Getting married can be a considerable source of anxiety and upset. While the idea of being married to your partner might seem like the best thing in the world - getting to that point might feel like an uphill struggle. But it doesn't have to be that way. There are some steps you can take to plan your wedding mindful of your needs, conscious of the choices you are making and with the freedom to put the process down when needed.
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1. If you are already practising mindfulness, you'll likely be very comfortable with reading your emotions and can feel when something isn't quite right. If you aren't yet working with mindfulness, this is an ideal opportunity to build it into your daily life. Try and focus on some slow and steady breathing every morning, and start paying attention to how you feel. Try and use that gentle breathing to relax your mind a little, and set some intentions for the day. Even if it is one thing you hope to get done, try and choose something that will benefit you.
2. Don't ever be afraid to change your intention. If you have in the morning set the plan to call and get quotes for your event space, but feel that it will be too much, pick something smaller than might be more manageable for you.
3. Say 'No'. There might be people around you with expectations of invitations, certain foods or traditions. Where possible, have your partner fend off much of pressures that you might face. While it might be challenging for you to say no in person, you don't have to plan anything for the wedding that you aren’t comfortable with.
4. Give yourself space between tackling each thing you want to get done. If you have a set a wedding date a year or more into the future, this will help you address overwhelm little by little.
5. Anxiety and panic may happen. That is more than okay. Nerves have been known to get to the calmest of people on the big day and in the run-up. Don't beat yourself up if you find yourself having attacks or feeling unable to do it. Step back, recoup, regroup, give yourself some time and some self-care.
6. Up your sessions. Many people who suffer from anxiety have a mentor or counsellor of sorts; If you do, it might be worth considering adding more meetings on - if you can. If you don't have anyone to talk to, it might be worth a visit to the GP to get something in place to help. Weddings tend to be pretty high-stress occasions, so getting extra support is wise.
7. If you feel that you just can't deal with the whole wedding planning thing, then consider getting married abroad. That way the only thing you're planning is a lovely holiday with your partner and perhaps two of your closest friends as witnesses. Check that you are abiding the laws of the country you hope to wed in, and a little escape might be perfect.
8. Learn to make the best lists. Make lists for everything that you need to take care of, by doing this you will be able to have a visual prompt for things that will need taking care of, things that you have already taken care of and every time you cross something else off you can indulge in the sense of accomplishment.
9. Pick yourself up a little stationery shaped treat. Wedding planners and wedding planning books are really lovely ways to keep yourself on track. If you are listed out and want something smaller and more manageable, with a lot of guidance, then that is ideal for you. Take the stress out of invites too, check out Paper Themes wedding invites.
10. There is nothing wrong with having a long engagement if you need the time and are happy to do that. Contrary to what people might say.
11. Say 'Yes'. There might be friends and family around you that can help you with meeting venues, calling companies for quotes or help you through times when your anxiety has been triggered. Learn to accept the offers when people give them, and make use of them for as long as you need to. Think of them as your wedding team.
12. Try not to get too fixated on glittery centrepieces, huge dress, live quartet if that isn't what you want. It is easy to look at other weddings online and feel a sense of inadequacy. The thing is though; your wedding is about you. If you like BBQ and want a blue dress, then you should do it. Comparison is the thief of joy - try and remember that!
13. Keep the lines of communication open between you and your partner. It is easy to get lost in your head, and while it can be difficult to talk, try and keep them up to date on how you are doing.
14. Something you do that is special is worry about the fact you are worrying. In the run-up to the big day, you might think you have cold feet or maybe that you're making the wrong decisions. People are quick to say 'if you feel like that now, then don't do it', but in this case, it's not the person or the wedding. Just the overwhelm. Try to put any negative comments to one side.
15. You are going to love your wedding day, and all the days that were too much, or felt difficult will all be somehow worth it. You and your partner now get to relax and enjoy marriage. Remember the breathing that you started working on at the very start of the planning stage? The lead up to the wedding and on the day itself, take a few minutes out. Have a hot lavender bath, light some incense, focus on all the positive things you've done to get to this point. You can use those deep breaths to get your down the aisle and into those safe hands.