If the hit rom-coms of the early 2000s have taught us anything, it's that weddings are seriously stressful to plan. Why do you think Katherine Heigl's friends in 27 Dresses constantly used her as a free wedding planner? It's a lot to deal with, but it's also so happy and exciting. It's easy to wonder why people stress so much when wedding planning, but the truth is, it's totally normal for someone to struggle with stress levels while, you know, planning a major event with dozens of guests. Don't believe me? Believe science.
According to Psychology Today, there are two types of trauma: big "T" and small "t" trauma. Basically, they're exactly what they sound like, with big "T" trauma being things like car accidents, wars, natural disasters, and small "t" traumas being... wedding planning. Yes, wedding planning can be so stressful that it can be classified as a type of trauma. Knowing that, it makes total sense that people would be seriously stressed out while planning their wedding, but there's more to it than that. People who are planning their wedding have a lot going on all at once. "They have money and time concerns, on top of various personalities and expectations," life coach Nina Rubin tells Elite Daily. "This combination leads to anxiety and stress."
The thing about planning your wedding is that it doesn't mean the rest of your life gets put on hold. You still have to go to work, take care of your other responsibilities, and keep your life together, all while planning this huge event. It's a lot, and experts agree on that. "It's tough to plan a wedding in addition to doing all of the normal life stuff, like going to work and paying your bills," psychologist Kathryn Moore, Ph.D. told Martha Stewart Weddings.
On top of that, Angela L. Thompson, Ph.D. also told Martha Stewart Weddings that most couples are stressed because they're trying to achieve "perfection" with their wedding, which isn't always realistic. "Your wedding will be beautiful and unique, but it probably won't be perfect," Thompson said. And really, perfection isn't what matters. "You should consider your day a success because you're marrying the person of your dreams, not because the ceremony and reception were executed to perfection."
Additionally, wedding planning is so stressful because it can bring up other tough issues you might have going on. "Weddings hit on money, family dynamics, growing up, commitment, issues of identity, body image and appearance, expectations that come with ‘the happiest day of my life’ and ‘happily ever after,’" Dr. Jocelyn Charnas, Ph.D., told HuffPost. "Then it turns up the volume."
In truth, my own personal wedding planning experience wasn't as stressful as it was emotional. It brought up issues from my childhood, reminded me of the loss of my father on a regular basis, and made me feel happy and sad at the same time, like a Kacey Musgraves song. But whether you're stressed, emotional, or just overwhelmed, feeling a mix of emotions is normal while you're planing your wedding. Just remember that what matters most is who you're marrying, not the details of the day.