Managing the Stress of Saying "I Do"
My Friend, Natalie Veis, who also happens to be a certified (badass) yoga instructor said "yes" to the man of her dreams last year. As she's about to walk down the aisle, I asked her to do a guest piece on how she managed the stress of getting married......Thanks, Nat!
Weddings are a celebration, a time to honor a couples’ love and the beginning of their life together. But, as with anything in life, some stress usually accompanies the joy. No matter how simple and carefree you promise yourself your wedding will be, some level of stress or tension will try and creep its way into your mind. Avoiding it is much easier said than done.
I will be walking down the aisle in just a few, short weeks. And while I have tried my best to tame my inner bridezilla throughout the planning process, I have definitely seen her come unleashed a time or two. Drama over the guest list, a minor (almost major) moment of panic over my dress, an almost lost-in- the-mail engagement ring all contributed to a few bridezilla bursts.
I have always wanted a small wedding. I envisioned an intimate moment with my nearest and dearest, and that is what I set out to create when we got engaged in January. I heard friends talking about the pain of planning weddings and I never wanted to become the bride that was so sick of the planning, she just wanted it to be over with. So I made myself a promise to be present in the planning stage, not wish it all away, and manage my stress effectively.
I am a yoga teacher and like to think that I know the importance of slowing down to breathe. I have always been a type A personality and tend to sweat the small stuff. But, ever since I began my yoga journey a few years ago, my stress levels have decreased and I have been more successful at managing them. So I figured, wedding planning would be a breeze, I wouldn’t allow myself to be stressed out… it can’t be that hard, right? WRONG!
I stuck to my guns to have a small, private ceremony up until a few days ago. I initially wanted to elope but as a compromise, we decided to have a private ceremony (parents, grandparents, siblings) and then invite our extended family and friends to our reception to celebrate. We created two separate invites so there would be no confusion. But, what began as a plan for a moment with immediate family during our vows, turned into something viewed as an insult to other people. When people tell you it’s your wedding and you can do what you want, they don’t always mean it.
I learned three important lessons planning my wedding…
It's so easy to get caught up in the planning. There are a lot of decisions to be made, and before you know it the day is here and gone. My brother got married last summer and we were all so excited for the big day that once it happened, I felt like I hadn’t even experienced some of it.
Slow down, things do not have to be perfect. Can’t find the perfect shade of blush pink for the bridesmaid dresses? Who cares?! The Pinterest DIY projects didn’t turn out right? Reign in your Pinterest obsession and throw that idea to the wind.
The time leading up to the wedding is filled with emotions and you don’t want to miss it. As my wedding day approaches, I am feeling a lot of emotions and I smile, feel deeply blessed, and cry sometimes. But, that is all part of the process, it is a BIG DEAL to get married. So enjoy every phase of it, don’t get too burdened with details and worries that you forgot to enjoy it. But, trust me, the closer my wedding gets, the harder being present becomes.
Weigh the drama, and proceed accordingly.
Stresses will come up during the planning. Don’t let small, unimportant details turn into a huge argument...like getting mad that his penmanship didn’t meet my expectations as he helped address the invites. I should have just been happy with the help.
Bigger issues will also arise, like my guest list dilemma. For me, extending the ceremony invite to additional people would result in less drama, so that is the choice I made. It felt like I had to take one for the team for my own wedding, which sucked, but sometimes you just have to suck it up and move forward.
Breathe, drink LOTS of water, and find your outlet.
I have always been physically active and I use that as a form of stress release. Increasing my weight lifting and cardio routines, in addition to eating clean and drinking more water have been so beneficial for me this past year. My body got fitter, my skin got clearer, and my mind got calmer.
Unfortunately, when you get engaged the rest of your life doesn’t slow down to accommodate your planning. You have to juggle other pieces of your professional and personal life and some days are just harder than others. Having some type of outlet will help you handle those days.
Thankfully, my mom is also a yoga teacher and I have been taking her weekly classes and carving out some time in the evenings to meditate. I know these things will be even more important as the big day draws nearer.
But at the end of the day…
Planning a wedding will be as stressful as you let it be. Decide what issues you will tolerate and refuse to acknowledge the rest. Enlist the help of your fiancé, family, and friends when making the big decisions and try to go with the flow of the smaller details. And remember that this is about you and your fiancé, whatever type of wedding you want to plan is okay. It's your day.
The most important thing to remember when planning a wedding is that when it’s all said and done you will be married to the love of your life, and nothing else will even matter....
Natalie was born and raised in the beauty of Montana. She received her business degree from the University of Montana (Go Griz) and her RYT 200 at Old Town Yoga Studio in Fort Collins, CO. She currently resides in Wenatchee, WA with her fiancé, Travis, where she is the Digital Marketing Manager for Globalization Partners International. Natalie loves yoga, traveling, writing, reading, good food, great wine, and most of all, her husband-to-be, family and corgi Luna.