Wedding season is upon us, and sure enough, with that, a host of issues is brought up that can wreak havoc on what is supposed to be a wonderful day. Throughout the year, a lot of soon-to-be married couples come to me for pre-wedding stress and anxiety. This stress can come very close to breaking up the engagement and open up family issues to the point where people go radio silent on each other. I have yet to meet anyone who tells me that their wedding planning was easy and without incident. So accept the notion that stress is normal when it comes to weddings and that fear underlies much of it.

Here’s how to beat wedding anxiety and enjoy your special day:

  1. Lower your standards. That’s right, expect less. Though society and culture dictate that this is supposed to be “the happiest day of your life,” that notion sets the bar way too high and in doing so creates pressure. By lowering your expectations and aiming for a happy day, you’ll help to avoid turning into a Bridezilla or Groomzilla.
  2. Stick with your decisions and plans and don’t be swayed by the opinions of others. Keep in mind that this is your special day, not theirs. Just because mom wants you to have the grand wedding she never had is no reason to do so. Plan the wedding first and foremost to satisfy your needs.
  3. Set goals and make definitive plans to reach them. Ask for help from your friends and relatives and don’t be afraid to delegate.
  4. Create a budget with your future spouse and family and stick with it. Don’t be tempted by salespeople. This is a highly-charged emotional time in your life, and wedding vendors know that and often use it to their advantage.
  5. Anticipate relatives or friends who might not get along. Talk to them ahead of time and ask them to set aside their differences for the day and focus on your wedding instead of their issues.
  6. Adjust your thinking. Rather than dwelling on “what ifs,” think from a position of strength. For example, “I have a checklist of everything that needs to happen and am well organized” is far better than, “What if the flowers don’t arrive?” or “What if I’m late?”
  7. Embrace the mind-set that anxiety and stress are normal. Remember to take time to do things, both alone and with your fiancé, that are entirely unrelated to the wedding planning.
  8. Remember that the day itself isn’t as important as the meaning of it. It’s a celebration of the love that exists between you and your soon-to-be spouse.

So if you find yourself wanting to rip your significant other’s head off as you approach this special day, keep these eight tips in mind, hit the reset button, and try to maintain perspective.

To learn more Be Fearless tips check out Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.


  • Jonathan Alpert

    Psychotherapist, executive performance coach, and author of Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days. Twitter: @JonathanAlpert

    Jonathan Alpert is a psychotherapist, columnist, performance coach and author in Manhattan. As a psychotherapist, he has helped countless couples and individuals overcome a wide range of challenges and go on to achieve success. He discussed his results-oriented approach in his 2012 New York Times Opinion piece, “In Therapy Forever? Enough Already”, which continues to be debated and garner international attention. Alpert is frequently interviewed by major TV, print and digital media outlets and has appeared on the Today Show, CNN, FOX, and Good Morning America discussing current events, mental health, hard news stories, celebrities/politicians, as well as lifestyle and hot-button issues. He appears in the 2010 Oscar-winning documentary, Inside Job commenting on the financial crisis. With his unique insight into how people think and their motivations, Alpert helps clients develop and strengthen their brands. He has been a spokesperson for NutriBullet, Liberty Mutual insurance, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Jonathan’s 2012 book BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life in 28 Days has been translated into six languages worldwide. Alpert continues to provide advice to the masses through his, Huffington Post, and Thrive columns. @JonathanAlpert