Any other brides out there with anxiety?

posted 7 months ago in Emotional
Post # 2
Member
1015 posts
Bumble bee

Ok, first off, you don’t HAVE to have a huge number of people at your wedding – and definitely no people who are going to be unsupportive.  So maybe look at eloping or having a small ceremony with just a few trusted friends.  Or get married first and then have a wedding blessing/vow renewal in front of others – I know a few people who’ve done that, and they said the fact that they were already legally married took loads of the pressure off them.

By The Way, I’m a very anxious person who got engaged last October and who should have been married two weeks ago.  So I’ve been through the planning followd by the weeks of wondering if lockdown would lift in time, and then the realisation that it wouldn’t.  It’s been horrible and yes, a very anxious time.  But in a weird way, I’m a lot less anxious now than I used to be, because I’ve realised that compared to the big stuff (like not being able to get married at all) the things I was worrying about were really quite small.

Restrictions have just lifted here to enable very small, brief weddings to take place, so we hope to marry next week!  And I’m actually feeling incredibly calm for me right now (although I’m sure there will be a few nerves nearer the day).  Whenever I do start to worry about something, I just ask myself ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’ and ‘is this worse than not being able to get married to OH at all?’  And it never is!  And that helps keep the anxiety in check.

I hope your wedding planning circumstances will be different to ours and much easier but when you do feel anxious, it might help to ask yourself the same questions.

 

 

Post # 4
Member
4510 posts
Honey bee

One more thing – I would add a clause into all the vendor contracts that requires them to apply your deposit to a new date if the wedding cannot proceed as planned due to Covid restrictions. There should be no increase in charge except for their actual out-of-pocket third party costs. If you know an attorney who could look over the major contracts for you, that would be best. Spending a few hundred on that may save you a ton of money in the future. 

Post # 5
Member
2222 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

Not a bride anymore but I had terrible anxiety during our engagement.

Firstly, it’s fine to be anxious during engagement. It doesn’t mean you’re necessarily doubting your relationship. Reading between the lines of your post, I think you need to hear that having anxiety doesn’t mean you should call your wedding off or relationship is doomed. If you’re naturally an anxious person, then why would engagement be any different? Even if you aren’t naturally anxious, this is a period of a lot of change and it’s ok to be anxious. I can honestly say that since we got married 4 years ago I’ve not had any of the anxiety about our relationship and I’m very glad we got married.

What helped me was trying to follow the anxiety to its source and work out if it’s something that is genuinely cause for concern or just my brain taking something and spinning it off into something unreasonable. Also recognising what I had control over and what I didn’t. So one of my main anxieties was that we both met when we were very young (20) and how did I know we would continue to grow together. So some of that anxiety was realising that we both needed to make reconnecting regularly a priority to maximise our chances of growing together (genuine concern). Some of that was realising that there are a number of things that could change who we are and how compatible we are with each other, not all of those have to do with age. Finally, realising I can’t help when I met my husband but I can help how we stay connected.

I talked everything through with my husband. He knew all my feelings, was there for all my many freak outs. Fortunately I didn’t have to worry about my husband freaking out over my freak outs, he was quite used to my anxiety and panic attacks. I think there is always that risk though so if that is a risk, bribg it up when you are feeling calmer to rationally talk about it with your partner. Rather than waiting until the anxiety reaches a critical point, conversations never go well when you’ve reached that point.

You don’t have to include anything in the wedding you don’t want to. First dance giving you anxiety – get rid. If you want the first dance but can’t handle people staring at your for 3 minutes, dance for 30 seconds and then get the DJ to invite other people up. We did this, we continued dancing together and everyone danced around us. It’s one of my favourite photos. During the planning, I would recommend taking breaks from the planning and just being together. In the lead up to the wedding, prioritise. Imagine things in a pyramid, there are a few important things at the top (licence, officiant) then a lot of things less important things at the bottom (favours, centrepieces). If the things at the bottom, don’t get done it will not ruin your wedding and if things are too much, these are what you drop, or pass to someone else.

I would try to have some time in the few days before the wedding just to the two of you. We used the Thursday morning before we got married on the Saturday. We used the morning to write each other a letter for the morning of the wedding but then we left the house, went for a coffe and the ‘W word’ was banned until 11am when we picked the suits up. Fantastic for stopping the build up of anxiety. On the day, carve out time for yourself. I included 5 mins here and 10 minutes there. One this allows for overrunning but just allows you to step out by yourself and collect your thoughts. If you say you are running an errand (checking something, picking something up) people will likely offer to do this for you so don’t be afraid to say you just want 5 minutes by yourself outside. We’d also included a number of calming things for me. For example, DH didn’t want to see me before the ceremony and wanted to see me walk down the aisle but I knew if I was anxious I would want a hug. So we agreed that he would be at the back of the church and if I needed a hug, I’d hug him from behind, he’d close his eyes and turn around. I also included a book in my day of things so I could sneak out and read for 5 minutes, if needed. I wish we’d included a bit of alone time on day before in hindsight. We had a lot of people coming in, a lot of final details, lots of rushing around. I fluffed my husband’s name in the rehearsal (I merged his first and middle names together) because I was anxious. I also ended up having a panic attack the night before our wedding. DH didn’t want to see the dress so we went into my hotel room in the dark and then stood in the bathroom having a panic attack. I wish I’d managed to get away without the panic attack but on the day, surprisingly I was fine. Maybe I needed the panic attack the night before to let it all out.

TL:DR – You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Reconnect with your partner frequently and take breaks from wedding planning. Take time for yourself, especially in the last few days and day of the wedding. Identify things that can minimise your anxiety and include them in your day (listening to music, reading, going for a walk). Having anxiety doesn’t mean you’re doubting your relationship or your relationship is doomed.

By the way – all the best people get married in February πŸ˜‰

Post # 6
Member
219 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

My anxiety is crippling at times. It was for this reason that we said “screw it” and just did the bare minimum. We went to a beautiful little restaurant nearby and told them we wanted to be married in their garden, we gave them some money like 2k) and they took care of EVERYTHING, ceremony, food, cake etc. We invited 20 people and I didnt have to plan or do a damn thing other than just showing up, it was fabulous. In retrospect it was the right decision, as anything else would have had me so worked up I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy it. 

My advice is dont do anything for anyone else, yourself and your fiance are the only two who matter!

Post # 7
Member
226 posts
Helper bee

As someone (not a bride yet) with social anxiety, this sticks out to me ” but I have this mortifying fear that everything will go wrong and I’ll be embarassed in front of a ton of people. “

I think this is less a wedding problem, and more just social anixety roaring its’ angry head.

A trick I’ve learned (that I still need to work on using more) is identifying your fear, naming it, and then changing it? It has some sort of catchy phrasing that I can’t remember. 

You already did part of it, you named how you are feeling (mortifying fear) and why (everything will go wrong and you’ll be embarassed in front of a ton of people). Now, you break it down even more. 

What is “everything” that could go wrong? Say, you are worried you wil trip when walking or stumble on your vows. Okay, so what is the worst that could happen after that? People might laugh good naturely, or think it is cute and sweet. It would be seen as a positive to your guests. After that happened, I would feel a bit embarassed, but then I would finish up and celebrate getting married to the love of my life, and it’ll be a cute “she was so nervous or excited she couldn’t speak” thing that is said. 

So now, you put it all together. I am feel mortifying fear that I could trip when walking down the aisle or stumble on my vows. The worse that could happen is people could laugh good naturely. It would be embarassing, but then I would move on and finish and get married. 

Perhaps not the best example, but hopefully you get the point. Apparently by identifying how you are feeling and why, and then figuring out the worst outcome and what you would do, it is supposed to help. 

Hopefully this helps!

Post # 8
Member
4510 posts
Honey bee

View original reply
@TheBridalBridle:  I would put it in the contract. The language in the contract that you sign after their email will supercede anything they wrote pre-contract.

Post # 9
Member
4510 posts
Honey bee

Also, my first response disappeared. If you didn’t see it, let me know. I talked about handing difficult family/friends, wedding party size, day of coordinators, etc.

Post # 10
Member
908 posts
Busy bee

Definitely consider elopement if you cant face it. Or minimize.

Post # 11
Member
1015 posts
Bumble bee

If it helps, these are the things we had planned for our wedding, to minimise stress – obv, thanks to Covid, that’s all out of the window now, but I think the would have worked.

1) Bridal entrance – we ditched the ‘please stand for the bride’s entrance’ thing.  Instead, we had planned to have a friend sing a solo while I came in, to distract attention from my entrance. We also considered me meeting my fiance at the door of the church and walking up the aisle together or me popping in the back entrance of the church and appearing through a door at the side of the platform, to avoid the long walk up the aisle!

2) Ceremony – once the vows are done, we were going to sit down in the front row for the rest of the ceremony instead of sitting in an isolated position in full view as some couples do.  We had also planned to have our register signing in the back room, midway through the ceremony, to give a bit of breathing space.

3) Photos – keep the formal, looking straight at the camera pics to a minimum.  Have couple shots somewhere out of the way, while guests are enjoying drinks & nibbles, so again, building in a break from the crowd

4) Reception – we deliberately booked a venue that could accomodate a maximum of 30 people – so when we got pressured to have a bigger event, we could just say ‘sorry, we can’t fit any more people in’!  We also made sure a side room was available so there was a quiet space for me (or anyone else) who just needed a break.

5) No speeches, toasts or cake cutting

6) We didn’t plan an evening do – just a morning ceremony, a lunch and a quick getaway after.  If you find social situations stressful, a 10-12 hour event is going to be way too draining, so look at ways of shortening it.

Post # 12
Member
15 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2020

“One of the happiest times of my life surrounded by clouds of love and support” is absolutely not how I would describe wedding planning. 

I was pretty similar to you. I was dead set on marrying FH, but the wedding had me a bundle of stress constantly. I was particularly stressed out about the non-refundable deposits too (sure, I’m set on him, but what if something happens and we have to postpone?). Then family and friends participation, even those with the best intentions, definitely made my anxiety worse. I felt like any choice I made was going to be judged and if I were putting everyone out to attend my wedding (travel, time off, cost of gift/outfit, missing other commitments) then I had to deliver them something that would be acceptable to them. This meant I bent to what people wanted (or my idea of what they expected) a lot rather than having fun and planning something I was excited about. 

You definitely aren’t alone with this hun. Mine ended up getting cancelled because of Covid and I don’t think we’ll ever get married now because of how horrible the planning stage was. Will just stay engaged forever haha. 

Post # 13
Member
3091 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

We had an enlopement ceremony and it was just us, the officiant, and photographer. I was still really anxious–it seemed like there were so many things that could go wrong and I couldn’t help but worry about all of them. As nervous as I was, my hairdresser said I was the most relaxed bride she had seen!! That’s probably because all we were doing was a ceremony with the two of us and then going out to eat! 

For me I just have to realize that there is a certain amount of anxiety that I’m going to feel and I just have to push through the anxiety. I know I will make it through in the end. I also am on an anti-depressant for the anxiety and I have had lots of therapy. 

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