A wedding therapist shares her 4 biggest tips for couples planning weddings right now

·3 min read
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Insider spoke to wedding therapist Landis Bejar about the issues engaged couples are facing as they plan weddings during the pandemic. Pavel Yavnik/Shutterstock
  • Landis Bejar is a wedding therapist and the founder of AisleTalk.

  • She shared her four biggest tips for couples planning weddings during the pandemic.

  • Grieving the wedding you thought you would have and focusing on your relationship can help.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Whether they've had to downsize their event, implement testing requirements, or had to accept that immunocompromised loved ones won't be able to attend their nuptials, many engaged people are still struggling with how their weddings will come together in the pandemic.

Landis Bejar is a wedding therapist and the founder of AisleTalk. Bejar and her team of therapists help couples manage the stress that comes with wedding planning.

She spoke to Insider about how couples can focus on the joy of wedding planning, even as they adjust their expectations for their wedding days.

Before anything else, couples have to honor all the feelings they're having about their weddings

Accepting that your wedding is going to look different than you imagined is a form of loss, as Bejar told Insider. So it's important to honor the feelings you have about the changes you're having to make to the event.

"Feel your feelings," Bejar advised engaged couples. "If you're feeling anger, if you're feeling sadness, if you're feeling like it isn't fair, all of that is valid because none of this is fair and all of this sucks. We can all be angry about the things that have been taken away from us."

Second, Bejar encourages couples to have patience with themselves about how they cope with the constant changes.

There's no rule book for planning a wedding during a pandemic, and it's OK if you get frustrated or have to change your mind about details frequently as you get more information on what is safest for your guests.

"The top health officials have been going back and forth on some of these things," Bejar pointed out. "Give yourself a little slack and a little grace for what you're taking on."

Framing your experience as 'wedding grief' can help you process your feelings in a healthy way

Bejar has been encouraging her clients to grieve their weddings as they would any other loss.

"Weddings are only supposed to happen once in a lifetime," Bejar said, and no one expected their wedding to occur in the midst of a pandemic.

"When that doesn't look the way it's supposed to, we can't truly get excited about it in the same way that we did initially," Bejar said.

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Your wedding looking differently than you imagined is a loss. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Samantha Lee/Insider

"It brings about these feelings that we associate with loss: shock, denial, anger, sadness, bargaining, and eventually what all of our clients are working toward is acceptance," she added. "But that's a lot of hard work."

As you process those emotions, Bejar says it's important to make sure you're treating your partner and those around you with respect.

"All feelings are fair game. All behaviors are not fair game," she said.

A wedding therapist like Bejar can help you work out how to process that grief in a healthy way.

Prioritize your relationship over wedding details

As Bejar put it, the life you and your partner are creating together is the reason you're planning the wedding at all.

"So when everything feels so overwhelming and everyone has a different opinion, try to just look your partner in the eye, have a cuddle with your partner, or have dinner or a drink with your partner," she suggested. "You guys are both going through this."

"The more that you guys can get on the same page, the more support you're going to feel as you make each decision," she said.

Read the original article on Insider