Have you ever seen those romantic engagement photos or videos of creative proposals? They seem to be all over my social media theses days – two people head over heels, deciding to plunge into the world of commitment to live happily ever after. Their posts make me feel warm and happy. Good for them, happily ever after – isn’t that what we all want? Unfortunately, there is a time between engagement and the wedding that can cause couples to call it quits. Planning a wedding can be an exciting and happy time but also an extraordinarily stressful time. In fact, a national poll published in Time magazine indicated that 20-25% of all engagements come to a bitter end. Let’s face it. To some extent, wedding stress is unavoidable.
GoodTherapy also suggests that getting married is ranked as one of the top eleven most stressful life events in our lifetime. Why? How could two people who are so in love break off a promise of a lifetime? Factors such as mega-weddings with mega-financial commitments, the addition of in-laws and the complicated emotional flooding of sadness, happiness, and fear that comes with the idea of marriage are some culprits of excessive stress.
Do your wedding plans have you reconsidering saying I do? We’ve identified 4 strategies to avoid letting wedding stress get the best of you:
If you are a regular reader of our blogs, you know how much we stress communication. It’s because it’s so crucial in almost any situation and because despite how easy it sounds, it can actually be really difficult to communicate clearly and respectfully, especially in times of stress. Discuss your ideas and expectations about the wedding with your partner, listen to theirs. Make notes and mark points of disagreement to prioritize and come back to when you have time to discuss them individually. This suggestion works in other areas of your relationship too!
Create a budget.
Consider what your “must-have” items are and budget for those. Prioritize the things you want to splurge on and cut back other areas. Planning your wedding together can help you and your future spouse bond and get excited about seeing all of your hard work come to fruition. If you have it in your budget to hire a wedding planner, by all means, they can help ease the stress but if you can’t afford it, don’t worry – have fun planning the day of your dreams together. (hint: Pinterest is the next best thing to having a wedding planner and it’s free!)
Take a break.
Make sure you take time off from wedding planning, especially if you are feeling wedding stress. Take the time to enjoy your fiancé – go out for a special dinner or plan a night in with pizza and Netflix. These activities can help you feel connected and weather conflict better. Feeling connected and enjoying each other will help you remember why you are making your special someone your life partner.
Complete premarital counseling.
You just got engaged! We know your relationship probably feels pretty close to perfect right now. However, there’s a lot of evidence to support that premarital counseling sets couples up for a more successful marriage. Premarital counseling can help you discuss and establish expectations, work on improving communication, conflict resolutions skills and building on the connection and intimacy you already have.
Getting engaged is a wonderful, life-changing event and an amazing experience. Premarital programs can help you navigate both the exciting and the stressful changes ahead. Great premarital programs are available and can even be done online. Let Dr.Tabitha’s premarital course help you enjoy the entire preparation process and minimize your stress. Or if you’d rather meet with someone face to face, reach out to this team of relationship experts who can help support you in creating a solid foundation for a successful marriage.