5 Ways to Destress During Wedding Planning

Photo via WW (Formerly Weight Watchers)





















Article Written by WW (Formerly Weight Watchers) 

Whether your guest list is made up of 40 friends or a few hundred, it’s easy to let the little things get the best of you during the wedding planning process. At first, figuring out everything from name cards and napkins to fonts and flowers can be fun. Then, a few months into your wedding-planning adventure, these tasks may skyrocket your stress levels, says Amanda Hudes, a New York area-based wedding planner and the author of Smiling Through the Chaos of Wedding Planning..

“Planning a wedding can make you feel like you’re in a big pressure cooker,” says Charlynn Ruan, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist at Thrive Psychology in Santa Monica, CA. “It’s like the holidays times 10,000. Which means it’s especially important to take care of yourselves throughout the process.” After all, you don’t want to be so depleted you can’t enjoy the party you spent so much energy planning.

Stress can impact everything from your food intake to your skin and overall wellbeing—not ideal when you’re wedding is fast approaching. To make sure self-care scores a spot on your to-do list—even when other tasks pull you in a million different directions—start with these suggestions from our friends at WW (Formerly Weight Watchers)

1. Book a date with your fiancé.

While a sit down dinner sounds like it might do the trick, chances are, it might turn into an opportunity to heighten the stress around the checklist you and your fiancé are working through in order to get down the aisle. To eliminate the urge to talk wedding planning, choose date-night activities that are more about doing than venting. Head mini-putting, try indoor skydiving, go to a basketball game, or take a yoga class. “There’s a good chance you’ll have so much fun that you’ll find it less tempting to dive into talking about wedding stuff even if you do grab dinner afterward,” Hudes says.

2. Set a big goal that’s unrelated to your wedding.

Always wanted to run a 5K together, take a painting class, or learn to cook like a pro? Surprisingly, now’s the time, Hudes says. It may seem crazy to add one more commitment to your never-ending to-do list, but working toward a goal together is actually a great way to make sure you prioritize yourselves during wedding-planning craziness, she adds.

“The key is choosing something you really love to do, so that the activity feels like a stress release rather than one more thing to check off your list,” she says. Bonus: If you’ve become one of those couples who talks a lot about wedding planning, this will give you something else to share with your friends when they ask how you’re doing. “Wedding planning can become your whole world—but the people in your world may not want to talk to you about it as much as you do,” Hudes says.

The WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) App can help you keep tabs on your goals and build habits that last well beyond your walk down the aisle. And once the wedding gifts are opened and the thank you notes go out, you’ll still reap the rewards of your efforts when you redeem your “WellnessWins!” credits.                                                                                       

3. Ditch mirrors for a day.

When you’re planning an event where all eyes will literally be on you, it can be tempting to focus excessively on how you look. Kjerstin Gruys, PhD, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Nevada at Reno and author of Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall: How I Learned to Love My Body by Not Looking at It for a Year, can relate. When she was planning her wedding six years ago, she quickly saw how easy it was to put pressure on herself to try to lose weight and look a certain way—and in an effort to avoid succumbing to that pressure, she vowed to not look in a mirror for the year leading up to her wedding.  “It worked,” Gruys says. “I was happier and noticed the people in my world seemed to be happy for me.” Can’t make that kind of commitment? Take on a challenge with your partner: Try avoiding mirrors for just one day, she says. 


4. Go off the grid for a while.

Go camping, glamping, or to any getaway where there’s no cell service. “Let yourselves really relax instead of stressing about making it to a spin class or wherever else you need to be, and reconnect with your fiancé or friends in nature,” Gruys says. “Then notice how happy you feel.” Your smartphone and spreadsheets will be waiting for you when you get back.

5. Watch something that makes you both laugh ’til you have to cry.

Making a lifelong commitment to your partner in front of all the people you care about can feel so serious! “We tend to see it as a way of saying to everyone, ‘This is who I am and who we are as a couple,’” Gruys says. “That’s a lot of pressure.”

When Gruys was planning her wedding, watching funny shows and movies with her fiancé helped: “It’s hard to simultaneously be laughing and stressed out,” she says—and it’s true.

“Laughing lights up the brain’s pleasure centers,” Ruan says, “and that quiets your amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for pumping out stress hormones.” The result: You stress less, which makes way for the calm, put-together bride you envision to shine through.

WW (formerly Weight Watchers) wants to make your wedding countdown the best it can be. To help you feel your best on the big day, WW is now offering a free 1-month membership for both you and your partner every step of the way. 

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