What are the biggest triggers for wedding stress?


Even the best-laid plans can fall apart. That’s the nature of weddings, much like life.Whether you are going for a traditional ceremony or a modern one, tempers will flare, tears will be shed. Is there a way to reduce this inevitable stress?



Weddings are a stressful affair. Wedding between families (and extended families) with more than one culture, can drive couples up the wall faster, sooner. Sometimes, to an extent that the whole wedding is called off. Wedding stress is prevalent all over the world – that we knew, but now there’s also a survey to prove it.

Zola, a blog for all things wedding and newly-weds, surveyed 500 recently-engaged-or-newlywed-couples across the US. Hear this out. A whopping 96% of couples admitted wedding planning is stressful, with almost half of them using “very stressful” or “extremely stressful” to describe their feelings.



Sulakshana Sinha, an entrepreneur, had thought she’d gotten rid of most of what comprises wedding stress by opting for a registered one, followed by a reception for close friends and family. “We (her husband and both families) eventually started banging heads over what or specifically ‘who’ constituted as close. There’s no escaping the wedding stress, whatever kind of wedding you are going for,” she says.

Psychologist and counsellor Rachna K Singh believes it’s the weight of expectation that’s to blame as the biggest trigger for stress. She categorises ‘expectations’ into three categories: “First, there’s the bride’s expectation of the perfect day she has always dreamt about. It never turns out exactly according to plan, at least not without some hiccups on the way. Second is the organisation part – the different vendors, the coordination, arrangements. Last, but certainly not the least, is the budget overshooting. There’s no stopping that no matter how well you’ve planned,” she explains.



Prachi Acharya, a marketing executive at an FMCG brand, cites Mr Big getting cold feet and leaving Carrie Bradshaw at the altar in the movie Sex and the City. “Remember that? We all abused him at that time. But when I was getting married, the planning pressure got to me so bad, I thought of running away. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and everything around me was falling apart. I saw, people who I thought I knew very well, act out of character. I don’t think it's just the bride and groom, wedding stress is contagious, and affects everyone around the couple; even friends.”



The study by Zola further stated these facts...
86% of respondents suffered on an average more than three stressinduced symptoms – including skin breakouts, hair loss, loss of sex drive, insomnia, headaches

47% of couples considered eloping or getting married at a city hall
71% of those surveyed said wedding planning was more stressful than major life events, like buying a home or finding a job
On average, couples use three or more resources to plan their wedding, like spreadsheets, Google Docs, apps, services, binders and more.



Image consultant Konkana Bakshi believes brides take too much pressure over shopping for trousseau as every designer tries to sell her the most expensive wedding wear. “Brides need to know that it’s not the label but she who has to shine,” she says.

Another very important negotiation is to know your in-laws a little in advance. If there is a clash of culture, this helps anticipate it. The couple should ideally give the elders some leeway but remain firm on the parts that they wish to keep private.


THE STRESSORS

The biggest stress is planning, taking everyone’s views into account. Traditional and modern views often clash, making everyone feel exhausted, angry. Family politics doesn’t help.

The budget always shoots up – small or big weddings, which is a stress factor for the bride, groom, and their families. Expectation of a big, fat wedding makes people fall into the trap of going the whole hog (priest, pheras, huge guestlist, exquisite decor, expensive clothes et al) even if they don’t want to.



In a diverse country like ours, with varying cultures, traditions, and languages, the middle point is almost impossible to achieve, which is why the euphoria of the couple after deciding to get married is short-lived.

When last-minute fittings go wrong and gives the bride jitters – ‘have you put on weight’ isn’t something she wants to hear!

Thinking about the big transition of living with someone else, leaving home, and your comfort zone.

Too many people around when your mind wants to be still.

Last-minute jitters.

HOW TO AVOID IT

First, accept the fact that some stress will come your way. Being prepared is half the stress taken care of.

You will have to smile through some ridiculous demands and catty comments from extended families. It’s irritating, but the best way to ignore the kind of stress that you shouldn’t even be thinking about.

There are several wedding planning apps and blogs from which you can get practical advice – about problems people have faced and shared.



While it may be difficult to get a single vendor for all arrangements – it’s wise to minimise.

Treat your body more carefully than usual in the days leading up to the wedding. Eat light. Breathe deep. Keep some basic medicines handy. Acidity, indigestion, headaches, exhaustion and anxiety are the major mood dampeners.

Complete all pre-wedding formalities, shopping etc at least a week or 10 days before the wedding.


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