Pre-Wedding Stress: How to Tell Your Friend About It (Without Stressing Her Out, Too!)
Pre-wedding stress is unlike any other type of stress. Not only does it go on for almost an entire year, it’s also a type of stress that you’ve knowingly signed up for, which makes it much more difficult to complain about to friends and family.
Fortunately, you have your trusted bridesmaids whom you can count on to help you deal with the stress of wedding planning. But while one of their roles is to be a sounding board for your ideas and frustrations, you’ll want to be careful about transferring too much of your stress onto your squad.
Dumping too much of your stress onto your bridesmaids will only alienate them from you and make them miserable. So, how can you vent to them without pushing them away?
Here are a few ways to tell your besties about your wedding stress without adding to their own.
Take the Pressure Off Her
Before you unleash all your stress upon your bridesmaid, let her know upfront whether you’re seeking a solution or just want to vent your frustrations. This way, she doesn’t feel the need to rack her brain for a solution that you’re not searching for in the first place.
If you do want a solution to the problem, be careful to avoid setting your expectations too high. She can’t magically make your dream wedding venue fit into your budget or guarantee that the best man will nail his speech.
Additionally, some problems—such as whether or not you should invite your alcoholic father to your wedding—are far more complex than figuring out how to dress your pregnant bridesmaid. While she can no doubt help you choose a flattering bridesmaids dress style to hide a baby bump, expecting her to play therapist is unreasonable.
Say It While Doing a Calming Activity
Listening to you vent about your overly opinionated mother-in-law can start to wear on your bridesmaids. If you need to get something off your chest, try turning it into a fun bonding activity that doubles as a stress-reliever.
Why not ask your besties to go on a scenic hike? Research shows that being in nature comes with a wide range of health benefits, such as lower stress levels and better sleep. Working up a sweat in the great outdoors will help everyone relax while you get the chance to talk about what’s on your mind.
Schedule a Day to Unload Your Stress
Though it might sound strange, scheduling a time to fully give in to your stress and anxiety is a tried-and-true technique that’s commonly used by therapists. This cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) technique makes it much easier to stop stressing for weeks on end because you can simply tell yourself that “worry time” is scheduled for later.
Try scheduling two different times to worry—one by yourself and the other in a group. This way, you can spend solo time with your anxieties without overburdening your bridesmaids with too much stress. Don’t hesitate to clue them in on what you’re doing so that they can be ready to help you out on the days when you need them the most.
Delegate Tasks to Capable Bridesmaids
If certain wedding decisions are making you feel anxious, create a list of everything that needs to be done and share it with your maid of honor. Then, consult with her and consider assigning duties to each of your bridesmaids based on their strengths.
Is one of your besties good at crafting? Put her in charge of making decorations and wedding party favors. If another bridesmaid has a great sense of style, ask her to work with your maid of honor to find gorgeous bridesmaid dresses for each of your maids.
Remember: It’s important for you to ask your bridesmaids before assigning them any of these tasks. You don’t want to transfer your stress onto your bridesmaids by overburdening them with too many wedding duties.
Spread Out Your Stress
When you have a friend who is particularly good at listening to you vent, it’s easy to make her your go-to gal each time you’re feeling the slightest bit frustrated. But be wary of taking advantage of her resilience and patience. No matter how good your bridesmaid is at listening and solving problems, you need to give her a break from your constant stream of wedding anxieties.
Space out your venting sessions with her by talking with another bridesmaid instead. Though she may not say so out loud, your go-to bridesmaid will probably be incredibly grateful that you’re not using her as a perpetual stress dump.
Remember to Ask Them How They’re Doing
Wedding planning can be stressful not only for the bride, but for the entire bridal party. On days when you’re not feeling the crushing weight of planning a wedding, don’t forget to check in with your bridesmaids and ask how they’re holding up.
When you’re so wrapped up in your impending nuptials, it’s easy to forget that your friend has a life outside of being your bridesmaid. Maybe she’s going through a tough time with a sick relative. Or perhaps, she’s struggling to balance her bridesmaid responsibilities with a demanding new job.
Taking the time to consider her needs shows that you’re not only a kind and thoughtful bride, but also a great friend. Plus, it’s just the right thing to do after she’s patiently listened to you stress over every little detail of your wedding.
Coping Properly with Pre-Wedding Stress
Everyone knows that wedding planning can be daunting and stressful. While your bridesmaids probably expect you to come to them with some of your wedding concerns and frustrations, be careful to avoid dumping too much of your stress onto your squad.
On top of using these tips, you may want to consider seeing a therapist if your stress is truly overwhelming. Not only will a therapist give your bridesmaids a break, seeing a professional will also give you the coping tools you need to manage your stress properly.