Editor’s Note: May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Nothing challenges your mental health more than planning a wedding. Here, one bride-to-be offers her tips for sanity.
By Lisa Gavitt
Getting engaged to someone you love is one of life’s sweetest moments. Friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers congratulate you and are delighted to share in your joy. When that day came for me a year ago, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Nonetheless, I don’t think we had been engaged even 24 hours before the first person asked, “Have you set a date?”, and the planning began. While I was on cloud nine and got butterflies every time I looked down at my left hand, I knew I had my work cut out for me. It is no secret that planning a wedding creates added stress for the bride-to-be, but it doesn’t have to be all sweat and tears. Here are seven tips I have found helpful in managing stress while wedding planning:
Buy a new notebook that is solely dedicated to your wedding plans and have it on hand from Day 1 through the wedding day. This will be your place to write down ideas, advice, research, to-do lists, reminders, etc. With so many decisions to make about venues, caterers, flowers, and invitations, it is easy to forget or misplace information, so let this notebook be your memory. Write it all down. You will thank yourself later.
Take Advantage of Technology
Planning a wedding in 2019 comes with endless online resources to support you in your creative process. Some of my favorites are: Pinterest and Instagram to help spark ideas and make them your own, The Knot to manage your guest list and free wedding website, and Zola to manage your free online wedding gift registry. All of these apps are right at your fingertips to keep you on top of your wedding plans wherever you are.
Exercise has been my saving grace when tensions are high. It is the quickest way for me to change my internal climate when I have had a stressful day. Working out is my time to forget about wedding plans, put down my phone, work out with a friend, and listen to my favorite music.
As meditation has grown in popularity, it is something I have wanted to do but could never find the time for. A few months ago, I finally decided to commit myself to 10 minutes a day of sitting quietly and listening to my breath. Some days, these 10 minutes are simply used as 10 minutes I am not working on the wedding. Other days, I am able to really relax, ground myself, and feel the benefits of meditation such as a clearer mind and a calmer spirit.
Although you will want to, you can’t possibly control every detail. I started out with a vision of exactly how I wanted things to look, from the flowers all the way down to what chairs people would be sitting in. However, I soon discovered the harder I clung on to that vision, the more frustrated I would become. Because the sad truth is, you can’t always get what you want. Finding out that the wooden benches I loved so much would cost twice as much as chairs or that sunflowers aren’t in bloom anywhere near our venue were tough pills to swallow. After some self-reflection and realization, I discovered that I will actually be OKAY if everything isn’t exactly how I had imagined. Letting go of that has brought me peace and helped avoid a serious case of “bridezilla.”
Let people help you. Your to-do list will feel never-ending if you try to do it all on your own. Pick a few tasks that you feel comfortable releasing the reins on, and you will be surprised at how eager people are to help. Your friends and family get a sense of ownership in your special day while you are lessening your load. It’s a win for everyone!
Put Things in Perspective
Of course, a wedding is much more than flowers and wooden benches. It is a celebration of the love, commitment, and friendship of two people who are in it forever. While the wedding day is one that we will remember forever, it is only the start to the next exciting chapter of our lives. Remembering how lucky I am that I found someone to share my life with always brings me back to what really matters.
- Lisa Gavitt is the development coordinator for Hillsides’ Advancement Department. She graduated with a major in communications from California State University, Fullerton and studied abroad for one semester in Sydney, Australia. She has worked with children as a nanny, a tutor, and an English teacher in Vietnam, but always dreamed of becoming an event coordinator. Her wedding is coming up in June.