We've put together our 11 handy hints for marriage planning without the meltdowns:

1. Take Stock 

Right from the outset, be honest with yourself and work out how much time you can actually put into wedding planning. Then, determine who you can call upon for help if and when the wheels fall off (but this article is all about hoping they won't!)

Knowing yourself, and your likely trigger points for stress (will it be if the decorations go over budget, if the bridesmaids' dresses are left until the last minute, if you can't agree on a band, working out the seating plan with family?) means you can plan how to manage the issues when they arise well ahead of time.

2. Stick Together

The wedding is about the marriage, the marriage is not about the wedding. It's easy in a flurry of lace, lilies and line dancing to forget to nurture the reason you're doing all of this in the first place - your husband-to-be. Be sure to schedule in date nights, even a walk in the park where you promise not to discuss wedding plans so they don't become all-consuming. If things aren't going according to plan, share, and let him know. This is only the first kink in a hopefully long and winding road together.

3. Keep your Friends Close

Connect, and spend quality non-bridesmaid-dress-shopping-time with your besties, whether you're doing yoga, hitting the beach, shopping for outfits for them for a change, or just winding down with a wine. Those cultures which insist on women gathering together before the wedding to pamper, drink tea, do each other's hair or relax with friends are onto something we reckon.

4. Find a Marriage Mantra

Yes really, it's been working for monks and yogis for centuries - why not for brides? Next time your mother-in-law makes a snide remark or an unreasonable request, find a quiet place to close your eyes, focus on your breathing and repeat something zen. Whether it's "I feel calm" or "I am bride-chilla" - you've got to find what works for you.

5. Nerves are Normal 

Butterflies causing chaos in your belly? It's ok. Nerves often accompany excitement, and we shouldn't shy away from them. Taking a moment to question such a big commitment isn't a danger sign, it's pretty sensible - unless every time you take a moment the feeling slides from jitters to downright dread.

6. Delegate - and Then Delegate Some More

Repeat after us: I am not superwoman. Because you're not, so stop trying to manage it all on your own. Weddings are (most often) massive undertakings.

Invite friends and family to help. Whether it's making place cards, decorating pews, packing bonbonniere or making phone calls, people love to feel needed - and useful!

7. Pamper Yourself

There's no need to wait until your wedding eve for a pampering session. A 30-minute massage, facial or even mani/pedi can work wonders for frazzled fiancees and if you really don't have time, take a book, a candle and some bubble bath and hit the tub at home.

8. Exercise is a Brides Best Friend

Virtually nothing releases tension like a good sweat session, whether you're running, hiking, boxing, swimming, cycling or standing on your head. Physical activity helps release uplifting endorphins, so make it a priority, and watch your mood improve with your waistline.

9. Meditate

Even if you're new to the cause, meditation helps. Trust us. It's the key to managing overwhelming emotions and to clearing your mind, even in a few minutes a day, or before bedtime. There are plenty of meditation and mindfulness apps you can try with a pair of headphones, so sift through to find one that works for you.

10. Slow Down on Social

Studies have found that if you're feeling anxious, social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram can make it worse, especially if you're prone to feeling jealous of what others have, or are doing. This can be particularly tough in the wedding space. Sure social media is a fab tool for gathering inspo, but gather and go, don't surf until you feel low.

Researchers have found that if you're already feeling anxious, spending time on Facebook can make it worse.

Another study found that if you have a tendency to feel envious, Facebook can also increase the risk of depression. Bottom line: A break from some social media in the midst of your wedding planning might be a relief.

11. Talk!

It's an oldie, but still a goodie. Whether it's a colleague, a therapist, a fellow bride or a slightly removed family member, it pays to have a designated person to download to when you need to blow off steam.

It's usually best if it's not your Mum, sister or best friend (who are likely too close to home and may sometimes be the cause of the stress in the first place). Try to put a time limit on your whingeing though, five minutes to let it all out, and then let it go.

NEW

Head to our private i-do.com.au facebook group The Wedding Forum (we said cut down on social media people, not cut it out completely) to find other brides who'll understand.  

Don't want to use Facebook? Then we are reopening the awesome i-do.com.au community forums...create your own profile and introduce yourself.

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