One of the most common things we hear from couples we work with while planning their weddings is “I’ve never done this before!” Wait, what? You mean you don’t plan a formal day-long event involving food, drinks, and entertainment for 100+ of your nearest and dearest every week? Of course your don’t. Unless you’re a professional event planner you’ve probably never planned an event on the scale of a wedding, let alone an event that is supposed live in your memory for the rest of your life! That’s a whoooooole lot of pressure. And that’s why it’s important to take steps to breathe and minimize your stress-level. Here is a list of our favorite ways to step back and de-stress before your wedding.
1) Write it all down.
Carrying around a to-do list in your head is incredibly stressful but the good news is, it’s very easily remedied! When you take the time to write down everything on your mental to-do list not only are you able to gain mental clarity about what you have to do, you actually remember it better. AND it will free up head space that can be used to think bigger or more creatively OR actually let you relax.
And while you’re in the writing mood…find some time to write a letter to your partner. Reminding yourself WHY you’re doing all this (ostensibly because you love your person very very much) can help you maintain a positive attitude about the whole process.
2) Stay hydrated.
This might seem unrelated but hear me out. Water flushes out stress hormones and helps your brain and body perform at their best. Additionally, it’s amazing for your skin so staying hydrated will also help to keep any stress about unwanted zits on the big day at bay.
In the early planning phases it can be tempting to try to do everything yourself, whether it’s to save money or to put your own stamp on every aspect of the day. But there is something to be said for outsourcing. This is a reminder to keep everything in balance, from your budget to your time and stress-level, and then delegate accordingly. Maybe you want to make all the favors yourself but then you hire a professional catering service to handle all the food, service, and place-settings. Perhaps you do a DIY photo booth but you spend a little extra on a photographer you trust implicitly. Find the balance that works for you.
Also, here’s another secret: your friends WANT to help. But they need direction. See tip #1 and write everything down and then come up with SPECIFIC jobs that you can entrust to your pals to make the day go smoothly and to take some of the pressure off yourself.
4) Get Intimate.
Yes, in that way. One of the best endorphin-releasers and stress-relievers there is 😉
5) Read a book.
Or go out with friends or see a movie. The idea is to take your mind off the wedding for a little while. We’re big fans of reading a few pages of a good book right before bed as a way to de-stress for a couple reasons. First of all, a juicy novel can be just the kind of total brain immersion into another world you need to fully take your mind off of wedding planning. And secondly, reading a book (one with real paper pages) before bed instead of looking at your phone or watching TV in the bedroom means you’re not exposing yourself to blue light which can interfere with sleep. And sleep is DEFINITELY something you need to help eliminate stress and help you look your freshest before your wedding.
6) Pamper yourself a little.
Whether it’s lighting scented candles at home, taking a long bath, or getting a massage, taking time for yourself and practicing mindfulness in the present moment can be soothing and re-energizing. It can be difficult to remember to do these things when you’re caught up with work and life on top of wedding planning but make sure to carve out a little time for yourself.
7) Go ahead and have a good cry.
I don’t know about you but I always feel a lot better after I’ve had a good cry. Bottling up emotional stress is not healthy or comfortable, so go ahead and let it out. Need a little help getting the tears flowing? Try telling your partner out loud what’s bothering you or weighing on you…for me saying the thing that’s bothering me can be a sure-fire way to turn on the water works. If that fails, my go-to cry movie is Playing By Heart. Feel free to borrow it if you don’t have one of your own. Ellen Burstyn and Jay Mohr’s storyline will have you in tears within the first 15 minutes.
8) Put it into perspective and practice gratitude daily.
Wedding planning can be overwhelming but keep in mind that no matter how this one day goes, at the end of it you will be married and starting your life together. Gratitude for all you have has amazing power to transform your perspective and make you feel happier. Remembering all the really basic ways you are lucky is a great place to start. If you’re planning (and spending money on) a wedding we can assume that 1) you’ve found the love of your life (hooray!) 2) you have a home and enough to eat. Those things are amazing gifts to be grateful for! Try to count your blessings each night before you go to sleep and reap all the benefits that gratitude brings to your life.
Photos for this feature by The Lemons Photography, Macy Ryan Photo, Infinite Memories Photography, Sea Shack Photo and Films, Nick + Lauren Photography, Winship Photography, Shelby Dunnam, Alice’s Art Gallery, SB vision Photography, and Harmony Lynn Photography.