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We might as well get it out in the open. Planning a wedding is not a big job. It is a huge job somewhat akin to staging a Broadway musical, minus the cast of experienced participants. To make matters worse, the more guests that are invited, the more formal the event, the more complex the plans, the bigger the job is. That means stress. Lots of it. There is no way to get around it, but there are ways to neutralize wedding planning stress.
Moreover, since the female tends to place more value on the festivities of the day than the male mind does, chances are the groom is not going to take the lead planning the day. This means that the stress of wedding planning is generally felt more acutely by the bride.
Indeed, many brides feel like their groom does not care, thus increasing their stress. Whether or not their perception is true, the reality of the perception is enough to leave most brides pulling their hair out.
The secret to maintaining sanity during the wedding planning process is to maintain a bag of tricks that will allow the bride to minimize the stress, whether by strategically recruiting others to do some of the work or by scheduling events designed specifically to help her unwind before she unravels.
Take a trip to the spa: Often, brides will plan a trip to the spa with their bridesmaids in the week just before the wedding. That can be good, but it might not be enough. There is nothing that will release stress faster than being pampered while you lay on a warm table immersed in a soothing fragrance and surrounded by relaxing music. Can't afford trips to the spa? Not a problem. A bride with a limited budget can recruit a good friend to help her create her own spa experience with aromatic touches, soft music and a homemade facial mask or body peel.
Hire a wedding planner. A wedding planner who has been around the block a time or two offers something very few brides have...experience. They know people in the business, they know how to deal with wedding professionals, relatives, etc. Most of all, they know what to expect and what is a problem and what is not, so the bride does not have to waste stress over situations that are not really a problem.
Have the groom break out the digital camera, camcorder and laptop: Guys love their toys...and most guys love anything high tech. So recruit them to set up a wedding website -- through which you can have them post wedding registry information, track RSVPs, share engagement photos and videos -- even send out the invitations, or at least have them use the computer to print the invitations and create address labels. You get the idea. Getting rid of such a huge amount of work in a way that he will embrace gladly will reduce any bride's stress level.
Go out to dinner: Take the time to sit and enjoy a good, high quality meal. Eat something healthy. This is as much about good nutrition as it is about a change of pace. Our bodies need the change of pace that sitting down to a good meal will provide, and it also needs nutrition rich foods to help deal with the stress planning a wedding can bring. Going out and having someone wait on us for a change is part of the therapy. Who the bride chooses for company is her decision, as long as it takes her away from wedding planning activities during the meal.
Take a bath: There is nothing like soaking in a hot tub treated with scented bath salts while reading a good book by the light of candles ringing the tub. Add a glass of a favorite sipping drink and watch the stress melt.
For six more tips, click here.