Wedding Therapy CBT! Make The Most Of Your Wedding
So, you’re tying the knot? Congratulations! Although this may not be obvious, Wedding Therapy CBT can be incredibly helpful in preparing for your special day. Think about it – CBT helps us learn how to manage our thoughts and behaviors in an optimal way. So practicing the kinds of thoughts and the kinds of helpful actions that will lead to an amazing wedding experience (and marriage) makes good sense.
While there are many great resources for how to plan the ceremony, most of these wedding checklists forget the most important part: you and your spouse to be. Please keep reading to learn how incorporating wedding therapy cbt can be the missing ingredient.
Being a CBT therapist myself, I am incredibly fortunate in that I was able to use the following CBT tools in preparing for my own wedding and this made all the difference in the world! Remember, the wedding isn’t for anyone else but you two AND you can prepare emotionally to make the most of your special day so that you truly experience it.
As you get closer to the big day, you’re probably feeling many things; excitement, nervousness, and stress, just to name a few! It’s completely normal to get so caught up in planning, but it’s equally as important to take a step back and appreciate this day for what truly matters: the joining of two lives and celebrating the love you have for one another. This is what it is all about. Remember that! And the good news here is that you can actually learn to practice how to have a great wedding with CBT.
To slow down and savor this special time, here are 7 essential Wedding Therapy CBT tips that will help and that I used myself when I prepared for my wedding. You are the most important part of your wedding. Learning to experience the ceremony mindfully is so essential.
Wedding Therapy CBT Tip 1: Reflect on What Brought You Here
Your relationship has probably had its own share of ups and downs. While it may not always have been easy, nothing worth having in life is, right? But maybe you’ve been so focused on planning for the future and having the perfect ceremony (whatever that is!) that you haven’t stopped to reflect on the past. Taking stock of how far you and your spouse to be have come can be very empowering.
In the time leading up to the big day, shift your attention to celebrate how far you both have come. Look back on the hardships, the setbacks, and the moments that made you question—then revel in the fact that together you overcame it. Not only will this help you enjoy your wedding even more, but it will give you hope for the future for the most important part – the marriage!
Also reflect on all of the lovely moments too and how much deeper your love for each other has become. I highly encourage you to do a relationship review in the run up to your wedding. This doesn’t have to be complicated. Have a special date night and agree to talk about your relationship.
Here are some suggested questions to ponder:
- What were the difficult times? How did you get through them?
- What were the wonderful times? What helped them to be wonderful? What did each of you contribute towards these memories?
- What do you love about each other in the day to day?
- Ask yourself if your wedding ceremony reflects the journey that the two of you have made thus far and the journey you wish to take post wedding. If not, tweak the ceremony!
- Lastly, ask yourselves, how do you want to experience the wedding ceremony? And what can each of you do for the other to make sure that this happens?
Wedding Therapy CBT Tip 2: Don’t Let Anxiety Overwhelm You
Getting married can be an extremely stressful time in everyone’s life. It’s easy to get caught up in making everything perfect which often sends your anxiety levels sky-high. When you start to feel like this, practice mindfulness techniques like breathing exercises and imagery practices.
Practicing breathing techniques will help you remain calm on your wedding day so you can enjoy it properly. This will also help you deal with any stress you experience in the future—not just on the big day. If you can, buy a special fragrance for the wedding and put this on your wrist.
Then when you practice breathing exercizes, include this fragrance. What the body / brain will do on your wedding day is automatically help you to calm down when you simply smell your special fragrances! You can condition your breathing to slow down and create feelings of calm, by linking your wedding perfume and cologne to the relaxed state you are in when you practiced mindful breathing (even without having to breathe!).
It can be so helpful to imagine the ceremony itself and see yourselves enjoying it. In CBT this is called imaginal exposure and what is amazing about our brains is that when we practice something in our mind, our mind and body act like it is really happening.
Elite athletes do this all the time when they practice their routines. So when you start to feel anxious, practice your wedding ceremony, and reception, focusing on how you want to feel. Try it! It will make your day even more special.
Wedding Therapy CBT Tip 3: Shift Your Focus Away From the Small Things
Are the details of a wedding important? Absolutely! But they aren’t so important that they should overshadow what truly matters during this time—celebrating the love you have for one another and setting yourselves up for an amazing future.
Instead of fretting over every single small detail or when something possibly goes wrong on the big day, don’t sweat it! While you may want it to be perfect, it’s ok if not everything goes exactly as planned. Plus, when you aren’t freaking out about every small detail, you’ll be able to fully enjoy the day.
Just like above, practice imagery around your wedding and see it overwhelmingly going well BUT also include hiccups in your practice. Imagine a few things not going to plan and then see yourself handling them with ease. See yourself rising above any unexpected surprises. Then if something doesn’t go according to plan, you will already be well prepared to handle it.
Wedding Therapy CBT Tip 4: Plan a Date With Your Partner Before the Big Day
Between work, social commitments, and wedding planning, you two probably haven’t been able to squeeze in quality time together. So, in the weeks leading up to the day, plan a date night with your partner. Order food in, make a meal together, or hit the town! Just be sure to take the time to simply enjoy each other’s company.
Doing so will help you feel more grateful and excited about your wedding. Planning a date like this is such a good idea because it will remind you that the most important thing is the marriage and relationship you have and will continue to have, not the wedding.
During this date, spend some time sharing with each other what you love about your relationship and your life together. This can be a very powerful way to ground yourself in the present and in your relationship!
Wedding Therapy CBT Tip 5: Don’t Underestimate the Power of Good Eating Habits
Stress eating? That’s understandable, especially in times like these. But instead of filling up on less than nutritious food, give your body the fuel it really needs right now, nutrient-rich foods. From protein and fruits to healthy fats and vegetables, you can still stress eat, but you’ll be giving your body what it needs instead of what it thinks it wants.
This will help you have the energy you need to plan and enjoy the day. And while we are on the topic of food, don’t starve yourself either. If you don’t eat enough, you will not feel good at your wedding and then what is the point? This is your special day to savor and a day you will remember for the rest of your life! So please eat healthy and, also stay hydrated!
Wedding Therapy CBT Tip 6: The Big Day Has Arrived, So Let the Planning Go!
This is your day to celebrate the love you have for one another. You hired your team of vendors and planners for a reason. So, take the day off to celebrate, reflect, and bask in all of the love surrounding you. Letting go and letting them do what they were hired for will help you focus on the day’s importance.
It is also a very good idea, to get a massage the day of the wedding. It will help your body to slow down and be in the present moment.
Wedding Therapy CBT Tip 7: And finally, just enjoy it!
This might be obvious, but enjoy your day! It is YOUR day. Be happy to be around the family and friends joining you for the special occasion. Feelings of love and appreciation are everywhere on this day, and you can enjoy it more by recognizing this and slowing down. Your wedding day will be that much more memorable when you take the necessary steps and remember what truly matters!
If feelings of anxiety are overshadowing your big day, I can help you work through this. And if you just want to practice making the most of your special day, I can help you too. Over the years, I’ve seen countless couples incorporate Wedding Therapy CBT to help couples learn to slow down and savor their ceremony and set themselves up for an amazing marriage too. To read more about this highly effective therapy please click HERE.
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Hawaii and an Accredited CBT Therapist in the UK with over 16 years of experience. I specialize in anxiety treatments, life transitions therapy, and online therapy. I have received advanced specialist training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Compassion Focused Therapy. Please feel free to contact me at my Honolulu or London clinic to set up a free online CBT Test Drive.