Photo: Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection
If you've ever dreamed of being Julia Roberts, it likely wasn't so you could mimic her character in The Runaway Bride. But some brides can find themselves overwhelmed emotionally in the throes of wedding planning, left exhausted and wondering if they're really making the right decisions — about the color scheme, guest list and even her groom.
"Often times, cold feet is more related to anxiety about being in the spotlight on your wedding," psychologist Lauren Napolitano also offers. And while there are a few very valid reasons for calling off a wedding at the last moment — you can't trust your fiancé, for example, or you realize your core values no longer align — most women are simply suffering from a combination of butterflies and stress.
So if you find yourself wanting to flee simply to get away from it all, take a deep breath and take these steps.
1. Share your feelings with your fiancé. "Being engaged is like being on a roller coaster," Napolitano says. "It's exciting, scary, exhilarating and unknown." Often admitting your feelings out loud takes away much of their power over you.
2. "Talk to your married friends about how they felt during their engagements," says Napolitano. They'll likely know exactly how you're feeling, and commiserating with them will calm your mind.
3. "Talk to a therapist if the anxiety is affecting your sleep, concentration or ability to feel happy," advises Napolitano.
4. And get moving! "Exercise will help to eliminate extra mental energy," explains Napolitano. "It might also help to eliminate any fears you might have about not looking healthy or fitting in your wedding dress — two birds, one stone!"
Finally, Napolitano advises asking yourself this question: "Would you feel as anxious if you were eloping, just the two of you, in a courthouse?" she asks. "If the answer is 'no,' then the anxiety is more related to the pressure of the wedding." So, relax!