6 Tips For Successfully Handling Pre-Wedding Anxiety

Dealing with a case of pre-wedding anxiety? Experiencing some nerves before your big day is natural, and not necessarily something to get worried about. It can even be helpful, on occasion. "Some anxiety helps us get out of harm's way," Jerilyn Ross, president and CEO of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, tells WebMD. "It helps us prepare, it helps us focus on doing something, to try harder. It forces us to take action. ... The kind of worry that gets you to plan, organize, and take concrete steps is great."


So if you're having trouble getting motivated to schedule vendor appointments or finalize menu details, a little healthy concern can be just the kick in the pants you need to get moving. But sometimes, pre-wedding anxiety can become too much and start interfering with your experience, even causing you to grapple with doubts.

Of course, if you have serious concerns about spending the rest of your life with your fiance, don't ignore any red flags. Work through each issue to see if it's a true deal-breaker before you go through with the wedding. As Hekmat Family Law reminds us, marriage isn't a magic spell to reach your happily ever after, and it's important to make sure you're on the same page with a partner in advance.


But change is scary, and in most cases, your pre-wedding jitters don't mean that the marriage is doomed. Instead, they're just a natural consequence of making any major decision. So if you're confident that you want to get married, but just can't seem to shake your nerves, here are some tips to help you kiss your pre-wedding anxiety goodbye.

Surround yourself with positivity

If you're experiencing nervousness in the run-up to your wedding day, the last thing you need is a source of negativity dragging you down. But when you're about to get married, it can seem like everyone and their grandmother suddenly wants to offer their opinions and ask intrusive questions. Instead of letting a bitter coworker or pessimistic aunt spoil your mood, surround yourself with a positive support network that will help you navigate your worries with grace. As OneEighty points out, positive influences help you focus on your goals, feel energized, and eliminate stress — which all add up to a happier wedding day.


By the same token, don't feel pressured to invite people you don't like when deciding on your wedding guest list. Unless it's important to your future spouse, there's no obligation to include a spiteful second cousin – even if they invited you to their nuptials.

Remember all the things you love about your partner

The pressure of wedding planning can stress you out and make you question the idea of marriage in a big way. But feeling this way doesn't mean that your relationship is flawed. Anxiety can plague even the most solid partnerships. "Relationship anxiety is extremely common," psychotherapist Astrid Robertson tells Healthline.


Ask yourself: Am I actually worried about the marriage, or just the event? Chances are, you're happy as ever with your partner, and it's all the logistics making your head spin. With that in mind, take some time to remember everything you love about your spouse. You can even write about it in a gratitude journal, or compose a letter to yourself that you can keep handy on the wedding day.

Big or small, anything positive will do, from "I love how they make me feel about myself," to "I love how they make me a cup of coffee every morning." These reminders can help you keep things in perspective and lessen your anxiety about getting married.

Visualize your married life together

Another helpful exercise to beat pre-wedding anxiety is to visualize how your lives will look once you're officially spouses. What will it be like to wake up together every morning? How great will it be to have more time to share hobbies? Even if you're already living together, you can envision how marriage will deepen your connection and bring you one step closer to your goals as a couple.


For genuine reassurance, the key is to be positive but realistic. For instance, imagining that you'll run away together and live in a Scottish castle is a great fantasy, but probably not attainable for most of us. But you also don't have to dwell on any possible downsides. When attempting a calming visualization, BetterHelp suggests imagining your positive future in great detail and allowing negative thoughts to drift by like clouds without overthinking them. No marriage is perfect, but for now, think of all the great things in store for you after the wedding.

Don't give in to the pressure of perfection

Are you stressed out and teetering on the edge of a bridezilla or groomzilla situation? Pre-wedding anxiety can be ramped up even more if you're trying to make everything into a perfect fairytale on your special day. Yes, you want your wedding to be a memorable, beautiful occasion. But remember, it's not about the color of your napkins or the flawless segues in your playlist. It's about sharing a special moment with important friends and family and celebrating the love between you and your new spouse.


As psychologist Paulette Kouffman Sherman tells Brides, pre-wedding stress can reach new heights if you get too fixated on impressing the guests and forget to enjoy the process. "There is no way to please everyone, including yourself all of the time, so aim for excellence rather than total perfection," she says. "This will help you relax on the regular and soften your expectations."

If a big ceremony and reception seem too overwhelming, you can even consider taking a simpler route for your wedding day. Why not look into planning a celebratory yet approachable courthouse wedding? You could also limit attendees to immediate family, or even elope to some romantic destination. The less time you spend agonizing over details, the more time you have to appreciate the wedding journey with your partner.


Talk to someone

If your wedding nerves have proven to be persistent, it may help to talk through any fears with someone you trust. Whether you turn to a sibling, a friend, or an actual therapist, choose a level-headed person that's proven to be a good listener, and you know won't judge you or invalidate your feelings.


Even if your chosen confidant doesn't have specific advice or solutions to offer, just verbalizing your concerns can help take a weight off your shoulders. Research published in Psychological Science suggests that venting your worries out loud helps limit the emotional influence from your amygdala — a.k.a., the part of your brain that governs your fight-or-flight response (via The New York Times). So just by putting your pre-wedding anxiety into words, you can help diminish its intensity.

Reconnect through wedding-free quality time

If the specter of your wedding is looming over your head, it can be hard to just relax and enjoy time with your partner. Try giving yourselves space to reconnect without constant discussion of flower arrangements or seating charts. Not only will this give your mind a much-needed break from wedding stress, but it will give you a chance to remember why you're getting married in the first place. Indulging in some quality time and intimacy with your spouse-to-be can help ease some of your overthinking and second-guessing.


As Psychology Today suggests, try treating yourselves to a date at your favorite restaurant, spending time together outdoors, or even escaping for a few days to luxuriate in a romantic getaway. After all, who says you can't have a mini-moon before the wedding?