It’s Okay to Not Be Okay
Managing wedding planning stress
Planning a wedding is often portrayed as a joyous and exciting time filled with endless bliss and celebration. From picturesque Pinterest boards to fairy tale-like wedding magazines, we’re bombarded with images of perfection and happiness.
However, the reality is that wedding planning stress can take a toll on you and your partner’s mental health. It’s important to acknowledge that it’s okay to not be okay during this process and that wedding planning isn’t always “the best” experience. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
In fact, you are in the majority. While a 2018 Zola survey found that 40% of couples used the terms “very” and “extremely” to describe wedding planning stress, a 2020 update to their survey found that this percentage increased to 72%. In fact, over 70% thought it was more stressful than other major life events like finding a job.
Weddings come with dozens (or sometimes hundreds) decisions to make, from selecting a venue and choosing a dress to deciding on a guest list and managing budgets. The pressure to meet societal expectations, family demands, and your own vision for the perfect day can be overwhelming.
It’s no wonder that many couples experience heightened stress, anxiety, and even depression during this time. We’ve teamed up with wedding pros across the Pacific Northwest to get their take on why wedding planning is it’s own mental health gauntlet.
First and foremost, it’s crucial to recognize and accept that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed.
ma:As someone who lives with an anxiety monster, I’ve had a lifetime of recognizing what my version of being overwhelmed and stressed looks like. For people new to this phenomenon it can be tricky and hard to name it (ps, mine is named Beatrice).
Overwhelm and stress can manifest in different ways for different people. However, here are some common signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Physical symptoms: When under stress, your body may exhibit physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, stomach issues, and fatigue.
- Emotional symptoms: You may feel anxious, irritable, sad, angry, or overwhelmed. You may also experience mood swings and have difficulty sleeping.
- Cognitive symptoms: Stress can impact your ability to concentrate, make decisions, and solve problems. You may also have trouble remembering things and experience racing thoughts.
- Behavioral symptoms: You may withdraw from social situations, experience changes in appetite or sleep patterns, and engage in unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drinking or smoking.
- Reduced performance: Overwhelm and stress can reduce your productivity and make it difficult to complete tasks that were once easy.
- Avoidance: You may feel the need to avoid certain activities or situations that you previously enjoyed.
It’s natural to experience a wide range of emotions, including frustration, doubt, and sadness, while planning such a significant event. You are NOT alone, (Google pre-wedding nightmares”.)
Wedding planning stress can affect your body and your brain long before your conscious mind may realize it. Your mental health matters, and it’s important to prioritize your needs throughout the process so you’re less likely to feel burnt out by the time you even get to the altar.
Wedding planning can consume your life if you let it. Remember to take breaks from the never-ending to-do lists and allow yourself time to relax and recharge. Engage in activities that bring you joy, whether it’s taking a walk in nature, practicing mindfulness, or pursuing a hobby. This can help ease the wedding planning stress.
DELEGATE AND ASK FOR HELP
A You don’t have to do everything on your own. Delegate tasks to trusted family members or friends who are willing to assist. Accepting help lightens your load and allows you to focus on your well-being. A key to minimizing wedding planning stress. Don’t know what to ask?
Prioritize your needs self-care during this time. Engage in activities that nurture your mental and physical well-being, such as exercise, meditation, reading, or indulging in a hobby. Take care of yourself, both inside and out.
I had the opportunity to talk to some incredible companies that have helped keep my anxiety monster at bay, check them out in a special edition of Forward Thinkers in this issue.
Restore Hyperwellness in Lake Oswego, OR for compression and redlight therapy
Soak Box in Wilsonville, OR for their incredible float tank *which I SWORE I would never try bc this brain is a bit nutty and doing nothing for an hour scared me more than spiders. Turns out, it’s INCREDIBLE and for me, like hitting the reset button on my day/week/month.
Remember, it’s okay to not be okay. A wedding should be a positive thing! It’s meant to be a source of love and joy and it’s never worth sacrificing your mental health over.
Be kind to yourself throughout the process to minimize wedding planning stress. Surround yourself with a supportive network, practice self-care, and maintain a realistic perspective. This is a time to celebrate your love, and while wedding planning may be challenging, it’s an opportunity for personal growth and strengthening your relationship.
Focus on what truly matters – the love between you and your partner – and let go of the pressure to achieve perfection. Your wedding day will be beautiful, not because everything went flawlessly, but because it’s a reflection of your love story.