First there is the pressure to get married, the relationships that don’t work out, the ups and downs of dating, the disappointments and learning experiences. Then you meet the man who could be “the one”. From there, it could be fast or slow. Or he might move on. Ok, it isn’t easy. And then you find yourself engaged!
So here you are planning a wedding. You may feel relaxed and happy, ready to face the challenges with energy and lots of support. On the other hand, you may be pretty stressed out and feeling the opposite of the way you expected you would.
Here are some common areas of wedding stress:
- You start to feel doubts about getting married in general or in specific to your fiance.
- You find yourself having arguments with your fiance about decisions that need to be made.
- You start to see how living together (if you aren’t already) could be difficult.
- You dread the idea of having your family and his family together for a party.
- You worry about the finances.
- You feel overwhelmed with the details even if you have paid help to plan the wedding.
- You worry about what dress to get and how you will look in it.
- You feel you must lose weight.
- You either have too many people to invite or not enough.
- You cant help comparing your wedding to your friends’ weddings.
- You have a big argument with your best friend/sister who was going to be your maid of honor and you don’t know if it can be repaired.
- Your parents are trying to control and take over the planning or don’t seem that interested in it.
There can seem to be thousands of ways for things to go wrong! Getting married as happy a time as it is, can also be very stressful. The fact is that stress can come from positive changes as well as difficult or upsetting changes.
Coping with wedding stress–Some ideas to get you through.
Take time to think through and reflect on what you want.
As busy as it is, this is a time to try to reflect on what you want and what is important to you. This can develop through time alone or talking with friends and family. If you need more support, this is a good time to reach out and get it.
Work on your communication skills.
It is really easy to make assumptions and misread what others are saying when you are under stress. Collaboration and compromise are really important parts of your relationship that you can foster during this time. Anger management, fostering positive thinking, and problem solving skills can help tremendously. Knowing when to be assertive and when to back off are skills you can develop or deepen. You have heard many times the statement “pick your battles” and as trite as it may sound, there is wisdom in this idea.
Find ways to put things in perspective.
Try to think about how you will feel looking back on this moment 5 years from now. Will the thing that feels ultra important really matter that much to you? Cultivate your sense of humor. Find ways to laugh at the challenges and even at yourself as long as you aren’t making fun of yourself.
Find quality time for you and your partner.
Yes, you may both be working full time and planning the wedding, etc. is taking up every free moment outside of work. Perhaps you can make a ritual of talking about how your day went over dinner, or before bed.
Self care is important!
Notice the ways you may not be coping with stress in the best way, such as over drinking, overeating, going to bed too late, etc. If you have an exercise routine, that can be a very helpful way to cope with stress and take care of yourself. Other self soothing activities can include a few yoga poses before bed, getting a massage, breathing and grounding techniques.
Seek help if you are feeling overwhelmed.
I have seen many women in my therapy office trying to cope with wedding stress. Sometimes even just a few meetings can help you talk through painful and challenging situations that can arise. Sometimes individual therapy can lead to couples therapy, a really good way to start marriage off with care and attention to feelings, needs, and communication skills. Sometimes couples feel getting therapy so early on is a sign of weakness. But actually, it’s really the opposite. Marriage is a huge learning experience and guidance can really help set you on a good course early on.
Good luck and congratulations!