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Picture of a stressed out white woman surrounded by the things she's worrying about - catering, photographs, cake, family drama, the weather, flowers

Are you suffering from pre-wedding panic attack?

Even the most super organised bride or groom can feel a little pre-wedding panic, it's not that unusual. There's a lot to organise and especially in the last few weeks it can seem like there's too much get done, and there's only so much you can do in a day. Wedding panic attacks can happen in many ways but they're often about common issues, so with this post we'll go through some of them and what practical steps you can take to avoid feeling overwhelmed by them.

The disaster movie dreams

Your wedding day stress has got you thinking about things 24/7 and yes, you've now started dreaming about impossible scenarios of things that could go wrong. Some of them you can easily brush off as ridiculous but there will always be a couple that seem so realistic and possible. The key thing is to ask yourself some common-sense questions - 1) is the scenario likely to happen? 2) Can you do anything to avoid it? 3) What would you do IF it should happen?

If the answer to the first one is 'absolutely no way it could happen', then forget about it. If the answer to question 1 is yes, move to question 2, if the answer to number 2 is no, then forget about it. If the answer to question 2 is yes then now is the time to think about some practical solutions so, number 3 what can you do to deal with it? Write it down, task it to someone, have a plan in place. You'll rest more easily if you do.

When 'Team Bride/groom' is more 'Team ME'

You've done everything in your power to get your team doing what they need to but for some reason on the lead up or on the day, they just don't seem to be there for you. If you think this scenario is possible then chances are you know exactly who this is referring to; the bridesmaid who is more concerned about their own hair than yours, the groomsman who has been more about the stag do than the wedding, the parent who seems hell bent on using your wedding to deal with gripes from their own childhood/divorce/family issues… It's important to have someone else on your team who you can trust to look out for and deal with these issues, or at the very least, keep away from you on the day. Make sure you have some ideas and distractions ready, and on the day focus on you and your other half.

When you just know there's going to be a torrential storm on your big day

The thing is, absolutely no-one can do anything about the weather you will get on your wedding day. If a large part of your big day is set outside you need to have a contingency plan in place, even if that is just having some white wellies and brollies on standby. By all means, keep an eye on the forecast and be prepared, but don't get obsessed. YOU really have no control over it, you only have control over how you respond to it. And yes the cliché holds true, rain on your wedding day (and getting through it) really is lucky. You can get some amazing photos in rain or snow, and it will give you stories that you will look back on and smile about.

The 'What if people just don't show up?' panic

It's an understandable panic. You've spent a lot of money on food and drink and you know that there are some guests who haven't RSVP'ed. You know exactly what needs to happen here, someone (probably not you) needs to give them a ring and ask if they're coming or not. If people are travelling from far away, sometimes things happen out of anyone's control (flight delays, cancelled trains, car breakdowns) and everyone is doing their best to make it there. If there's an unexpected family feud and now one part of the family are not talking to the other, chances are it can't be fixed right at that moment and yes there's a risk that food will go to waste. Whatever the reason for the gaps, you could invite those back-up buddies, evening-only guests, or plus-ones, that you had to leave out of the original guest list. Most people understand about dealing with family difficulties, it's way more common than most people realize, so if you know there are people in your life who would love to be there, even at short notice, get in touch with them ASAP to fill those gaps.

The 'What if something unexpected goes wrong?' dilemma

I've blogged previously on 6 of the more common wedding day dilemmas (see link below) and what you can do if they happen. But a big part of avoiding the panic about the unexpected is exactly the same as has been previously mentioned, Be Prepared. Yes, there are practical steps you can take for the most common ones but again the only thing you really have control of in any of the dream disaster scenarios is how you respond to them. The chances of a real disaster occurring are infinitesimal in comparison to the small niggles that, if you allow them to, can 'ruin' your big day. Perfection is a goal, but it is so seldom achieved because you don't have 100% control on everything. Being a few minutes late for dinner - not a disaster. Misplacing the wedding favours - not a disaster. DJ playing the wrong first dance track - not a disaster. Flower girl temper tantrum-ing her way through the ceremony - still not a disaster. Forgetting to pack your evening dance shoes - nope not a disaster. If at the end of the day the two of you are married and having fun at the biggest party you're ever likely to throw, then your wedding day has been perfect.

There are some great downloadable countdown to-do lists that you can use to keep tabs on things but if lists and spreadsheets are really not your thing, or you're more of a verbal/practical person you might want to consider recruiting someone to help you prepare, and deal with any panics for you. Stay calm, breathe, prepare where you can, and let go of what you have no control of. Good Luck X