It goes without saying; most little girls grow up dreaming of the day they wear that big white gown and marry their prince charming. This is the fairytale scene we are relentlessly shown starting from our first Disney movie to the TV show that you watched last night. But Hollywood often forgets the part before the “happily ever after,” the pains of planning and pleasing.
Over 2 million couples wed every year in the United States, with June being the most popular month. We can put a lot of pressure on our shoulders trying to live up to our own, almost unachievable, ideal wedding, as well as everyone else’s expectations.
I’m sure we have all heard a new bride discuss the stress of planning a wedding, telling stories of almost broken engagements and bridezillas. For some women, what is supposed to be their “big day” becomes a nightmare due to high stress and anxiety.
Decisions, decisions, decisions. So, you have the shiny new ring, now what do you do? There are so many details that go in to that one day. Of course picking the date, venue and dress are the first things women often account for, but what about all the other details like choosing the music, caterer and florist. And once those decisions are made, you’ll make decisions on what the guests will dance to, what the guests will eat, and just how many flowers can one fit inside a venue. All of these decisions can become daunting and trigger anxiety, panic and depression.
It is important for women who start to become overwhelmed by the choices to employ coping skills such as distress tolerance and asking for help from others around to make some of these minor decisions for you. Be sure to give yourself enough time to plan efficiently in order to maintain a stress-free engagement.
Debt. With the average American wedding pushing $30,000, some couples find themselves pinching pennies for groceries, rent and gas. Whether you are an established millionaire or just out of college, financial strain can take a toll on our relationship with our future spouse, family and our self. Money is one of the main stressors for couples, and feeling as though your wedding has to have everything imaginable can quickly add up to be well over your financial means. It is important to remember starting your marriage without the stress and guilt of wedding debt is crucial to enjoying life with your groom.
Family pains. Weddings are not just a celebration for the bride and groom; it is also a chance for families to get together. For most people this is a joyous time, but for others the pain of a lost love one, or the frustration of a boisterous in-law can make weddings hard to enjoy, and might prompt feelings of depression and isolation. When dealing with family members who are too pushy with their own opinions it is important to take them into consideration, and if it is a reasonable request, then consider it. But if it is not something you are willing to compromise on then practice being assertive and give yourself the respect and love you deserve.
My mother passed away 3 years before my brother got married. We all wished she could have been there to witness him marry a girl he had been in love with since high school and it was bittersweet. But to incorporate my mother, and acknowledge the loss, his wife put a little brooch with my mom’s picture on the base of her bouquet as she walked down the aisle. This meant so much to my family and helped ease the sadness of her absence. Even if loved ones can’t be there to celebrate with you, there are many meaningful ways to incorporate their memory into your own special moment.
All eyes on you. Most brides spend a lot of time doing hair and makeup, spray tans and last minute diets, because they want to be the center of attention. Traditionally, no one else is to wear white because it takes attention from the bride. But for some women the thought of all eyes on them can bring on panic and anxiety. Social anxiety can prevent brides from enjoying their moment in the spotlight. They may fear judgment and embarrassment, even in front of their closest friends and family.
This is when those anxiety coping skills come in handy. Practice walking down the aisle, breathe, and get plenty of rest. Work on replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones and be mindful of the moment. This day is about celebrating your love for your spouse with those who support and care for you.
Wedding planning and even the day itself can be anxiety and stress provoking, especially for those with mental health disorders. Although there are many details to think about, decisions to make and people to consider in order to pull off the wedding of your dreams, women must never forget to make mental health and emotional wellness a priority.
Meta keywords: anxiety, depression, mental health disorders, mental health