Planning a wedding in a pandemic - our tips for saving your mental health
When Covid first hit in 2020, I don’t think anyone could have predicted that we would still be feeling the impact two years later. The wedding industry has been one of the hardest hit, for both couples and vendors alike. We have been through it all - cancelling weddings to elope, awkwardly reducing guest numbers, managing vaccination status, borders opening and closing…in all honesty, if you have been planning a wedding throughout this time, you deserve a medal!
Whilst we would love to close this chapter, it feels like it may stick around for a little longer. With that in mind, I thought I would share some tips for managing your stress throughout this ever changing pandemic environment.
Invest in your mental health
I know you hear this one all the time, but that’s because it is so important. Whether it’s taking time to exercise or doing a morning meditation, this can often be the difference between having a good day or a bad day. It can help change your mindset from feeling overwhelmed and down, to optimistic and energised. There are loads of free apps out there that can help - two of my favourites are ‘Couch to 5K’ as a running app, and 'Insight Timer' for meditation.
Find your happy tunes
Music is such a powerful tool for stress management! Every time I feel down, I know I can throw on some good tunes, go for a walk, and I'm almost guaranteed to come back in a better mood. Good music gives you energy, brings back happy memories, makes you want to dance, and generally makes you feel better! Sounds simple, but create a Spotify playlist full of happy vibes, and pop it on whenever you feel down.
Decide what content you want to tune in to
The fear we have been exposed to through the media and social channels during this time has been insane. We are constantly being hit with news through our televisions, our feeds, our phones…it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed and down. Always remember, you can choose what you read. You don’t have to turn on the TV every night, you can switch on ‘do not disturb’ mode on your phone, you can unsubscribe, you can unfollow, you can turn off unwanted notifications…you can take control, and it actually feels quite empowering to do so.
Set up your support crew
Choose a few people whose opinion you value to be your sounding board. Choose people who understand the challenges and the pressures, have a balanced view, and have your best interests at heart. Likewise, block out the unwanted opinions that don't bring you any value - it's hard, but you need to learn to push those to the side because if you don't, it will drive you crazy.
Connect with other couples
There are loads of great Facebook Groups out there where couples are connecting and supporting each other through this time. You can ask questions, ask for opinions, recommendations and thoughts from people who are on the same journey. We have the Own Your Day Facebook Group, and there are lots of state based groups that are great!
Speak to your vendors
Your vendors are dealing with this ever changing scenario daily, and considering weddings are back on, they will be fantastic for recommending what has worked for others. Talk to them about the scenarios that are causing you stress and get their thoughts. They will help you work through practical solutions and are guaranteed to make you feel so much better.
Stay connected as a couple
Make sure you support each other and keep the conversation open! If you have a difference of opinion, talk it through and weigh up all the options. Whilst you're in a unique situation with your wedding, this skill is actually really important for a healthy marriage. Tough scenarios are going to come up all the time, so its a good opportunity to set up a healthy way of communicating and workshopping problems. Stay connected on what matters most for you both, and keep that as your guide for making important decisions.
Make the decision that’s right for you (not everyone else)
Weddings in a pandemic come with a lot of pressure - pressure from parents, from friends, from interstate guests, opinions about vaccination status…it’s a lot to handle, and for some, might be too much. If you’re genuinely feeling like you want to postpone, downsize, elope…you can! Part of becoming a married couple is learning to make bold statements, as a team, about what you want in life. Always remember that you can’t please everyone, but if it’s going to bring you peace of mind and happiness, you really do need to put yourself first.
I've always said planning a wedding is your first real test of marriage, but planning a wedding during a pandemic really does take it to a whole new level. If you have found this time particularly challenging, just remember that if you can get through this, you can get through anything and your marriage will be far stronger as a result. You've got this.