Sunday, February 27, 2011

Worried about anxiety?

Hello all! I'm really back this time - our fabulous mini-moon is behind us, we're looking ahead to settling into life as a married couple and I cannot wait to share all of the details of our wedding weekend with you!

However, until we get our pictures back I have so much more to share with you! Projects that I managed to get done (but not in time to blog about - like our Facebook!), and other details that I'm not sure I ever actually talked about (like the decor for our ceremony).

But first I wanted to talk about one thing. Specifically, my anxiety during the weekend of our wedding. More specifically, the fact that I didn't feel the anxiety that I expected to feel.

Let me explain. I'm not normally a very anxious person in real life, but in the lead up to the wedding I was incredibly stressed out. I was worried about everything - how the weekend would go, whether everything would be in place, whether our guests would have any fun, or whether people would be annoyed that I had asked them to spend the weekend in the woods. For me, all of this culminated several weeks before the wedding when we got all of our ceremony decor organized and packed to transfer to IslandWood. Mr. EB's mom came up for the weekend to help, so between her, my mom, my aunt, Mr. EB and myself there were lots of hands to get everything done. But I couldn't relax - I was so incredibly worried and stressed about making sure that we got everything done, that eventually the stress left me crying for over two hours without being able to stop.

As I've noted in earlier posts, I haven't always channeled my stress in the most healthy ways, but this was a release that I really really needed. And I'm glad that it happened when my mom was around so that she could, uh, take certain steps to help me get through the day. In the days before the wedding I was really nervous that the anxiety would take over and I wouldn't be able to enjoy anything. On the one hand, I knew that since I was able to get through it once, I could get through it on the wedding day. But on the other hand, I didn't want to "just get through" our wedding day! I wanted to be able to live it, and enjoy it and remember it!

And I did. The day of our wedding was probably the most calm I have felt in the entire 14 months of planning (however, not the Thursday or Friday before the wedding day. I was still feeling a little stressed those days). Why? Because everything was done. There was nothing left that I could stress over. And most importantly, everyone around me took over and made sure that everything was set up, people were where they were supposed to be and I didn't have to do anything except spend the day with my girls getting ready. I kept waiting to feel stressed and anxious over what was going on, but all I felt was excitement at the step that Mr. EB and I were taking later that day.

Now, clearly everything didn't get set up by itself. I had a lot of wonderful people surrounding me that made sure to protect me from anything that went wrong (if anything did go wrong, I still have no idea!), and make the decisions about how to proceed. My mom was wonderful throughout the whole day. She calmly and efficiently had everything organized and made sure that people knew what needed to happen. My aunts took over decorating the ceremony space and my friends helped the staff at IslandWood transform the dining hall for dinner.

And probably most helpful, we had an absolutely amazingly wonderful coordinator at IslandWood. If you are at all on the fence about having a coordinator, I'm one more voice adding to the choir telling you to have one. It's SO worth it. Whether they work at your venue (like ours did) or you hire a DOC or wedding planner, a good coordinator is worth his/her weight in gold. I'll talk more about everyone at our venue later, but truly everyone at IslandWood made our wedding the amazing day that it was. 

So. I'm not saying that your day will automatically be wonderful and stress free, but what I am trying to say is that just because you're anxious now you won't automatically be anxious on your wedding day. Ultimately the best thing that everyone around me did was to help me be as prepared as possible for the day, and then take everything away from me so I didn't have to think about it at all. I actually remember very clearly at one point after lunch thinking about a detail that I wasn't sure I had talked to anyone about, finding my mom to ask her about it and her smiling and saying it was all taken care of. 

So, that's my advice: prepare everything you can, tell people what you want or need them to do in order for you to stay calm, and then let it go and focus on yourself and your soon-to-be husband/wife.

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