Follow these tips to keep your pre-wedding stress to a minimum

February 04, 2003|by KEVIN CLAPP

Follow these tips to keep your pre-wedding stress to a minimum

From author Kate Cohen, professional bridal consultant Heather Slatoff and editor Rachel Griffiths, four tips for de-stressing wedding planning:

  • Be prepared.

    Always important, Slatoff says this becomes more so when planning a wedding from a distance.

    So much coordination and scheduling must be done in short trips to the wedding site, planning ahead can steady nerves before they have a chance to fray.

    "You have to be organized and communicate exactly what you need. Not 'you need to be fitted for a dress or tuxedo.' 'You need to be fitted at this location at this time by this date,'" she says. "And I don't think it's being demanding. If you're clear with your expectations, everyone can meet them."

  • Don't fall prey to traditional views of the wedding day.

    Honestly, Cohen says, how many brides really need items new, old, borrowed and blue?


"Step back and ask yourself, 'Why?' What does it mean? Do you care about it?" she says. "And if you do care about it, delegate it. But chances are, if you did care about it you would have already taken care of it."

Sometimes, blindly following tradition upends enjoyment of the process. In Cohen's case, it was the old saw about not being with your fiance the night before the wedding. They were already living together, she thought, so why change just because tradition dictated it?

"I don't think I would have slept the night before if not beside him," she says. "That's just flying in the face of everything you're supposed to do in the American wedding, but it was comforting to me."

  • Prioritize.

    "A good example is the guest list," Slatoff says. "Is it most important to you that you invite everyone you have ever known, or is it most important to you you are married in the chapel where you met, where you went to college, which is not going to hold everyone you know?

    "So there's a decision where you have to decide between the sentiment or all of the people you love around you."

    Early on, Slatoff suggests outlining all wedding day expectations, from reception ideas to number of guests, and determine which are compatible and which are not. Then, the couple will be prepared for any aspects that will conflict.

  • Compromise and be flexible.

    Prioritizing makes compromise easier, as couples are willing to forego their ideals for what their significant other wants, or what other circumstances dictate.

    "I have generally found that one is willing to say this is an important piece to me," Slatoff says. "Again, there needs to be compromise. I think this process is a good way of gauging how you're going to deal with problems in your marriage. So, digging in and not compromising is not the way I recommend going about it."

    Griffiths recounts the story about a bride who had planned her perfect winter wedding only to see it go up in flames.

    The church had no heat, she had a short-sleeve dress, and there had been a nasty ice storm prior to the ceremony.

    It was a disaster in the making. Or so she thought.

    But when she saw her fiance waiting for her at the altar, all the hassle and frustration evaporated.

    "You can focus on what's going badly about the day, or you can just get swept away in what's happening, the beauty of it," Griffiths says. "I think when it actually starts to happen, and you start walking down the aisle, the rest just melts away."

  • The Herald-Mail Articles