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5 Mindfulness Practices to Reduce Wedding Planning Stress

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

Written by Emily Marquis, Certified Health & Wellness Coach & Yoga Instructor. Work with Emily for private group or individual yoga sessions for your event or health coaching to create healthy habits to manage your stress.

Photo Credit: Paper Posey Photography

Wedding planning can be a full-time job with politics, money, and emotions attached. It’s supposed to be fun and one of the happiest times in life. Until… Mom calls and says she just honestly wishes you’d pick light blue instead of mint. Uncle Bob emails to say he decided to drive out and wants to park his RV in your driveway. The baker calls and says she realized she double booked the date and cancels. Your fiancé breaks his ankle and will be in a boot and crutches for the big day.

Best yet, a global pandemic hits.

Let’s face it, on top of everything else in your normal daily juggle, wedding planning can be a lot to manage. Some days you can swing from incredibly excited to threatening to cancel everything and elope. While we can’t always change everything around us, including Mom’s color preference, we can choose how we react and become resilient in the stress in order to enjoy all that is truly present.

Having a day when you feel like this is impossible?

Here are some easy Mindfulness tips to help ground you and keep your focus on getting married rather than stressing about napkins.

Photo Credit: @conscious_design

1. Take a body scan inventory. Our bodies are sending us messages all the time; we’re just too busy to pay attention. Next time you’re standing in the grocery store line, don’t pull out the phone. Do a body scan with your awareness from the top of your head, to the tips of your fingers, throughout your torso, and down to the tips of your toes. What do you notice? Any tension? Any adjustments to realign? What is your heart rate like? How about your breathing? Any relaxing you could spread by unclenching your jaw or glutes? Make it a practice to get in tune with your body. Start to notice what relaxed feels like in your body. Notice where you hold stress. Then the next time you see an email from Uncle Bob and you notice your shoulders shrug and your jaw clench, take a moment to pause and relax before opening it up to read it.

2. Breathe. Deep breathing can do many things including relax your body, ignite your parasympathetic nervous system, slow your mind, and help you focus. While breathing is something most of us are fortunate to do effortlessly, take a pause and be more aware of each breath. Place your left hand over your heart and right hand over your low abdomen under the navel. Keeping lips gently sealed, deepen your inhale by breathing deeply into your belly and pressing into your right hand until your whole body is full. Slowly exhale out of your mouth as if you were gently blowing out a candle and feel your right hand collapsing as your belly hollows. Repeat as much as you’d like. Notice your rate slowing down and your body relaxing. Give this a try when you have a couple of minutes to pause and next time you're stressed, try three of these deep breaths to cool down in the moment.

Photo Credit: Paper Posey Photography

3. Learn when to let go. Even though it is your wedding, you sadly can’t control everything. The smallest thing can seem colossal when we have big expectations. Staying up all night worrying if the outfits your fiancé chose are going to properly match the votives may or may not be a big deal. At 3 am it may feel like a catastrophe. You get to decide what you hold onto and what you can let go of. Have a notepad and a pen ready. Make two columns on your note pad with the labels “take action,” and “let go.” Think of some of the things that are stressing you out. For example, you may have an outdoor wedding planned and rain is a possibility. What category would you put this in? You could place it under the “Take Action” column and come up with a rain contingency plan. You could put it under the “Let Go” column because keeping everything outside is what you want – chances of precipitation are low and/or maybe there are no backup options. Placing rain in the “Let Go” category means you are giving yourself permission to let go of thinking about it anymore. If you wanted to you could tear the “Let Go” column out of your notebook and safely burn it or rip it up and throw it away to truly release it.

4. Slow the scroll. We are constantly inundated with information overload, expectations, and comparisons. It's no secret social media breeds these fun invitations for additional stress. Set boundaries with yourself and limit the amount of time you’re scrolling social media and the internet. Schedule time that you think about and focus on wedding planning into your schedule and stick to it. Burning ourselves out with it constantly being at the forefront of our mind and feed can blow our budget and stress level out of the water.

Photo Credit: Paper Posey Photography

5. Remember your why. The event of the wedding can seem to take away the reason it's happening in the first place; you’re committing to the love of your life surrounded by people you feel supported by. When stress gets out of control, managing family politics, and worrying about the budget becomes too much; refocus back on the why behind the wedding. This shift in perspective from the flowers to the vows can take a load off - the flowers will fade but your vows will anchor your marriage. Acting with intention and clarity can bring greater ease. As humans, we often need reminders of our why. Create an affirming statement or mantra about your why of the wedding. “I am excited to marry my love and share it!” Tape it to your notebook, mirror, computer, etc. Have a picture of you and your fiancé close by as a reminder. State it silently to yourself mindfully after you take a breath before you begin a planning task or when a stressful moment arises.

Unfortunately, we cannot totally eliminate wedding planning stress. But with a bit of practice, we get to choose how we deal with it. Stay present with yourself and focus on what’s true – your love!

Photo Credit: Paper Posey Photography

Written by Emily Marquis

Photo Credit: Catherine Eichel Photography

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