When your partner asked you to marry them, you were over the moon. Walking down the aisle is something you’ve always dreamed of and now it’s finally happening. So why, then, are you feeling so much pre-wedding anxiety? While you might be freaking out inside, take a deep breath. We’re here to assure you that not only is what you’re going through super common, but it’s totally harmless.
Why pre-wedding anxiety is completely normal
You might feel like there’s something wrong with you or that you’re being ungrateful because you can’t deal with your pre-wedding anxiety. That’s not the case at all. In fact, it’d probably be a little strange if you didn’t feel nervous! Marriage is a big commitment, and while it’s likely one you’re ready to make, that’s still an intense experience. So’s the big day itself.
“Pre-wedding anxiety is normal because planning a wedding can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Many factors contribute to pre-wedding anxiety, including financial stress, family dynamics, and uncertainty about the future,” Emma Loker, mental health specialist at Healthy Minded, tells Bolde.
“It’s important to remember that you’re not alone in feeling this way and that many couples experience pre-wedding anxiety. It’s also important to recognize that it’s natural to feel a mix of excitement and anxiety as you prepare for such a big life change.”
How to cope with it
- Self-care is key. Planning a wedding can be a lot of fun, but it’s also stressful. You have to worry about who you’re inviting, how the day will go, what food you’ll serve at the reception, whether or not to book a live wedding band, etc. Then you have to figure out how to pay for it all! No wonder so many people end up with pre-wedding anxiety. That’s why self-care is so important. Spend some time away from planning to focus solely on yourself. Meditate, work out, have a spa day, whatever it takes to restore your mental and emotional equilibrium.
- Talk to your partner about how you’re feeling. This can be a game-changer. Chances are, your partner might be experiencing the same thing. While you might feel bad telling them you’re having a tough time, don’t. They’ll want to know so that they can put your mind at ease. Let them know what’s bothering you and what you’re worried about. They may be able to assuage your concerns.
- Ask your loved ones for help. Because wedding planning is tough, you have to be able to delegate. Sure, it’s your wedding, but your bridal party and your family members would be happy to help where they can. Ask them to do smaller things just to lighten the load on your plate. You’d be surprised what a difference this can make.
- Take a break from social media. Comparison truly is the thief of joy. Scrolling through people’s wedding posts on Insta, TikTok, etc. is an exercise in insanity. Sign out of your social accounts for a while and live your own life. That’s the only one that matters.
- Focus on the bigger picture. At the end of the day, your wedding is a single day in the rest of your lives. You want everything to be “perfect,” but it will be because you’re marrying the person you love. “Remember why you’re getting married and focus on the love and commitment you and your partner share. Overall, it’s important to remember that the wedding day is just one day and that the most important thing is the commitment you and your partner are making to each other. Keep that in mind, and try to enjoy the process of planning and preparing for your special day.”
- Schedule a therapy session. When all else fails, having a quick emergency session with your therapist can go a long way toward calming your nerves. You can vent to your heart’s content and get some solid, logical feedback from someone outside of the situation. It’s definitely a consideration if you’re struggling.
Is it pre-wedding anxiety or is your gut trying to warn you?
If you’re freaking out that you’re not just experiencing normal pre-wedding anxiety and that there’s something seriously wrong, doing these things will steer you in the right direction.
- Figure out where your anxiety is coming from. Loker suggests pinpointing the source of the stress. Are you freaking out because you’re worried about seating arrangements? Or, are you doubts about something much bigger? “If your anxiety is focused on specific wedding-related tasks or logistics, it’s more likely that you’re experiencing cold feet,” she says. “However, if your anxiety is more general and relates to the relationship, your intuition may be telling you something.”
- Evaluate the strength of your relationship. Has your partner given you any reason to doubt them recently? Are there issues that you’ve allowed to snowball and feel like they’re coming to a head? Could you be brushing serious problems under the carpet to keep up appearances? You’ve come this far in planning your wedding and maybe you don’t want to disappoint people. If those things are true, it’s likely more than normal pre-wedding anxiety. If, however, things are going well and your partnership is as strong as ever, you’re in the clear.
- Listen to your intuition. Ultimately, there’s no one more trustworthy than you. If there’s a sinking, nagging feeling you just can’t let go of, there may be something bigger going on. While it’s possible you’re overreacting or self-sabotaging, it’s important that you don’t write off legitimate feelings of doubt. Your gut won’t steer you wrong.