Wedding stress! No wonder we have bridezillas and runaway brides!

Remember this runaway bride?

Instead of a white veil, she wore a blanket over her head. Instead of her father escorting her down the church aisle in Duluth, Georgia, the Albuquerque police led her through the airport terminal. We’ve all seen the story about runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks. The 32 year-old flee-ancee as some are calling her, took extreme measures in an attempt to deal with a common problem of the engaged – getting cold feet. Now her cold feet have her in hot water.

I’m no psychologist & won’t attempt an explanation of Wilbank’s behavior. Maybe it was just the stress of it all. Getting married does score 50 on the Holmes-Rahe stress scale. That’s half the amount of stress from the death of a loved one! So it was either run, or for others become a bridezilla. What could Jennifer Wilbanks have done, or for that matter what can any bride do in dealing with the stress of a wedding?

Here are a few ideas:

Talk to somebody about what’s stressing you

Stress is normal and can come at the bride from many directions. She discovers that there are a zillion details to planning a wedding. She finds many helpful family & friends giving her contradictory advice on what to do. She feels the pressure to be happy all the time – after all this is her wedding & she is the center of attention. Many Southern brides face what is called “the Southern Cotillion Syndrome – the expectation of perfection.

Often brides & grooms are finishing a degree, buying a house, starting a new job, & getting married all within a few months span! So let it out! Talk to someone you can confide in: a friend, family member, a minister, or a licensed counselor.

Get good help in planning & conducting your wedding.

I’ve never known a bride to regret hiring a good wedding coordinator. That initial decision can make all the difference in either feeling that you survived your Pinoy Tv wedding or that you actually enjoyed it. An experienced coordinator can direct the bride to other quality people who will take much of the potential stress out of your wedding. Get the wrong people & they will cause more stress!

Take care of yourself.

To handle stress well you must be strong in mind and body. Mom is right. Eat your fruits & vegetables. And remember to exercise regularly and get enough sleep. All basic stuff that’s easy to let slide because you’re so busy. It’s important to take breaks from planning your wedding. Go out to eat. Go to a movie. Go to the park. Don’t go to Vegas on a Greyhound Bus!

Keep your perspective

Keep telling yourself what it’s all about. You don’t have to be perfect, and your wedding doesn’t have to be perfect. Of course, you want things to go well. Do what you can to make your wedding the celebration you want it to be. But realize that some little something may not go just right. I’m not even sure that’s it’s a good idea to have a perfect wedding. After all, your marriage won’t be perfect either. And guess what? If it was somebody else’s wedding, they’d do something different from what you are doing. Good! When it’s their wedding, let ’em have at it.

Remember: when it’s all said and done, at the end of the day you’ll be married and your adventure together begins. That’s what it’s all about.

Seek pre-marital counseling

It’s amazing that many of the books & websites that claim to have comprehensive information for the wedding couple, have little or nothing about premarital counseling. Premarital counseling doesn’t solve all your problems once and for all. Nor does it iron out all your differences. It can reduce the number of surprises once you’re married.

A good counselor will help you see your strengths as a couple and that’s a confidence builder. A good counselor will also help you look at your differences & teach you skills for working through them effectively. Again, a real confidence builder. Don’t get so busy planning your wedding that you don’t have time to plan your marriage.

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