From selecting a wedding date and finding a venue to creating a seating chart that makes everyone happy, it probably feels as if there's an endless number of items to check off your pre-nuptial to-do list. While there's no denying the importance of tackling the logistical tasks associated with your wedding, there's one overlooked item that should be a non-negotiable on every bride's to-do list—and that's self-care.
When there's so much to be done in months leading up to a wedding, it can be hard to find time to take care of yourself, but focusing on your own health and wellness is key if you want to walk down the aisle feeling happy and healthy. Here, we explain why self-care is essential for you and your relationship, plus how to find time for it as a busy bride-to-be.
It's important for your personal health and happiness.
First and foremost, self-care can keep you mitigate the stress of wedding planning. "Researching locations, meetings with vendors, making what seem like impossible choices, balancing dreams with the realities of your budget, and trying to keep everyone happy—all the while still having to contend with your everyday obligations—can turn anyone into the worst possible caricatures of themselves," says Marlene Morris, a wedding officiant with over two decades of experience. "A little self-care will turn down the thermostat, soothe the furrowed brow, help you remember what is important, and ensure the journey to the big day is a happy one."
It's good for your relationship.
Not only will prioritizing self-care during wedding planning make you feel better, but it can actually set you up for a happier and healthier marriage. "Self-care and other-care are completely connected. We really cannot fully care for another person without caring for ourselves," says Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology, University of South Carolina-Beaufort. "In the best circumstances, two people in a relationship each practice self-care that nurtures and energizes their relationships while simultaneously practicing care for that re-nourishes each of them as individuals."
Ask for help and don't be afraid to delegate.
One of the best ways you can take care of yourself leading up to the wedding is asking for help. Look for opportunities to ask your partner, family, and friends for help during wedding planning, whether that's by helping you scout locations or find the perfect cake. The more you can delegate, the less overwhelmed you'll feel—and the better you'll be able to take care of yourself. "People will want to help, so delegate everywhere you can—but only to people you can trust to carry-through and do a good job. Then, let go and let them do what you have asked them to do," says Morris. "Have them report back to you, but don't micromanage."
Build time for self-care into your schedule.
Your schedule is probably packed with calls, obligations, meetings, and appointments. If you want self-care to happen, you need to put it in your schedule, just like you would a cake tasting or a venue tour. "Get it on the calendar. Make the appointment. Keep it," says Morris. "If you don't schedule self-care, it's easy for time to get away from you."
Self-care doesn't have to be a big event.
Longer self-care practices, like getting a massage or taking yourself out to lunch, can't happen every day. Still, you can put short wellness breaks on your calendar. "Self-care can take place in a few minutes, anywhere. Find a quiet place and just sit down for a minimum of five minutes. Set a timer so you won't be thinking about what you 'should' be doing, and just take a deep breath and relax," says Morris. "Listen to the sound of your breath. Feel your heartbeat. Think about something that makes you happy. When the timer goes off, you'll be better able to cope with life."
Make a self-care ritual with your partner.
Making time for yourself during wedding planning is an important part of self-care, but so is making time for your partner. Creating a ritual you and your partner can enjoy together—like a long walk every Saturday morning or a mid-week date night—is a great way to come together as a team, support each other through the wedding planning process, and make the relationship a priority. "Rituals are grounding, reassuring, and they are something to count on. They can anchor a couple and convey trust and emotional reliability," says Cohan.