Having to take care of endless details, manage vendors, handle family demands and meet the emotional needs of the groom - and fitting it all into an already busy schedule - can turn any sweet-natured woman into either a blubbering mess or the dreaded bridezilla.
Fortunately, it doesn't have to be that way. Wedding consultants and planning experts agree that there are some ways to manage the stress and make the planning process more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Expect stress. If you accept the fact that this is a stressful time, you can let go of guilt about it and take some precautionary measures to deal with it. Talk with your fiancÃ© and a close friend about helping you chill out when things get too tense. Come up with a non-judgmental code word they can say to let you know it's time for a break. When you hear the code word, stop, take a deep breath and then set the planning aside for a while and do something non-wedding related.
Be realistic. A lot of brides set their expectations so high that they drive themselves (and everyone around them) crazy trying to meet them. But unless you have unlimited access to money, you're going to have to adjust some of your plans. There are a lot of resources (Web sites, books, magazines, friends) that can help you pull off a lovely wedding on whatever budget you have.
Don't try to please everyone. It's just not possible. Nor is it reasonable to try. The wedding is about the bride and groom. You two need to decide what is meaningful to you and what will express who you are. If his mother wants Cousin Jennie to play her bagpipe as you march down the aisle and you don't care for the idea, it's ok to say no. Come up with a polite response such as, "Thanks for your suggestion, but we're going in a different direction with the plans." Feelings may get bruised, but ultimately it's your day and it only has to please you and your fiancÃ©.