Planning the biggest party of your life comes with its fair share of stress. Brides-to-be are constantly dealing with the budget, family drama, vendor appointments, and countless other wedding-related tasks. Eventually the pressure of planning a wedding takes its toll, and a bride's big-day anxiety may become a permanent part of her life. This can negatively affect your relationships with your friends, spouse-to-be, parents, and anyone else with a connection to the wedding. Here are four signs that you've let wedding planning harm your personal relationships, and tips for mending those bonds before it's too late.
Your friends are avoiding you.
Wedding planning is constantly on your mind, so it feels natural to discuss centerpieces, stationery suites, and bridesmaids' dresses with anyone in sight. But although your life currently revolves around your big day, chances are that your friends and family will get tired of hearing about every aspect of your wedding. Postponed dinner plans and canceled coffee dates shouldn't become the norm. If your friends have been avoiding you, apologize that you've been so stressed with wedding planning, and greatly limit the amount you talk about it during your next get-together.
You're experience decreased affection towards your partner.
According to Kelly Francini, a licensed clinical social worker based in New Jersey, one of the first signs of a strained romantic relationship is a decrease in affection. "You may also notice increased irritability or withdrawal of time and affection," she says. During this stressful time, both partners need emotional support more than ever. Try to find the root cause of your decreased affection and solve the issue accordingly. According to Jean Fitzpatrick, a relationship therapist based in New York, a couple should also ensure wedding tasks aren't turning into a chore. "Be sure to go on dates just as you always have. Schedule specific times each day or week to talk about wedding details. Sometimes there's an urgent need to get back to a vendor, but otherwise avoid letting the plans take over your relationship," she says.
You're harboring feelings of resentment for your family.
From your parents to the bridal party, everyone involved in your wedding will have different opinions about the big day, and some people will care about the details more than others. If you notice your relationship with your family has been strained by the planning process, try to talk through your issues. "Couples should make decisions together and then present a united front to their families," says Francini. "The conversations are more likely to go well if the couple keeps perspective about the intentions and expectations of their extended families and the role that plays in the disagreements."
You start doubting your relationship with your spouse-to-be.
"There is a misconception that, because this is a happy occasion, the couple should be enjoying every step of the process, which can create self-doubt when comparing your rocky planning experience to your idealized expectation," says Francini. She says to realize that all major life events are stressfull—even the happy ones. A bride and groom should openly talk about the negative emotions they're feeling, and remember why they decided to get married in the first place. "Couples who keep the focus on making their big day reflect them—their values, passions, and dreams—discover that planning their wedding can actually enhance and deepen their relationship," says Fitzpatrick.