I’ve always heard that planning a wedding is one of the most stressful and exhausting processes a human can go through. I’m here to say that is absolutely, 100% accurate. But does it really have to be?
I find it incredibly irritating that wedding planning is so stressful because getting married is supposed to be the “happiest day of your life” and “all about the bride and groom”. Even though that’s the truth, it still feels inherently false. It feels like it’s not about the bride and groom at all; somehow a wedding morphs into this monstrous, expensive, and soul-sucking life force for everyone but you.
I get so mad when I go to weddings and see that everyone is having a good time except the bride and groom. They’re running around putting out fires (literally and figuratively), they’re playing therapist to drunk wedding guests and/or bridal party members, and they end their night exhausted and starving after missing out on all the food that they paid for.
So why the hell would anyone have a wedding?
That was my feeling after getting engaged. I was happy to go to city hall, elope to an island, or even have a teeny tiny ceremony with no more than 15 people. But when you marry into a big, tight-knit Italian family, that is not an option. Since part of getting married and maintaining a healthy relationship is compromise, I gave up my vision of the two of us saying our “I do’s” in bathing suits and agreed to a reasonable 160 max guest list.
There are now 60 days until my wedding, and the months since my engagement back in October have been quite the roller coaster. Overall, I have to say that wedding planning has been an overall positive experience. But even with the help of friends and family, the stress of planning and coordinating has the tendency to mask all the good and highlight the stressful. Couple that with have anxiety disorder and you become a ball of fun for everyone around you ::queue sarcasm::.
Knowing that I’m prone to anxiety attacks and thinking that the sky is falling, my future husband and I have taken some precautions that have really helped. I wanted to share them because even the coolest of brides will find herself at one point crying over something that does not matter AT ALL, like my ‘font size on the placement cards’ meltdown.
Exercise, exercise, EXERCISE!
This isn’t just a #sweatingforthewedding thing, this will help keep you sane. So when you get the inevitable “we won’t have those flowers in stock until 4 weeks after your wedding” email, you body is already prepared for you to take out your anger on a bike at SoulCycle. Plus your butt will nice. Win/win.
Meditation, yoga, and aromatherapy are your friends.
This isn’t just a plug since I’m a yoga teacher (but do email me for private lessons), these are your weapons against stress and sleeplessness. If you’re unfamiliar with any of these things, check out a beginner yoga class and ask your teacher about essential oils. Most teachers should be able to answer your questions and the studio may even sell them at discounted rates. As for meditation, Spotify and YouTube are fantastic resources for endless Om-ing.
Remember that people will surprise you in both positive and negative ways.
Something about weddings brings out a lot of baggage someone may not even be aware they have. Don’t let them dump it on you – now is not the time for you to play therapist for them. Focus on the people who surprise you in a good way, and remember to thank them every step of the way.
Ask for help.
If finding ceremony music or choosing a table setting is stressing you out, ask someone else to do it for you. That’s what your wedding party is for, or your family if they’re not stressing you out.
This is one of the very few times in life that something is all about you! Enjoy the time with your partner when together you pick what you want to have for dinner, what type of music you want played at the reception, and which wedding traditions you want to want to include or skip (you will pry my bouquet from my cold dead hands).
People remember feelings.
You won’t remember what your napkins or table numbers looked like because those things don’t really matter. But you will remember dancing with your partner as newly weds vs. fighting with the caterer that the dipping sauce is too sweet. Just like everyone will remember that your friend from college break-danced (with no ability to do so whatsoever) after the father/daughter dance, rather than the chicken that may or may not have been overcooked.
Focus on both of YOU – no one else.
This is YOUR day. When it comes down to it, every single person who attends your wedding is there to celebrate the love that you and your partner share. I keep thinking about the line in Wedding Crashers about why people go weddings because it’s the only reason that matters – people want to be in the presence of true love. That’s what a wedding is; it’s celebrating two people committing their lives to each other. It’s not about the music, the centerpieces, or even the food and booze – it’s about two people in love.
Over the next 60 days, I have more little, annoying details to take care of then I’d care to acknowledge. But knowing that no matter what happens, even if everyone hated what we chose and dubbed it ‘the worst wedding ever’, I’ll still be married to the person who means absolutely everything to me makes all of the stress and anxiety slowly fade away. Well, at least most of it 😉