By now, I’m sure you’ll have noticed there’s a (damaging) stigma attached to wedding planning that suggests it will be the best time of your life, and that everyone who goes through it is just having a totally AWESOME time with their AWESOME friends doing AWESOME things (yes, you were supposed to read that in a Janis Ian voice. Top marks.) We’re here to tell you that a) they’re probably lying, and have cried into their binder at least once, b) wedding planning is stressful and c) your jumbled-up tummy-wobbling feelings about it are totally valid.
Ironically, what makes wedding planning such an exciting time is also what can make it such a terrifying time. The chances are you won’t have planned anything like this before – and even if you have, it most likely wasn’t for yourself, so there were different levels of emotional attachment to it – so it’s a totally unique experience with totally unique flashpoints. In short, there’s a lot of new territory, a lot of expectations, and a lot of pressure that can create the perfect breeding conditions for wedding anxiety to reign supreme.
If you’re feeling wedding anxiety whilst you’re in the planning stages, our advice on how to deal with it is not “Get over it” – in fact, today’s Number 1 Top Tip is to hit anyone who tells you to just ‘get over it’. No, of course don’t be physically violent – but do feel justified in politely explaining to people why that’s not a helpful solution and you’d appreciate it if they didn’t tell you again. Or, get them to read the top two paragraphs – now, rinse and repeat. Let’s get into it, shall we?
On having an alternative wedding day
If you’re having a quirky wedding day, you may be really worried about what people will think – especially if you have a more vanilla family. To make peace with this, firstly think about why you’re doing your wedding plans the way that you are. If it’s the way you want to do it and you can’t imagine doing it any other way, then that’s good enough reason! Explaining this to family members ahead of the day may also help alleviate any anxiety you’re feeling – you don’t owe them anything, but giving them the time to process the fact that you won’t be wearing white or getting married in a church will give you the confidence that you’re all on the same page and there’ll be no snide remarks on the day.
On being the centre of attention
If you don’t naturally gravitate towards the centre of a room and generally feel awkward when you can feel eyes on you, the prospect of the ceremony might be filling you with dread. The first thing to do is to make sure you let the ceremony leader know, whether it’s a celebrant, friend, family member or member of the clergy. Part of their job as the ceremony leader is to ensure you’re both feeling comfortable and relaxed enough to do it! Furthermore, think about ways of easing the pressure off for you – if you’re not a fan of public speaking, keep your vows short and sweet. If you think you’re going to be overcome by emotion at seeing your fiance(e) there for the first time and don’t want everyone else to be staring at you whilst you bawl, consider a first look. But also, remember that everyone is there to celebrate and support you – no-one is watching thinking anything other than you’re ruddy marvellous.
On making the right choices
Hey, decision fatigue is a real thing – and it especially rears its head during wedding planning, where you have to make decisions left right and centre. With so much pressure riding on the outcome, they can seem like they’re life changing decisions – but most of the time, you have to take a step back and remember that they’re not. Make sure you’re approaching decisions as a team – meaning you need to come together to agree, but also meaning if your partner isn’t that bothered about the planning, getting them involved anyway. You shouldn’t have to be dealing with all of this on your own – you’re a unit now, it’s what you do!
On your appearance
Worries about your appearance in the run up to your day can be all-consuming – it’s worthy of a blog post in itself, but we couldn’t go without mentioning it here. It is imperative to not put any pressure on yourself appearance-wise, as there’s no quicker way to being a nervous, broken wreck on your big day. Focus on being your happiest, most confident (even if you’re wrecked with nerves – the two can go together!) self, and just keep coming back to the hard scientific fact that your partner is marrying you because they love what you look like NOW and hungover on a Sunday morning, not because they anticipated you shedding for the dreaded wedding. Whether it’s daily affirmations, changing the people you follow on social media or reframing your relationship with food that will get you to this goal, prioritise yourself and make this happen.
On whether the day will go according to plan
You know what they say – it’ll be alright on the night. That’s true of weddings too! Be realistic with your expectations from the start, and they’re much less likely to be disappointed. But also, face the fear and put contingency plans in place for when things do go awry. Nominate members of your wedding party to make the big decisions when you don’t want to be bothered on the day, and prepare the nominees in advance with your preferred contingency plans. On the day itself – it’s easier said than done, but don’t worry. We say this with years of experience, but the minutiae that may go wrong on the day tend to slip by unnoticed. Right now, it may seem a million miles off that you’d not notice something going wrong, but we routinely hear about couples forgetting to cut their cake and not even remembering til they’re hungover and snacky the next day.
Photo: Lisa Jane Photography
Styling: Mr & Mrs Unique
Hair: Jo at LoveHair
Headband: Verbena Madrid
Earrings: Regal Rose