Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Advice for Dealing with Wedding Stress

Filed under: Stress-Free Wedding — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway, Guest Author

It’s supposed to be such a “happy time” yet brides tend to get clobbered by stress on the way to the altar. Here are some of the stressors and some solutions from my book, “Wedding Goddess.”

stress1. Bridezillas are made, not born. It’s easy to get sucked into the vortex of wedding planning stress, and overwhelmed by the stress, pressure and expectations of those around you. You have to include stress management, self-nurturing and time to chill out as an integral part of her wedding planning process.

2. Know what YOU want before everyone you know starts telling you what you’re wedding should be. Before you run off to tell the folks and friends you are engaged, take some time for you and your beloved to get used to the idea. And to discuss the kind of wedding you want. When you start sharing the news, without having a clue about the experience you want to create, you are more vulnerable to pressure and influence from others.

3. Stay on the same page with the man you will marry. Make an agreement that you will make all decisions together, and back each other up. The moment there is a weakness in your partnership, you will both be swayed more easily by other people’s opinions.

4. Everyone has something to say about your wedding. It’s a given. Just accept it. Whether they are paying for it or not … no matter whom you are or what age. You’ll be showered with congratulations and gifts… and bombarded with unsolicited advice.

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5. Everyone has an agenda for your wedding. It is a rare family that does not have a reason to be part of your big day for reasons other than the mere fact that you are getting married. People tend to see your wedding as a chance to fulfill their own needs. They tend to act out what it’s all about for them – not you! You have to set clear boundaries, and also protect yourself emotionally from the sometimes-negative vibes from well-meaning friends and relatives.

6. You can include loved ones without letting them run the show. There are so many creative ways to honor them in the ceremony and at the reception. Get over your desire to make everyone happy and focus instead on honoring family ties in a way that is meaningful to your marriage.

7. Getting married can stir up a lot of emotions. The process itself sets forth period of growth and change that can be very nerve -wracking. Once you decide to marry you will begin the process of getting ready for marriage … and unresolved emotions may come to the surface to be explored. Be prepared to do some inner work along with all the external preparations. Honor and address the emotions and fears that arise. Trust they are natural. Don’t sweep things under the rug.

8. Your happiness in life (and marriage) DOES NOT hinge on your wedding alone. Our culture places a tremendous emphasis on having a great wedding and not enough focus on having an awesome marriage. It’s okay to be temporarily obsessed and to yearn for the perfect wedding – we all go there at some point – but you have to keep your eye on what’s truly important. Too many brides treat the wedding itself as something to be worshipped and served. Don’t give the wedding day so much power! Step back and realize, the most important part of the day is not the day itself… but that you walked down that aisle and into the arms of the One you love… the One you look forward to building your life with.

BONUS Article: How to Manage Wedding Planning Stress with Your Partner
Do’s and Don’ts for a Stress-Free Wedding

LSB twitter profileCopyright © 2012 – Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway. Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway is a leading interfaith and non-denominational wedding officiant who creates unique ceremonies for couples of all backgrounds and faiths. She is widely recognized as an expert on interfaith and intercultural marriage, and bridal stress. She is also author of Your Perfect Wedding Vows: Finding the Right Words to Express Your Love and Your Interfaith Wedding: A Guide to Blending Faiths, Cultures and Personal Values into One Beautiful Wedding. Visit Rev. Laurie Sue at www.YourInterfaithWedding.com.

Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

How to Manage Wedding Planning Stress with Your Partner

Filed under: Guest Authors,Stress-Free Wedding — Larry James @ 8:00 am
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Kristin Offiler, Guest Author

Whether you’re the bride or groom, it’s likely that you will feel stressed out at some point while planning your wedding. It’s understandable; weddings typically take around a year to plan, and during that time, there are countless decisions that need to be made and checks that have to be written—talk about stress-inducing! And on top of that, you still have your everyday life to live, too.

stressfreeBefore my husband and I got married in August of 2010, we had so many things on our proverbial plate that stress became inevitable for us. I began working on my thesis for graduate school earlier that summer, just after we made an offer on a house and began the closing process. The last three months before our wedding were pure chaos. Our closing date kept getting pushed back until finally we moved into all our things into our new home a scant three days before our wedding.

Plus, during it all, we had work, school, and about a thousand meetings regarding the wedding. It would have been easy to lose our cool, but we tried to manage the stress with a few different techniques you and your partner can try too.

Keep reminding yourselves why you’re doing all this in the first place. There were many times I wanted to just run off and elope before our wedding, but it was just a matter of remembering what’s important and why the stress was worth it that kept me going. My husband is great at helping me gain perspective when life gets crazy (he was born with a naturally cool head and calm demeanor). If you’re not inclined to stay relaxed under pressure, try reciting your reasons for having a wedding in the first place. That might be all you need to refocus your attention and squash stress.

MazinestressedBe grateful. It’s so easy to get so caught up in the to-do list, the guest list, the budget, the dress, etc. that you lose sight of how fortunate you are. While some things might seem like annoyances during the wedding planning process, there’s a good chance you can flip it around and be thankful for it. Out of control guest list? I can sympathize. Ours was a source of stress… until I realized we’re lucky that so many people wanted to celebrate with us! Reframe your stress and see it as a blessing instead of a frustration.

Get away together often. It may be impossible to take a trip with your soon-to-be-spouse before the wedding, but you should still get away together as often as possible. What do I mean by “get away?” Take a walk together, grab lunch together, or do other non-wedding activities just the two of you. While we were waiting for our closing to happen, we would head down to our future neighborhood in the evenings and take walks. We explored the nearby beach and enjoyed the park that’s down the road. It helped us unwind and focus on each other, not the stress all around us.

Visualize the big day and life after it. If you’re laser focused on the wedding day and the color of every napkin, ribbon and flower, you’ll wear yourself out. Instead, think about not only how pretty your wedding day will be, but how special it will feel to have loved ones all around you. Think about life after you say “I do.” Think about the honeymoon (this helped me quite a bit! I kept myself focused on being out of town and unavailable to e-mail and phone calls, and it helped me power through my stress). Use your mind to project into the future—it will make all the planning worth it and will even help you find some peace.

Stay in the moment. Even though I suggest visualizing the future, I think it’s just as important to live in the moment. The engagement period and the wedding all happen fast. Every so often throughout your busy days, even when you’re stressing, take a few deep breaths and try to commit snippets of the process to memory. Imprint in your memory the feeling of picking up your wedding bands, signing the contract with the perfect photographer, or seeing yourself in full wedding dress. You’ll have pictures to look back on, yes, but your own memories are precious and if you force yourself to be in the present more often, you’ll have a harder time feeling stressed out.

relaxAccept the stress and anxiety, but don’t feed into it. It’s going to happen—things will go wrong, people will make rude comments, someone will turn up a nose at your brilliant cake idea; what you do with those moments is what matters. Let yourself feel stressed out, anxious, nervous. Those are normal feelings and it’s fine to feel them. But don’t feed into them. Don’t give them more power than they deserve. Instead, accept them as part of the process, but acknowledge your control over your feelings. You’re more powerful than stress. Remind your partner of this, too, if he or she is letting stress run the show.

There are plenty of ways to let wedding stress suck you in and make you miserable, but there are even more ways to beat it. The best way is to get on the same page with your future husband or wife. Make sure he or she knows how you’re feeling and, whenever you can, combat wedding stress together. I firmly believe that the way you handle pre-wedding stress as a couple speaks volumes about how you’ll handle life’s obstacles once you’re wed!

Larry’s Note: Begin planning your wedding as far in advance as possible. A year to 1 1/2 years in advance is not to early. Also give yourself some “down” time – a special spa treatment the day before the wedding, etc. Have your rehearsal 2 days before the wedding to avoid having to deal with 2 stressful days in a row.

BONUS Article: Do’s and Don’ts for a Stress-Free Wedding

KristinOffilerCopyright © 2011 – Kristin Offiler. Kristin Offiler is a freelance writer in Rhode Island who writes for a site that helps students find the right psychology degree.

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Friday, September 2, 2011

Do’s and Don’ts for a Stress-Free Wedding

Filed under: $$$ Tips,Budget,Stress-Free Wedding,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Your wedding day should be a day of fun and romantic celebration. You want your wedding day to be great and to run smoothly, right? It doesn’t take much for you to begin to feel overwhelmed. Couples who begin planning early and pace themselves should be able to avoid last minute chaos.

First things first. Start planning at least a year in advance – more if possible. Get organized. Buy a wedding organizer. You may not think you need one, but the best way to keep track of potential caterers, DJs, Wedding Officiant, venues and other assorted bridal services. Make a Wedding Checklist. Keep track of every wedding vendor you talk with; name, phone number, Website and e-mail address and bring the list with you to the wedding, just in case you need to contact them.

DO – Set priorities; choose the date, book the wedding venue and hire a professional wedding officiant.

WeddingStressDO – Select “dependable” attendants and give each one a copy of the tentative timeline for the wedding so they can make arrangements in their own life to be at rehearsal, etc. Be sure that they are clear about the duties that come with being the Maid of Honor, Best Man and bridesmaids and groomsmen. If they falter from doing what they are expected to do, let them know that you will not hesitate to appoint someone else. Surround yourself with attendants who cause you the least amount of stress.

DO – Delegate someone to put together a bride’s emergency kit to have on hand the day of the wedding. Be prepared for anything that may happen.

DON’T – Don’t wait until the wedding day to make major changes. Don’t make any spur of the moment decisions. Thank ahead. Once you make a decision, move on.

DO – A wedding is not just for the bride. It takes two! Make sure the groom is involved. Girls: he may say he doesn’t care, but down deep, he does. Give him a list of things to do with deadlines. This event is the mutual responsibility of both of you, so guys, you need to do more than get fitted for a tux and remember to bring the ring. 😉

DON’T – Don’t eat, drink, smoke or apply make-up after you’ve put your wedding dress on for the ceremony. If you do drink, use a straw and be very careful.

DO – Two weeks prior to the wedding, phone all your vendors and verify everything. Verify the date, time, location and exactly what they will be doing. Make sure they know the directions to the wedding venue. Bring a list of phone numbers so someone can call them if they don’t show up on time.

DO – If you plan to have a wedding party of 3 or more standing on each side of the wedding officiant – have a rehearsal! The wedding rehearsal is a run-through of the ceremony with the minister (hitting the highlights of the ceremony and giving everyone their cues for the big day) from beginning to end, allowing everybody involved to feel more confident about what will happen on the wedding day. Walk through the ceremony, establishing the pace and timing, in the order each element will occur, where everyone will be standing and make sure all of the participants know their responsibilities.

HOT TIP: Some couples prefer to have the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner two days before the wedding to allow a day of rest from the stress of having two busy days in a row. Wrap it up early enough for the bride to tend to any last minute details the next day like doing her nails or packing for her honeymoon, and to allow her the opportunity to wind down, relax, and rest well for the big day ahead. Take that stress-free day before the wedding to really pamper yourself – your hair, a spa visit, a manicure and pedicure. Just relax.

DO – Accept that your wedding may not be perfect! Sometimes things go wrong. Take a deep breath and be okay with whatever happens. Sometimes those things become the memorable moments you can smile about later.

stressedbrideDON’T – Don’t stress out about what other people think about your choices for your wedding, especially the mothers. This is YOUR wedding. They have already had their wedding. You may have to “gently” remind them of this if their ideas get in your way.

DO – Put something in your stomach. Eat something before the wedding. Have someone pick up sandwiches or a veggie tray to share with the bridesmaids. A Pepsi, cheese and crackers are better than nothing.

DON’T – Never let yourself be pressured into buying a wedding dress which you feel is not right or cost more than you can afford. Never be tempted to buy a cheap wedding dress online unless you are sure it is from a reputable company.

DO – Make a budget. Money is such an easy thing to fight about. Make sure you sit down at the beginning of the planning process and agree on how much money you’re going to spend, and stick to it! However, allow room to switch money from one thing to another if the one vendor you really MUST have costs a little more. Cut back on favors. Have a buffet instead of an expensive per plate charge for your guests. Do your best to not charge everything on your credit card. The last thing you need is to be stressed about starting your marriage with enormous credit card bills.

DON’T – Money issues can frequently come up and create stressful situations. Not every couple has the luxury of having their parents share in the expenses of their wedding. However, I strongly recommend that instead of putting all the expenses that you are responsible for on a credit card, once you know that wedding bells are in your future begin to work on a budget together and save every penny you can into a special wedding fund.

DO – Make sure all the vendors are paid and everything is taken care of BEFORE the wedding day. You don’t have to worry on that day. Make arrangements for vendor tips to be given after the wedding. This task is often given to the best man.

DO – Designate someone to drop off all the essentials at your venue – the favors, the place cards, the cake cutter, the cake topper, the sand for the sand ceremony, etc., the day BEFORE your wedding.

DO – Make arrangements to get your hair done in plenty of time before the wedding ceremony is scheduled to begin. If you’re having a bad hair day, you will wish you had. This is often the excuse for the delay of the bride being ready on time.

DON’T – Don’t be tempted to jet off on your honeymoon as soon as the wedding is over. The wedding and reception may cause extreme exhaustion. It’s a big day. The honeymoon is very special so give yourself a couple of days (or more) to rest. Open gifts, write “thank you” notes, sleep late, rest and just be together. When you are fully rested, go for it! Don’t worry about not being able to take a big fancy honeymoon. You have the rest of your lives to make money and take big, wonderful, fabulous vacations.

DO – If your intention is to lose a lot of weight before the wedding, you would be wise to start that regimen 6 months to a year before the big day.

happycoupleYour relationship – between the bride and groom – can be stressful and can become even more stressful prior to the marriage. Focus on the important thing – the relationship! Be certain to take some time to stay connected. Don’t allow your life to be consumed by the planning of your wedding. Spend some relaxing time together as a couple. “Make” time for each other.

DO – Be okay with the butterflies in your tummy! It’s normal to be a little nervous or stressed on the day of your wedding. If you have done the best you can to hire the best wedding vendors, the butterflies should all be flying in formation by now. Allow the professionals to do the work, and sit back and relax.

PLEASE DO – If you are afraid that you will forget something important… don’t freak out… PLEASE hire a Wedding Consultant! The wedding coordinator will work with you on everything from the budget to the flowers, photographer to the DJ, caterer to the cake, and your venue. Your wedding coordinator will handle every aspect of your wedding planning, alerting you to possible problems that may be costly. Wedding coordinators also have relationships with vendors in the industry, possibly encouraging discounts and/or negotiating terms that you would not be able to do on your own. They can keep you on budget, on target and focused. They can help with event décor and design. They can help you with etiquette questions, creating a budget and payment schedule for vendors, creating timelines for your event, researching vendors, scheduling appointments with vendors and attending them with you, reviewing contracts, and much more.

Larry’s TIP: You will actually SAVE money by hiring a Wedding Consultant. Trust me, I know! Call me for referrals.

DO – Get a good nights sleep the night before the wedding. No excuses. Go to bed early. Relax into a deep slumber. You will be glad you did.

DON’T – A brief word about alcohol. Have an exciting ceremony, enjoy the reception – dance like nobody’s watching – but do yourself a favor and don’t over-indulge in social lubricant! You will thank me later.

HOT TIP for the Groom: There is nothing that will excite your bride-to-be more than a dozen roses on her wedding day.

And finally. . . take a deep breath. Relax. When your big day is done, all that matters is that you are married to the love of your life and surrounded by family and friends who love you.

BONUS Articles:How Much Do You Charge to Perform a Wedding Ceremony?
Sorry, I Don’t Need a Wedding Consultant… My Venue Has One!
The Rehearsal & the Rehearsal Dinner! It’s Fun Time!
Shedding Pounds for the Wedding!
Wedding Checklist
Post-Wedding Credit Card Blues? Here’s the Solution!

For more than 200 articles, tips, etc., visit the Wedding Articles Menu! AND… if you have a tip that we’ve missed, please feel free to post a comment.

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Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Ceremony. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 460 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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