Just by the nature of the event and the expectations, it creates, the ‘happiest day of your life’ means that we are naturally going to feel stressed or anxious and let’s face it, part of the excitement is the adrenalin rush of a big event. But there are some things you can do to limit it, says life coach Kate Tilston.

Article by Kate Tilston

Is there such a thing as a stress-free wedding? I’m afraid there isn’t, even for someone as organised as me! Planning is key and there will be all sorts of advice out there on how to plan and organize your big day. What I want to talk about are the things people don’t necessarily tell you.

The most important thing to remember is this is YOUR day; this is the one day in your life when it’s all about YOU and your intended. This is not the day to make your family’s dreams come true. As lovely a sentiment as that is, don’t be bulldozed into doing things to keep others happy. What do you and your significant other want the day to look like? What do you want to happen that will make your day?

You will find there are times when everyone has an opinion of what you ‘should’ do. Rather than offend and cause yourself more grief, thank them for their opinion, take yourself away from the situation, putting some distance between you. Then return and say you’ll consider their suggestion once you and your intended have discussed it together. If there are people whose opinions you value, by all means discuss your ideas with them, but be prepared: there is something about weddings where other people come up with ideas you would never have imagined. That can be great, but it can also need managing and you need to stick to your guns.

There will be moments that others will want to or even feel they have the right to share. Decide beforehand what you are prepared to compromise on and what you are not. So…maybe you’d rather just go for a dress fitting with the girls but your mum will be mortified? Is this something you’re prepared to bend on? Perhaps she could come to the first one just with you, so she feels special and then you do the ‘girly thing’ for the next fitting? The idea of a Hen Do might fill you with dread and your well-meaning girlfriends are already picking out the tiaras and the t-shirts. Be very clear about what you would like to do. Again, this is your wedding day. The run-up to it can be equally exciting and fun to plan but must be something you’ll enjoy and look back on fondly, not with horror.

You will already have ideas about venues, menus, guests and outfits but it will be the tiny details that make your day that extra bit special. Ask your friends what they did that still stands out to them. Was there something they wish they’d done?

You can’t do everything but take your time – you’re creating your dream day. Collect pictures, collect stories and information from others, reflect on your experiences going to other weddings – what did you really enjoy and what quite frankly just seemed overkill or tedious?

The dreaded guest list – always a tricky one. In theory, we hope to have our nearest and dearest there to share our special day but there can be pressure to invite family members or friends that perhaps haven’t really earned that right. A simple way to deal with that is keep the numbers small – it makes choosing slightly tougher when it comes to friends but can rule out some of the ‘unwanteds’. Once again, this is your day, your memories and probably in this day and age, your money so you are allowed to make the day about you. If both you and your partner can stick to the same game plan, which you agree in advance, it will help.

Once your day is over it will be the memories that remain with you so a good photographer who can capture the day the way you want it recorded is worth their weight in gold. Do your research, meet up with them and be sure that they understand what you want. Be sure to get recommendations from others. Remember there are many different types of photography and what suits one doesn’t necessarily suit another. Have a look at their websites and the work they have done to see if they will capture the day the way you’d like it.

The best piece of advice that I was given was to make sure at some point during the celebrations my now husband and I should stand back away from everyone and just look at all the people there, celebrating and sharing our happy day and enjoying the moment. During the reception, I took his hand and took him to one side. We watched people dancing, laughing, having a lovely time and they were all people who were there because they loved and cared about us – I will never forget that moment.

Finally, as much as you want the day to be perfect, things will go wrong, things will be forgotten but those aren’t the things you’ll remember. You’ll look back and wonder why you spent all those months stressing about it. Give yourself a break, do the very best you can, but remember the reason you’re actually there is because you love each other. You’re making an important commitment to each other and that’s all that matters!


Kate TilstonFor regular updates and inspiration from Kate Tilston, follow her on Instagram at @katetlifecoach or have a look at her website here.


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