Keeping Your Mental Health in Check Throughout Wedding Planning
I’m excited to be talking about one of my favorite specialties at my practice today: relationships, particularly relationships going through major transitions. Whether you’re just starting to date, contemplating taking your relationship to the next stage, planning a wedding, or overcoming a breakup, I’m equipped and ready to talk you through each of these phases.
During a series of episodes and blog and social media posts, I’ve been highlighting these topics to help you keep your mental health in check.
Given that we’re in the midst of wedding season, I thought it was a good time to discuss how to keep your and your partner’s mental health a top priority throughout the wedding planning process. As we all know, weddings can be a lot of planning, time, and a huge investment: emotionally and financially! I have worked with countless women going through the process and now that I’ve experienced it myself, I can only say wowzers.
As a result, I’m very dedicated to empowering couples to prioritize their relationship and well-being during wedding planning and hope that today’s post encourages you to do the same.
Here are my top tips for showing up as your best selves throughout your engagement and wedding season:
Don’t be fooled by younger fears that discussions about your future will send your loved one packing. With surprise engagements becoming less common and collaborative partnerships on the rise, I highly encourage all of my clients in relationships to have frank conversations about the relationship’s future early on. Marriage is full of tough conversations, so it’s best to start practicing effective communication skills from the start. Have confidence that if this partner is meant to be, these conversations will take you to the future you deserve. If you find these conversations especially scary or difficult, consider couple’s therapy to ensure nothing gets lost in translation.
Insert another plug for couple’s therapy!! Wedding planning rarely comes without stress, and therapy sessions are a great way to stay on the same page throughout the process. Plus, I recommend pre-marital counseling to even the strongest of strong couples. Topics like merging of finances, children, aging parents, career opportunities, intimacy, and more are all worthwhile discussion points.
Don’t forget about individual therapy too!
Major life transitions can bring up a lot past memories, increase anxiety, disorder eating and body image, and even though it’s “the happiest time of your life”, depression and other mental health symptoms are known to flare up. Thus, don’t forget to take time to prioritize your own mental health and find a trustworthy, trained support to be your sounding board to process any of your symptoms and concerns.
Say “Yes” to Loving Your Body
The wedding industry has found countless ways to capitalize on women’s insecurities and body image literally tops the cake. From feeling “good” in your dress, honeymoon beach bodies, to being “too anxious to eat”, now is the time to protect yourself from wedding diet culture. Start by working with eating disorder/intuitive eating/body image trained therapists and dietitians. These professionals are equipped with training and tools to help you walk down the aisle with the confidence that no diet will ever provide you.
Share and Standby Your Opinions
Like when someone wins the lottery, people’s opinions about your big day come out of left field. Before you open up the floor for these opinions, sit down with just your partner and create your vision for your wedding. When it’s time to start including others in the planning, always meet in small groups to allow for effective communication and always, always revisit the importance of your vision. Too many couples let others’ opinions take over, and your day to exchange vows is too special to do any way that doesn’t bring you both joy.
Don’t Forget to Still Date
In preparation for making your partner you’re forever date, don’t forget to set aside time continue dating each other before and after the wedding. Take wedding planning off the table during these dates and prioritize the here and now. Surprisingly, a lot of couple start to forget to ask about the basics: work, sports, and other meaningful activities! If you have the time and resources, go on a local day trip or longer vacation to unwind and keep the spark extra hot!
Ask for Help
Pending the size and logistics of your nuptials, you can’t be the bride/groom, florist, cater, decorator, and music all at one time. Take a break from being in full control by outlining your vision in detail and identifying the resources you need to make it come alive. Share Pinterest boards, photos, sketches, outlines - whatever it takes. Whether you hire outside help or utilize friends and family, you’ll never regret being present for the big day.
Consider the Alternatives
Again, weddings can generate lots of stress, opinions, and are notoriously a big investment. Don’t be afraid to consider alternatives. Eloping no longer has a “stigma”, micro-wedding guest lists are appreciated, and friends officiating ceremonies in fun locations are the new norm. Determine a plan that lights both of you up and embrace it with confidence.
Relax, unwind, and re-calibrate to your new normal.
Continue those couples sessions as effective, transparent communication will never stop being important, especially if you plan to have kids.
Keep on calm and keep dating. While many couples don’t report a significant difference between dating and marriage, there technically is a new legal obligation in the mix. Never lit the fire fade by planning activities, dates, and create a bucket list full of goals and dreams to check off together.
As always, feel free to reach out with any questions, stories, and click HERE to learn how I can support you throughout any and all of your relationship adventures!
Keep Adventuring :)