Planning a wedding has a lot of ups and downs. It can be equal parts thrilling and stressful. Even if you do not consider yourself or your future spouse to be a “bridezilla,” the anxiety surrounding wedding planning can be universally intimidating.
The most important part of planning a wedding, however, is that you actually enjoy it. Of course, not every step of the way will be easy or fun.
But the entire purpose of a wedding is to celebrate the love of two people. It is a positive event, so you should try your best to make the entire experience positive, not just the day of the ceremony itself!
Even with deliberate effort and careful planning, preparing for a major life event can take a toll on anyone’s mental health. High levels of stress, doubts or worries about the future, familial conflict, and more can lead to mental health concerns like anxiety and depression, among others.
If you notice your mental health being impacted while planning your wedding, seeking out professional care is a great idea. Professionals like those at MyTherapist can not only help you through this challenging time, but also help you continuously adjust and change, just as your relationship might.
Tips for Prioritizing Mental Health
Being mindful of your mental health as you plan your wedding can help you avoid unnecessarily stressful situations; it can also give you a better idea of what sorts of warning signs to look for that might indicate professional treatment is necessary.
Here are some ideas to help you take care of your mental health and keep an eye on any changes that might pop up throughout the planning process:
- Collaboration. Don’t be afraid to lean on your partner and your friends when you feel like you need to. You do not have to plan a wedding by yourself. Taking on too many responsibilities is an almost surefire way to increase your stress levels. Of course, trusting others to plan your wedding the way you want might seem scary, but sacrificing some element of control (even if it’s only something small) can go a long way. When you are able to free up your mind and better balance your wedding-related responsibilities, you can likely find the peace and clarity needed to get it done right.
- Don’t rush. If your period of engagement is short, you might notice yourself trying to plan a wedding in an unrealistically small period of time. If you do not have a great reason for pursuing a wedding ceremony quickly, talk to your partner about giving yourselves more time to plan. It might be disappointing at first or seem hard to wait, but if planning a nice and thoughtful wedding is your goal, you’ll almost definitely thank yourself later.
- Take breaks. Give yourself a chance to breathe while you are planning your wedding. Even if you spend one weekend not planning your wedding, you will give your mind a chance to rest and recuperate.
- Limit the size of your guest list If you are a people pleaser, you might find yourself wanting to invite everyone to your wedding. Don’t feel like you have to do so, though, unless you have the proper financial and moral support or it is an absolute necessity. This is your day; spend it with the people you want to be with!
- Keep a journal. Sometimes the best way to manage your thoughts and emotions is by writing them down. Even if you are not traditionally a “journaler,” you can do this simply by jotting down a few sentences or bullet points whenever you feel is necessary. Giving those anxious thoughts and emotions a place to live is a great way to get them out of your head – even temporarily.
- Talk with your partner. No matter how careful you are, it’s likely that things will come up while you are planning a wedding. Try to be as communicative as possible as you maneuver this experience. After all, a wedding is for more than just one individual – encourage your partner to be involved in the planning process and allow them to openly communicate their own ideas, too!
- Address pandemic anxiety. If your mental health is suffering due to concern surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone. Planning a wedding in the midst of a global health crisis and the realities that come with it – missing family members, limited location options, travel restrictions, consistently moving dates around, etc. – can be enough to make anyone feel anxious, depressed, or lost. Working with a mental health professional is a wonderful way to properly address these concerns and prevent them from continuing to drag you down in the future.
- Meditate. When in doubt, meditate. Spending even five minutes a day letting your thoughts come and go, observing them without judgment, is one of the best ways to give your brain a break. If you want a more extensive meditation practice, there are plenty of apps that can guide you through the experience!
Part of planning any wedding, it seems, is stress.
Unfortunately, high levels of stress and other conflicts that tend to accompany wedding planning – like family concerns, financial burdens, etc. – can evolve into legitimate mental illness or chronic mental health symptoms over time, especially if left untreated.
That’s why it’s so important to always be proactive about caring for your mental health, but especially when you know you’re going to be entering a stressful period of life.
Never hesitate to seek professional guidance if you feel like you need it; what may seem like short-term problems now can easily become long-term otherwise.