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  • Writer's pictureMind on the Path

Anxiety while Planning a Wedding

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Tips for when you struggle with stress & anxiety while wedding planning

Wedding season is here and it's a time of immense joy and, honestly, immense stress at times. I will be getting married in 2 months and the time since engagement has truly been a rollercoaster of highs and lows throughout. I've been learning more about myself and how I handle the added stress on top of my generalized anxiety. I've been finding out what helps and what leads to breakdowns. Based on my experience, I want to share with you some tips for planning a wedding while struggling with anxiety and/or stress.

1. You're not in this alone

One of the harder things for me to adjust to during this time is to lean on my fiancé and remember I don't have to do all the planning on my own. I understand every couple is different, and the level in which the bride and the groom contribute to the planning of the wedding can vary, but splitting up wedding responsibilities can help keep both of you sane. The choice to enter into marriage is a choice to enter into a partnership of being there for each other, helping one another, and supporting each other. What better time to start practicing that then during the wedding planning season. Learn to let go of all the control and invite your partner into the planning process.

2. Family/Friends support

A wedding can be one of the best opportunities for family members and friends to give their strong opinions on what they want your wedding to look like. Trying to satisfy different desires, while still creating the wedding that you want, can be one of the biggest stressors you'll experience wedding planning. On the other hand, the help and support of your family & friends can end up being what keeps you from going over the edge. If your family/friends are willing and able to help, let them. Maintain control and boundaries to ensure they don't take more than you wish to give. Assign different tasks to trusted family members and friends who know you and your preferences, and it can really help take the load off of you.

Rule of thumb: if your family and friend's input and help reduces your stress, let them help, and if their help raises your stress ask them to take a step back.

3. Manage your time

When you embark on the journey of wedding planning, the rest of your daily responsibilities and plans do not take a pause. As you draw nearer to the big day, you'll find your schedule getting busier and your to-do list getting longer. It can quickly build up and become overwhelming if you don't find a way to manage all of your different tasks well. Make sure you stop, organize yourself, and manage your time well. Plan out everything that you can. Make notes, set reminders, use your calendar, stay as ordered and organized as possible. Prioritize important due dates, but also make sure to prioritize time with family and friends, and times of rest. I've tried to manage my checklist for the wedding by picking 2-3 things I want to accomplish each week. In an effort to find balance, my fiancé and I try to create days or evenings where wedding planning and wedding talk is not allowed so we can get a break. Taking the time to map out your day-to-day schedule now can help you so much in the long run.

4. Make a list of what's important

As you begin the wedding planning process, you'll soon find that the list of things to do is quite extensive. When you look at the long list it can be hard to decide what tasks are critical vs. what's not. It's okay if you don't really care about the centerpieces. It's okay if the flowers are one of the most important parts to you. A wedding day is filled with so many different items that you may or may not really care about. Write out your list of to-dos, then re-organize them based on what is most important to you. Don't give all your time and attention to picking a band/DJ if you really don't care either way. Focus your energy on the parts that matter most to you, and then lean on others to help you with the rest. If you need to do it all yourself, do your least important tasks without the pressure and feeling that you have to make those things perfect when it really doesn't matter to you.

5. Physical Activity

If you're having a rough day and the wedding planning is getting on top of you, consider doing some kind of physical activity. Whether it's a walk outside, circuit training, an at-home workout, or stretching, moving your body in some kind of capacity can provide several benefits to both your physical and mental health. Not only will your body release endorphins and other positive hormones, it's also an amazing way to just clear and silence your mind for at least a part of your day.

I can walk into the gym filled with a million thoughts about what I still need to do for the wedding, my work stress, the weekend plans, but as soon as the workout starts, I begin to focus on my body, my breathing, and my movements, so that all other thoughts take a backseat and I get a much-needed mental break. So, if you're getting stressed and your anxiety is rising, consider some physical activity and see if that helps you regulate yourself back down. The cares and worries will still be there after you're done, but they may not have as much weight and stress as they did pre-workout.

6. Lean on your faith

I've had a few mental breakdowns during this wedding planning process. Weeks of feeling the pressure of that to-do list topped with my regular day-to-day anxiety means I reached breaking points. When those happened, my usual outlets didn't really help. I tried all of my coping techniques. I tried to distract myself. I limited my social interaction and outings. I did it all, and none of it was working.

It wasn't until I listened to worship music as much as possible that I began to feel peace in my heart and mind again. I started Bible studies on marriage that helped me re-focus on what mattered most, and I turned to prayer to ask for help in the midst of my tears and anxiety. Sometimes, often times, and all the time, all you need to be able to endure and overcome your anxiety/worries/stress is the Lord. He will equip you to get everything done for the wedding, and more importantly, He will help you have peace throughout the whole process. He wants to bring you peace in the midst of chaos, let Him.

7. Remember what's most important

In the middle of all the craziness of planning the wedding, it can be easy to lose sight of what all of it is for...your marriage. Preparing everything to be just right for the wedding day is not a bad ambition, however, don't forget that the marriage is the most important part to prepare for. You are entering into a life-long commitment and union, and all of the stress and worries about the wedding celebration can overshadow the joy and excitement for the marriage. Schedule date nights, have conversations not about the wedding, do things with your fiancé that will help you both re-focus your attention on the joy of getting to spend the rest of your lives together. Doing so can minimize the pressure of the one wedding day and center you on the lifetime of being together.

If you're currently planning a wedding, or hope to be in the future, take heart and know that you will make it through the process, but keep in mind that it's not all breezy. Times will get difficult and overwhelming but do what you need to do to keep yourself in a healthy mental and physical state. Plan more for your marriage than for the wedding and try out these tips to help manage your stress/anxiety throughout the planning process.

Thank you for your continued support and for reading this blog post! If you found any of these tips helpful, please leave a like or comment below! And to stay up to date on all future blog posts, subscribe below to email notifications. Be sure to check out the blog on social media as well at @mindonthepath. Check out the other mental health posts on the blog, and happy reading!

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