It’s time to plan your wedding: an event you may have dreamed about since third grade. As pre-wedding stress mounts, there’s good news, and there’s bad news. The good news is that, assuming you marry by age 30 and you are both in good health and live to the age of 75, your wedding day is one of only 16,425 that you will spend together as a couple. That’s also the bad news.
In other words, you are committing to a lifetime with this person, and life is sometimes stressful, so keep your big day in perspective. In a long marriage, there may be homes to buy and sell, job changes, pregnancies (which lead in turn to babies, toddlers, teens and figuring out how to afford college), health problems, and deaths of loved ones from both sides of the aisle. The wedding, if you’ll pardon the pun, is a piece of cake.
Should it be a wonderful experience and create lasting memories that you, your husband and your friends and family can cherish? Absolutely. Should it be perfect? No. The other 16,424 days will not be perfect, though some will contain incredibly perfect minutes and hours. Putting pressure on yourselves to create perfection can quickly suck the joy out of your joyous occasion.
Planning a wedding is a lot of work. Communication and financial issues, and the many wants of the bride, the groom, both sets of parents, and other friends and family all enter into the mix. Stress is bound to rear build at several points between “Will you” and “I do.”
Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway is a non-denominational wedding officiant, an expert in bridal stress, co-facilitator of The Bridal Survival Club and author of “WEDDING GODDESS: A Divine Guide to Transforming Wedding Stress into Wedding Bliss.”
According to Brockway, a bride has to build stress management, self-care and downtime into the wedding planning process. When stress mounts, take a break. Go for a walk, see a movie, get a massage, or engage in any non-wedding-related activity that you find relaxing.
Are you on feedback overload? It’s true — everyone has an opinion or bit of unsolicited advice to share about your wedding. While it’s important to remember that your friends and family may have been dreaming about your big day for a long time too, the day belongs to you and your spouse. Decide together what kind of a day you want it to be and communicate that clearly and consistently. If all else fails, remember that the wedding is a show of your commitment before other people, but the marriage is just for the two of you.
“Wedding planning can be a crisis,” Brockway writes. “There is so much focus on the external experience that a bride can become mired in the details and demands and lose track of herself and the reason she is getting married in the first place.” The Wedding Goddess advises brides not to let wedding planning turn into a battle for that “perfect day.” Instead, remember that the true meaning of marriage is to bring two people together in sacred union. Focus on the love and remember it is always your aim.
For more tips from the Wedding Goddess on surviving wedding stress and arriving at the altar with grace — and your sanity — visit www.weddinggoddess.com.
Story by Sheila Grant