By Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway
It's supposed to be such a "happy time" yet brides tend to get clobbered by stress on the way to the altar. Here are some of the stressors and some solutions from Wedding Goddess.
1. Bridezillas are made, not born. It’s easy to get sucked into the vortex of wedding planning stress, and overwhelmed by the stress, pressure and expectations of those around you. You have to include stress management, self-nurturing and time to chill out as an integral part of her wedding planning process.
2. Know what YOU want before everyone you know starts telling you what you're wedding should be. Before you run off to tell the folks and friends you are engaged, take some time for you and your beloved to get used to the idea. And to discuss the kind of wedding you want. When you start sharing the news, without having a clue about the experience you want to create, you are more vulnerable to pressure and influence from others.
3. Stay on the same page with the man you will marry. Make an agreement that you will make all decisions together, and back each other up. The moment there is a weakness in your partnership, you will both be swayed more easily by other people's opinions.
4. Everyone has something to say about your wedding. It’s a given. Just accept it. Whether they are paying for it or not ... no matter whom you are or what age. You’ll be showered with congratulations and gifts… and bombarded with unsolicited advice.
5. Everyone has an agenda for your wedding. It is a rare family that does not have a reason to be part of your big day for reasons other than the mere fact that you are getting married. People tend to see your wedding as a chance to fulfill their own needs. They tend to act out what it’s all about for them – not you! You have to set clear boundaries, and also protect yourself emotionally from the sometimes-negative vibes from well-meaning friends and relatives.
6. You can include loved ones without letting them run the show. There are so many creative ways to honor them in the ceremony and at the reception. Get over your desire to make everyone happy and focus instead on honoring family ties in a way that is meaningful to your marriage.
7. Getting married can stir up a lot of emotions. The process itself sets forth period of growth and change that can be very nerve -wracking. Once you decide to marry you will begin the process of getting ready for marriage … and unresolved emotions may come to the surface to be explored. Be prepared to do some inner work along with all the external preparations. Honor and address the emotions and fears that arise. Trust they are natural. Don't sweep things under the rug.
8. Your happiness in life (and marriage) DOES NOT hinge on your wedding alone. Our culture places a tremendous emphasis on having a great wedding and not enough focus on having an awesome marriage. It's okay to be temporarily obsessed and to yearn for the perfect wedding -- we all go there at some point -- but you have to keep your eye on what's truly important. Too many brides treat the wedding itself as something to be worshipped and served. Don’t give the wedding day so much power! Step back and realize, the most important part of the day is not the day itself ... but that you walked down that aisle and into the arms of the One you love … the One you look forward to building your life with.
Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway is a leading interfaith and non-denominational wedding officiant. She creates unique ceremonies for couples of all backgrounds and faiths, and is also widely recognized as a relationship coach, bridal stress expert and columnist. She is author of YOUR INTERFAITH WEDDING: A Guide to Blending Faiths, Cultures and Personal Values into One Beautiful Ceremony,YOUR PERFECT WEDDING VOWS: How to Write, Find and Select the Words that Express What is in Your Heart and WEDDING GODDESS: A Divine Guide to Transforming Wedding Stress into Wedding Bliss. To help reduce wedding stress, get your personally autographed copy at www.WeddingGoddess.com.