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Tips for Reducing Anxiety in Planning Your Wedding
Dr. Dale V. Atkins, March 2014

Planning a wedding can be a time filled with stress or joy, or more likely, both. Your are managing your own hopes, feelings, desires, family (yours and your partner's), friends, vendors, and everyone's solicited and unsolicited opinions. And likely, you are planning this wedding while you (and your fiance) are working. The whole experience can be stressful. The goal is to recognize the best ways to prevent, and when necessary, manage feeling overwhelmed.

Remember the engagement time is a time to get to know each other better. It is a time to have conversations about and explore topics such as: how you spend your free time together and apart, vacation preferences, incorporating friendships into your married life, your perspectives about managing time and obligations with in-laws and others, approaches to raising kids, religion and spirituality, celebrating holidays, and boundaries related to many aspects of your life such as work, family, privacy, finances (saving, spending, investing, charitable giving), among other matters. These conversations are about your life together.

There are couples who spend every moment of their engagement planning for the wedding; this is only one day of their life together! Keep things in perspective. Understand that everyone has an opinion -- some voiced louder than others. Issues of control and preference are heard loud and sometimes not so clearly. Family and friend connections that you may or may not be sensitive to come at you from all angles. Ceremony, Venue, Dresses, Food, Music, Flowers, Linens, Photos, Transportation, Guest List, Seating, on and on -- a person can get crazy, or not!

Try these tips:

Have a realistic and reasonable vision. - Decide what type of wedding you and your partner want and can have.

Take care of yourself daily. - Begin a practice of deep breathing, meditation, or quieting, as well as exercising, sleeping, and eating well.

Have time with your partner to NOT talk about the wedding. - HAVE FUN -- This includes other people in your life, too.

Take Responsibility. - Don't blame things on each other. Stand by your choices, even if they are not your "first choice" or preferences. Let go of the things you have conceded.

Stay Present. - This moment is where you are now. In a while, the wind will shift!

Be Flexible. - Things will be different from what you expect!

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