- Mental Health
How to Avoid Wedding Preparation Stress
Before people even start to consider the stress of marriage, there is the stress of getting married. Marriage is stressful, but no aspect of it comes close to the stress produced by the wedding and the preparations that go into it.
The first decision that needs to be made is whether the marriage is a celebration of the union of two families and for all generations, or whether it is a party for the bride and bridegroom, together with their select friends. If the latter, there will be countless old friends on both sides who will feel alienated and left out. They will cause trouble for years.
A word about families
In addition to all the other problems that surround a wedding, there are a few basic considerations that apply to all family gatherings, whether they are Christmas parties, weddings, christenings or funerals. Having similar DNA isn't enough to ensure that everyone at the wedding will gel. Families, like any other group, are rent asunder by jealousies or animosities that would have been forgotten decades earlier if the people involved had been strangers. The reason weddings can be particularly stressful is because they are composed of a heady cocktail that is a mixture of the tensions, prejudices and ambitions of two different families.
Furthermore, all generations are, or should be, present. For this reason, no one will know everyone, and many will feel lonely and isolated. Some of the latter may drink too much, and that may add to the difficulties.
Having said this, weddings can (and should) fun. The consequences of a good wedding may " t a lifetime, but this will occur only if the event as been well-planned. Brevity is a virtue in a wedding that is too often overlooked. The easiest weddings to organize are those at which the ceremony takes place in the late afternoon: the four-o'clock slot. The reception that follows then doubles as a pre-dinner drinks party. Dinner over, the aged are free to retire, while all those who regard weddings as a party for the bride and bridegroom can stay on and happily dance the night away.
How to Avoid Wedding Stress
- Make a budget.
- Decide who is going to pay for what. The days when the bride's family paid for the lot are passing - if they haven't already done so. Try to find a compromise acceptable to both parties.
- Agree between the families on the type and details of the wedding. Prepare lists of potential guests, but don't insist that these should be categorized such as 'family only', 'second cousins don't count as family', etc.
- As in any important lifetime event, planning is the key to success and less stress. Some of the most successful weddings I've attended have been planned down to the last penny and the last five minutes (if not seconds).
- Both families need to be involved in this planning.
- Never allow the planning and the budget to spoil the occasion on the day. A disaster or two is to be expected. Funds should have been laid aside to pay for any costs that will undoubtedly be necessary to correct these unforeseen circumstances.
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