Are you in the muck of wedding stress? Don’t worry I was too! I want to prefix this article by saying, wedding stress is real! I just wanted to gather and share a few tips that helped me deal with Wedding Stress!
No one knows what to expect or how to feel until they have done it themselves… I’m talking about planning your own wedding and dealing with the wedding stress. I am a recent bride myself, and while planning my wedding I heard from everyone about how I should do things, what I should be doing, and how to deal with the stress. The phrase I kept hearing over and over was “just relax, know that something WILL go wrong and it’s okay.”
There are two parts about that statement I don’t like, though: the first, “just relax,” is way easier said than done. Personally, I was as laid back as a person possibly could be in my position. All the vendors were booked, I was chill about everything, and even said “f*** it” to a lot of little extra stuff I initially planned on doing. When the time got close, some of the small stuff really seemed like a waste of time and money. I figured in 10 years, would people remember the cute wedding programs on their chair giving them the timeline of the day? No, everyone has been to a wedding and usually knows the drill. But still, it’s impossible to be 100% relaxed. Today’s society puts so much emphasis on “perfect weddings” that even the most relaxed bride-to-be can’t help but feel the pressure. Plus, if you are like me, you plan on only doing this once. It’s not like a birthday party that you can re-do every year. Not to mention, ours was a semi-destination wedding, so I was a bit anxious about 100 people traveling just for us; most of our guests were from Los Angeles, but we had some come from as far as Germany. That adds some pressure, too, knowing that everyone is spending a decent amount of money just to attend your wedding.
The second part of the statement that I don’t like is, “something WILL go wrong.” Part of me feels like giving a big middle finger to everyone who said that to me. Guess what? I had my wedding and NOTHING went wrong. I get that they were just trying to help me mentally prepare in case a vendor didn’t show or something major happened. I know, no one wants to watch a bride have a meltdown. But why did they need to put that negative vibe out in the first place? I am a big believer in manifestations, so why would I want to manifest something going wrong? Not to mention, saying something will go wrong can lead your mind down so many rabbit holes trying to prevent what hasn’t happened yet and adding to the wedding stress.
The only part I do like about that statement is “it’s okay.” Leading up to our magical mountain wedding, my now-husband was checking the weather daily. Mind you, the weather in the Eastern Sierras where we got married can change within an hour: one day it was sunny, the next, raining. I simply looked at him and said, “if it rains our wedding day, it rains. It’s okay.” Our venue had disclosed early on that they had a plan B if it were to rain, and we would simply do the ceremony inside the wedding tent we were using for the reception. While that was not part of my dream wedding, I knew it was 110% out of my control and I needed to be okay with it.
I will be the first to admit, two nights before we left for our wedding weekend, I started taking my prescription Xanax to sleep. I was dead tired but kept tossing and turning. I wasn’t focused on one thing; there were just a multitude of things on my mind. After trying all my other sleep tricks, I had to go for the Xanax to combat the wedding stress.
I wanted to share my experience with wedding stress to hopefully help future brides know this is normal and they are not alone. Here are few tips that might actually help with the wedding stress:
Ignore The Knot:
The Knot is a good resource and I can see how it would be super helpful for some people. For me, though, I found it was a little bit TOO much. For instance, they give you a checklist of things you should be doing by what dates, according to your wedding date. Yes, some of them are major and you need to do them by a certain date, but a lot were just stress-creators. Like “decide on flower girl flowers” or “save menswear photos.” Can’t you pick your flower girl petals when you pick out everything else from your florist? Or better yet, ask your florist to handle it! I can’t even tell you what kind of flowers my flower girl had because she walked down the aisle before me. And as for the menswear photos, I laughed and told my fiancé to go pick out whatever he wanted to wear. We saved time by not screwing around online and instead going straight to the stores. My favorite item on the checklist was two weeks before our wedding, to “start packing for the honeymoon.” I have never packed for a trip two weeks early! If I did that, I would be constantly adding to my stuff and would completely overpack.
Back away from the Pinterest:
I LOVE Pinterest: I think I had three different wedding boards, which were super helpful in the wedding planning process and really helped me outline my vision of the type of wedding I wanted. However, about a month before the wedding, I stoped looking at my boards. I kept finding stuff I wanted to do, then realized I didn’t have time to execute any of it. If it was out of sight, it was out of mind. Which, to me, means it’s not that important. I decided to forego any cheeky “signage” for the ceremony, ceremony programs, or menu cards with a fancy place setting. I do not regret that decision at all! It’s also important to keep in mind that a lot of ideas on Pinterest are just staged photos (not actually images from a real wedding), and that a lot are very time consuming or can be hard to execute (Pinterest Fails).
Remember, it’s your wedding, not a photoshoot:
In the social media crazy world we live in, we are constantly seeing everyone’s highlight reel. Everyone’s wedding looks perfect and magical. It’s easy to get swept up in making sure everything looks perfect for the camera: all the little details for your photographer to shoot, the getting ready photos, the decor. But at the end of the day, it’s a celebration and declaration of love between you and your partner. Focusing on that will help keep everyone, guest included, present at your wedding. In turn, your photos will feel more genuine and real. We kept that in mind and ended up with the most magical photos where you can see the emotion and joy.
Trust in your vendors:
Hiring good vendors is a MUST! We got very lucky and booked 90% of our vendors locally in Mammoth, where we got married. I liked that all of them had worked together and worked at our venue before. It cut back on any confusion, as they all knew the drill. I highly suggest hiring from your venue’s “preferred vendor” list if you are not hiring a wedding planner. You don’t want to be bogged down with questions from vendors that you don’t have the answers to.
Last but not least, it’s going to be okay:
My favorite bit of advice came from my mom’s cousin who said, “at the end of the day, you are married, so everything went great.” However your day comes out, it’s yours: own it, love it, enjoy it!