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“I Just Want To Be Done!” How to Manage Wedding Planning Stress

The Engagement Coach Adrienne C. Laursen shares five tips for managing wedding stress.

Adrienne
C. Laursen, LMFT, Licensed Marriage Therapist, Fox 9 Relationship Expert, and
owner of
The Engagement Coach, shares five tips for managing
the toughest wedding stressors for every bride. Adrienne works specifically
with dating, engaged and newlywed clients in her private practice, located in Wayzata,
Minnesota.

Getting engaged and planning a wedding is supposed to be the
highlight of your life, right? Often times, though, the stress of planning your
wedding can really spoil the excitement. 
These five stressors are normal and typically present for most couples
in the thick of wedding planning.  And,
while you can’t really eliminate all of this stress (let’s face it, planning a
wedding is super stressful), you can
learn to better deal with it so you and your groom can have a more positive and
enjoyable experience.

1. Managing Everyone’s Expectations (Yours Included)
You’ve been dreaming about your
wedding day for years and unfortunately, so has your mother! All kidding aside,
moms often think they know best when it comes to planning your wedding,
selecting your dress and deciding on the guest list. It can be hard to manage
all of the pressure and expectations your parents place on you for this one,
very important day. Setting clear boundaries and expectations upfront may help
manage any frustrations or differences of opinion down the road. I often
suggest writing out a plan, or a list of responsibilities for everyone
involved.  (For example: Who manages
what, budget guidelines, deadlines for decisions, maximum guest count, etc.)
That way, you’ve got something concrete to reference when expectations get out
of control.

2. Difficult Friends and Family Members
We’ve all got one—you know the
one—friend who thinks this is actually her
day: the divorced parents who make your wedding all about how much they despise
each other, the crazy relative who demands she bring 15 guests because the
family hasn’t seen each other in 10 years. 
When dealing with difficult friends and family members, try to remind
them what this day is really about. If they become too difficult, it may be
necessary to set firm boundaries or remove them from the wedding altogether.
Just be sure you’re not trying to manage all of this stress alone.  Get emotional support from your good friends,
fiancé or a therapist to ensure you keep your sanity and actually want to
attend your own wedding.

3. Frustrating Vendors
Even with the best intentions
and laid-out plans, your wedding vendors can still be frustrating and lack the
follow-through you desire. If your vendors get too frustrating for you to
handle, consider delegating that job to a trusted family member or close
friend. You may also consider hiring a wedding planner to manage that stress
for you. Sometimes, the money spent on a planner can be really beneficial in
the long run to saving your sanity and your relationship with your groom!

4. Your Wedding Budget (Or Lack Thereof)
Communicating about money is
hard enough when you’re married, but most couples get their first glimpse of
money management while planning their wedding. Learning how best to spend the
money you do have can present a challenge for a lot of couples.

Wedding stress can increase
significantly when you’re presented with the upgrades vendors offer and often pressure you to consider. If it
gets overwhelming, know that it’s okay to take a step back, go home and discuss
your options in a private setting. It’s really easy to get mesmerized by all of
the add-ons you can choose from, but committing to your original budget will
save you a lot of heartache in the end. Just remember that the sky’s the limit
in terms of what you can have for
your wedding, so don’t let yourself get pulled in to spending more than you can
afford, or you’ll be regretting your decision when it comes time to pay off
that debt.

5. Each Other!
With all of the stress, decision
making and pressure you’re likely to experience, you may find that you’re
turning that frustration on each other. Often times, grooms will complain that
their bride-to-be is just too crabby and stressed out all of the time. Brides
will likely take issue with the fact that their groom is too uninvolved and
that she’s left alone to handle all of the details.  Staying strong with each other, and
remembering to communicate regularly will go a long way to staying connected
and happy as a couple. 

For more information on Adrienne’s premarital, engagement and
newlywed counseling services (and get free relationship tips!), visit her
website.