Look after yourself in the lead up to your wedding day

The memory of your wedding day is one you’ll treasure for the rest of your life. On the day itself, all preparations are done and dusted and the big day can be enjoyed for what it is: a celebration of love and commitment. When planning a wedding, many experience stress and anxiety and this may be elevated if you’re one of the third of all South Africans diagnosed with a mental health condition. However, rest assured, there are steps and measures you can take to ensure things go without a hitch, allowing you to put all the efforts into finding your perfect dress, whether it be a modern gown with a twist, a flowing bohemian dress or a custom made Muslim wedding dress.Stress

Mental health covers a vast range of illnesses, including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and eating disorders. Treatment for these illnesses vary depending on diagnosis, severity, the individual’s age and overall well-being.

Stress is a factor strongly associated with planning a wedding. The cost, finding the right venue, choosing the perfect dress, booking a photographer, the list of things to arrange is endless. One of the linking symptoms of all mental health conditions is stress, thus seeking treatment and finding stress management solutions which work for you is key when planning your wedding.


Preparation

Prepare yourself for something to go wrong, whether it be on the day itself or in the lead up. You’re relying on a lot of other people, including, caterers, seamstresses and photographers and there’s a chance that something might not be as you expected or a supplier could cancel on you at the last minute. By mentally preparing yourself for any letdown, you’re already accepting the issue, allowing you to persevere through and make alternative arrangements.

Keeping calm and taking time out to enjoy a break from your wedding plans is also beneficial for your mental health. You and your best friend could have a spa day or a nice lunch in town. Whatever it is you do, though, ban all wedding talk and embrace having some wedding-free time.


Accept help

Family and friends love a wedding and most love to pitch in and help out with the organizing. Rather than turning them away because you want to do it all yourself, accept their help. Simple things to them such as filling 100 wedding favors can be a big weight off your shoulders, but won’t seem like much to someone who hasn’t got numerous other wedding related tasks on their list to complete.

If you’re finding things are getting on top of you, don’t be afraid to seek help from your doctor and share the way you’re feeling with them. They may offer medication, if you’re not already on it, or they could temporarily increase the dose of any medication you’re on for a brief period.

When it comes to the big day, as long as you love your dress, the venue and the cake, it ultimately doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Your wedding day should be an enjoyable one, so accept and seek any help you can to ensure it’s a day you’ll never forget.

Nearly 150,000 weddings took place in South Africa in 2015, with many of them happening outdoors. The amazing weather and perfect scenery provide some of the best backdrops for these happy occasions. Planning for these picturesque events takes dedication and some creativity. It is recommended that wedding planning take six months to a year, but realistically, many brides plan the big day their whole lives. She knows what her perfect wedding dress looks like, and she knows where she wants to get married. When an outdoor wedding is your heart’s desire, you’ve got different options, and challenges than conventional brides. The perfect outdoor wedding will be everything you hope with the right planning, and a bit of flexible creativity.
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Count on Mother Nature

No matter where you plan to marry, Mother Nature may have different ideas for you. We all know her temperamental nature, so be ready for whatever she happens to deliver on your big day. Have a back up plan for rain, such as a decorative tarp or tent for an open-air wedding. Consider a beautiful fireplace for outdoor spaces in case the temperature takes a turn for the worst. One of the biggest reasons for an ethanol fireplace at an outdoor wedding is its comfort and aesthetically pleasing advantage. The idea of an eternal flame, carrying united love always, is represented by the fireplace in addition to unity candles. Plan to have someone on standby for unexpected wind, such as the maid of honor, to make sure your dress doesn’t decide to play peek-a-boo with the crowd. Provide parasols or sunglasses for guests at beach weddings or on sunny afternoons. Even if the weather man claims a perfectly sunny day, be ready for rain clouds just in case.
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Plan for Acoustics

An outdoor wedding is also an open-air event, which means there are no walls to contain sound. Remember that the guests will want to hear the vows, so consider a microphone for the officiant. Think about entrance music for the guests as well; a harp is beautiful but its sound could get lost in an ocean breeze. If you have older guests, consider seating them in the front so they have a better chance of hearing the ceremony.
Speaking of Older Guests...

Make sure older guests are able to get to their seats. Choose ushers who will help Grandma navigate over your chosen terrain. Some people find sand difficult, especially with a cane. Other people may not handle hills well, and if your wedding is near a lake, there may be hilly areas to maneuver. While it’s important to pick an area that is meaningful for you, consider how your guests will make it to their seats.


Consider the First Viewing of the Bride

Traditionally, the groom is not to see the bride until she begins her descent down the aisle. Outdoor weddings lack the walls used indoors to hide the bride. Consider if you want to adhere to this tradition, and how you’ll make it happen. A folding screen works well, as long as the bride is able to move from the changing area to the screen. Other ideas include asking the groom to face forward until the wedding march plays, holding the wedding in a semi-secluded area where the bride emerges from behind a tree, or asking bridesmaids to shield the bride. The first viewing of the bride is trickier outdoors, but can be done with creativity and imagination.

An outdoor wedding is spectacularly beautiful. It works well for many people, but there are more unknowns involved in the ceremony. Plan for as much as possible, then know how to adapt. When you prepare for every imagined surprise, you’ll have a perfect day no matter what happens.