Wedding Stress: Pits and Tips

Wedding season is here, along with all its joys and stresses. Don't despair!

It’s two months before your wedding. The invitations are about to go out, and now at what you thought was the happiest time of your life, you’re anxious and upset. You and your fiancé are deeply in love, but your family and friends don’t seem to share in your excitement now about your upcoming wedding. Your fiancé is supportive but not very involved. The matron of honor and best man are out of communication. You feel lonely and discouraged and like you’re doing this wedding all alone. 

Don’t despair, however. It’s all part of the process of an exceedingly emotional and stressful time in your life. You probably have high expectations and fantasies of how it “should” all be now; unfortunately, the reality rarely matches those fantasies. 

So here’s what might be going on:

  • You might be grieving about the loss of your freedom and your old life. You might even be having second thoughts about the marriage, wondering whether you are doing the “right thing” marrying this person. There are a lot of changes going on now, and change of any kind contributes to stress. Research shows that positive as well as negative events contribute significantly to increased stress levels, with marriage being one of the top 10 highest stress inducers.  (Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, 1967).
  • You probably think everyone should be as excited as you are about your wedding.  Maybe some of them are, but they don’t live with it every moment like you do.  And some of your friends and family members may be fearful of losing you to your new relationship. Others, like your single friends or siblings, may be jealous of the attention on you and the loss of your attention to them.
  • As the wedding gets closer, you might be feeling more time pressure. What seems like a short time for you (just a few months, perhaps), may seem like a long time off for everyone else.

Here are 5 tips that you might consider for dealing with all this and make preparing for your wedding more fun:

1.  Ask your partner to take some time to hear your feelings. Spend a few minutes sharing your thoughts with each other.

2. Make small requests of your partner and others.  Rather than complain about what they are doing or not doing, ask them to do some little thing to help you out.  That will help you and others feel more included and connected to you.

3. Talk about other things besides your wedding when you are with your friends and family.  They may be getting bored or even resentful about hearing about it all the time.

4. Take a break. Carve out a day or two where you don’t work on the wedding at all.  Take some time for yourself, and create some quality time for your couple as well. You will come back refreshed and relieved.

5. Remember that love conquers all, and that you will most likely be happy however it all turns out.

Keep your chin up, and stay positive. Support each other in staying connected to your larger vision and goals for your couple. Reach out to your family and friends for some coaching and reality testing. If that doesn’t work, you might go together to get some professional help from a qualified couples therapist

If this speaks to you, please contact us for consultation.  We will have been married 40 years this coming January, and our couple has been through it all!  As clinical psychologists, we have seen many couples go through pre-marital and wedding stress with very positive outcomes.  Some of them are described in our most recent book Lifelong Love.  See our website for contact information.  Let us know how we can be of help, and Happy Wedding!