Let’s be real: Unless you possess magical superpowers or happen to be a zen monk, the days, weeks, and months leading up to your wedding will involve varying degrees of stress. For every couple, there’s a different series of stressors; for some it’s the sheer amount of money that will be invested in this one big day, while for others, it’s the fear of seeing your parents in the same room together after their divorce and wondering if any drama is going to go down.
Whatever unique stress triggers loom over your wedding-planning process, one thing’s for sure: there’s nothing that can suck the joy out of what should be a celebratory experience faster than dragging all that baggage with you on this momentous journey. Easier said than done, right?
Try this: Close your eyes and imagine you and your partner looking and feeling radiant, rested, relaxed, and joyful as you walk down the aisle. Tap into how excited and happy you’ll feel as you take to the dancefloor for your first spin as a married couple. And feel all the love and support from your friends and family as they gather around to watch you cut into your cake and relish that first bite.
That’s the energy that you’ll carry with you when you find your trigger points, work through them, then let the stress go. So put down the wedding spreadsheet, stop scrolling #weddingtiktok, and let’s get you on the road to a stress-free wedding day.
8 Steps to a Stress-Free Wedding
- 1. Catch your ZZZZZs
Fact: Sleep-deprived people are more prone to stress and anxiety, experience greater instances of immune-system malfunction, and fall victim to cognitive impairment that can impede the wedding planning process (and then some). Sleep is often the first causality in our hyperextended lives, but logging a full eight hours a night will pay off by stabilizing our moods and helping us cope better with ALL THE THINGS. Pro tip: nail tips #4 and #5 and #1 will come easier!
- 2. Get organized
Some people are born with brains built for organized thinking and others are not. If you fall into camp A, good for you! You probably have your entire wedding mapped out on a spreadsheet and are methodically plugging away at each item with self-satisfied zeal. The rest of us rely on tech tools, friends, and to-do lists to stay organized, or, better still, we enlist the help of a professional wedding planner to relieve some of the burden that planning can impose. Did you know that many planners are available for specific projects and can be hired by the hour? If organization isn’t your strong suit, delegate!
- 3. Stay hydrated
Maintaining homeostasis–that bodily state of equilibrium that ensures everything is in good running order–can’t be achieved without proper hydration, yet some of us forget to lubricate our insides when we’re stressed, or reach for stress-exacerbating elixirs like caffeine and soda or dehydrators like alcohol instead. Perhaps counterintuitively, we should be reaching for plain ol’ H2O when we’re stressed … and also when we’re not stressed. Water is what your body needs and what will nourish it most, so drink plenty of it, and if it’s hot outside, try interspersing your water intake with coconut water for healthy electrolytes. Oh, and a green juice never hurt anybody.
- 4. Move your body
If you’ve ever experienced that flood of endorphins after a game of tennis, a 5K run, or a living room dance party of one, it’s easy to see how movement can support you during wedding planning by buffering you from stress. Moving your body doesn’t cost a dime, and is one of the healthiest coping strategies available to us. Make sure to carve out time every day for some aerobic activity to get blood pumping, elevate your mood, and help you sleep like a baby.
- 5. Eat quality food
Nothing soothes the stress monster in quite the same way that a gooey vegan candy bar or thick slice of cake can. But sugar can cause inflammation that will lower your defenses and potentially compromise your health on your wedding day. It might sound like Mission Impossible, but avoiding sugar, junk foods, and excessive salt in the days leading up to your wedding will give you an edge you need to maintain energy levels and reduce stress. Instead, bulk up on fiber found in fresh fruit and vegetables; studies show that a high fiber intake correlates to decreased stress levels and greater alertness, two things you’ll appreciate on your big day.
- 6. Prioritize your needs
It’s a pre-wedding inevitability: As soon as you announce your plan to marry, the opinions, suggestions, and advice from well-meaning friends and family will start trickling in. Sometimes they remain at a trickle, and sometimes the advice can come in as an overwhelming flood. Saying no and setting boundaries takes practice, but there’s no better time than the present to start. Repeat after me: “Thank you for your ideas and suggestions, but we’ve got the wedding planning process under control."
- 7. Pamper yourself
Taking care of yourself also means letting others take care of you, so treat yourself to that massage, visit the spa esthetician for a well-deserved facial, and invest in a good haircut that subtly boosts your confidence. All these little gestures will make you feel better, more relaxed, and better equipped to handle all the little things. Don’t rule out alternative therapies like meditation (apps like Headspace and Calm can be really useful tools), aromatherapy, and acupuncture to support your wellness!
- 8. Let go of unrealistic expectations
Many of us who’ve been there understand that planning a wedding can often involve setting unrealistic expectations for yourself, your partner, and the process. Losing 50 pounds in just six months? That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself, but how about reframing and getting fit and feeling healthy, instead? Letting go of perfectionist tendencies will go a long way toward helping you relax into the process and enjoy every moment.
Want more vegan weddings?
You’re going to love our Great Big Vegan Wedding Idea Book!