By Laura Lamartina, LPC-S

Planning a perfect wedding is a tall order in a fast-paced and modern world. Adequately managing the stress of wedding planning on top of the demands of professional and personal obligations is the key to enjoying this happy time.  Wedding planning often brings up these most common stressors for couples. These tips won’t rid you of every wedding planning stressor, but they just may help you enjoy the process a whole lot more so that you can even have fun!

Keeping It Real:

Many couples have a good idea of what their ideal wedding will look like from the moment they’re engaged. But for some brides, their dreams and ideas are overshadowed by the dreams and expectations of other family members and even friends. It’s important to set clear boundaries and expectations upfront with yourself, future spouse, parents, extended family and friends.  Spend some time with your partner evaluating what you both find to be the most valued aspects of your dream wedding and keep it real.  Have the hard talks now about budgets, venues, and guest lists before you get carried away with your plans. Be clear about what you are willing to compromise on and what is most important to you.

Negative Friends and Family Members:

There isn’t one bride I know that hasn’t had to deal with at least one difficult family member or friend during their wedding. Whether it’s the mother-in-law that’s not shy about sharing her displeasure with her number of guest invites or the bridesmaid who is consistently MIA to all of your events.  When dealing with difficult friends and family members, try to remind them you wish to share these beautiful and joyous memories with their love and support.  If they continue to be a drag, it may be necessary to establish firm boundaries and explain how their behavior is affecting you and how you plan to manage their behavior, even if that means decreasing or removing their role from your wedding.  Most importantly, lean on your most trusted confidants because you not only need them to vent to, but they will help keep you clearheaded!  If you feel the difficult relationship is one that you can’t manage successfully during the wedding but is an important one to “keep the peace” (i.e., in-laws), consider seeing a therapist for guidance and support on how to best repair or maintain that relationship healthily.

Managing Vendors:

No one likes a micro-manager, unless you need a good wedding planner! Keeping each of your vendors in line and on their A-game requires your own A-game of micro-management. If keeping tabs on each vendor gets to be too frustrating and drains you of your energy, consider hiring a wedding planner, for full-service planning, or a wedding coordinator to help with some tasks and wedding-day logistics.   Alternatively, you might delegate that job to a trusted family member or close friend with an eye for detail that keeps them involved and you sane. It might even be a great opportunity to delegate certain duties to a family member who may desperately want to be involved.  Sometimes it is generous to allow others to provide you with the support you just may need during this stressful time.  This might be a great way to get your mother or future mother-in-law actively involved.   Everyone may just be happier for it! Remember, you can’t buy happiness, but enlisting the assistance of a great planner can take you a long way!

Your Wedding Budget:

How to manage finances is one of the most stressful things a couple will ever tackle together which makes your wedding budget no exception.  Each partner usually has a different spending style and finding a balance can take some time and a lot of compromise on both ends. This is the time to get talking about the specifics when it comes to money! Wedding vendors may offer various upgrades so be wary of impulse buying. Do not be shy about letting vendors know that you need a few days to make a decision, which gives you time to discuss the options with your fiancé and any of the “invested” parties helping with the wedding bills.  This gives you time to weigh the importance of the VIP packages offered and have your partner lend their opinions or concerns so that you can make the best decision that you both will be happy with. It’s going to be hard at times to reign in the impulse control with all of the gorgeous options laid in front of you, but making these compromises and sticking to the budget will save you and your partner plenty of grief but also be great proactive on how to best negotiate and work together as a team on other major financial situations that will arise through your marriage.

Each Other:

With all of the family dynamics, budget woes, venue choices and wedding professionals vying for your business, it may start to seem like you and your fiancé are on different teams. Grooms often find that their wedding planning brides become cranky, stressed and wedding obsessed.  Many times brides take issue with the fact that their groom is uninterested in the wedding details leaving her unsupported with all of the stress management.  Taking time to communicate about what about your wedding and marriage is important to each of you will provide better understanding of each other’s involvement and hopefully mediate some task delegation! Most importantly, take the time to have fun with one another and remember to take care of each other so you can be a stronger team for the life ahead because after all, your wedding is just one day.

Laura Lamartina, LPC-S is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in New Orleans, LA. She works with couples and individuals with relationship stressors. For more information on Laura’s counseling services, please visit her website: www.allinclusivetherapy.com

 

Photo Credit: 1) iStock-153079514; 2) unsplash.com; 3) Alexander Dummer; 4) unsplash.com

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