Dealing with Stress on your Wedding Day

photo courtesy of Fizelwink Photography

photo courtesy of Fizelwink Photography

Your wedding day is coming right up, and you have never been happier. But, chances are, you have been less stressed. Planning a wedding can be an enormous undertaking. With so many details to attend to and so many people to consider, you may feel overwhelmed and exhausted much of the time.

If this sounds like you, kick back and read on for ways to calm the buzzing around and within you.

• Accept that this is a stressful time. Admit it and talk about it without accusation. Be honest with yourself and with others. Accept that your expectations of being stress-free are unrealistic. Instead, extend yourself some compassion and accept where you are, stress and all.

In doing so, you will let go of the effort it takes always to think that things should be otherwise. The less effort you expend, the less stress you will feel.

• Accept life’s imperfections. How many other times in your life have been perfect? Given the elusiveness of perfection in the past, why would perfection appear now when so much of what happens is beyond your direct control?

Yes, you will influence much of what will happen on your wedding day. With your thoughtful planning and consideration, you will avoid many pitfalls. But is it possible to avoid all of them? Would you really want to, anyway?

Often, the unexpected is what brings beauty and nuance to life. The unexpected, too, is what makes life memorable and sometimes even downright hilarious. By aiming for perfection, you may be depriving yourself of peace of mind, as well as a richness and fullness of experience.

Remember that even if your wedding is not “perfect,” it likely will be wonderful in ways that you cannot even foresee.

• Focus on what you have, not on what you want. On one hand, you could focus on the floral arrangement that you would love to have, but cannot afford. On the other, you could focus on the beauty of being in the position of considering floral arrangements at all. One focus leads to stress. The other leads to contentment and gratitude.

• Learn to see the humor in all situations. With so much of what happens in life, you can either laugh or cry. Sometimes you will do both. Yes, your wedding day is important and you want it to go exactly as planned.

Chances are, though, some aspect of it will surprise you. If you are prepared to laugh at yourself, your attempts to control, and your four-year-old flower girl as she runs screaming down the aisle of the church, you will greet whatever comes with grace.

• Spend time with those you love. Yes, you have spent hours with your fiancé and friends deciding on various aspects of your wedding. When was the last time you spent time together without discussing the wedding at all?

Taking time away from wedding planning may seem counterintuitive to reducing wedding-related stress, but a break may be just what you and your loved ones need.

• Do something kind and unexpected for your fiancé. With so many wedding details to attend to, it can be easy to overlook the reason behind all of the chaos. By redirecting your focus, you will gain perspective.

• Become an expert at delegation. Accept your limitations and welcome the help of others. Once you have entrusted someone with a task, check in periodically, but resist the urge to micro-manage.

Have faith in others and your relationships will become stronger. Your loved ones will rise to the occasion. Some typical tasks to delegate include paying the vendors, working with the caterers, and being in charge of the guest book.

• Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, exercise, and eat a healthy diet. Spend time with those that energize you. Pamper yourself and remember that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are spas for just that for you and your fiance in Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

• Manage you time well. Use a calendar to plan and leave extra time to right things that do not go according to schedule. Try to spread out deadlines so you have something to do each week, rather than everything to do all at once.

• Establish your boundaries. Do not expect to please everyone. Be willing to compromise on issues of least importance to you and your fiancé, but stand firm on what matters most to you. Foresee the issues and practice saying “no” respectfully and firmly.

• Prepare for the marriage. Get pre-marital counseling to improve the way you handle any current disagreements. If you develop the skills needed to handle minor conflicts, you will be prepared should those conflicts ever become major. Sadly, many couples spend months or even years preparing for their weddings, but no time at all preparing for the years that will follow.

Always remember the big picture. Your wedding day is important, but it is but one day in a lifetime of many. With perspective, stress will take its proper place in your life.