After the elation of the engagement can come the nightmare of trying to organise the wedding. It's supposed to be the happiest day of your life, yet with dresses to be found and fitted, caterers to plan, and venues to be booked, the strain of organising a wedding can let even the calmest person fall under the pressures of stress.
But, if tying the knot has brought out the bridezilla in you, here's how to breeze through the build-up and beyond.
Avoid mass take-over
Along with the cards, gifts and congratulations, you are also likely to get lots of unsolicited advice from people who see your wedding as a chance to fulfil their needs, not yours. Stay strong and stick to your dream and prior-plans, even if this upsets family dynamics. The reality is that although weddings tend to be for other people, marriage is for only two.
Focus on what matters
Wedding planning can feel like a fulltime job. Often a bride can lose track of herself and the reason she is getting married in the first place, and what started as a joyful experience can easily turn into a quest for perfection. Tell yourself that nothing is perfect and keep an eye on your long-term goal: to be happily married.
Face your fears
By writing down anything you are afraid of, you may find that, on paper, the little things become silly rather than overwhelming. If not, write down possible solutions to each problem. For instance, if you are worried that it will rain, remember that you have no control over the weather, and if that does not help, hire white umbrellas.
Take a bridal break
Promise yourself to take one day a week off from planning, and designate at least one night a week as a wedding-free zone, during which you and your partner avoid all mention of the marriage. Instead, remind yourself why you fell in love in the first place. Book a romantic weekend away or simply cook dinner together.
Work-out your stress
If weight loss or fitness is your pre-wedding goal, don't just concentrate on hard-core aerobics and weight training; try taking a weekly pilates or yoga class, too. Mindful exercise will not only leave you fitter, it will also ease tension and calm you down.
Pre-wedding eating plans can mean that you skip meals and miss out on vital nutrients, so be sure to include the following stressbusting foods in your daily diet.
Nuts – a vital source of calming B vitamins; choose pistachios, walnuts and almonds.
Avocados – contain potassium which can help promote lower blood pressure.
Skimmed milk and low-fat yoghurt – both are good sources of calcium, which is known to reduce tension.
Oatmeal – not only supplies fibre but also helps your body to produce serotonin, the feel-good, keep-calm brain chemical.
Spinach – a great source of calming magnesium.
Salmon and other oily fish – contain omega 3 oils that help balance out the stress hormone cortisol.