I had an anxiety attack right before my wedding: What it meant, what it didn’t, and how to cope

Guest post by Elli Thompson Purtell
my neck my back my anxiety attack possum tshirt on offbeat bride alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
My neck, my back, MY ANXIETY ATTACK possum tshirt from Etsy seller SaturnWaves

I did not enjoy wedding planning, for the most part. All of the modern wedding “necessities” seemed totally unnecessary to me. I cut corners wherever possible, saved money at every opportunity, and rarely found myself stressed because I just didn't care about the details. I was getting married to the man I loved, and nothing could ruin that.

About five days before our wedding, however, everything changed. I had a run-of-the-mill stomachache, and a friend said good-naturedly, “Maybe you have the pre-wedding jitters!”

That's when I slowly started to freak out.

Is a wedding anxiety attack the same as cold feet?

I've suffered from anxiety my whole life. When I was five, I was terrified of the the wind. At eight, I worried about the existence of God. At 10, I had my first panic attack and not a clue what was happening to me. I've had phases of compulsive disorder. I've struggled with sleep — worrying that I won't fall asleep, which causes me not to not fall asleep, which causes me to worry all over again the next night. My anxiety is a classic case of the self-fulfilling prophecy.

That's the thing with anxious people. We worry about worrying. We worry about why we are worrying. We convince ourselves that the most dreaded thing we can think of is happening, no matter what logic tells us. When it came to my pre-wedding freakout, I thought, What if this anxiety means I am having doubts? What if this is a bad sign? Normal people don't freak out before their wedding!

To make matters worse, my fiance was back in Chicago finishing out the work week, while I had headed to my parents' house early to get things in order before the big day. I felt like an old-fashioned bride, sequestered in my parents house, not able to see my betrothed until he lifted my veil the day of our wedding. Just the weekend before we were living our ordinary life together, and now suddenly everything seemed like such a strange and big deal. I suddenly wanted it all to be over with and to be on our honeymoon.

I wasn't anxious about standing up in front of everyone at the church. I wasn't anxious about being the center of attention, which is something I typically don't like. I wasn't anxious about getting married to my fiance. I was anxious simply because I was anxious. Simply because my brain is wired in a way that I can't always control.

I had an anxiety attack right before my wedding
A totally non-anxious Elli on her wedding day. (Photos by Claire O Design)

Does having a wedding anxiety attack mean your marriage is doomed?

In an attempt to stave off further anxiety, I decided to do what any good writer would do and research. I searched “I'm anxious before my wedding,” “How do get through the wedding when you're anxious,” “How to not be anxious for your wedding when you're an anxious person in general.” Similar to how googling an illness automatically tells you you have cancer, every search I made indicated that my marriage was doomed. “Pre-wedding jitters aren't a thing. They mean you aren't sure,” one article said. “If you aren't excited about your wedding, you're probably not excited about your marriage,” said another. My anxiety got more intense with every article. That awful little voice in my head was telling me They are right, even though I knew they weren't. Wasn't there someone out there who suffered from anxiety and could relate to what I was going through?

wedding anxiety issues on @offbeatbride

So I did the only thing left for me to do: I cried to my parents. I broke down. It felt amazing. Finally, I got relief from the build-up of all my nervous energy.

Then my dad, who has been a witness to my peculiar breed of anxiety for 29 years, said the most powerful thing: “This wedding is going to happen no matter what, so there's no use fighting it.” To normal people, that may seem like an extremely odd thing to say, but let me explain. Anxious people live with a perpetual monkey on their back. We feel responsible for, guilty about and a prisoner to our thoughts. By telling me that this feeling I had wasn't going to ruin anything, my dad had freed me from the burden.

That night, I called my fiance and told him about the last few anxious days. He wasn't even phased. (I would hope at that point he knew what he was getting himself into.) “It's a crazy week, isn't it?” he said. “I'll be there soon.”

Our wedding ended up being beautiful and wonderful and miraculously anxiety-free. But I'll tell you what was even better. Leaving it all behind to go on the honeymoon and then returning to our simple, normal, happy life.

To any of you who suffer from generalized anxiety and are feeling off right now, let me reassure you: Your anxiety isn't sending you any sort of hidden message. If you didn't want to get married, you would have been having nagging doubts for a while, not just this sudden burst in an otherwise great relationship. Let go of the burden and guilt. Know that you're not alone. And most importantly, know that your wedding is going to happen, no matter how much you worry about it.

Anyone else have a pre-wedding freakout? What happened, and how did YOU cope?

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Comments on I had an anxiety attack right before my wedding: What it meant, what it didn’t, and how to cope

  1. I was actually engaged twice. My first engagement? The anxiety was a blessing. I knew from the start it wasn’t what I wanted and without anxiety to steer me immediately in the right direction, I might be married to the wrong person right now.

    The second engagement was also riddled with anxiety, but I was able to direct it productively. I made my engagement shorter rather than subjecting myself to over a year of stressing. I learned to be decisive, as my mother’s wishy-washy “helping” was the worst source of anxiety for me. And I did a lot of self-care, a LOT, saying no to stressful social affairs, saying yes to a few hours in the bathtub, eating right, sleeping as much as I could, and trying not to guilt myself when my work fell behind. The anxiety followed me until just as I walked down the aisle and knew we weren’t going to have a torrential downpour.

    Try to remember, the wedding isn’t the important part. The marriage is the important part, the best part, and so worth it. You’re about to embark on a life of adventure and happiness with your best friend!

  2. This article could not have come at a better time. I am getting married this weekend and have been very very anxious for about the last month. Very nervous about being stared at. I am so lucky to be marrying my best friend but also terrified! I just have to remember it’s going to happen, no matter if everything runs perfectly or not, by the end of Saturday I will be a married woman :).

    • Ahh, I was literally about to make this same post. My wedding is also this weekend and the anxiety has kicked into high gear over the last few days. I’m not nervous about getting married because I know 100% in my heart that he’s the right fellow for me. If this were a courthouse wedding, I’m sure there would be no anxiety at all.

      I’m nervous about the wedding, which basically amounts to a public performance on my part. I’m extremely socially anxious, and sometimes crippled by the fear of how others might judge me in a negative light. I’m not worried so much that things are going to go wrong as I am worried that people are going to judge me for even the most innocuous decisions, for the small guest list, for the lack of traditions. I try to keep telling myself that at the end of Sunday, I’ll be married to my favorite person ever but I’m struggling to keep the anxiety tamped down.

      • I understand! I literally told myself, “This week you are calm. This week you are fearless!” I have been trying to make this my mantra over our engagement lol. And actually I do feel better this week. Much better than the last month, I’ve been a wreck. Hang in there we will get there! Congrats on your upcoming nuptials 🙂 And on the day of tell yourself “”Today I am calm. Today I am fearless!”

        • Thanks, and congrats to you as well!

          My BFFIA (Best Friend in Anxiety) is texting me regularly that everything is going to be okay, a la Ann Perkins. It’s helping a lot.

  3. Not only do I have anxiety issues, most of my family do too! The thing I’m most anxious about is them being anxious at the wedding and not having a good time 🙁 I often wish we’d just eloped.

  4. As a person who deals with high anxiety, this article is a huge help. Sometimes it’s just nice to know there is someone who fully understands the worry about worrying thing. I have certainly made sure there is lots for guests to do so its not lots of attention on us, cutting the first dance as that just makes both of us anxious!
    However I tend to get ill when I get really anxious, so my current fear is throwing up in my dress..

  5. “I was anxious simply because I was anxious.” THIS. I can so relate to this 🙂

    Me and the hubster both have anxiety issues in varying degrees depending on circumstance, state of health, etc. It’s an embuggerance but we support each other by reminding the anxious one that their lizard brain is acting up and by just giving hugs, tea, space, as required.

    What a fab Dad – “This wedding is going to happen no matter what, so there’s no use fighting it.”

  6. Thank-you for writing this. 68 day count down to our day and I am starting to feel my anxiety creeping up. I really don’t care about all the little crap so I am hoping I will be good the day of as well.

  7. Thank you for this, it’s just good to know there are others out there feeling like this. I worked at a wedding venue for 5 years and the whole time I was imagining what our wedding would be like, looking at all the happy faces and different themes. When we got engaged I was so excited to start planning! We still have 15 weeks until our big day, but in the last few weeks I’ve been getting increasingly anxious. Not because I’m scared anything will go wrong or that I don’t really want to marry him. Mostly at being the center of attention, being hugged by people I barely know (a lot of his relatives live far away). When the invites went out I felt worse because I’m thinking what if they don’t like me as much as I like them, or if we invite him we have to invite her etc. Then, like you, the feelings of if I’m anxious does that mean I don’t want to get married. I had a bit of an anxiety attack last week, but I’m very lucky to have a man that understands anxiety too. He’s talked some sense into me (Doesn’t stop me from being anxious but I find it helps to put some logic to it) and he’s said if I’m not there on the day he knows it’s not because I don’t love him, and we’ll run away together. Of course I’ll be fine once I’m there and there’s no way I’m letting my man down, but it’s wonderful to know that I don’t have to have the wedding and he’ll support me through it. x

  8. I’m another person with anxiety a week or two ago I got incredibly anxious that my fiance doesn’t really love me as much as I love him. Then he got super busy and was a bit inaccessible, which confirmed that he doesn’t like me. Then I got anxious because why am I marrying someone who clearly hates me. It just kept spiraling like that until we actually got a chance to spend time together and my anxiety couldn’t keep up the farce in the face of reality. I just know I’ll be anxious before the wedding. I get anxious when I host a 10-15 person potluck and movie night, so a formal wedding with almost 100 people will be a huge anxiety trigger, especially in conjunction with a major life event. This actually gives me interesting things to think about in terms of whether my fiance and I just sleep in our normal bed the night before or if we get rooms elsewhere.

  9. As a person who has struggled with anxiety problems since I can remember… THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I can relate to this on so many levels and I’ve done the whole looking up articles about that stuff and other wedding related things and would send myself into a depression over the horrific things said in those highly opinionated and narrow minded articles. Then I would spend a few days letting ridiculous ideas stew in my head then go to confront my fiance and all he would respond with was logic and a lot of love. Lesson learned (well still learning at times!), all those articles will get me no where and I just need to enjoy the moment I am in and just enjoy the fact I am marrying someone who genuinely loves me for me and I love him for who he is.

  10. I’m so glad you posted this. Very affirming for those of us who deal with anxiety and well as other mental health issues, in my case anxiety, panic attacks, depression, OCD. My anxiety tends to come out of the blue and smacks me upside the head really hard. I am so grateful my FW gets it and has learned the best way to deal with it is to just give me a hug or rub my back.

    My wedding is 31 days off. For the most part my anxiety has been related to the planning process. It’s a destination elopement, and we have never seen the destination. A pretty big leap of faith for someone with anxiety. We are getting our marriage licenses tomorrow, so we’ll see what effect that has on my anxiety level.

    I just have to add — you are one of the most beautiful brides I have ever seen, and I love your bouquet. Chinese lanterns are one of my fave flowers, and they remind me of my later grandmother who used to grow them for me in her garden.

    • WOW, thank you so much for your incredibly kind words, CS. It’s so uplifting to be able put out a piece like this and receive such supportive feedback. I’m glad you could find some comfort in my story. You’re definitely not alone! 🙂 Sometimes those of us with anxiety have to force ourselves to do things out of our comfort zone. I think your sight-unseen destination wedding will be an amazing experience. P.S. Aren’t Chinese lanterns the best? They’ve reminded me of fall since I was a little girl, so it was an obvious choice for me.


  11. I totally relate to this. I don’t have panic attacks, but anxiety is a very physical experience for me, and I was physically sick on the morning of my wedding because of anxiety. I knew exactly what was going on and why I was sick and I kept beating myself up for letting myself get that stressed out which only made me more stressed out. My then-fiance (who did sleep in the same bad as me the night before the wedding) was a saint, as was my amazing friend and DOC. The folks who ultimately talked me down, though, we my amazing “bridge crew” (bridal party). While three dear friends were doing my hair and makeup, another (who is conveniently a massage therapist) game me a shoulder rub while a third (who had already made it through her own wedding) talked me down. By the time I was taking my first look photos, I felt like I could run a marathon.

    If you know you are anxiety prone and are early enough in the planning stages to try to plan accordingly, I would throw out a few suggestions based on my experiences:
    – Hire a DOC who knows you, at least casually. My DOC was a friend from college (we bartered DOC services for one another) and knowing that she already knew me helped SO MUCH with my anxiety. Much of my anxiety is social, so having to interact that intimately with a stranger on the day of my wedding would have been problematic. I knew that my DOC already knew I was not crazy and would not judge me which meant that I could be completely honest how much I was freaking out and she could deal with it effectively.
    – Surround yourself with your fiance and/or close friends who you feel safe with. I spent the night before with my fiance, which helped. but I would have been fine being apart from him as long as my bridge crew was there. The real enemy was being alone with all those downward spiraling thoughts, and as soon as I got away from that I felt better. It sounds like OP’s parents had the same impact for her.
    – Make your wedding party whatever size it needs to be to feel safe. For me, that meant a big group because there was a clear list of people in my life that I knew needed to be present with me. For you it might mean just that one best friend who has always been there for you, or the two aunts who helped raise you. I got some flack from people for the large size of my bridal party, but I’m so glad I went with my gut.

  12. First off, thank you so, SO much for writing this. As I’m sure you know, there isn’t nearly enough writing out there that treats anxiety sufferers like normal people, much less anything looking at pre-wedding anxiety as a continuation of normal anxiety, as opposed to “omg yr doomed!!!!11elvevenone”

    I could practically have written this myself. The details, of course, differ, but the pattern is the same. I’ve suffered with anxiety all of my life–diagnosed with depression in my adolescence, but if it wasn’t at least comorbid with anxiety, and at worst a misdiagnosis, I’ll eat my husband’s hat — manifested early on by vomiting the first day of kindergarten/first grade, then later by hysterical breakdowns that no one else believed were a proportional response to the stimulus and it’s only gotten worse since.

    The night before our wedding was literally the worst panic attack I had ever had, or have ever had since. I got so sick I dehydrated myself and was having such a hard time breathing normally that my husband tells me my lips turned blue and he was on the verge of calling 911 if I hadn’t come around when I did. I have very little memory of the incident beyond being really sick and then collapsing against him in absolute exhaustion and passing out until morning proper. I’m not sure if I went full catatonic or just blacked out, but my husband has some seriously super-human calming powers to have successfully brought me back from that, and gotten me to SLEEP. I missed out on breakfast with our friends, but it was impromptu and we did it again the day after anyway, but more importantly, our wedding was wonderful.

    That was a bit more disjointed than I’d have liked in the interest of brevity, but the upshot is that it was heartening to see a frank discussion of anxiety surrounding a day full of things that can trigger it. I still can’t pin down what started mine, though I can’t discount my husband’s theory that it was the fact that I was finally through all the stress of planning, but that’s what’s so fun (read: not at all) about anxiety; it sometimes (often!) doesn’t make any sense at all. Thank you, again, for sharing your story.

  13. This! I just had my wedding this weekend, and it was going well, I was certain I was marrying the right guy, and I don’t have social anxiety. Nevertheless I spent the day of breaking into tears and the hour before the wedding I was wedged into a corner of the bathroom crying and hyperventilating while trying not to smudge my makeup. I can’t remember ever feeling so awful. I was so sad – I hadn’t felt any excitement about the wedding for the final week – no joy, nothing. My fiance was so excited, and I was obviously hopped up on adrenaline, but felt hardly any emotions. It was freaking me out how calm I was, if that makes any sense! I still don’t understand what happened, but once I finally had a full-on panic attack, I felt better and was ready to get married. I sailed through the ceremony with aplomb and had a great party. So I came to OB to say that a) you are not alone, b) it doesn’t mean that you are making a mistake, c) just go with it and get it out and d) it will go away.

  14. Almost every one of my OBB journal entries from one month before our wedding date (just this past May 10) until the actual day was a complete freak out. I’m a worrier by nature and prone to depression and anxiety. I was sleeping 5 hours a night on a good night and eating either nothing some days or nothing but sugar on other days. Did you know you can subsist solely on peanut butter cups? Well… at least I thought you could. But, having experimented on myself, I don’t actually recommend it!

    The 19 hours a day that I was not asleep, I was staring into space, not doing work, not paying attention to anything, just contemplating my doom. My “doom” being the WEDDING, not being married. (Let us not forget the distinction, as the article points out!) During my worst moments, I had serious struggles with myself because I wanted to just cut my skin off or something. Really, I have never been closer to self-harm. I never knew what that felt like before… no surprise: it’s horrible. At my “best” moments, I considered taking up smoking again. “Temporarily.” (Ha ha, as if.) I didn’t though! 🙂

    Strangely enough, things improved the closer the wedding date got. Because, much like the article described, it was going to happen. There was no fighting it. I became fatalistic about it. What the hell, if everything goes wrong or if I puke on myself or my legs give out or we get rained out, I can’t control that, so who cares? And in fact, I think that by the night before the wedding I had exhausted myself so much with the lack of sleep and food and the constant fight-or-flight mode that I just passed right the heck out and actually slept a full night. And the next day I just threw myself into it.

    Yes, there were a couple of small problems. (My walk down the aisle was a joke, but apparently nobody noticed the fact that everything was all wrong but me, so fortunately that was my own private disaster.) And I still DID NOT LIKE being the centre of attention. But mostly everything went fine, and I actually did enjoy mingling with the guests once the ceremony was over. And thank God we kept the wedding small. I have been told that everyone enjoyed the day, despite my worst fears. My worst fears being that we had thrown so many traditional wedding trappings out the window that our guests would hate it. They didn’t. In fact, they said the wedding was very “us,” so I’m glad we didn’t include a bunch of stuff just for the sake of doing so.

  15. I really appreciate this – while I am not usually a super anxious person, I managed to hyperventilate while trying rings on. We’d been talking about getting engaged for a couple months, had planned the ring shopping trip together weeks in advance, I’d been scouting the shop’s website for rings in advance for ages…. and it still hit me like a ton of bricks when I actually had the thing on my hand that it was REAL and we were ACTUALLY GOING TO GET MARRIED. Once I realized what was going on (after getting all sorts of dizzy) I stepped outside for some fresh air and everything was fine. I just hadn’t realized that there were going to be so many /feelings/ involved due to how in advance we’d planned everything.

    • Wow I had been searching for some support because the SAME thing just happened to me this weekend. We had gone out the night before so I was feeling a bit hungover dehydrated (not my usual 100%). I do suffer from anxiety but didn’t realize this would trigger it. I was SO excited to look at rings and try them on but as soon as we sat down and our consultant brought everything out my heart started pounding out of my chest, I felt flight or fight, and my hands were shaking so bad that even my bf noticed. He kept asking if I wanted to leave but I knew if we did I would feel worse about it. I went to the restroom and tried to calm my nerves, came back and was still very shaky. It got better after a while but my hands were still trembling at the end. I feel so embarrassed and bf thinks I was having second thoughts. I have reassured him that obviously I’m not having second thoughts but that I was a bit overwhelmed and not mentally prepared for the emotions that came out

  16. Alright, so I feel awful here, because the content isn’t the reason I’m commenting.
    I had to say how much I love your dress and the bouquet.
    I will also say that I have a sister who’s had anxiety issues starting about as young as yours, and I’m very aware how bit of an issue they can be and I’m really happy that you managed to overcome them 🙂

  17. Thank you! I really needed this. As someone who struggles with constant anxiety – especially in these last few day leading up to my Saturday wedding – I needed to read this as a reminder that everything is going to be all right, and the day will be beautiful. 🙂

  18. My OH calls me his worrier princess. A change in BC last year turned me background level of worrying up to high anxiety, and though switching pills helped I’m now so much more aware of my anxiety that I used to be. I find myself worrying that I worry too much about worrying so much about worrying. It’s very Terry Pratchett “turtles all the way down”. OBB is one of my go to sites when I’m worrying now, because all the different happy couples helps me remember there’s not just one way to be happy, and all the things that seem huge when you’re worrying (about worrying about worrying) are perfectly normal sized and it’s my reaction that’s disproportionately large.

    • Worrier princess! That is fantastic. 🙂 I also love your line “there’s not just one way to be happy.” So true. Thanks for the feedback!

  19. What a wonderful piece.
    Wedding planning can be such fuel for anxiety sufferers, anything you care about that much is always has the potential for anxiety. It doesn’t matter how offbeat and non-industrial wedding complex you are you wouldn’t be doing it if it didn’t mean something to you! You can rationalise it all you like (and as a philosophy student I’m a big fan of that approach) but you can’t avoid the ramifications of being emotionally invested in something.
    For me, I couldn’t have done the not being together the night before and not seeing each other until the ceremony thing, I needed to be with my preferred emergency person, the one I was marrying the next day! I totally respect anyone doing that but sometimes I do find myself thinking that many of the traditions around weddings seem to be about producing maximum emotional impact, my experience was that it had tonnes of emotion without the extra tweaks..
    Both my wife and I did not sleep AT ALL the night before our wedding. We’d been sleeping very badly for a few nights and we decided that we wouldn’t drink the night before and go to bed early. Terrible idea (for us), I’m sure a small glass of red would have just taken the edge off…. We ended up listening to the radio in the dark all night in an effort to distract our frazzled brains long enough to get a few minutes dozing, an old trick of mine from bad times. There were no specific fears running through either of our minds (or so I am informed by wife about her mind) but we were both just FULL of nervous adrenaline.
    However it was all TOTALLY FINE. You can, if you need to, do a day on no sleep the night before, the megabigfuckingdeal day that is a wedding day does seem to come with some kind of extra powers (although conversely it doesn’t work if you plan a day you couldn’t do without extra special powers, like time travel…). As soon as our friends and relations turned up and we got the Mimosas going, it was fine. We had spent a lot of time planning the wedding and had properly handed it over to the venue manger and our best man/chief bridesmaid who did the day-of stuff, so actually it was a very easy day and all we had to do was stay awake!
    As a postscript, since then any time either of us can’t sleep and are freaking out we always remind the other that the wedding was the most amazing day of our lives despite our worst nightmare of not sleeping coming true and this just bursts the fear like popping a balloon.

  20. Thank you!
    I suffer from anxiety and panic about most things.
    I’m 2 years out and planning everything to the tiniest details, scared ill miss something important.
    I am already having the ”what if I have a panic attack just before I walk down the aisle!!!?!” Thoughts -_-

    Thankfully I’m feeling confident in our wedding choices, and of course that I want to be Future Husbands Mrs.! 🙂

    The closer our wedding gets the more freaked ill be for sure. But so far I’m pretty relaxed!

  21. I read your article with tears in my eyes; happy tears. Because I’m not the only one suffering through the anxiety before my wedding.

    To give you a (very small) glimpse into my wedding planning, it started in January and things started getting intense around July. With my bachelorette party and my brand new high-stress job – I simply couldn’t handle it. I spent my bachelorette party in the ER with my first panic attack in my life (which was terrifying). I hyperventilated to the point that my entire body, including my face, went numb and I couldn’t move my mouth to speak. All my girls dressed in heels and little black dresses, at the ER, before I even had a sip to drink…

    It just went downhill from there…I was diagnosed with GERD (because of my anxiety) and had stomach aches every day for the next month which forced me to quit my new job.

    Now with one month until my wedding date, I’m terrified. Mostly of the attention from everyone as I walk down the aisle.

    But finding your article gave me so much comfort to know I’m not the only one that’s done this. And if you can do it, it gives me hope I can too. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

  22. Ugh, all of this. I have generalized anxiety disorder and just got engaged this week! And while I am explosively happy, I do not handle excitement well. (When I was a kid, there were three years in a row that I puked on Christmas because I was so excited, LOL.) I’ve had constant nausea since he asked and headaches, simply because I’m so, so excited. My poor fiance has asked me if I have second thoughts and I have to impress upon him that placing any kind of meaning on my anxiety symptoms doesn’t help anyone.

  23. Thanks is all I can say….!
    It just felt as if someone has written my story out there.

    Thanks again 🙂

  24. This piece is amazing and it inspired me to write down my own anxiety story (3000 words in one go!) and then publish it here, because it just feels so good to see that there are others out there just like me.
    Thank you for being inspiring 🙂

  25. I was so glad (still trying to work on relieved) I found this article. I haven’t been diagnosed with anxiety, but considering the knots in the stomach I get after just scheduling an interview or Drs appointment tells me something is up. Our wedding is three months away, I was anxious the next few days after he proposed and then was fine for a while. It just kicked up again yesterday. The day before I was perfectly fine and now I’m nauseous and not eating (don’t have to worry anymore about not fitting in the dress). He’s also a busy guy right now, so it’s hard to get the reassurance I need that everything will be okay. I’m definitely the worrier in the relationship! I’m pretty sure I just need to think less.

  26. Thank you for this…as himself says iam a stress head. We are about year out from our day and ive already had a small attack thank goodness he was here! Thank you so much for the advice from you and everyone who has posted here.

  27. Thanks for this post. Came right on time. I thought i was the only one not excited about my wedding that will take place in 5 months. I have been so sad without any reason. I was even considering moving it till next year or next 2 years.

  28. oh gosh. let me tell you. our lives got turned upside down immediately after our engagement. i was hospitalized for my depression/anxiety and just finished a month of intensive outpatient therapy. my fiancé lost his job and is filing for disability for his debilitating ADHD. because he lost his job and his insurance, he’s off his meds which make his emotional regulation next to 0%. all this while i have to take a hunk of cash to a wedding venue in a couple days. i’m trying so hard to keep in mind the reasons i said yes when he proposed, but every moment i look at the questions i have my gut screams at me not to do it, not to get married. i know that’s not what i want, but when everything is crashing down around you, it’s hard to be excited about making a commitment to forever.

  29. I have been engaged for 16 months and recently booked our wedding in Cyprus next year. I have had anxiety since booking it really, although suffered for 13 years with it.
    My anxiety started when I realised how much people were actually paying to come to our abroad wedding. (£1000-£6000)
    I am not great at flying and I am panicking about all these guests seeing me flip out at the airport. I usually get an upset stomach so I get embarrassed and don’t want people knowing.
    The actual wedding itself im not bothered about in the slightest. although the first question I asked the wedding co-ordinator was how long is the ceremony.. lol..
    My bridesmaids want to go dress shopping and I just haven’t got the energy to do this, I get a feel of dread as soon as I think about it. I have already been with my mum and found the perfect dress but my friends want to come with and see it aswell.
    I am not due to get married until 5pm, I am stressing over how am I going to control my anxiety all day without getting drunk lol.
    I cannot pinpoint my anxiety to anything in particular, which is frustrating me even more.
    I know that it will be an amazing holiday with all our close friends and family and the day itself will be perfect. I just cannot cope feeling like this everyday for the next 11 months.
    It was my birthday yesterday and I struggled to go out for lunch with my friends so much. I seriously had flight or fight. after three Imodium and a beta blocker I managed to stick it out.
    I have been off my medication for 11 months but I am now seriously thinking going back on them, just to see me through the next year.
    It sounds so silly when you put it on paper but its such a horrible thing to suffer with as I always seem so happy and laid back, yet inside im screaming.

  30. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am struggling so badly with my anxiety because of our wedding planning and this article helped me to know that I’m not alone!

  31. Thanks for this. I’m 5 months out from my wedding, and I keep thinking — exactly as you said — that my sudden anxiety about this (in a lifetime of anxiety about everything else) is trying to send me hidden messages. It’s not. It’s just not.

  32. Thank you so much for this article! I generally do not suffer greatly from anxiety but I am an over-thinker, I literally plan and plan and overthink most aspects in life, which I guess in a way can cause anxiety :). I am currently 9 days away from my own wedding and like you, I did not really ‘enjoy’ wedding planning, in my head we are more courthouse people, but decided to do something very intimate (10 guests) and have a destination wedding with just very close family.

    Even though during ‘planning mode’ I did have a few slightly nervous moments, they weren’t very significant and I’ve generally felt calm ever since. Last night however I couldn’t stop thinking about the wedding and did not get much sleep, now this morning I’m experiencing heart palpitations and a real feeling of ‘nerves’, again like you, not about marriage, just about the wedding! I too am looking forward to our honeymoon and going back to our ordinary lives. Just typing out these feelings, helps alot and reading your article helped me to understand that there are people out there who experience similar feelings. 🙂

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