Buzz·Posted on 29 Sept 201512 Wedding Tips For Brides With AnxietyYou will freak out, and it's OK.by Hilary MitchellBuzzFeed Staff, UKFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink 1. It's OK to feel overwhelmed. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com Getting engaged is an amazing feeling, but once the initial thrill of the "I SAID YES" Facebook likes wears off, planning a wedding can feel pretty overwhelming. There's a huge amount of pressure for everything to go perfectly, and if you're anxious you'll probably feel that pressure even more intensely. When I started planning my wedding I felt as enthusiastic as anyone else. But very soon afterwards I started to feel stressed and had that familiar "Argh, I have no idea what I'm doing" feeling, made worse by the fact I felt guilty for not feeling happier.Think of how complicated just getting to work on time can be if you're anxious or depressed. You're bound to feel stressed about such a major life event, but it does not mean you're a terrible bride. Be kind to yourself, and try not to feel bad. 2. There's nothing wrong with having a long engagement. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com You might feel pressure to set a date immediately, or throw yourself into the deep end looking for venues and making a Pinterest board full of bouquet ideas.In fact, you probably will want to do those things, but it's equally important to give yourself plenty of time to plan. Think of how much you can manage to do when you don't feel great, and factor that in. You might not always feel super keen to do wedding stuff, and that's OK if you have time.Even with a year and a half of lead-in time, I ended up scrambling around in a panic for most of the final eight months. A lot of service providers need a lot of notice, and every day seemed to involve a new (stressful) decision. Chat to your partner, reflect on what it is you both want, but more importantly how much you feel you can realistically deal with. Be a good friend to yourself, and don't put yourself under any extra stress or pressure if you can avoid it. 3. You're not a bad person if you hate the planning process. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com It's not just the detail: Suddenly needing to have an opinion on everything can really start to make you feel cross and overwhelmed. You're probably someone who usually likes to plan. After all, planning ahead is second nature to anxious people. But being put on the spot or bombarded with questions is very different: It can send you into a bit of a spin.If you start to get cold sweats when looking at floral displays and potential dresses (as I did) then get your mum, dad, maid of honour, partner, or just a random stranger from the internet on board and get them to give you suggestions or opinions.Repeat this to yourself at all times: "I'm not a terrible bride if I don't love this process." There's no legal requirement to have a wedding countdown clock on your desktop or spend hours adding floral crowns to a Pinterest board. Trust me: The life you're going to have with your partner is going to be way more memorable and important than the colour scheme you end up picking. 4. Say a big "yes" to those offers of help. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com If you see deadlines looming but freeze up and find yourself unable to meet them, don't suffer in silence. Turn to a friend and say: "Remember when you asked if there was anything you could do to help? The answer is a thousand times yes."The closer my wedding got, the more freaked out I felt. I was really excited, but became so overwhelmed by my to-do list I practically ground to a halt. I didn't want to worry my partner, so just lived with the knowledge I wasn’t doing vital things. Around the same time I met up with a friend who is a) super organised and b) had experienced some of the same anxiety and depression that I had. She started making calls for me – to a florist, a hairdresser, and a make-up artist. She's a hero.When it comes to weddings, other people genuinely want to be there for you. Call them and you'll instantly feel better. And if you're reading this thinking "Hang on, my anxious friend is getting married", give them a call and ask how you can help. 5. You really don't need those Mason jars full of glitter. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com In the era of Pinterest, Etsy, Folksy, and endless lists of adorable handmade DIY place card ideas, the pressure has never been greater to include loads of quirky elements. Unfortunately this can be really stressful.The general rule for anxious brides is that you should take every opportunity to reduce the pressure you're under. But that's easier said than done, as you'll also worry about how you'll feel if your wedding isn't "perfect" (whatever that means).I constantly made more work for myself. Buy invitations? Nope. I decided to make them, despite once glue-gunning myself to an art workbench at school. It took months of stress and the end result looked like it was made by a 5-year-old. Try to prioritise the fine touches and detail; it all adds up and before you know it you’re facing an impossible to-do list. It's perfectly OK to have ordinary place cards or a straightforward table plan. You'll still have an amazing day and won't have wasted weeks crying into a pot of calligraphy ink. 6. Take time to reassure your partner. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com I was a screechy hot mess in the two weeks before the wedding. I was so excited that it tipped over into panic at times. Strong emotions can make anxiety worse, which is yet another way your asshole brain tries to ruin your day. It's a good idea to make it clear that freaking out about the wedding does not mean you're not super happy about getting married. It's just the same old crap you've had to deal with for years being magnified by the wedding stress. You're both going to feel a bit weird at times – it's a big deal, and you'll inevitably have rows about who to invite and a million and one other things – but let your partner know that it doesn't mean your relationship isn't 100% solid. If you do feel bad, put your hand up and say: "I'm stressing like a mofo, but please remember that doesn't mean I don't love you. I would, however, really love a cup of tea/ pint of wine right about now" (delete as applicable). 7. It's OK to not enjoy being the centre of attention. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com As an anxious person, being on display isn’t really part of your MO, but it's an integral part of any wedding. Self-consciousness might not be something you consider until quite close to the day itself, but it's a good idea to plan for it.I've trained myself to be more outgoing than I actually feel, and can even speak in public if a) I absolutely have to and b) I have had gin, but even so I didn't like the idea of all eyes being on me. So we walked in together with our dog.More and more couples are making their own traditions, and choosing to walk down the aisle together instead of doing the whole “Let's not see each other until the ceremony" thing. It's just as romantic and it certainly isn't bad luck, believe me. Have a hug first, reassure each other, hold their hand and take strength from them. You do usually, so why change that habit on your wedding day? 8. It's fine to be selfish and put yourself first. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com You're going to feel pretty delicate the week before the wedding, even if you've been careful and looked after yourself. You'll want to be nice, you'll want to say yes to requests to pick people up from the airport, or answer endless questions from people who didn't read the details on the invitation. Maybe people are used to you being accommodating. But this is your wedding. It's OK to say no, or to let the phone ring out. Add extra protection between you and your dearly loved (and pain-in-the-ass) friends: Appoint a gatekeeper. It could be a mum, one of the wedding party, or a good friend. Hand out their number and let people bother them. They can deal with weird requests, only coming to you with important stuff.Don't feel bad about it either. People don't actually want to bother the couple in the run-up to a wedding, but they do need answers to questions. By appointing a gatekeeper, it makes it easier for them, and means you can focus on feeling calm. 9. Don't be afraid to let things go. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com You might feel the only way for things to go "perfectly" on the wedding day is if you keep a close eye on all of it, but that's actually the best possible way to utterly exhaust yourself, which can make anxiety worse. If your partner has absolutely no opinion on flowers, colours, and a million and one other things, turn to your friends instead. If they offer to help, let them. If the bridesmaids say they can research things for you, turn that over to them. Learn to tell the little things from the big things. What bags your bridesmaids carry? A little thing. What the person who's conducting the ceremony is going to say about your relationship? A pretty big thing. Focus on dealing with the big things and try to break the habit of a lifetime by delegating the minor points to your partner, friends, and family. You have great judgment and they do too. 10. You don't have cold feet. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com Anxious people worry about the fact they're worrying. That's what we do, to the extent that we can actually convince ourselves of almost anything. When you do freak out about the wedding for entirely natural reasons, there's a chance you'll also think: "OMG, is this cold feet? Should I be marrying him (or her)?"Thankfully it only happened to me once. After yet another freak-out about nothing (and bear in mind I regularly freak out because I don't know what to order in Starbucks) I thought: "What if this is a bad sign?" Then I told myself off for being silly.It wasn't, the wedding was awesome, and I couldn't be happier now, but it's just another example of your brain trying to throw a spanner in the works. It doesn't help that online forums are full of people saying things like: "If you're having any doubts about any part of the wedding process, no matter how minor: GET OUT NOW." Don't get out now. But do try to take some time to chill, do something non-weddingy, and stay off weddingbee.com for at least a week. You'll feel much better. 11. Take lots of days off (and don't feel guilty about it). View this photo on Instagram instagram.com It's hard to avoid letting your wedding take over your whole life, especially on the extra-stressful final stretch. But your hobbies, friends, and interests are what keeps the anxiety wolf from the door, so letting those slide is a bad idea. It's hard to find the time, but by delegating tasks and decisions, giving yourself a long enough engagement and cutting down on some of the unnecessary detail you may well find you still have time to be a person too. I ditched a bunch of hobbies to try to claw back some additional planning time. It was a bad idea, as I started to lose all sense of perspective. I didn't feel like myself, which in turn meant it was hard for me to be a happy, breezy bride (which was never going to happen anyway, but a girl can dream). The only thing I didn't drop was my daily dog walk, mainly because that would have been a bit unfair on the dog. Thanks to her, I at least got a daily dose of exercise which helped centre me. Whatever your favourite activity is – yoga, meditation, shots, or arguing with strangers on the internet – don't take the risk of dropping it. 12. Spoiler alert: You are going to love your wedding day. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com You might even surprise yourself by feeling pretty calm as well. After all, as an anxious person you're likely to have imagined so many giant catastrophes that minor things going wrong on the day feel just that: minor. For once, your brain is actually on your side and it's a benefit rather than a curse. My friends commented on how weirdly calm I was, although to be fair the large quantity of champagne they brought along definitely helped. In short, you'll have a damn good time. And the good news is that it was completely worth the stress (even the added stress I could have avoided but didn't). You're going to love it too, but make sure you cut yourself lots of slack in the run-up to your big day, take care of yourself, and give yourself a huge pat on the back. You didn't let anxiety hold you back, you got married, and you're awesome. H/t Crieff Photography and Funk It Up UK.