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Engaged couple stressed about wedding planning

How To Cope With Wedding Planning Stress

Written By Fox Hollow | 02/14/20 | 5 min read

There's no avoiding the inevitable: Planning a wedding will stress you out. The road to your wedding day is paved in sleepless nights and worry-riddled days where it can seem as though your wedding day vision is a monumental impossibility. 

According to online wedding registry, planner and retailer Zola, 96 percent of engaged and newlywed couples they surveyed found the entire wedding planning process incredibly stressful. That leaves a measly 4 percent who were likely lying because their mother-in-law was standing next to them. 

Drilling down further into that survey: 47 percent of couples contemplated canceling their formal affair in favor of eloping; 71 percent said planning a wedding was more stressful than other major life events; and 86 percent said they suffered stress-induced maladies, such as skin breakouts, hair loss, insomnia, and headaches. 

Why Is Wedding Planning So Stressful?

Wedding-planning stress with no end can have multiple causes, such as concerns over money, family tension, or something out of your control, like the weather. No matter if the cause is something specific or more of an accumulation of multiple factors, it’s important to remember that your wedding day stress is indeed real, and your feelings are valid!

It’s a huge commitment: First of all, making the decision to spend the rest of your life with one person is a significant step that shouldn't be taken lightly. Secondly, the amount of time, money, and energy that most couples put into wedding planning is a big commitment on its own. Many decisions await your attention: Plan a wedding budget, find a dress, book a venue, choose a menu, find a DJ, plan a first dance, select a wedding party, find the right bridesmaid dresses, make a guest list, decide who to cut from the guest list, consider blocking hotel rooms, write your vows, choose floral arrangements, etc. And each one of those steps—and the seemingly countless other ones—can all be broken down into subtasks that all require their own level of attention. Truth be told, there’s so much to plan and execute that even as you’re checking to-do’s off of your list, it’s hard to feel like you’re making any progress at all. 

It’s incredibly expensive: Whether your big day takes place at a grand wedding venue, an intimate backyard setting or in front of the justice of the peace, there are a litany of costs involved in putting together any style of nuptials. Sticker shock is something you’re going to feel multiple times during the wedding-planning process—and this is a huge factor in where wedding stress originates. But even after that initial sticker shock dissipates and you’ve finalized the major components of your wedding, you’ll still likely grapple with stress that’s borne from the budgeting process and the sheer accumulation of money spent. A good way to combat this stress is to create a detailed wedding budget and stick to it. Avoid making purchases that you know are well beyond your means and also be upfront with your vendors regarding any monetary limits you’re placing on your big day. And always remember: An expensive wedding doesn’t necessarily make for a memorable wedding. 

It can strain your relationship: Even the healthiest of relationships aren’t immune to roundhouse kicks of stress during the wedding-planning process. Emotions run high in the lead up to the wedding, and the seemingly endless array of decisions and financial implications can all do a number on efforts to keep the lines of communication between you and your partner as peaceful as possible. Some arguments begin because one individual might feel as though their partner isn’t doing enough to contribute to the planning or that their emotional needs aren’t being met. The rolling stress and delicate situations cause some couples to lament that “things were better before we got engaged.” During these trying times, it’s important to keep things in perspective. All this planning is in service of what will be an amazing day—and guess what, when it’s all said and done, you and your partner will feel the greatest sense of peace and relief you’ve ever experienced. 

It involves many family and friends: Anytime a person’s worlds collide, it can be a breeding ground for stress. Your big day will feature family and friends from both sides of the wedding aisle. Bringing these two sides of your new family together can be extremely stressful, especially if the two groups couldn’t be more different. Then there’s mixing friends in with family, while also including relatives or old friends you haven’t seen in a long time. Long story, short: The guest list is wrought with potential stressors. Be sure to be open and honest about your guest list-related stress with your partner, or even with that particular family member that’s causing you anxiety. On the actual day of your wedding, there’s not much you can do to ensure everyone gets along. In fact, at that point, it’s no longer your problem. You are there to enjoy the day and get married—let your best man or bridesmaid police the crowd.

Stress-Free Wedding Planning

No matter how much stress you’re feeling, remember it will all be worth it in the end—unfortunately, knowing that it will be OK eventually doesn’t quite help how you're feeling right now. And, in truth, there’s likely no such thing as “stress-free wedding planning,” but we can certainly recommend a few tips to de-stress and make your wedding-planning stress a tad more manageable. 

Take A Break And Disconnect: Social media, and being “plugged in” in general can be stressful when you’re not planning a wedding. Try to disconnect, even for only a short time every day. This includes all social media, but also Internet-connected electronics in general. Close your laptop and read a book; leave your phone at home and go for a walk—anything to give your eyes and brain a break from the onslaught of wedding stimulation and general screen time. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Say No: Wedding planning has a tendency to take up all or most of your free time. In fact, you have no free time when you’re planning your special day. This gets to be especially problematic when you realize that everyone wants to hang out with you and talk about your wedding while you’re planning. Your friends and family that want your time, they mean well, but you should absolutely not feel obligated to go everywhere and see everyone. Remember, you’ll get to hang out with them on your actual wedding day!

Spread Responsibilities Around: One of the most constructive actions you can take while wedding planning is to simply ask for help when you need it. There comes a time for everyone during wedding planning when stress goes out of control and you need to step back, take a deep breath, and ask one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen to handle a task or two. Perhaps your maid of honor can craft your wedding favors or your seating chart—whatever helps you focus on the big-picture stuff!

Have A Drink: If you fancy a drink or two to relax, now is your time to shine. Responsibly enjoying a couple glasses of wine can help you decompress and turn off your brain for at least a little while. Blow off a little steam and get yourself ready to get married!