Planning a wedding can be a very stressful time. One huge stressor can be the strong cultural message that this should be the happiest time of our lives and we should enjoy every minute of it. If you find the wedding planning process to be miserable, it does not necessarily mean that you do not want to get married or that you’re doing something wrong. It may mean that you just find wedding planning to be a miserable process. If you are experiencing overwhelming stress, irritability, anxiety, and/or low mood, these are all things that can be explored further. Even when we are experiencing a happy and exciting time in our lives, very normal ups and downs can and will occur.
Are you noticing that you’re experiencing body image issues, financial stress, feeling overwhelmed with relationship dynamics, disagreements/cultural differences with your partner, challenges with the the guest list and/or general planning, pressure to have your wedding look or be a certain way?
By beginning to look at your experience with compassion and curiosity, and by allowing judgement and societal expectations to take a step back, you are beginning the process of mindful wedding planning. You will begin to look at all those challenging experiences with more clarity and confidence.
When mindfully planning, we allow our values to guide decision-making. We begin to let go of things (wedding details, unhelpful thought patterns, relationship tension) that are no longer serving us. We focus our attention on what is important and we potentially save money because we let go of things we don’t really want. Mindful wedding planning includes tapping into heart, body and spirit by utilizing mindfulness and yoga to reduce stress, anxiety and unhelpful mind-chatter.
For many, this can be a time when we feel like SO much is expected of us. At some point, our emotions and/or actions will conflict with what we feel is expected. When we feel like we are not meeting expectations common experiences are guilt, shame, and anxiety. The wedding industry and almost constant access to others’ weddings via social media has skewed our idea of what a wedding is “supposed to be.” With the access the internet allows, there is so much opportunity to compare ourselves to others. And as we know, that almost always results in feelings that are icky and riddled with self-doubt.
My hope is to spread the message that it is OK if you are experiencing anything other than pre-nuptial bliss. Planning a wedding is extremely difficult and expensive. If you are stressed and overwhelmed, that is OK. If you are totally blissed out and loving every moment of it, that is OK. If you’re somewhere in the middle, that is OK. We’re all different and we all have very different life experiences leading up to being engaged, so of course we’re going to have different experiences when planning a wedding.
If you’re interested in exploring mindful wedding planning with me, call me for a free 15 minute consultation. If you’re already meeting with a therapist and haven’t brought this topic up with them, bring it up! If this process is creating stress and anxiety for you, challenge some of those expectations. Be YOU at your wedding!