With spring officially here and wedding fayres being held aplenty, it’s time to get ready to embrace the start of the traditional wedding season. However, as the flowers bloom and grow, so too do the stress levels of ‘happy’ bride and grooms-to-be across the nation!
I read recently that planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful times in your life. From picking the right venue, agreeing on the guest list, dealing with family dramas, to going over budget, there are so many little stresses that can mount up and become overwhelming.
I have just started to plan my own wedding to my fiancé Paul, so it’s time to take some action to prepare myself. I really don’t want to become a ‘Bridezilla’ and turn one of the happiest days of our lives into a stressful, miserable, anxious mess!
Last year, several of our good friends got married and we were there to witness both their happy day as well as some of their ‘freak out’ moments in the lead up to the big event. Afterwards, my friends were quick to tell me about all the highs and lows, particularly those stressful moments, in an attempt to spare me from the stresses they went through.
So together with their advice (or should I say warnings) and the guidance of A. Vogel’s stress expert Marianna Kilburn, I have pulled together a helpful guide to keep me on the road to wedded bliss.
So if you are planning a wedding (like me) – or thinking about planning a wedding – here are 7 suggestions (brought to you from the wisdom of past brides and someone who knows a lot about stress) for combating wedding stress.
1. Delegate, delegate and oh, did I mention delegate!
My friends all said it and I really need to remember to do this – delegation is key to helping to reduce stress levels. You can’t do everything yourself, that’s what you have bridesmaids, maid of honour, family and even your hubby-to-be for.
Share the pressure; don’t overwhelm yourself when others can help. My other half, Paul already has his to do list and is actually really excited to have some responsibility.
2. Great Expectations
This was mentioned a lot in conversations with my friends. Every one of them advised me to try and keep things in perspective. If you want a small simple wedding, keep it small and simple!
Don’t have unrealistic expectations for your budget, expect everything to be perfect (it rarely is) or lose focus on why the wedding is happening in the first place. It’s about the love of two people and their commitment to spend their life together, not just one really good day!
3. Stick to your budget
Nothing gets those stress levels rising faster than a budget that is spiralling out of control! I have been advised to combine my ‘careful’ expectations with a smart budget and try to keep things as simple as possible.
Easier said than done, especially as I have found out recently, that the minute you mention the word wedding, prices automatically increase.
One thing I have learned from my friends is that I will need to shop about, get quotes and choose what’s right for our budget. Ask your friends and family for recommendations – to date I have already had two recommendations that have helped me stay in budget.
4. Get your mind and body ready
According to Marianna, lack of sleep, poor diet and dehydration are all common stress triggers, so during the planning stages and especially on the lead up to the wedding, remember to sleep well, eat healthily and drink plenty of water. Also don’t forget to get plenty of exercise.
Exercise is a natural stress-reliever. Aside from helping to produce the ‘happy’ hormone serotonin, it also uses up excess levels of the stress hormones which are constantly being produced when you are feeling under pressure.
Plus, as an added bonus, it might just help you tone up or lose a few pounds before the big day.
5. Don’t forget to breathe
Another great tip from Marianna is to find ways to relax in the lead up to and on the big day itself. Breathing techniques are an excellent way of calming the body and releasing nervous tension. Having recently started watching yoga videos on YouTube, I’m really keen to try a yoga class soon.
Take some time out
Keeping with the relaxation theme, a handy bit of advice from both my friends and Marianna, was to make sure to have plenty of ‘me’ time – some time out now and again when I don’t have to think about the wedding.
And don’t forget your other half! It’s easy to forget why you’re getting married in the first place – you know it’s that thing called LOVE, so it’s important to enjoy some time alone together.
7. Get some herbal help
If things really do get on top of you then some herbal help is available. Herbal remedies are used by many to treat stress, as they do not have the side effects of conventional medicines. Licensed herbal products containing valerian have been used traditionally to treat stress and anxiety.
Other herbs used include Avena sativa (to help reduce mild anxiety) and St. John’s wort (for low mood). One remedy I plan to use myself on my big day is the flower remedy – Relaxing Essence, as one of my biggest worries is the panic I will feel when walking down the aisle and everyone is staring at me. With the help of this flower essence, I will hopefully feel more relaxed and calm on the day.
I plan to follow this advice heartily over the next year as I continue my journey to wedded bliss. I am going to work on all the suggestions given in the hope of being happy and relaxed in the lead up to getting married, rather than being overwhelmed by stress, worry and ‘Bridezilla’ moments.
Are you planning a wedding or have survived a wedding? Then please share any good tips you have for managing stressful planning moments or any words of wisdom you may have, I am happy to borrow lots more advice…