Ladies, I'm about to level with you for a minute.
I had a bridal breakdown.
Okay, it was a pretty minor event, in reality, but the stress of all this wedding planning really got to me the other day. I had just found my dress (yay, finally!) and my mother was in town to help me plan. It should have been a blissful weekend. But, unfortunately, life had other plans- as usual. In between an issue with my engagement ring and the photographer trying to reschedule our engagement photos less than a week before taking them (which took a lot of rearranging to schedule in the first place, mind you), I was burnt out.
Making decisions. Creating decor. Coordinating with my bridesmaids who all live in different states. Trying to get an answer from my future MIL about rehearsal dinner shenanigans. Finalizing invites. All while living in a state where I have zero friends or family and my fiance is working almost everyday (or, more accurately, night). It's a lot.
Don't get me wrong- I am really enjoying this whole wedding planning process. Truth be told, I love it! But a breakdown was definitely in my future. And to be honest, I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner.
Thankfully my Mom was here to catch my tears, along with my FI, who feels bad not being able to participate more. And after catching my breath and taking a step back, I'm right on track with my planning again. So I thought I'd share a couple of tips with you on how to make your wedding planning process a little less stressful- especially if you're in a situation similar to mine!
Beating Your Wedding woes
1). Don't go it alone.
Though many of you may not be able to relate to this because you probably live near some sort of support system, its important to keep in mind that you are not a lone wolf. You don't have to do this whole wedding planning adventure alone. Call your friends, bounce ideas off of them, meet them for coffee to catch up, have a major vent session (hey, you'd do the same for them). The people that truly care about you will be by your side and help you along the way any chance they can get. Just remember to try and not discuss wedding related topics every time you talk to them. Your friends and family do have lives outside of wedding planning, and so do you...
2). Remember your other life.
You know, the life outside of wedding planning? Yes, that life still exists. And it shouldn't be completely neglected during this time. I get it, wedding planning takes up a lot of time and energy (preaching to the choir, here). But making time for other activities not involving the wedding is vital in maintaining your sanity. What are your interests? Hobbies? Make sure you devote some time each week to enjoy yourself in a few things non-wedding. Unfortunately, that's kind of something I've skipped along the way. It's just so easy to immerse yourself into something completely- especially when you move to a new city and are lacking in the social scene! Thankfully, I've rectified that by doing a whole afternoon of painting this week. It was heaven!
3). Stay organized.
Remember that checklist printable I posted about here? Yep, that's still important. Being in control of your planning and completing tasks on or before schedule can only serve you well. Again, this is something I've had difficulty putting in to practice (as evidenced by the 'down to the wire' purchase of my dress, according to the bridal salons...even though I'm just under eight months out?). But, hey, in my opinion, if I'm going to be picky about anything it might as well be the dress!
4). Avoid DIY overkill.
This is definitely one of those times when I really need to take my own advice. I have a huge DIY obsession and I am the first one to dive head first into a DIY-ing frenzy (as I'm sure you've noticed if you follow me on Instagram). But over-committing to too many projects just means bad news in the long run. I, for one, don't want to end up disappointed in myself on the big day because I was too obsessed with doing it myself to delegate. If seeing all of my dream-details come to fruition on my wedding day means asking for a little bit of help, or hiring someone for certain things, then sign me up! So, though the allure to DIY your wedding might be tempting, try to resist the urge to over do it. Taking on too many tasks is the first step to being overwhelmed and over-stressed.
5). Take care of Y-O-U!
This piece of advice can be applied to any aspect of your life, not just wedding planning. But taking care of yourself is key in maintaining your stress levels and keeping you healthy. During this entire process, you should be eating healthy and exercising regularly (at least 4 times a week). For workouts, try incorporating both aerobic activities (walking, running, spinning) and anaerobic activities (weights, etc) a couple of times a week. For nutrition, add in some whole grains and colorful veggies to your diet, while keeping away from fried and processed foods. And drink lots of water! Hydration plays a huge role in weight loss, skin health, toxin removal, organ function- you name it, water does it. You also will find that clean eating and working out will not only help maintain your stress levels, but they'll help you to feel fabulous in your dress come wedding time. Bonus! But the most important ingredient to your health? Getting enough rest. Sleep is pretty much the holy grail of health. No matter how well you take care of your body in other ways, if you're not getting enough sleep, physiologically speaking, nothing else matters.
Plan of Action:
On top of the tips above, here are a few tricks and relaxation ideas that will help soothe your nerves and clear your mind. Repeat these as needed to get back your wedding planning bliss!
- Avoid excess caffeine, alcohol, and sugar intake.
- Meditate or do other relaxation exercises, like controlled breathing. [I like this Mayo Clinic article here.]
- Try out acupuncture. [Here are a some FAQ's from the NOLA Acupuncture and Wellness Center.]
- Dabble in some aromatherapy. [Hint: try chamomile, lavender, or jasmine for stress relief!]
- Indulge in a massage.
- Try herbal supplements, like chamomile tea or St. John's Wort.
- Make a 'wedding planning playlist' of laid back, soothing music to listen to. [Think nostalgia and calming...whatever gets you relaxed!]
- Give yoga a try. [Here is a starter program I like, for noobs like me or hit your nearest yoga studio!]
What type of stress relieving techniques do you use in your day-to-day life? What about wedding planning? Do the same techniques work for both?
I really enjoyed reading this post on A Practical Wedding. I think the author did a good job illustrating the things that we obsess over and their importance come the actual day (though I'm really just loving all of the little details and hate to skimp on them!).
If any other brides out there are feeling the pressure, tweet me and let me know how you're handling your wedding stress! #beatmyweddingstress
Share your thoughts in the comments section below, or shoot me an email!
-The Newly NOLA Bride