It's hard not to become overwhelmed as a bride-to-be. Juggling guest lists and scheduling wedding dress fittings can start to weigh on your shoulders, which is why it's important to destress before you walk down the aisle. We spoke to a handful of experts for some slightly non-traditional ways for brides-to-be to unwind before the wedding.
"Believe it or not, one of the worst things you can do to relax is get a massage," says Fabrice Orlando, Celebrity Event Planner for Cocoon Weddings. "There will be just too much going through your head." Instead, he suggests busying yourself with friends and even playing tourist in your hometown while enjoying restaurants and sites. Something as simple as brunch and a walking tour, or as involved as an organized treasure hunt throughout the city, can take your mind off any stressful wedding scenarios. And if you're planning a destination wedding, Orlando recommends you don't stay at the location itself. "Your stress will be permanent. You won't be able to help yourself — you'll be checking on the set up nonstop."
Arts & Crafts
Crafting is another great way to channel your energy into something wonderfully creative, according to Megan Velez of Destination Weddings Travel Group. But skip wedding-related projects like DIY favors. Consider a low-pressure, just-for-fun undertaking like knitting yourself an adorable scarf (well before you'll need it), scrapbooking without any deadline in mind, or quilling — which involves shaping paper or other material into ornamental folds. Peruse Pinterest and then dive, hands first, into whatever type of work requires the right amount of attention to distract you without stressing you.
Also, remember how mesmerizing drawing was as a young child? You could sit for hours with a box of crayons and focus on a single task: staying within the lines. That's the idea behind adult coloring books, and Color Me Married: The Stress-Free Way to the Big Day by Rustic Wedding Chic founder Maggie Lord is a perfect chance to zone out while softly scribbling to your heart's content.
Work It Out
Of course, exercise is another great way to relieve stress, but how to do it without breaking a sweat? Velez touts underwater spinning — essentially cycling in the comfort of a pool — for brides-to-be who want to burn off tension without spiking their core body temperature. Meditative Tai Chi in a dark room or even riding a bicycle outdoors during the coolest part of the day can also give your mind a chance to recharge while engaging your body in some low-key ways.
Act Like a Guest
Velez also encourages couples who travel to say their "I dos" to book relaxing excursions before the big day. "The goal is to find something relaxing that allows you to enjoy friends and family, and, most importantly, keeps you away from the wedding day details. That's what the professionals are for," she says. So think about booking a museum tour or sunset cocktails on a catamaran cruise. Or sample a unique local cultural offering that can provide a much-needed change of pace, like temazcal if you're getting married in Mexico. "It's a pre-Hispanic healing ceremony which consists of a steam bath in a type of sweat lodge that is meant to purify the body," Velez says.
See More: The Two Best Workouts for Stress Relief