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The 7 Emotional Stages of a Wedding Day

Expect to feel joy, stress, and everything in between.

Photography by: Courtesy of "Friends" via Netflix

Planning a wedding causes a whirlwind of emotions. What starts as pure joy following the proposal suddenly morphs into sleepless nights spent stressing over linen colors and peonies vs. garden roses. But, don't worry, at the end of it all, you'll walk down the aisle and marry the person of your dreams. And if that's not enough, at least you know you're not alone: All brides go through the same emotional stages of planning a wedding.


Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before You Walk Down the Aisle

Stage 1: Joy

After your S.O. kneels down to pop the question, the only thought running through your mind is, "I'm engaged!!!!!!" You're overwhelmed by pure happiness as images of your dream wedding fill your mind. Bridal magazines pile on your coffee table, and Pinterest consumes your free time as you spend hours creating boards of dresses, ceremony décor, and bouquets. Your ideas may be too ambitious, and a little hefty on the price tag, but hey, you're engaged!

Stage 2: Shock

As the bliss of being newly engaged wears off, the reality of planning a wedding sets in. Endless tasks fill your to-do list, and the cost of throwing a lavish celebration sends your budget through the roof. It's time to hire a wedding planner to sort through the confusion.

Stage 3: Stress

Once you figure out the logistics, you'll quickly learn that planning a wedding entails much more work than you initially thought. The costs—and your to-do list—keep on growing. The sheer amount of decisions overwhelms you: Band or DJ? Chocolate or vanilla cake? Should you rent a tent? To top off the stress, your family and friends won't stop giving their opinions about everything from the flowers to the guest list. In other words, you're approaching a mental breakdown.

Stage 4: Annoyance

Months of frantic planning finally cause you to reach a breaking point. You're so fed up with wedding preparations that you start to question whether the end result is worth the time and money. You may seriously consider eloping or calling the whole thing off.

Stage 5: Worried Panic

Once you finally beat your wedding-planning blues, the panic sets in as you realize just how quickly your nuptials are approaching. You worry about the sheer amount of items left on your to-do list, and start working in turbo mode to get everything done on time.

Stage 6: Acceptance

As the final countdown to your big day begins, you learn to accept your wedding as it is. Relish in the relief that comes with letting go of the small things.

Stage 7: Excitement and Nervous Anticipation

Finally, after months of planning and preparation, you reach the night of your rehearsal dinner. You're brimming with excitement and nervous anticipation as you greet friends and family. The next morning, you wake up and realize, "Ah! I'm getting married!" You walk down the aisle, say "I do," and party at the reception. Mid sip of champagne you think to yourself: "My planner was right: No one actually noticed that the linens are ivory and not bone..." 

About the Author

Nicole Harris

Nicole fell in love with the bridal industry after a summer internship with Martha Stewart Weddings. Although she's still a couple of years away from tying the knot, she can't help planning her own Big Day. She's crazy about creative DIY décor, classic lace gowns, colorful invitations, and huge (preferably endless) dessert spreads. Until it's time to pick her first dance song, though,...


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