This week (May 14th-20th) is Mental Health Awareness week in the UK and one of our amazing freelance writers, Ellie Kime, is here to talk about the importance of taking care of yourself as you plan your wedding.
DIY wedding décor, giant floral arrangements and gold sequinned wedding dresses are, of course, super exciting, but nothing is more important than your mental health. Literally, no thing. And your mental health waits for no-one, regardless of whether you’re planning a holiday or planning a whole wedding.
How many times have people asked you about the ‘happiest day of your life’, expecting bouncing and bubbles and LOTS of squealing, whilst you’ve been sat there absolutely distraught and totally suffocated at the idea of the whole thing? How do you cope with wedding planning, famous for being super stressful, when you’re suffering with your own mental health? With 1 in 5 people suffering from mental health issues (and 1 in 4 in young women), know you’re not alone. We’ve compiled a few ways that you can be kind to yourself in the run up:
Talk to your partner
Be open with your partner about how you’re feeling. There shouldn’t be a stigma attached to mental health, and your partner should understand you better than anyone. Struggling with the incessant demands of wedding planning isn’t a reflection of how you feel about them and your relationship, so don’t feel ashamed in explaining how you’re coping. You’re in this together, in sickness and in mental health. And as cliché as it sounds – although let’s face it, clichés are famous for a reason – together, you can be a stronger force than just one.
Enlist help and delegate
Similarly, if you can, talk to your nearest and dearest so they can help you navigate the next few months of planning. Feelings of worthlessness often come alongside depression, but those around you will want to help in any way they can. Delegate the tasks that are really worrying you to give yourself more head space. Alternatively, look into hiring a wedding planner. A good wedding planner will organise your day exactly how you’d want it, so you can release the worrying and stress-inducing parts of planning without losing control over the process as a whole. There’s lots out there who’ll do the jobs you’d never dream people would do!
Don’t feel guilty if you’re not enjoying it
There’s this whole mythical aura surrounding weddings that everyone adored the whole planning process, from choosing venues to finalising food orders. Some couples do, don’t get me wrong, but the idea that every couple does is an airbrushed Instagram-esque alternative reality. Most of the real weddings we get submitted for publication mention how stressful the planning process was, so don’t feel guilty if you’re not enjoying it – it’s not just you!
Let’s face it, you got engaged because you’ve found the love of your life, not because you’re a highly decorated events coordinator with military precision, so don’t feel bad for not enjoying everything all the time.
Make things as easy as possible
Also, don’t feel guilty for taking an easy route if it’s there. Sure, you could DIY the shit out of your wedding, or you could have these exact candles sourced from very specific markets in Marrakech, but if it’s not important to you and not worth the struggle, don’t feel bad.
If finding suppliers is stressing you out, ask your venue for their recommendations – you’ll minimise the worry of finding them in the first place, but you’ll also minimise the stress on the wedding day itself, as they’ll know the venue inside out.
If the idea of going down the aisle in front of your guests is making you panic, don’t have an aisle, or come in with your partner on your arm, so you don’t have the pressure of their reaction with everyone’s beady eyes staring. And I know there’s nothing more infuriating than people telling you to ‘just stop’ when it’s important to you; but that’s not what this is about. It’s about finding the easiest way to do what you must, so that it’s as kind on you as possible. Do whatever you can to make you the most ‘you’ version of yourself at that point in time.
Take time away from planning
Try and ensure you’re taking regular breaks away from the process. It’s so easy to be drawn into it and have it take over your every waking minute, but the longer you spend on every minute detail, the less clarity you’ll have. It’s a vicious cycle. Tackle your planning tasks a couple of hours at a time, and work these around your own personal schedule.
Take care of yourself
Remember, this wedding is only happening because you’re worth so much that someone wants to spend the rest of their life with you, so you need to put yourself first! Keeping on top of medication and appointments during planning is important, as well as doing things you love and treating yourself. Especially if you’re saving money for the day, treats can seem frivolous, but little acts of self-love go a long, long way, whatever that means to you.