The recent story of Jennifer Wilbanks, the "runaway bride" from Georgia, illustrates the kinds of pressures that can build before a wedding.
If you're like most brides-to-be, you've been looking forward to your wedding day for a long time! In fact, many women say they first started imagining their wedding day when they were little girls.
When you combine those lifelong expectations with the decisions and deadlines involved in planning a wedding, it's no wonder that the months, weeks and days leading up to it can leave you feeling stressed out.
And most brides say that the actual ceremony and reception seem to go by in a flash, so here are five things you can do to ensure that you enjoy that special day with as little stress as possible:
1. Stay Focused on What's Really Important.
When you're dealing with things like bridesmaids who haven't gotten their dresses yet, or telling Uncle Phil that he is not allowed to do "The Chicken Dance" at the reception, it's easy to lose sight of what the wedding is all about.
Keep a journal while you're in the planning stages, and start it with your hopes and goals for your married life. Re-read them daily to stay focused on what really matters.
As important as it may seem to make every decision, many brides who take on all the responsibility find themselves quickly overwhelmed. Divide tasks into major groups, and give jobs to a wedding planner, and family and friends who can follow through.
3. Stay Focused on What You Can Control.
As each problem crops up, ask yourself "Is this something I can directly control, or not?" If not, refocus on other things that you can control, and delegate whenever you can.
4. Keep Walking.
Or jogging, or spinning, or whatever else you do to de-stress. Regular exercise is an important way of ridding your body of unneeded tension.
5. Stay in the Moment.
The kind of love, support and positive energy you receive on your wedding day is something you want to experience to the max.
When you wake up on your wedding day, make it your goal to focus on each person who wishes you well, how good each hug feels, how amazing it is to be begin sharing the best part of your life with that one special person.
If you follow these five tips, you'll be well prepared to completely enjoy your wedding day celebration and the memories that you, your friends and family will create. Even if Uncle Phil does the Chicken Dance.
Dr. David A. Weiman