Managing Wedding Planning Stress

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11 Handy hints

We’ve put together our 11 handy hints for marriage planning without the meltdowns, plus have a newly opened private Facebook group The Wedding Forum…a forum for engaged couples to seek honest advice and support from fellow brides and those who have been there before.

1. Take Stock

Right from the outset, be honest with yourself and work out how much time you can actually put into wedding planning. Then, determine who you can call upon for help if and when the wheels fall off (but this article is all about hoping they won’t!)

Knowing yourself, and your likely trigger points for stress (will it be if the decorations go over budget, if the bridesmaids’ dresses are left until the last minute, if you can’t agree on a band, working out the seating plan with family?) means you can plan how to manage the issues when they arise well ahead of time.

2. Stick Together

Bride and groom kissing

Epiphancy Photography

The wedding is about the marriage, the marriage is not about the wedding. It’s easy in a flurry of lace, lilies and line dancing to forget to nurture the reason you’re doing all of this in the first place – your husband-to-be. Be sure to schedule in date nights, even a walk in the park where you promise not to discuss wedding plans so they don’t become all-consuming. If things aren’t going according to plan, share, and let him know. This is only the first kink in a hopefully long and winding road together.

3. Keep your Friends Close

yoga with friends

Connect, and spend quality non-bridesmaid-dress-shopping-time with your besties, whether you’re doing yoga, hitting the beach, shopping for outfits for them for a change, or just winding down with a wine. Those cultures which insist on women gathering together before the wedding to pamper, drink tea, do each other’s hair or relax with friends are onto something we reckon.

4. Find a Marriage Mantra

Yes really, it’s been working for monks and yogis for centuries – why not for brides? Next time your mother-in-law makes a snide remark or an unreasonable request, find a quiet place to close your eyes, focus on your breathing and repeat something zen. Whether it’s “I feel calm” or “I am bride-chilla” – you’ve got to find what works for you.

5. Nerves are Normal 

Butterflies causing chaos in your belly? It’s ok. Nerves often accompany excitement, and we shouldn’t shy away from them. Taking a moment to question such a big commitment isn’t a danger sign, it’s pretty sensible – unless every time you take a moment the feeling slides from jitters to downright dread.

6. Delegate – and Then Delegate Some More

Repeat after us: I am not superwoman. Because you’re not, so stop trying to manage it all on your own. Weddings are (most often) massive undertakings.

Invite friends and family to help. Whether it’s making place cards, decorating pews, packing bonbonniere or making phone calls, people love to feel needed – and useful!

7. Pamper Yourself

facial pamper bridal

There’s no need to wait until your wedding eve for a pampering session. A 30-minute massage, facial or even mani/pedi can work wonders for frazzled fiancees and if you really don’t have time, take a book, a candle and some bubble bath and hit the tub at home.

8. Exercise is a Brides Best Friend

Virtually nothing releases tension like a good sweat session, whether you’re running, hiking, boxing, swimming, cycling or standing on your head. Physical activity helps release uplifting endorphins, so make it a priority, and watch your mood improve with your waistline.

9. Meditate

yoga stress

Even if you’re new to the cause, meditation helps. Trust us. It’s the key to managing overwhelming emotions and to clearing your mind, even in a few minutes a day, or before bedtime. There are plenty of meditation and mindfulness apps you can try with a pair of headphones, so sift through to find one that works for you.

10. Slow Down on Social

Studies have found that if you’re feeling anxious, social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram can make it worse, especially if you’re prone to feeling jealous of what others have, or are doing. This can be particularly tough in the wedding space. Sure social media is a fab tool for gathering inspo, but gather and go, don’t surf until you feel low.

Researchers have found that if you’re already feeling anxious, spending time on Facebook can make it worse.

Another study found that if you have a tendency to feel envious, Facebook can also increase the risk of depression. Bottom line: A break from some social media in the midst of your wedding planning might be a relief.

11. Talk!

It’s an oldie, but still a goodie. Whether it’s a colleague, a therapist, a fellow bride or a slightly removed family member, it pays to have a designated person to download to when you need to blow off steam.

It’s usually best if it’s not your Mum, sister or best friend (who are likely too close to home and may sometimes be the cause of the stress in the first place). Try to put a time limit on your whingeing though, five minutes to let it all out, and then let it go.



Perfect weather for weddings!

IMG_3123IMG_3132I just spent a week in Noumea.  Our hotel was 50 metres from the beach and we had a balcony overlooking the coast.  Every morning we woke up to a beautiful blue sky and we went out for breakfast in the fresh morning air.  By the time we headed out for our activities for the day it was a gorgeous 25 to 27 degrees and by the evening it was a little cooler to get a good night’s sleep.

Always having weddings on my mind it occurred to me how wonderful it would be if we  could have weather like that for a few months of the year!  It would take away all that stress of having an outside venue and always having to back it up with plan B!



Spring weddings!

The weather is warming up and I am looking forward to the spring wedding season.  I have freshened up my website and have been busy organizing my office to have everything ready for the busy season.  My couples for the Spring season are all very different so every wedding is a challenge which I really enjoy!

cat wedding photo


Personalised marriage ceremonies Gabriele and Gerrit A procession and two wedding dresses!

Gabriele and I have been friends for many years, we met at choir and enjoyed being choir buddies for many years.  We were also both nurses so had another common interest.  We shared a room when our choir travelled to Perth many years ago and got to know each other very well.

I had heard a lot about Gerrit her new man and I was very excited when Gabriele told me they were engaged and thrilled when she asked me to officiate at the ceremony.  She and Gerrit had firm ideas of the run of the events for the day and it was all organized very quickly.

They wanted a prewinter date so they were married on 27th May this year.  We all met at their house beforehand for drinks and nibbles.  We then “processed” the short walk to the hotel where the ceremony and reception were held. The neighbours all came out to cheer us on and it was a lot of fun!





Ceremony excerpts:

……When planning the ceremony with Gabriele and Gerrit it became quite apparent that they did not want anything too formal or too traditional and they wanted as much involvement from their friends and family as possible, which I think is testament to the way they live their lives in general, with many of us being privy to their hospitality, warmth and generosity over the years.

Personal story

I asked Gerrit and Gabriele to tell me a little about their relationship and what making a commitment means to them.  In fact, I gave them a whole list of questions:  Gabriele promptly answered them in her quick decisive manner.  I must say Gerrit did agree with her answers!

…..One thing came through loud and clear: three values are very important to them and they are: honesty, respect and trust…..the qualities they most treasure about each other are their love, openness and directness.

Their goals for a happy marriage include the ability to maintain their own identity, also trust, honesty, communication and fun and laughter.  And for their children they believe their marriage will provide a safe and secure space from which they will venture forth and fulfil their dreams.

In Gabriele’s words:

Gerrit is passionate and enthusiastic in his endeavours. he is sensitive, always cries at movies and is very loving. He is happy to try new things and is adventurous. He likes my cooking. He is open to saying yes.  Life will never be boring with him.

Memorable times.

Our first date was on a rainy night at the Radisson, when I was late for choir rehearsal afterwards. I noticed his good table manners and passion for skiing.  Gerrit was very nervous, and continued to be nervous for our next few dates. We went 5 Rhythms dancing on a few choir free Tuesday nights (child free evenings), which were a fun physical release and a way of getting to know each other.

At our first date, Gerrit reignited my skiing passion. A few practice sessions at Ski City set me up for a few weekends in Mt Buller where Gerrit worked winters.  I remember how excited Gerrit was that I could ski!  The kids tried and enjoyed skiing too……….

Appreciation of music is a strong bond. Both of us love our Tuesday nights. I’m at choir (RMP) and Gerrit rehearses with his band. We try to get out and hear some live music, whenever we can.

Gerrit is dedicated and devoted to Gabriele.  He dutifully sent me the answers to my list of questions about Gabriele and their relationship.  On their first date he also remembered it was raining and the big hug he got……………He loved their lunchtime dates and meeting and spending time with Gabriele’s children.  He also enjoys their times skiing and dancing….

Their three children all participated in the ceremony:  Gerrit’s son Grant was the ring bearer and Gabriele’s two daughters, Erica and Sophia did readings.  They all took part in the unity candle ceremony.


Poem for a Mother’s wedding Robyn O’Connell  read by Erica

Who would have thought, that there would come a time

When I would be standing at your wedding, rather than you being at mine?

That day will come, as sure as can be

But for now, it’s my turn and look what I see

A mum that has been there, through thick and through thin

And now here you stand, your face in a grin

The wish that I bring for my mother right now

Is health and happiness, as you take your wedding vow

So, to you dear Mum, what more can I say?

Than to love the dear friend you have beside you today

I hope you both are as happy, as you can ever can be

Knowing much love comes from your daughter – that’s me!

Once upon a time you two met You’ve shared much love and laughter May your marriage be a fairy tale Happy ever after

I’m glad I’m in the fairy tale And you are too I guess Congratulations, King and Queen From your fairy tale Princess.


Reading: What is a family Author unknown read by Sophia

A family is…

The sweetest feelings  the warmest hugs,  trust and togetherness

Unconditional love,the stories of our lives written on the same page

The nicest memories anyone has ever made, treasured photos

Thankful tears, hearts overflowing with all the years

Being there for one another, supporting and caring

Understanding, helping, sharing,

Walking life’s path together and making the journey more beautiful because…

We are a family, and a family is love.


Candle ceremony

Our family

(Gerrit)  Beginning our new life together does not mean that we will forget the lives we leave behind

It was that past that brought us here, without it we would not have our children

And all the happy memories of their growing into the young people that we are so very proud of…

(Gabriele)  As we light these candles we extend the love w”e share for each other to encompass Grant, Sophia and Erica

And ask them to light a candle and place it in this circle as a symbol of the joining of our families.

We all had a fun night with lots of dancing and good food.  I wish you a wonderful future together!

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