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Destination I Do
Thursday, February 4, 2021

10 Tips To Keep Calm & Marry On

Words by Jennifer Stein
Photos courtesy of Kurt Boomer Photography

Couples far and wide are finding it hard to keep their stress levels and anxiety at bay. It’s no wonder with what’s going on in this world right now. So how do you “keep calm and marry on?”

These ten tips are meant to help you not only plan your wedding with a little less stress, but also ways to combat the anxious thoughts and feelings as they arise. I’m a stress case by nature, so many of these are tried and true tips from a fellow ball of anxiety.



1. HIRE A PLANNER

If elementary school teachers and wedding planners haven’t proven their worth in the year 2020, I’m not sure when they will.

Wedding planners are saints sent from heaven above (well, good ones are anyway). Some of the reasons you may want to hire one (even if you’re convinced you can do it all on your own):

  • They are responsible for working with ALL your vendors and coordinating with them – ensuring they can be there if your date changes.
  • Destination weddings often include multiple events and therefore, multiple vendors. Depending on their scope of work – your planner will handle everything these additional events require.
  • They can handle any and every disaster imaginable so you don’t have to.
  • You will end up feeling like a guest at your own wedding.
  • They know event guidelines in different destinations to help ensure guests are safe and all precautions are thought through.


2. CALL YOUR VENUE

If, for some reason, you don’t hire a wedding planner, the first call you should make is to your venue. Find someone who will be your point of contact, and then find out who might be his or her second in line. A lot of changes have happened this year at hotels and venues, so it’s helpful to have more than one person on-site to communicate with. If your guest list shrinks or grows, if you have questions on protocols on social distancing or God forbid, you need to change your date – this is the first call you should make.


3. UNPLUG

Get off your computer, away from Pinterest and disengage from social media. Regularly. This is going to help your anxiety and if adopted long term, can be a lifelong solution to battling uncertainty and that mental hamster wheel. Get into nature, take a hike, a walk, a bike ride, do some yoga, read a novel, meditate, listen to music or maybe even take a bath. Whatever it is that gives you joy and helps your overactive mind to take a moment and calm down. This much needed break is good for everyone and falls under my routine of self-care.

4. HAVE FUN PINNING

I know I just said, get away from Pinterest, but I really meant, just take a break from it. When you’ve completed your self-care mentioned above, Pinterest is going to be a great way to have fun and get creative. Getting your imagination flowing and feeling like you’re crushing that to-do list can work wonders for stress. Pinning your bouquet ideas or tablescape inspiration will help get you excited for your big day. But once you’ve landed on a design and handed it off to your vendors – don’t go second-guessing yourself. Second-guessing anything (especially your gown) is a slippery slope and will only add to your stress level. Chances are, your first instinct was the right one anyway.

5. WRITE IT DOWN

When things are swimming around your mind and your to-do list is one of them, a good method to handle this is to keep a note pad with you at all times. Next to your bed, in your purse, on your desk and even your car can help get those thoughts and questions out of your mind and into a safe place. This allows you to come back to it when you have the time to work on it and feel confident you’re not forgetting anything. If you’re not a paper person – starting a “note” on your iPhone is a good way of keeping your racing mind accounted for in one central place.

6. WORK IT OUT

Find a good workout regimen. I know this seems like an obvious one for some and an annoying reminder for others, but I promise – it really helps. I can see a distinct change in my moods and energy levels when I fall off the workout wagon. Really tune into the kind of workouts you like and you’ll be more successful at it. I used to love running until I injured myself and now the thought of donning running shoes makes me want to cringe. Instead, I find barre, yoga, weight lifting and high-intensity training to be a good mix for me. Keep trying new things so you don’t get bored or in a rut. By finding a solid fitness plan, you’ll not only reduce stress, but also your waistline…and both of those will make you feel your best.

7. START A FACEBOOK GROUP

Most of you should already have your wedding website set up – and that’s going to be crucial in helping update your guests in a more formal way outside of your invitations. One way to stay in touch and communicate with your loved ones on a regular and informal basis is a private Facebook group. Most people (young and old) are on Facebook and this option allows guests to communicate with one another as well as with you in a very casual setting. I’ve seen helpful information shared in this manner as well as an abundance of support heaped onto the couple. And let’s be honest, you probably need that right about now. It also allows guests to share in the excitement for your wedding away. Lastly, it’s free and could be a really beneficial tool in your communication arsenal.

8. DECIDE TO GO WITH THE FLOW

Life is full of ups and downs. If this year hasn’t proven that, I don’t know what will. One thing that will help your wedding come together in a stress-free manner is if you go with the flow. There will be problems that arise as you plan, and if you try to control every last detail, you’ll likely drive yourself (and your fiancé) a little crazy in the process. If you decide ahead of time to roll with these challenges instead of fighting them, your trip down the aisle will be a lot easier on everyone, especially you.

9. PROCESS THE EMOTIONS

Many couples are being thrown some serious curveballs this year as they plan. With that comes disappointment, anger and frustration. Deciding to go with the flow as mentioned above, doesn’t mean that you can’t have feelings about what’s happening around your wedding plans. The healthiest way to handle this is to acknowledge your emotions, don’t stuff them. If there are tears or anger - that’s okay and completely understandable. However, don’t hold it in or it will fester. Experience the emotion when it comes, recognize it, experience it and then let it go to move forward.

10. LEAN IN TO YOUR PARTNER

This is your chance to work together for a common cause – your wedding! Take time together to work through some of the challenges you’re facing. Remember your soon-to-be spouse is on your side and your common goal is to have a wonderful wedding that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Work together to make that happen and communicate often. At the end of the day, remember what’s behind that wedding – the two of you vowing to spend your lives together. That’s what really matters… what doesn’t matter in the scheme of life: if the caterer has your choice of salmon preparation or if peonies will still be in season.

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Special Digital Edition 2020

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