How to Manage the Stress of Wedding Planning

Major life events (happy or sad occasions) are intrinsically stressful.  We all go through different milestones in life, moving home, changing jobs or the birth and death of someone we love.  Some people transition through these changes with ease while others struggle with great difficulty.

The good thing to recognize is that stress management (while it seems to be an abstract concept) is actually a real life skill that when mastered by brides can transform the wedding planning experience into a positive event for both couple.

At its core, stress management depends on four key steps:

Step 1:  Recognize the signs of stress

Stres is the body’s reaction to harmful situations (either real or perceived).  When you feel threatened, your body reacts in a way to prevent injury (‘fight or flight’ reaction).  Stress can affect different aspects of your life (physical, emotional, cognitive). The symptoms can be vague and will vary from one person to another.

Aspects of LifeSymptoms of Stress


Low energy, headache, upset stomach (diarrhea, constipation, nausea), aches, pains and tense muscles, chest pain and rapid heartbeat, insomnia, frequent colds and infections, loss of sexual desire, nervousness and shaking, dry mouth and difficulty swallowing, clenched jaw and grinding teeth
EmotionalEasily agitated, frustrated and moody, feeling overwhelmed, having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind, low self-esteem, lonely, worthless and depressed and avoiding others
CognitiveConstant worrying, racing thoughts, forgetfulness and disorganization, inability to focus, poor judgment, being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side

Information retrieved from

Q: Based on the table above,what are your stress signs and symptoms?

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Step 2: Identify the source of stress

Wedding planning involves various stressful decision, from budgeting and creating vision boards to meeting friends and family’s expectations.  In reality, perfectionism about wedding arrangement is quite common and can also be a big source of stress.

“Where expectations are, anxiety is sure to follow .”

-Jared DeFife, The Shrink Tank

Specifically, according to a wedding registry app Zola the top sources of wedding planning stress are:

  • Getting it all done
  • Managing guest list and RSVPs
  • Finding a venue
  • Creating, managing and sticking to a budget
  • Achieve perfection and instragram-worthy event
  • Disagreement with in-laws or spouse to be

Q: Relating to your own experience, what are your current source of wedding planning stress?

Step 3: Learn to manage the source of stress

To begin with embrace that everyone will always have something to say about your wedding.  There may be unsolicited advice, wedding horror stories and negative vibes from well-meaning friends and relatives.  In order to best address this, stick to your core plan and clarify the wedding you truly want or do not want to have.  

“What will your marriage mean to you?”

-Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway, Huff Post

Another solution to stress-free wedding planning is giving yourself and your fiance time to prepare.  If possible, decide on the guest list early on. This is because a lot of things will be dictated by your number of guests: venue, catering budget, invitations, wedding favors and others.  The number of guests and who to invite is definitely a sit down conversation to have with your husband to be!

Q: Based on the wedding planning stressors that you have identified, describe values, beliefs and specific tasks that can help you address these stressors.

Step 4: Build your tribe and delegate

While you might want your personal stamp on every single detail of your wedding planning, you will save yourself from tremendous stress if you take time to delegate tasks.  Your bridesmaids can ba a great start to ask for help! A reliable family may also just be standing in a corner waiting to offer a helping hand. Learn to ask for help (running errands, menial tasks ) and receive it wholeheartedly!  

Professional wedding planner may also be an option for you.  Some offers assistance from creative planning to your big day celebration, while others have ‘on-the-day’ services.  Check what is available to you locally.

Q: Look at your to-do-list, which tasks can you delegate to your a)hubby, b)bridesmaids, c)friends and d)family?


Step 5: Take a break and learn how to REST!

Wedding planning stress will get the best of you especially if you are constantly thinking and worrying about it.  So hit the ‘breaks’ and get a much needed rest. Your body, mind and soul will thank you for it!

Unplugging from wedding planning doesn’t have to be expensive at all! All you need to do is allocate a specific time for breaks.  For example, you can schedule Friday afternoons for ‘wedding planning free time’. So instead of googling wedding dress designs, you can plan for a quiet time with a good book and wine; or keep your mind off from wedding planning by decluttering and tidying up your home on a Saturday morning or a quick catch up with girlfriends in the afternoon.  

Whatever, your schedule looks like, have a time set aside for a well deserved REST.

Other activities you may want to add on your schedule:

  • Work out/Yoga/Pilates
  • Massage/Pampering Day
  • Start a journal
  • Movie Night
  • Short Road Trip

Q:  What destressing activities best suit your personality?

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