How To Have A Stress-Free Wedding—Part 1

by Doc Orman, M.D.

When two people become engaged, their lives change dramatically. New demands, problems, and conflicts can arise almost immediately. 

  • Who should we tell first?
  • What if our parents disagree?
  • How will our friends respond?
  • What kind of wedding should we have?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Who will pay?
  • Where should we honeymoon?
  • Etc.

Even if you and your partner have lived together for many years, the moment you decide to marry, life will be different for both of you.  You and your respective families will have lots of opportunities for joy–and also for stress.

Decisions will have to be made; contracts signed; religious issues addressed and resolved. Money issues will surface. Friendships and family relationships may become strained. Feelings of anger, fear, jealousy, or even sadness may arise. You may lose weight, gain weight, or suddenly develop sleeping problems.

Despite all of these and many other challenges, planning your wedding doesn’t have to be stressful. Even though it does become stressful for many people, you can still have it be easy and lots of fun.

Our Wedding Problems

On June 10th of this year, my wife Christina and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary.  When we got engaged almost 30 years ago, however, things could have become very stressful for us almost immediately.

(NOTE: Short video from our wedding in 1984 is included below)

At the time we became engaged, Christina and I were living 45 miles apart. She was in Washington, D.C. and I was in Baltimore, where my parents and family resided. Her dad, a widower, agreed to pay for most of our wedding. But he lived in Florida, thus we had some significant geographic problems.

Then, my parents visited the outdoor venue on the Eastern Shore of Maryland we had selected, without telling us, and they hated it. They reluctantly agreed to attend, but they pleaded with us not to invite any of their life-long friends.

When it came time to send our invitations, the printer failed to deliver them on  time. When they finally did arrive, we were so rushed to get them all stuffed and in the mail that one of the people helping us made a mistake. Pre-wedding dinner invitations (for a small catered affair my parents agreed to pay for) were sent to all our relatives who had been carefully and painstakingly left off the list! Everyone included on the dinner invite list also received one too!  A few days later, my mother broke down and cried when the first few relatives called to confirm, and she tried to explain to them that they had been invited in error.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the day of our outdoor wedding the temperature was 101 degrees! Numerous guests called us to say they were canceling out because of the heat. Fortunately, our wedding was held at a beach club, so those who did attend were able to cool off by getting into the water. But that didn’t help Christina or me, or our bridal party, who were all dressed up in formal gowns and tuxedos.

But We Didn’t Have Very Much Stress!

Despite all these problems, challenges, and unexpected events, we actually experienced very little stress. I know this sounds impossible, but it’s true.

Both Christina (a veterinarian) and I (a physician) relied very heavily upon a few basic principles that helped us cope very effectively.  These important principles are not widely taught in most stress management programs available today. Yet they are extremely valuable principles which we still use in our lives every day.


Shortly after we got married, we wrote and published a full book about these stress-relieving principles, which has helped others have less stress with planning their weddings.  In my next two blog posts this week, I will tell you about this book and will share some of its contents with you.

NOTE:  To receive a free weekly digest of all future posts on this blog, sent directly to your email every Sunday, please use the sign up form at the top of this page.

Also, if you’d like to view all of my stress relief Kindle books on Amazon, simply click on the link below:


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