You can become the dazzling bride you dream of, without succumbing to Bride-zilla, by beginning now to manage your stress level.  I encourage you to use the business of this planning season to your advantage: delegate, simplify and accept reality.  It’s not just a good plan for your wedding, it’s a good plan for life!

Simplicity Made Simple

·         Use visual imaging to decrease wedding-planning stress. Instead of stressing out over a missed appointment with the caterer, imagine how wonderful you will feel as you walk down the aisle on your father’s arm. Envision yourself as a confident, radiant, and composed bride who is about to embrace love and joy. Let yourself daydream about all the things your future will bring.

·         Instead of arguing, communicate. Remember that your individual histories, and communication styles combined with your unique style of dealing with stress, anger, disappointment, and even joy all play a part in how you manage through the wedding planning process. Pre-marital counseling can be enormous help in teaching coping techniques and gaining perspective.

·         Keep a sense of humor. Getting worked up over every little thing is not going to make anything better. Besides, laughter is the best medicine, especially when it comes to dealing with stress. Stuff will happen but it need not cause stress. Keep things in perspective. Yes, your wedding day is a big deal—but it is not the rest of your life. Your marriage is. If something goes wrong on your wedding day, it will not be the end of the world.

·         Try some proven stress reducers suggested by the National Headache Foundation ( Get up fifteen minutes earlier in the morning. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Recognize that procrastination is stressful. Rather than putting off until tomorrow, do what you can today. Get enough sleep. Allow time for yourself—everyday—for privacy, quiet, and introspection (and prayer, my addition). Schedule a realistic day. Avoid the tendency to schedule back-to-back appointments. Do something you enjoy everyday. Keep a journal and write down your thoughts and feelings. It can help give you a renewed perspective.

·         Have fun. Try declaring a wedding-free weekend. Do not talk or argue about anything that involves wedding plans. Take a break and go out with your girlfriends. Sometimes too much togetherness is simply too much. Encourage your fiancé to do the same with the guys. With all the chaos and hubbub regarding the wedding, it’s easy to lose sight of what brought the two of you together in the first place. Get dressed up, make reservations at your favorite restaurant and reconnect. (And don’t count the calories!)

·         Don’t forget to take care of your body. Exercise. Choose the form that you enjoy the most and use it to reduce your stress. For me, Pilates Reformer classes work like a charm. I also get a deep massage whenever I feel the pressure is simply too much. Let aromatherapy go to work by lighting a few of your favorite scented candles. Your olfactory system will send signals to the areas of your brain that govern the hypothalamus, which will result in the endocrine and hormonal systems to relive pain, enhance immunity, and make you feel better. Now, relax. Everything is going to be fine.  

Sharon Hanby-Robie is the resident home décor expert for QVC, Inc., an author, speaker, and television personality.  It is Sharon’s goal to “help people discover their own personal style, and to give them the confidence to move forward with making choices that make sense for their families and lifestyle.” She has been an interior designer and member of the American Society of Interior Designers for more than thirty years.  Her new book series, The Spirit of Simple Living™, is published by GuidepostsBooks.