There's no doubt that you will feel stressed at some time during the planning of your wedding.
The symptoms can be varied. It is not unusual for couples to feel tense, nervous, excited or even tearful during the planning of their wedding. These are quite obvious signs of stress, but there are some more subtle ones that can creep up without you really noticing. Many brides find that they are unable to concentrate at work; they are unable to sleep as easily as they once used to; they snap at their fiancÚ or parents, or little things that were once easy to cope with are now insurmountable.
Brides often tend to believe that they are the only ones taking their wedding seriously and that their husbands-to-be don't really care what happens. While there may be some truth in this, stress plays a big part in these assumptions, often causing disagreements and friction where none need occur.
The problem with stress is that it clouds the judgement, and those planning a wedding need their wits about them to ensure they are functioning effectively. It would also be a pity for couples looking back on the time they spent planning their wedding to remember nothing more than arguments and tension. Don't let this be your fate! Take a few moments to read our suggestions for dealing with stress. Choose one or two that appeal and do them! There is no need for planning your wedding to become a living nightmare, take the time to relax and enjoy the experience.
Learn A New Skill Together
Spend time together doing something other than discussing and planning your wedding. Learn a new skill together, or practise an old one that's been neglected. Perhaps you could learn something that will help you both on your honeymoon; scuba diving, a new language or photography.
Focus On Your Relationship
Plan the finer details of your honeymoon or other element of your lives together after the wedding. This will help you focus on your relationship as a continuous thing and not heading towards one ultimate day. Learn to appreciate the things your partner enjoys that you know little about. If you find out more about these interests now, they will be easier to tolerate once you are married.
Do Something You Wouldn't Normally Do
If your budget stretches to a bungee jump, or potholing, this will help relieve the tension of family feuds and colour schemes. If your wedding expenditure gets in the way of such extravagance, try hill or mountain climbing, canoeing, swimming or even ballroom dancing. Try a few visits to the gym if this isn't in your normal routine. You will see the benefits of looking and feeling better as well as losing the stress!
Do Your Own Thing
Make sure you arrange to spend some time apart. Plan to spend time with friends away from each other, and refuse to discuss the wedding (much!) This way, when you return to your partner you will feel refreshed and ready to start the next stage of organising.
Get Enough Sleep
Make sure you get the right number of hours for you. Everyone needs different amounts of sleep, but no one functions properly on too little. Don't eat too close to bedtime, and especially avoid rich, hard to digest foods. As a rule, avoid alcohol or tea and coffee near bedtime, as they are stimulants that will keep you awake. Try herbal teas or milk-based drinks, or even water, as it will help clear the complexion for your big day. Have a relaxing bath before you go to bed, or even better, persuade someone to give you a massage with relaxing oils such as lavender, rose or sandalwood.
Don't panic if you can't sleep immediately your head hits the pillow - read something not wedding related or listen to some music to help your mind relax as well as your body. If you wake up in the middle of the night feeling wide awake, don't fight it. Spend as long as you can trying to keep your eyes open, this can help to convince you that you'd rather go to sleep! If this doesn't work, try getting up and doing a simple task that will help clear your head.
There are lots of people out there whose job it is to help you feel relaxed. Anything from aromatherapy, massage and acupuncture to self relaxation tapes. You could book into a health farm, book a session with a beauty therapist or plan a night in with some girlfriends. Let those trained in relaxation help you feel better, and prepared to organise the wedding of the century!
If you are finding it all a bit too much, plan to delegate tasks. Just thinking about the people who could cope with certain jobs will help them appear easier to cope with. Think how these people would deal with the things that you are struggling with, and try their solutions. If you don't know how they would cope, ask them! They may even offer to take on the problem for you.
Tell your partner about the concerns that you have. Two heads are often better than one, and you may find solutions that you wouldn't have thought of alone.
Set a certain amount of time to discuss problems that your wedding is causing you both, then change the subject and discuss other matters, such as the things you are looking forward to in married life, or plans and aspirations for the future. This will help to shift the balance of importance from the wedding itself to the meaning it has in your lives.
Above all, try to remember that no matter how stressed you feel, no matter how relatives are getting in the way or if things aren't going to plan, you both deserve to have the best day of your lives, and that you will be making a lifelong commitment to each other. Most of all, take a few deep breaths and remember why you decided to get married in the first place!