Photo: Carmen Santorelli Studio
Feeling like you're trapped in a pressure cooker? You're not alone, especially when it comes to wedding planning. While it is the best year of your life, it can also be the most stressful. Read how these eight brides-to-be reclaimed their sanity during wedding planning.
"In order to enjoy the wedding planning process and keep it stress free I had to come to terms with a few things: everyone has different opinions about for instance, which dress is the dress — mom, bridesmaids... Though I wanted to hear their ideas and opinions, I couldn't make everyone happy and in the end I needed to make the decision. The people that love me shared in my happiness, knowing I got the wedding I dreamed of versus the wedding they had dreamed of for me." — Arsineh, co-founder of Zveil, a bridal veil design company and online retailer
"I did a lot of surfing when I was planning my wedding. I even surfed the morning of my wedding to release some of that nervous energy!" — Audra
"I got married five years ago and I still remember how stressful the wedding planning was. My mom was heavily involved in planning and budgeting because my parents were paying for the wedding. I just learned to agree with her choices if I didn't care too much because it was just easier to give up a small battle here and there and get a win in the area I cared about a little more. I didn't care that much about which floral arrangements I used, so my mom took care of that task by herself. But I felt strongly about the bridesmaids' dresses, so I went shopping by myself. I sent my mom only a few photos of different styles and made sure that the one I preferred was the winning one!" — Yana
"I planned my entire wedding in three weeks while experiencing a tumultuous pregnancy. It was my pregnancy that helped me persevere. When I got agitated I took a breath and reminded myself stress wasn't good for the baby." — Melody
"I 'kidnapped' my fiancé and took him away for a romantic weekend to remember why I was putting myself through all this craziness." — Kim
"After becoming so stressed I was downing Pepto Bismol like it was going out of style, I made a pact with myself to devote 20 minutes a day to relaxing — meditation, yoga, reading... I 'guarded' this 'me time' religiously and it really helped ground me and distill the anxiety." —Juliana
"I hired a wedding planner to deal with sussing out caterers, vendors, etc. Once I started delegating, the process was smooth sailing." — Em
"My junk food eating habits weren't doing my insides any favor. So I went to a nutritionist who recommended stress-busting foods like whole grains and veggies. I cut down on caffeine, started drinking herbal tea... This helped enormously!" — Shelly
"We cancelled the wedding and eloped!" — Ann
Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.