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Written by WW (Formerly Weight Watchers)
Ask a bride, any bride: Chances are, she’ll cite her wedding day as one of the happiest days of her life. With that, we all know that wedding planning can be stressful too—in fact, getting married ranks seventh out of 43 life events ranked by the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory, a stress-rating scale used by doctors.
WW (formerly Weight Watchers) knows that every bride is unique and that stressors that impact your wellness can surface at different phases of the planning process. Thankfully, the experts at WW are here to help—read on for ways to overcome your biggest stressors leading up to the wedding day, below.
The stressor: The sheer volume of tasks on your to-do list is keeping you up at night.
The fix: Delegate—and vent.
If hiring a wedding planner is feasible for your budget, go for it. If not, now’s the time to lean on your support network, suggests Jill Dawson, a licensed professional counselor in Boulder, CO. You might ask your sister to help you choose the invitation font and assign each of your bridesmaids one small task that’ll knock a few to-dos off your list. “Remember that your friends and family genuinely want to support you, so don’t feel bad about leaning on them,” Dawson says.
And don’t discount digital communities: WW offers a group just for brides in our members-only social network. With nearly 6K brides who can relate to you, you’ll find daily support and guidance throughout your wellness and wedding journey.
The stressor: Every decision feels unbelievably difficult to make..
The fix: Ask yourself whether daffodils and daisies are the real problem.
It’s possible your anxiety has nothing to do with choosing flowers, fonts, or favors. Getting overwhelmed may be a sign of other feelings like anger, fear, or sadness. It’s normal to feel all the things! While they’re part of any serious relationship, pretending everything’s fine isn’t productive. Instead, acknowledge what you’re thinking and having a conversation about it with your partner, best friend, or even a therapist to help you feel more in control, Sonia Kahn, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist based in Arlington, VA says.
Another approach to putting decisions in prospective: Consider a meditation app like Headspace, which offers a series of simple meditation tracks within the WW App. Download it today, then tune in to practice mindfulness and reset when things get stressful.
The stressor: You’re people-pleasing to the point of making everyone happy other than yourself.
The fix: Nail down what really matters to you.
From your parents and future in-laws to your second cousins and plus ones, it can be tempting to try to make every guest happy. It’s all too easy to completely lose sight of what you and your spouse really want out of your special day.
“The bottom line is that your wedding day really should be all about what matters to you and your fiancé,” Dawson says. “Stay true to who you are as a couple so that your celebration feels like your day—not an event you planned that makes everyone else happy.”
The stressor: You’re focusing on the things that could go wrong.
The fix: Bring yourself into the present and take yourself out of the future.
It’s easy to let a lot of worst-possible scenarios play out in your mind. Torrential downpours, tripping down the aisle—the list goes on (and on). And while this kind of thinking is understandable (so many details mean so many opportunities for something to go wrong!), it’s not helpful, Dawson says. “No matter how much you worry, you can’t control the future,” she says. “When there are so many moving pieces, expecting everything to play out exactly as you want it to just isn’t realistic,” she adds, suggesting the best move is to accept it.
In the meantime, step out of the future and into the moment. “The more you can live in the present moment, the calmer you’ll feel—and the more efficient and effective you’ll be in the wedding-planning process,” Dawson says. Her trick for getting present? Have some sort of “anchor” that serves as a reminder to stop yourself from going too far down the what-if path. “It might be a special necklace or ring that you touch every time your mind starts spiraling,” she says, “or you might even commit to texting a friend who always knows just what to say to give you a gentle reality check.”
The stressor: You’re aiming for perfection and won’t be happy with anything less.
The fix: Remind yourself that your guests are coming to celebrate you.
Here’s something you probably don’t want to hear considering how much time and energy you’ve put into every last detail of your wedding ceremony and reception: Most of your guests don’t care that much about how their napkins are folded and what the little note on their favor says. “For the most part, the people paying attention to details like that are guests who are planning their own weddings, or professional event planners,” Kahn says. “Everyone else is going to be focusing on how much fun they’re having.”
* Six-month pre-post study conducted by the University of North Carolina funded by WW. Sleep and happiness data reported by trial participants after 6 months on WW Freestyle.
WW (formerly Weight Watchers) wants to make your wedding countdown the best it can be. To help you feel your best on your wedding day. WW is now offering a free 1-month membership for both you and your partner so you can sleep better, feel happier* and healthier every step of the way.