You don’t normally associate the topics of getting married and mental health, but it’s Queensland Mental Health Week and planning a wedding can be a huge stressor for many couples. If you’re beginning to feel the strain, it’s important to take a step back and think about your mental wellbeing as you plan your future life together. While that one milestone day is important to celebrate your love and commitment to each other, it is essential to minimise stress and anxiety before the big day.
Here are the top five tips we recommend to reduce stress on your wedding day:
Ask for support
This is a special day that you will remember forever, however, you’re not the only ones who are going to be enjoying a wonderful day – your family and friends are as much a part of the day as you and your partner so don’t take on all the work yourselves. Ask for help and support where you can. If you have one of those awkward family dynamic situations that doesn’t work well together then plan for this early – don’t leave it to the last minute. You know everyone’s personalities, so choose carefully who you rely on and make sure your requests for assistance are reasonable too. You can’t expect everyone to be quite as committed as you are either, so give people realistic deadlines and be appreciative of the small things.
Do as much as you can before the big day and if your budget allows, use professionals. If your budget is more modest then ask your family and friends to help set up on the day and pick someone completely trustworthy to act as coordinator on the day. You don’t want to be worrying about the chair covers or floral centrepieces before you walk down the aisle.
Make sure you get your wedding dress with enough time to make any last-minute changes if required and make sure that at your final fitting you try the dress on with the underwear you plan to wear. Some things, like the cake and the flowers, have to be collected at the last minute, but most items you need can be collected days or weeks in advance and the more things you tick off the list early the better. If items need to be moved around on the day, or positioned at specific places make sure you have detailed someone you trust implicitly to make sure it happens, maybe even do a dry-run in the days or weeks before to practice.
Communicate your priorities
You can’t please everyone, as much as you might want to. From the very start of the planning stage it is good to understand your own expectations, along with the expectations of other people who play a key role in your lives and will be essential to your wedding day. Avoiding discussions about big items, such as the budget, can create significant problems as you approach your wedding day. So be clear in your priorities and plan around the key components and people, being upfront and honest is usually the best policy, with family, friends and vendors.
Trust in the professionals
If your budget has allowed for a team of professionals, utilise their skills and services to the fullest extent. Set clear expectations and ask questions early in the planning stages. It can be very hard to alter plans once the day is in progress, and even harder if the plans were ambiguous to begin with. So be kind to your vendors, meet with them, fill in their forms and ask questions. They want to make your day magical, but they need you to help them do that. Trust their skills and experience, and be in the moment on your day, not counting seats, or worrying about how bright the lights are.
Let it go
Sometimes things don’t go to plan, but how you react to unplanned events can be the difference between a good celebration and a bad one. We have attended so many weddings where the bride or groom gets upset about something that the guests haven’t noticed. All the guests see is a bride or groom who doesn’t look like this is the happiest day of their lives. This isn’t the lasting impression you want to give to you friends and family. In contrast we have attended weddings where so many things have gone wrong – massive storms, people running late, bouquets falling apart, ripped bridesmaid dresses in inappropriate places to name but a few – yet they have been some of the best celebrations we’ve seen because the couple took things in their stride and just made the most of the day.
So, take stock. What is really important to you about your big day? That is your priority in the planning and on the actual day.
If things get on top you, it might be time to talk to someone. Maybe your partner, your BFF, your mum, or your mother-in-law. Whoever you feel most comfortable with to raise your concerns. You’ve heard the old saying about a problem shared. It really does work. A different perspective might be the calming conversation you need.
And if you don’t think that’s going to work, for someone completely independent and unbiased to talk to about a personal crisis you can contact Lifeline