How to Take Care of Yourself While Dealing with Wedding Stress

Take a second for your sanity.
Self care
Photo: Jessica Wood from Love Records Collective


People talk about wedding stress all the time, but when you start out there’s a little voice in your head whispering, “It won’t happen to me. What’s so stressful about cake-tasting and dress-picking and décor-crafting and love-celebrating?”


Oh, honey.


Everyone’s plate looks a little different, so it really depends what will make up the meat of your pre-wedding anxieties. Is it the pressure of planning an event for 200 people for the first time? Is it the fact that your family’s, uh, quirks will be exponentially more pronounced with everyone in the same room all at once? Is it the financial guilt that comes with spending the amount of a down payment on one night of your life? Is it the pressure from everyone even only partially involved on what your wedding should and must entail, from plated vs. buffet, to religious overtones, to dress code?


SEE ALSO: Over These Wedding Traditions? Ditch ’Em, We Say


Pump the brakes, babe. While staying totally Zen during the planning process is a tough ask for most brides, you can definitely cut down on the stress by staying centered and focused. Find out what you need to keep your mental and emotional health intact, and stick with that. Here are some general tips to get you started.


Set your priorities and practice the art of gracefully ignoring.

Tthe age-old mantra is on-point here: You can’t please everyone. When Aunt Eleanor insists on a full Catholic ceremony but you’ve got your heart set on an outdoors, nontabernacle affair in the woods, well … something’s got to give. Assess the consequences of each choice, make your decision and gracefully ignore Auntie El’s continued speeches to the contrary. That means polite-as-can-be nods, no acquiescence, knowing when to excuse yourself from the conversation, no voice-raising, and trying to be as loving and understanding of her opinion as (humanly) possible.


Keep your mind on the big picture.

You’re getting married to the love of your life! It’s surprisingly easy to forget that when you’re trying to wrest signed contracts back from your vendors or sobbing about the costs of bistro lighting. Girl, you’re in love—that’s all that really matters. The rest is just a delicious, fun, beautiful, lovely cherry on top. Enjoy the enjoyable bits and let the less-than-enjoyable bits slide.


Know your people.

There will be peeps amazingly supportive and nonjudgmental about this color choice or that dress style, and peeps who won’t be. And it’s not always who you’d expect. Locate your support group, let them know what you need from them and go to them when things are getting overwhelming. People love you and want to help.


Take some “me” time.

That means both mentally and physically. Make sure you take breaks from wedding planning and do things that are good for your soul. Being in nature and meditation, for example, are shown to be hugely beneficial. Hike, try a yoga class, read or do more weeknight cooking—then stick to your plan. The key is to unplug from planning every now and then, and give yourself space to breathe.


Focus on a few stars.

Things will go wrong. It’s sad but true, so pining for perfection is setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, put extra effort and resources into a couple of elements and do your best to make those the best they can be, like an awesome dessert table, cool music selection or gorgeous centerpieces. When kinks start to happen, take a moment to ogle your work in these special areas, ignore the spilled milk and give yourself a little pat on the back.