Stories from Your Wedding Friend - The Wedding Planner's Blog
Everyone planning a wedding gets anxious at some point during the organising and even on the day of their wedding, but for someone who already suffers with social, or other types of anxiety, even the idea of having a wedding can bring on a panic attack. In this blog I look at ways to prepare, prevent and cope with a wedding related panic or anxiety attack.
When I work with anyone, but especially someone who suffers anxiety, I need to know where their comfort zone is. If they prefer not to work face to face or on the phone, then we can work by email and text. If someone gets panic attacks in crowds of people, we can work together to create an intimate low-key wedding. This works the same with other suppliers too. Be honest with your photographer if you don't want to stand being looked at for too long, or go for a reportage style so there's no posing.
Overwhelm can occur when there is too much going on so don't plan too full a day. If you can, spread it out to allow times for breaks to get away from the crowd, then you can take a walk to clear your head. If the idea of 12 hours of wedding shenanigans fills you with dread then shorten it, don't do everything, go for a late ceremony and evening reception.
If you know what brings about an attack you can prepare accordingly. If it's surprises that trigger you, then be involved in all the details. Grooms especially can tend to side-line themselves and leave the details to other people. If you know what's coming, you can be ready for it and use your team to help you. For some people the thought of negotiating with all those suppliers can create panic, if you have someone you can trust to do this for you then let them, just make sure you give them guidance.
You might want to push yourself a bit outside your comfort zone on your wedding day but it's important that the whole day will not put you on a heightened state of alert. It's your wedding and should include elements that put you at ease. Don't let others force you into doing your wedding any other way than what you are most comfortable with.
From the location, to the timing, to the kind of music you use for setting the mood, every part of your day can be tailored to create the best possible environment for you to relax in. Take deep calming breaths before any situation that could lead to a panic attack. Have a mantra or phrase in your mind that you can use to ground yourself; something short and memorable works best but make sure it is affirming and positive - I will, I am, I can. I find a phrase that works for me is 'this too shall pass' but you need to find one that works for you.
Possibly the best option is to use a venue you know well but if you chose a new place for your wedding you need to get familiar with it. Visit your venue often and not just for meetings with the staff or your suppliers but for fun, use the restaurant, take a walk in the grounds. Familiarise yourself if you can with where you will be. The more comfortable with the surroundings you are the more you should be able to relax in them. Know where the bolt holes are and use them if things get too much and you just need a little break.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is your wedding so you should do it the way that makes you happiest and most comfortable. If you need someone to fight your corner in this or to take on the bits you don't want to, I'm here for you.