Mental Health Tips During Wedding Planning
Wedding planning can be a stressful and emotional time, and it’s important to prioritize mental health and seek support when needed. Learn more about common challenges during wedding planning and advice for addressing them.
Planning a wedding can be one of the most exciting and memorable times in your life, but it’s also often a stressful time for couples. With all the pressures that come with planning such an event – from family dynamics to financial considerations – it’s easy for couples to become overwhelmed and stressed out. This is why it’s so important to prioritize your mental health during this process.
With so many decisions to make, family to navigate, and expectations about what a wedding “should” be like, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of pressure that sits upon your shoulders. Taking care of your mental well-being is essential if you want to make sure that both the wedding planning process and the big day itself are truly special and enjoyable.
Our goal here at B$B is to be encouraging, uplifting, and empathetic to the challenges you’re facing during wedding planning. We’ve been there, and we’ve helped millions of brides through this process over the last 15 years. We know how draining the personal and societal dynamics and expectations can be, on top of all the typical stuff you have going on in your life.
So in honor of Mental Health Month, we thought we’d share some advice and questions for you to ponder or reflect on. In this article, we will discuss some common challenges brides may face while planning their weddings, as well as tips on how they can practice self-care and support each other throughout the process.
Additionally, we consulted licensed marriage and family therapist, Krystal Mazzola Wood, who provides mentally healthy relationship advice on her blog, Confidently Authentic.
Common Challenges in Wedding Planning
Here are some common challenges that couples may encounter with family and friends during the wedding planning process that could impact their mental health:
Family members and friends may have different ideas and expectations about the wedding, which can lead to disagreements and conflicts. This can be particularly challenging for couples who want to try to please everyone.
Our advice: it’s not possible to please everyone. Don’t let yourself get too overwhelmed and stressed by attempting to meet the needs and expectations of others. It’s your day, so focus on planning a celebration that’s authentic and aligned with what you and your partner envision.
It can be difficult to set boundaries with family members and friends who want to be involved in the wedding planning process. Couples may feel pressure to include certain people or traditions, even if it’s not what they want or what aligns with their values.
Our advice: If you have strained relationships with family members or you’re getting too much unsolicited feedback, putting boundaries in place will be your best bet to maintaining your peace.
Krystal Mazzola Wood also suggests setting a boundary by saying something like, “I really appreciate your thoughts about [insert topic i.e., where to host the reception], but I think for now I have enough ideas. I’ll let you know if I need some suggestions in the future. Thank you for your understanding and support.”
Wedding planning can be expensive, and couples may feel pressure to spend more than they can afford to please family members and friends. This can lead to financial stress and anxiety, which can impact their mental health.
Our advice: Get realistic and crunch the numbers for your wedding budget to determine what you can actually afford. Remember why you’re getting married and avoid the temptation to overspend by keeping your focus on your future goals beyond the big day.
Weddings can bring up a lot of emotions, both positive and negative. Family dynamics and relationships can be complicated, and the wedding planning process may bring up unresolved issues or trigger past traumas.
Mazzola Wood adds, ” A clear sign that your emotional reactions are related to unresolved issues, or trauma, is if your reaction seems out of proportion to the situation. For example, if you feel hopeless because you and your partner got in an argument during wedding planning. Or if you feel enraged by your future mother-in-law’s suggestions. There is no shame in these reactions, and you deserve support to empower you to deal with the issue at hand effectively.”
Our advice: If you really feel like you’re struggling with emotional and mental health, don’t hesitate to lean on the help of a professional. Seek out a counselor or therapist to help equip you with the tools you need to navigate the ups and downs.
Mazzola Wood suggests searching for therapists in your area trained in trauma by using the Psychology Today Directory. You may want to read “What to Look for in a Therapist: 3 Tips by a Licensed Therapist” for support in finding the right therapist for you. Also, if you’re unable to attend therapy at this time, i.e., there’s a large waitlist, please read “Can You Heal Trauma on Your Own? 4 Clear Steps to Heal” to begin feeling better now.
Societal expectations around weddings can be overwhelming and unrealistic. Couples may feel pressure to have the “perfect” wedding or to conform to certain traditions or gender roles, which can be stressful and anxiety-inducing.
Our advice: Get clear on what actually matters to you and your partner about the wedding day. Focus on including the areas that are meaningful to you, and feel free to skip anything that doesn’t align with your values.
You may have felt pressured to look your best on the big day due to all of the photos and videos that will be taken. These visual reminders will live on in albums and on social media for years to come after all. This type of pressure can lead to extreme diet and exercise routines, unrealistic expectations, and feelings of inadequacy.
Our advice: We want to encourage you to release the pressure to look perfect on your wedding day and love yourself as you are. Let’s build and embrace a more self-loving wedding culture, one bride at a time.
Seeking Professional Help or Support
Seeking professional help can be a helpful resource for couples who are experiencing emotional or mental health challenges during the wedding planning process. Here are some suggestions for seeking out professional help:
- Talk to your healthcare provider: Your primary care physician or OB/GYN can be a good starting point for seeking help. They may be able to refer you to a mental health provider who specializes in working with individuals and couples who are experiencing challenges related to the wedding planning process.
- Look for a therapist: A licensed therapist or counselor can provide a safe and confidential space to discuss your emotions and concerns. You can search for a therapist in your area through directories like Psychology Today or an online option such as BetterHelp.
- Consider couples counseling: If you and your partner are experiencing challenges related to the wedding planning process, couples counseling can provide a space to work through these issues together. A couples counselor can help you communicate more effectively and develop strategies for managing stress and conflict.
- Join a support group or community: There are online groups for individuals who are planning a wedding, such as our Savvy Weddings Community. Though not a replacement for professional therapy, these groups can provide a sense of community and understanding and can be a valuable source of support.
Remember, seeking professional help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It’s important to prioritize your mental health and seek support when you need it.
We often hear that the wedding day is supposed to be the ‘happiest day of our lives,’ but this idea can add so much unneeded pressure to couples’ shoulders. It’s important for engaged couples to prioritize their mental health during the wedding planning process and to have open and honest communication with their loved ones. By setting boundaries, managing expectations, and prioritizing their own needs and desires, couples can navigate these challenges and create a wedding that truly reflects their love and commitment to one another.
It’s important to prioritize our mental health and well-being during all stages of life, including during wedding planning. For additional accountability and support, be sure to join our community, where we can openly discuss these important topics and support one another.
To help you unpack some of your feelings during this time in life, we invite you to consider using the following questions as journaling prompts. Explore what you’re really feeling by answering the following questions and see what comes up for you!
- Weddings are often portrayed as the “happiest day of your life,” but how can we make sure that our mental health is prioritized during the planning process?
- What are some ways that we can practice self-care during this time?
- What are some healthy coping mechanisms that we can use to manage our stress and anxiety during this time?
- How can we navigate difficult conversations with family members or partners during wedding planning without sacrificing our mental well-being?
- What boundaries do we need to put in place to protect our peace?
- Let’s talk about the pressure to have a “perfect” wedding. How can we challenge these unrealistic expectations and focus on what truly matters – our commitment to our partner and the love that we share?
- What are some ways that you’re prioritizing self-love and self-acceptance during your wedding planning process?
- How can we shift the focus away from appearance and toward celebrating our love and commitment to our partners?
- Do we need the support and help of a licensed professional to work through any of the issues we are currently facing?