major difference between brides who have no clue and brides who have it all together: organization.
A very well-organized binder like this is going to eliminate wedding stress. Keeping everything together and pre-planning out tasks before they happen will melt the stress right off.
I don’t ever start a new year without an organizer myself, and I recommend one to all of our brides.
You don’t have to get a super-duper fancy one (but you can, Kate Spade makes it ridiculously cute here).
You can use a very inexpensive book like this one. It’s great for keeping track of things all year long, not just your wedding! By Ban.do.
I swear by their products, as I buy a shiny new planner from Ban.do every year (this style, here) and love the way it keeps me organized. Plus, stickers. And fun doodles. And silly quotes! One time, my planner had this flowchart called “Should I get bangs?” Another said, “Your eyebrows are so good right now.” What’s not to love?
It doesn’t matter if you pick a cool planner or kick-it old school with a legal pad and pen.
However it is that you keep notes, do it, and do it very well. Keep these notes with you at all times. Plan ahead. Look to our checklist/timeline we created here to write in all the things you need to do (and when to do them) and stay on schedule.
Grab this FREE printable about things not to miss at your wedding. It’s very helpful.
8. Take a stress relieving break.
Don’t be all-wedding-planning, all the time. That would get boring and you’ll end up running circles around yourself.
You’ll get burnt out and you’ll lose the fun. Get outside. Get moving. Excercise. Go out on fun dates with your soon-to-be spouse. Have a girls’ night.
Take a relaxing bath. Watch reality tv, planning in your mind your cool “Real Bachelorettes Of…” party. Watch The Office again. Volunteer somewhere, plan a fundraiser for a cool cause, give back to your community.
Just get busy! It will keep your mind off of the stress wedding planning can cause.
Do whatever it is you normally do (work, be social, go to class, be a totally adorable you), sprinkle wedding planning into your schedule when you’re inspired… and boom, won’t get burnt out and turn into a crazy bridezilla.
It’s pretty simple, really. :) Stop stressing about your wedding!
9. Give this a listen.
If you’re in the mood for a fun, non-stressful wedding planning approach, give our wedding podcast a listen. We’re kind of fun, pretty chill, Andrew is super charming, and we work well as a team.
10. Ask for help!
Every bride I know has asked for help planning her wedding. You don’t have to go it alone. One of the major stresses of wedding planning is feeling overwhelmed and needing to do it all yourself.
That’s great that you want to be all-knowing, but give up a little bit of the control and you might find a sense of peace and relief that comes from giving in to the offers of help from family and friends.
By asking for help, you’re not showing you’re weak or unable to figure it out on your own. It’s actually a sign of strength, letting people help you where you may need it and perhaps even give you a fresh perspective; and I think that’s something we all need once in a while, a fresh set of eyes! Maybe your table settings need a little something extra; maybe you need ideas for a centerpiece; perhaps you’re not sure if the jewelry is going to coordinate well with your dress.
Ask! Ask for help!
Plus, make sure your partner is actively participating in the wedding planning. Marriage is not a one-sided union, so wedding planning should also be done with teamwork. It doesn’t have to be totally divided evenly, but he or she should be actively engaged in the details of the wedding, at least the major decisions and things that matter most to them. Delegate tasks you think he or she would enjoy; for instance, Andrew was in charge of the music, something he is very passionate about. He loved it (and rocked it, and we had the best playlist ever).
Here’s us. This is a picture taken immediately after our ceremony; we just climbed into our limo. No stress! Just fun!
If you need help, we’re always all ears: you can email us here.
Stop Stressing About Wedding Planning + Hire a Planner
If you need help planning your wedding, hiring a wedding planner is a great place to start. Wedding coordinators can do full-service planning or day-of coordination, which are both helpful to every couple. We plan weddings and would love to plan yours!
I’ll be there for you. :)
Perhaps we’re not in your area… and if so, we can help you find one or you can search online for wedding planners near you.
Also, you can consult advice from real newlyweds on what they would do differently at their wedding. As they say, hindsight is always 20/20!
We hope these ideas have shown you how to stop stressing about your wedding!
Of course, if your stress or anxiety is particularly troubling and you find it difficult to get through the day, seek the help of a therapist or your doctor. A therapist can help guide you through what is really going on to make yourself feel so stressed out about the wedding (or other things going on in your life). Don’t be afraid to ask for help, weddings can be a stressful time!
Here’s to happy planning!
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