Wedding stress can turn even the happiest couples into a dueling duo. Did you know there are scientifically-supported and expert-approved tips for reducing wedding stress? Learn how to plan a wedding without stress by following the tips below.
Read on for 15 of the top tips for brides, grooms, and the happy couple that will make getting ready for the wedding day a breeze while avoiding wedding planning stress.
For The Bride: How To Plan a Wedding Without Stress
A recent survey found that 96% of couples felt stressed out when it came to wedding planning. This makes sense since there are so many decisions to be made about the wedding day.
Often, wedding responsibilities fall on top of already busy schedules (including work, family obligations, etc.). If you are a bride-to-be, planning the big day can often make you feel like a big mess.
The following advice includes the top five tips for busy brides that want to stay healthy while planning a wedding.
Invest In Self Care
It can seem easy to devote time, energy, money, and other resources in the name of your dream wedding. However, the wedding is only one day. Don’t forget to invest your resources into self-care as well, which can include (to name just a few):
• Coping skills
• Hobbies and skills
Create Clear Boundaries
Boundaries can help protect you from burnout. Establish boundaries early, and set clear expectations for everyone from the beginning. For example, let bridesmaids, family members, and wedding guests know exactly how involved you expect them to be on your wedding day or in the wedding planning process.
With so much going on in your head, it can feel difficult to communicate your vision. It can be helpful to sit down with your spouse, wedding party, or family right from the start and let them know how you would prefer to communicate with them about the process of planning the big day.
For example, to protect your mental health, you can ask that they contact you only on the weekend about wedding details and leave the weekdays for regular non-wedding communication. This can help you manage your stress better and compartmentalize wedding activities to a time that better suits you.
Open Yourself to Evolution
Especially if you have a longer engagement period, plans may change before the wedding. Things like the weather can’t be controlled, and sometimes come down to the day of. For most people, wedding planning can be 50% stressful and 50% fun.
Embrace the process and allow yourself the flexibility to accept “plan B” when things are out of your control.
Allow Yourself To Accept Help From Others
Preparing for a wedding isn’t a task you have to undertake on your own. Allow others who you trust to support you throughout the process.
For example, instead of an expensive wedding gift that you’ll hardly ever use, you could ask a close friend or family member for a meal delivery service that will support you in the days leading up to your wedding. (Some even have plans for weight loss if you’re looking to get in better shape before the big day!)
For The Groom: What To Do When Wedding Stress Strikes
Taking control of the wedding planning stress starts with creating a safe, supportive space for you (the groom). While the wedding day may be traditionally viewed as the bride’s day, it’s actually a day meant to celebrate both the bride and groom as a couple.
You may be used to staying out of the spotlight, but be sure to treat yourself right before, during, and after the big day. Don’t know where to start? Try these tips to get more in tune with yourself and avoid the pre-wedding jitters.
It’s easy to get swept up in the heat of the moment, whether you are stressed or are dealing with a burned-out bride. Instead of blowing up in an argument, take time each day to be present and intentional. This can help you to avoid arguments and properly process your feelings.
Help Create a Plan
Leaving all the details to your bride can actually make things more stressful. To help share the responsibility of the wedding day, support your bride in creating a wedding plan.
For example, while the bride is diving into details like napkin rings, you can keep your cool by structuring a schedule of deadlines to keep you both on track. Hiring a wedding planner may also be part of your solution to limit or avoid stress.
Add an Element of Balance
When you feel like your bride has her head up in the clouds while your mind is on the wedding budget, it can feel tempting to bring her back down to earth by reciting the numbers. However, aiming to balance the scales by getting to the root of the desire can actually help you avoid an argument.
Stay within your budget and keep your bride in a state of bliss by asking questions like, “How do you think this will contribute to our wedding day?” instead of “Do we really need this?”
Remember You Are Teammates
It is common to feel like planning for the wedding can be driving a wedge between you and your betrothed. Remembering that you are working towards the same goal can be a powerful propellant.
Each day, keep in mind that you are both teammates working towards the same goal and that you are more likely to reach a reasonable solution by working together instead of stressing over the wedding day separately.
Keep a Healthy Routine
While your wedding is a one-day event, a healthy routine can continue to serve you and your marriage in the days to come. Additionally, things like obtaining enough sleep, eating well, and staying hydrated can help you cope with stress in healthier ways.
Implement daily, weekly, and occasional activities to keep you feeling healthy and whole before the wedding bells ring.
For The Both Of You: How To Stay A Happy Couple When Wedding Stress Strikes
Many couples go into survival mode weeks before the wedding. Instead of enjoying the process, some partnerships feel like wedding planning is taking over their lives!
The good news is that you don’t have to just survive during the wedding season, but you can actually thrive as a couple during this exciting, busy season in your lives. Begin the best day of your life by planning ahead and having meaningful conversations about boundaries, budget,and other important topics.
Wondering where to start? Use the following tips as conversation starters to deepen your conversations beyond floral arrangements and guest lists to the things that matter to your marriage.
Make the Day About You
Want a small wedding but your families are pressuring you to have a big one? Doubling down on what you desire for your wedding can help make the day more magical.
Learn to set healthy boundaries with loved ones to create a day that you love. Your wedding shouldn’t be a day to please everyone else, but rather a special occasion that serves you and gets your marriage started on the right foot.
If you feel like wedding pressures from others are derailing your special day, really dive into what you two (and just you two) desire for your wedding day.
Remember that Financial Gifts Don’t Purchase Opinions
Often, couples feel like a financial contribution from parents or in-laws entitles them to have a greater say on the wedding day. It is important to remember that you don’t have to accept every opinion from a family member or close friend as truth.
Ideally, parents or in-laws contributing significantly to the financial side of a wedding should only be as involved as you would like them to be. If relatives continue to be persistent, try giving them small tasks to be in charge of (i.e. researching table settings within your budget). This allows them to feel involved without taking control, and then you can say “thank you so much for your help, I’ve got it from here!”
Participate Only in the Traditions You Want
Some people like the wedding week events, while others feel anxiety even at the thought of bachelorette parties followed by rehearsal dinners and beyond. Save your energy for the big day and honeymoon trip by only participating in what you want!
For example, skip the traditional bachelor party and go out to lunch with a close friend instead.
Make Time For Couples Counseling
Many people think that couples counseling is only for couples considering divorce or going through a serious conflict. In reality, a therapist is a great third-party person that can assist you as a couple while making big decisions in your marriage.
Implementing expert advice before the big day, especially as stressors come up, can help you start your marriage out on the right foot before you even become a bride and groom.
Remember Your Partner’s Happiness Is Their Responsibility
Many married couples are still under the illusion that they can’t be happy unless their partner is completely satisfied in life. While this may seem like a noble goal, it can actually detract from your own personal growth.
It is important to remember that while you want your partner to be happy, your partner is in control of their own feelings and needs the freedom to process their own thoughts and emotions with a healthy level of support (rather than suffocation) from you.
For example, instead of smothering them with questions like “Are you happy?” each day, learn your partner’s love language and support them by gifting words of affirmation, meaningful gifts, acts of service, intentional touch, or quality time to them (according to what they are most receptive to).
The Bottom Line On Pre-Wedding Stress
It may seem overwhelming to prioritize stress relief while the wedding stress is actively happening. However, wedding planning should be a period that promotes a healthy marriage, not one that drives a wedge between the happy couple.
Select one of these top tips to work on today and find healthy methods for relieving wedding stress while working towards wedded bliss.
Bejar L. Self-Care Lessons from a Bridal Therapist. Aisle Talk. Published May 2019. https://www.aisle-talk.com/post/self-care-lessons-from-a-bridal-therapist.
Lawrence A. How to Manage Wedding Stress as the Groom. Holidappy. Published April 2022. https://holidappy.com/party-planning/How-to-Manage-Stress-as-the-Groom.
Sieracki J. How to Handle Wedding Planning Stress, According to Science. Brides. Published January 2022. https://www.brides.com/story/how-to-handle-wedding-planning-stress-zola-study.
Uyo AJ. How to Handle a Pre-Wedding Stressed Out Groom. The Good Men Project. Published September 2019. https://goodmenproject.com/marriage-2/how-to-handle-a-pre-wedding-stressed-out-groom/.