How to Manage Wedding Stress

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Getting married is exciting, but it can also be incredibly stressful. Wedding planning involves a lot of time, energy, and money. Additionally, the sheer number of decisions you have to make can be overwhelming.

The pressure of wanting everything to be perfect doesn’t help. Add everyone’s opinions and expectations to the mix and it can feel like a nerve-wracking exercise. 

This article explores some of the common causes of wedding stress, the symptoms you may experience, and some coping strategies that may be helpful.

Causes of Wedding Stress

These are some of the aspects of wedding planning that can be stressful:

  • Creating the guest list: Deciding who to invite, and more importantly, who not to invite can be difficult. Depending on your budget and the venue, you may not be able to accommodate everyone you would have liked to have at your wedding, which can be painful.
  • Finding the venue: Finding the perfect venue that can accommodate all your requirements and is available on your chosen date can be tricky.
  • Sending out wedding invites: Once you’ve decided on your invitees, you need to send them wedding invites in a timely fashion, which can be stressful.
  • Coordinating with vendors: From the cake and flowers to the planners and photographers, wedding planning involves working with multiple different vendors. To begin with, you have to find the ones that you want to work with and that are within your budget. Then, communicating what you want, coordinating with all the different companies, and trusting them to execute your vision can be additionally stressful.
  • Following up for RSVPs: While some people are prompt to respond, you may find yourself following up repeatedly with others in order to get a final headcount and create a seating chart.
  • Managing the budget: Weddings are expensive affairs and you might find that certain things you had your heart set on are beyond your budget, which can be disappointing.
  • Creating your look: Part of the wedding planning process also involves creating your look, which can be both fun and stressful. The thought of being the center of attention and the pressure to look perfect can be overwhelming. From your clothes and shoes to your accessories and hairstyle, there are a lot of decisions to be made.
  • Getting fit: Knowing that all eyes are going to be on you can cause you to feel self-conscious and make you want to be in your best shape for your wedding day. However, pursuing unhealthy diets and other viral skincare and haircare trends can be risky. Crash dieting is not safe and can lead to long-term health effects.
  • Deciding the seating chart: Trying to figure out who to seat where can be nerve-wracking and last-minute additions and cancellations only make it worse.
  • Designating the wedding party: Selecting the persons of honor, attendants, and others in the wedding party is supposed to be fun; however, it can be difficult if people’s feelings get hurt in the process.
  • Sending your thank you notes: Even after the wedding is over, the work doesn’t end. You still have to send out thank you notes to your guests and vendors in a timely manner.
  • Planning the honeymoon: In addition to planning the wedding, you may also be simultaneously planning your honeymoon, which is a whole other set of tasks.
  • Managing expectations: Perhaps the hardest part of the wedding planning process is managing expectations—yours, your partner’s, and your loved ones’. 

Symptoms of Wedding Stress

Stress can take a toll on your system and cause both physical and mental symptoms. These are some of the symptoms of stress you might experience.

Emotional Symptoms

These are some of the emotional and cognitive symptoms of stress:

  • Inability to focus
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope
  • Frequent forgetfulness
  • Constant worrying
  • Irritability
  • Depression 
  • Panic attacks

Physical Symptoms

These are some of the physical symptoms of stress:

  • Exhaustion
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Changes in appetite
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat 
  • Low immunity
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches and other aches and pains
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Stomach pain
  • Digestive difficulties

How to Manage Wedding Stress

These are some strategies that can help you cope with wedding stress:

  • Plan ahead: As you start the wedding planning process, it can be helpful to start doing your research. You can find inspiration online or ask friends and family members for recommendations. That way, you’ll have some idea of what you want and won’t feel completely overwhelmed by all the choices before you. This can help make decision-making faster and easier.
  • Stay organized: Since wedding planning involves multiple different tasks, tools like to-do lists, spreadsheets, and mood boards can help you stay organized. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the things you have to do, having a step-by-step to-do list can be helpful. You can set reminders for tasks you need to complete by specific dates.
  • Anticipate stressors: If there are certain parts of the wedding day that are stressing you out, do your best to plan for them in advance. For instance, if you’re scared of public speaking and worried about saying your vows or making a speech, it can be helpful to practice out loud multiple times until you’re confident you can do it.
  • Decide your priorities: It may not be possible to include all the things you envisioned at your wedding, due to budget constraints or other limiting factors. Decide your priorities and focus your energy on high-priority items. This can make it easier for you to delegate tasks and resolve conflicts over wedding planning decisions. If something is not a high priority for you, you can let someone else make the decisions or let go of it if it’s not possible.
  • Communicate: Wedding planning can strain your relationship with your partner and your loved ones. Open and honest communication can help prevent and resolve misunderstandings.
  • Delegate responsibilities: Even if you may want to, it may not be possible for you to do everything yourself. Ask friends and family members for help and delegate some of the responsibilities. Share your ideas with them and trust them to handle things on your behalf. If your budget allows it, hire a wedding planner who can do some of the heavy lifting for you. Schedule regular calls or meetings to discuss any updates and track progress.
  • Avoid comparisons: Whether it’s a friend or family member’s wedding, or a wedding you’ve seen on social media, comparisons can be a fruitless exercise. Avoid comparing your wedding to others’ and focus on what makes yours special and unique.
  • Keep a buffer: Build a buffer period into all your decisions and deliverables so that you’re not stressing out at the last minute. For instance, it can be helpful to pretend you’re getting married a month before you actually are, so most of your tasks will be done by then. This can help you enjoy the final stretch leading up to your wedding.
  • Maintain a healthy routine: During the wedding planning process, make it a point to get adequate sleep, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and avoid too much caffeine. In addition to helping you stay fit and healthy, a healthy routine can help you cope better with stress.
  • Practice self-care: Don’t let self-care take a backseat during the wedding planning process. Whether it’s making time for meditation, taking a relaxing bath, spending time with your friends and family, going on date night with your fiance, or getting a massage at the spa, it’s important to do things that make you feel relaxed and happy.
  • Set boundaries: Understand and accept that you will not be able to please everyone, no matter what you do. Therefore, it can be helpful to set boundaries at the outset, to prevent unnecessary stress.
  • Practice positivity: If you find yourself experiencing negative thoughts or dwelling on "What if..." scenarios, it can be helpful to write down a list of positive affirmations and say them out loud every day. For example, you could say: “I love my partner and I'm excited to get married,” “Everything will be fine and I can handle whatever comes my way," or “I accept my body the way it is and I will look great at the wedding.”
  • Have fun: Perhaps the most important thing is to let go and enjoy yourself. Everything may not go exactly as planned, but rather than getting upset about it, you can choose to let it go and focus on the bigger picture. The wedding is ultimately about you and your partner getting married and spending the rest of your lives together.

A Word From Verywell

Emotions tend to run high in the build-up to a wedding and the stress can make you feel tired, irritable, and overwhelmed. You may find yourself snapping at others, fighting with your partner, and unable to function.

However, there are steps you can take to mitigate the stress and enjoy the big day. Remember that the wedding is one day of your life—you and your partner have a lifetime of days together after that.

5 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Sanjana Gupta
Sanjana is a health writer and editor. Her work spans various health-related topics, including mental health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness.