Wedding Stress Got You Down? Here’s What’s Really Bothering You and How to Deal With It

Illustration by Nick Massarelli.

Illustration by Nick Massarelli.

If you’re finding that planning this soiree isn’t giggles and daydreams all the time, we hear you. Follow this advice from local social worker, therapist and minister Jennifer Hendler to decode wedding-related stress and anxiety—and then squash it.

WHAT’S HAPPENING: You just spent four hours at the stationer’s trying to decide between two nearly identical designs for your save-the-dates, and you’re starting to think you’re losing it.

  • What’s Really Going On: You’re putting too much emphasis on this wedding as a presentation, and worrying about what others will think of you. You’re trying to create perfection.
  • What You Can Do: Take five minutes and really connect with what’s most important about the day, and write it down. Come back to that every time you feel over- whelmed.

WHAT’S HAPPENING: You’re fighting with your mother over everything, from the blooms in the centerpieces to whether or not your second cousin once removed is going to be a bridesmaid.

  • What’s Really Going On: Marriage means a separation from your family, which results in a sense of loss. This change in roles when it comes to individual relationships with family members can create stress.
  • What You Can Do: Be aware that this is all exciting, but also scary—and talk to your family about it so feelings are out in the open. Your marriage means big changes for your parents, too.

WHAT’S HAPPENING: You find yourself feeling annoyed with your fiancé and bickering with him more than usual, which now and then (usually in the middle of the night) makes you wonder what you’re getting into.

  • What’s Really Going On: You’re having a mixture of feelings related to the change in your identity from a single, independent woman to a wife. This can make you panic every now and then and want to assert your sense of self.
  • What You Can Do: Have lots of conversations about how your lives will change, and be honest about what’s hard about this commitment. Address any conflicts head-on.

WHAT’S HAPPENING: You don’t find wedding planning all that much fun despite having always dreamed of the day.

  • What’s Really Going On: Weddings aren’t just about flowers and cake—they’re about an enormous life transition that brings with it feelings of loss, fear and uncertainty, along with the happiness.
  • What You Can Do: Attend to these feelings without judging yourself; they’re perfectly normal to have.If you attend to them, they’ll move on through. If you push them down, they’ll always come back.

WHAT’S HAPPENING: Your friends don’t always answer your texts and emails about your wedding, and you often find yourself wondering why.

  • What’s Really Going On: While you may be consumed with your life transition, they still have their own lives and issues going on. They could also just be reacting to inevitable impending changes in your friendship.
  • What You Can Do: Consider both yourself and your friends: Are you asking too much of them? Do they need you right now, too? Make sure you have a number of sup- ports during this intense time, so you’re never expecting too much from any one person.

This article originally appeared in the spring/summer 2015 issue of Philadelphia Wedding.

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