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Wedding Planning Stress, Anxiety, And When To Seek Help Managing It All

Updated: Apr 16

You’ve been prepping for this stage since you were five years old dreaming with your Barbies or playing wedding with your friends. You remember spinning around in dresses, attending everyone else’s weddings, and always waiting for your one special moment. Then one day you met your person and they proposed, and everything was great….

Until you had to start planning. Perhaps the weight of everyone’s expectations are getting you down or trying to get people to attend events. Perhaps it is just so much on your plate trying to juggle wedding planning and a full-time job. You might feel some loss around losing who you used to be. Or maybe part of you just doesn’t care about the details except marrying your best friend. Meanwhile, you are supposed to be the happiest person ever, but you just don’t feel like it.

You want to be practically a bridechilla or a bride who doesn’t show the stress, feels okay even in the disappointing moments, and whoa appears to be okay with all the curveballs of wedding planning. But how do you get to not letting wedding stress affect you?

Signs You May Be Over-Stressed About Your Wedding

With beginning to notice a problem, first comes recognizing it is a problem and what is going on. Once we recognize the signs, then we can work towards fixing them.

Signs You May Be Anxious and Too Stressed Over Your Wedding Can Include:

  • Racing thoughts

  • Your brain won’t shut off

  • Can’t stop talking about it or think of another subject

  • Waking up in the middle of the night

  • Feeling on edge constantly

  • Random outbursts

  • Feeling irritable with everyone in your life

  • Fighting with everyone

  • Getting constantly sick (stress affects the immune system)

  • Constantly fighting with your fiancé

  • Considering eloping more and more

  • Drinking more or smoking more to cope

Who Is In Your Corner?

First, acknowledge that weddings are stressful. There is so much more going on. One person alone cannot do it all. In 10-18 months, the average couple not working with a wedding planner spends 200-300 hours planning their wedding or 8-12 full days.

You need a support system to help you get through those moments. This is a great time to look at the strengths and weaknesses of those around you. Is one person detail-oriented enough to help you keep a spreadsheet of expenses? Do you have someone who loves throwing parties and can help you plan the events or bounce ideas off of? Are any of your other friends getting married who can relate to your current stage and normalize or validate what you are going through?

A Few Great People To Consider:

  • A Party Planner Friend-to help you plan the events and bounce ideas off

  • A Registry Friend–this person knows what you need for a new house or has good style in choosing items, they may even like to cook

  • An Empathetic Friend–this person will not judge you for freaking out that someone sent out the exact same invites two weeks before you

  • Another Bride–this person will understand your stress and help keep you focused

  • A Manicure/Pedicure friend–someone who will keep you regular on taking care of your nails if that interests you

Ultimately this is a great time to explore your friends and your support system and how they can help you during these big moments. People will want to help and share some of the excitement as they can. This will also dilute your wedding planning stress and allow you to connect deeper with those who support you.

Have A Must List For Your Wedding To Keep Anxiety Lower

We live in an extremely informative world where you can go down a rabbit hole of far too much information and far too many ideas. Pinterest, Facebook groups, Google, and bride magazines–all inundate us with information until our brains our overflowing. Thanks to social media you can see how everyone else’s weddings went and feel a little bit of competitiveness or comparison jealousy.

One way to keep yourself from spinning out of control is to have a must-list. What are your musts with getting married? Is it a sparkler exit, a choreographed first dance, beautiful flower centerpieces, or a rustic-themed venue? What do you absolutely need, what do you like, and what can you live without? Wedding planning can be a good time to practice noticing what you are in control of and what you aren’t and being okay with delegating. Anxiety and depression often thrive by expecting perfectionistic or unrealistic standards and this may be part of your stress.

A helpful way to handle the stress can be to remind yourself, that while the wedding is important, at the end of the day you get to marry your best friend. Focus on that level of grounding. No matter what goes wrong, the only important thing is to marry your person.

Communicate Effectively With Your Friends And Family

If you’ve never been great at assertiveness, boundaries, or communicating effectively–now is the time to learn. Therapy can be helpful for learning effective communication.

One way to start working on communication without therapy could be to work on identifying people in your life who do communicate well and exploring what they do well. Perhaps talking to them about how they learned or what you could do better. Another great way would be a meditation, such as Protector Figures by Dr. Jamie Marich. Practicing healthy communication is the key to wedding planning and keeping relationships intact.

If you are struggling to communicate with your partner, here is a great blog to help you.


You may read this title and think: “Ah yes, self-care, I know what that means”. Do you?

Are you practicing self-care such as:

  • Getting exercise

  • Seeing friends

  • Getting enough sleep

  • Meditation or Mindfulness

  • Breathing

  • Laughter

  • Crying when it hurts

  • Creativity

  • Healthy Eating

If you are engaging in some or all of those, awesome! If you aren’t, check into what you need or perhaps what you need more of. Are you getting enough exercise but not enough mindfulness? What areas may be unfulfilled in your self-care cycle? Once we know what we need, it may be time to ask your partner or family to help support you so that you can obtain quality self-care.

If you aren’t sure how to implement these steps or are trying these and they aren’t working–therapy could be helpful in teaching you how to manage your stress, communicate effectively, and be in the moment. It could help take your wedding day from having a minor disaster encompass the whole day to being able to let things go and move on quickly. Therapy can teach you coping skills that you can use at any point and give you more tools to manage your emotions. Therapy can help you practice difficult conversations and how to know you handled your communication healthily and effectively without any guilt about how the conversation ended. Therapy can be a great starting place to a happier, healthier you, even in the most stressful of times.

If you are looking for individual therapy, Mary Willoughby (Romm) Prentiss is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Virginia who provides online therapy for Willow Tree Healing Center. She enjoys transforming the lives of women, college students, kids, tweens/teens, and families through providing communication strategies, coping skills that work, allowing a safe space to be heard, and actively working towards helping you with your challenges. She is certified inParent-Child Interaction Therapy (ages 2-7) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,counsels substance abuse in teens and adults, and practices Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy.

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