June 13, 2018
Guest blogger: Janet Birkey
Wedding stress. There really are few things more stressful than planning a wedding. Some of the stress is over things that matter a lot to you and your partner, but much of it is over things that don’t change the goal of your wedding, which is to marry the one you love. And, most of us find that we tend to cope well with the bigger things, but the little things can be our undoing. Thankfully, those things can often be fixed fairly simply with some attention, compassion, and open communication.
You have most likely experienced more than your fair share of big and little stressors in planning your wedding, so here are a few ways you can combat wedding planning stress. After all, you want to look back on this time with joy instead of trying to forget a nightmare.
Take time to make time.
You undoubtedly have increased commitments during your engagement period because, well, there are a million details that need to be decided this very minute. Right? If you are not careful, your intended will begin to feel left out and that it really is all about the wedding and not the marriage. Bottom line, you must maintain contact with the one who asked you to stand before an audience and say “I do.”
Keep track of your budget.
No one wants to start their marriage broke, but the more money you spend that you don’t have, the more worry you bring into your marriage. And while the engagement often doesn’t last very long, the marriage and credit card bills do. Find ways to plan a wedding on a budget and one that you can enjoy.
When people offer to help, most of them really do want to help you. Accept it graciously. On the flip side of that, also accept help from people you are sure will come through for you and respect your wishes.
You can’t always avoid it.
Understand that no matter how well prepared you are you are going to be stressed. When this happens, just think, “Yep, here it is. Every couple getting married experiences stress. I can do this” And you can.
You might not be able to afford everything you really want for your wedding (really, who can though?) It is so very true that comparison is the thief of joy. Comparing never gets you what you want. It just brings jealousy.
Consider working with a coach as you plan.
A coach can help you figure out what you want and how to get there..and how to deal with others who may not share your vision. Good premarital coaching that uses a research-based assessment can help you alleviate some stress of un-met expectations and address areas you may not have considered.
Think on it.
Picture yourself on your 50th anniversary. You have a few more fine lines and maybe a deep wrinkle or two because let’s face it: a lot of life happens in 50 years. But, you are there and smiling with your spouse. You are smiling because you know the history the two of you have created, endured, laughed and wept through. Someone asks about your wedding so you tell them bits of the planning stage and the ceremony. What do you tell them? What is important to you when you tell that story? Most likely you want to share the love and laughter that surrounded the celebratory event. That is what you are after, sweet bride. You are after the feeling, not the details that people forget one week after it’s all over. Go make that feeling happen and forget the rest.
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Dr. Janet Birkey, LPCC is a licensed professional clinical counselor in New Mexico and Texas. She is also a coach who can work virtually with couples to get premarital coaching. To find out more about Janet’s approach, visit her at https://birkeycounselingandcoaching.com.