Can planning a wedding cause anxiety?

Strathleven House couple walking in grounds

Can planning a wedding cause anxiety?

Home > Can planning a wedding cause anxiety?

Can planning a wedding cause anxiety?

Absolutely, yes it can. It’s a huge project that can literally take years to plan and put together, let alone the money and time you’re investing in it. As suppliers, we understand what goes into it, but we don’t always see the whole thing from start to finish – there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes where we only see the details of one part.

Couple looking over Edinburgh skyline
David Ruff Photography

In reality the process can be frustrating and overwhelming, even if you do keep reminding yourself that it’s going to be an amazing day when it comes. All that wedding anxiety can really be worth it, but it’s often difficult to see that in the moment. The journey isn’t always easy, even when you remind yourself that you get to celebrate with your loved ones and marry your significant other with little to worry on the day itself.

For most couples, unless you have experience with wedding or event planning, this is the first large-scale event you’ve ever planned with vendors, a venue, catering and everything else that comes into play. Often it’s just a mess of scraping together checklists from different websites, creating spreadsheets, sending emails as well as keeping budgets and seating plans in check – which quickly becomes very paperwork heavy.

But remember, you’re really not alone. The most common search terms on Google related to wedding planning are:

  • Where to start wedding planning?
  • Is wedding planning stressful?
  • Can wedding planning cause anxiety?
  • Why is wedding planning so stressful?
  • How can you make wedding planning fun?

These are all genuine questions that couples are asking, and they’re in the hundreds and thousands of Google searches each month – and it breaks our heart, when it’s all going towards what should be an incredible day to mark an even more exciting journey!

Riddle's Court couple on Victoria Terrace
Ashley-Liv Jamieson

So what we thought might be useful is to talk through some of the big worries that can come up – and a reminder that these are all completely normal to have concerns or issues about. We want to be as honest and transparent as possible. If you do have any questions, talk to your vendors – if you have a great relationship with your venue or photographer or celebrant, don’t be afraid to ask them for advice about areas they might not have a direct impact on. They will be more than happy to help or could direct you to another individual or resource for more information.

So, without further ado, let’s talk through some of these stresses.

Riddle's Court Library Room fireplace detail
Claire Juliet Paton


One of these is planning – this is a huge event and it can be really overwhelming. We would recommend keeping one centralised plan, whether it’s a spreadsheet, a scrapbook or whatever works best for you to keep referring back to. Having things in one place can save a lot of headaches!

Be realistic about the money and time you can spend on organising a wedding – is it easier for you to plan a wedding in a month or two and just blitz through the process, or would a two year planning process where you can save money and spread out time work better? This is entirely dependent on your own workflow, personalities and budget, as well as any requirements for your guests in terms of the notice they need to attend.

Talk to your venue coordinator about your planning journey – they’ll often have resources like timelines or templates that they can share.  Focus on the parts that are important to you – while there will be other details you need to think about, making sure your attention is in the right places is really valuable – don’t stress about traditions you don’t care about, and make the day important for you as a couple.

Riddle's Court - Handmade décor in the Geddes Room
Harper Scott Photography

Planning logistics can seem really daunting, so trust your venue to be able to contact your suppliers and get the right information to the right people. If you’re not sure about their responsibilities (e.g. if they communicate with florists or musicians directly, or if this is down to you) be sure to ask – they are there to answer your questions and have done this many, many times before!

Sometimes you can feel really out of your depth with planning and a great solution, should you have the budget, is to find a wedding planner – most are flexible in terms of the services they provide as well, from finding your venue for you and sticking with you throughout the wedding journey to just dropping in the day before and making sure things run smoothly during the wedding itself.

At the end of the day, if something small doesn’t go to plan, in a few years you’ll barely remember it – or you’ll be laughing about it instead! You’ll have so many special memories and meaningful moments, the day itself will be a blur!

Riddle's Court couple in the King's Chamber
Harper Scott Photo


If your worry about wedding planning is financial, this is a really common concern.  There’s no denying that unless you have a tiny budget you’re trying to stick to, weddings can be very expensive. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with either option!

Before you start booking suppliers and venues, make a detailed budget and stick to it. If you have any questions for things you might have missed, there are lots of support groups online for newly-engaged couples where you can ask what you might have forgotten about. Also be sure to account for some wiggle room there as well, as there will always be some surprise costs whether it be transport, gifts, or spur of the moment spending!

Check yourself before impulse buying decorations that you might not need. Focus on the things that will last and you’ll want to hold onto like a guest book with a polaroid camera rather than wedding bunting you’re going to throw out the day after the wedding. Consider buying mismatched decorations from charity shops or collecting wine/gin bottles for table centrepieces to keep big displays on a budget. You can also do DIY-decorating rather than shell out a lot of money for a florist. Pick up some flowers from the supermarket or Marks and Spencer’s, and the day before the wedding have a fun day doing some flower arranging with your wedding party!

Some tips for cutting back include getting married in the great outdoors, taking out the need for a venue. In Scotland, you can get married pretty much anywhere!

Riddle's Court - Couple in the Old Town of Edinburgh
Boy Called Ben Photography

Another fix that can be a bit more difficult – but very effective – is cutting back your guest list. While not every couple wants to get married just the two of them, having a restaurant reception for 20-30 guests is a lot cheaper than a full on evening do with a private catering company. If you are cutting back on guest numbers there are lots of great ways to involve your guests who aren’t there in person, like livestreaming your ceremony or asking for advice about marriage to read during the ceremony or in your own time.

The thing to bear in mind is that even if you are worried about cutting back on your budget, these tips don’t make your wedding any less special.

Riddle's Court Ceremony in the Geddes Room
SG Mark Photography


If you’re stressing about how your emotions are fluctuating, take some time to figure out the cause of the problem. Is it family and friends, the planning, the finance, or your suppliers not getting back to you? There can be a lot going on and it’s tricky to pin point where to start.

Talk to your partner or your loved ones about your feelings. This might sound super corny but it’s really all about having these open conversations about how you feel. It can be difficult, but if it’s a concern about the wedding it shows you’re taking time to process a monumental decision. Often we get swept up in the planning, but it’s important to verbalise the big feelings too.

With friends and family, be totally honest if their constant questions – or even demands! – is just making the process more difficult for you. Again this can be hard, especially if your family is helping financially, but at the end of the day it is about you and your partner and being open is the only way to move forward with these issues.

If you really are struggling, then there are lots of great courses online to help talk you through these difficult conversations. Again just get in touch with your events coordinator and they’ll point you in the right direction, even if it takes a bit of research. Suppliers are there to do their job, but they also do care about your emotional and mental well-being and how you’re coping with the process. Even if it’s just a phone call and venting for a bit, they should be happy to listen and help if they can.

Strathleven House couple walking in grounds
CIA Photography


If your stress is around the partnership with your significant other, this can have a big impact on how you feel about organising the wedding as well. Stress and disagreements happen, and it’s totally normal to feel like someone isn’t pulling their weight or doesn’t understand, especially if the wedding planning is falling more on one person’s shoulders. Emotions are already running high and it’s understandable this can boil over. The key here again is to stay calm, talk through your feelings and focus on what’s most important to you as a couple – even if it takes a day or two to settle!

Remember to do the little things that help you remember why you’re getting married in the first place. Have a date night, cook for each other, or have an evening where you can turn off and watch a movie together. Get away from home, even if for a few days, and take a short break. Planning a wedding is a lot, and even if it often feels like it, it isn’t your whole life. Flourish and enjoy yourself! Everything might feel very high stakes, but it’s not going to be full-time forever.

Wedding Couple on Arthur's Seat
Littles and Loves by Francesca

To finish this up, it is really important to say that if you are having significant concerns about your mental health, again this is totally normal but worth talking through. Breathing Space is a fantastic free service in Scotland for those feeling low, anxious or depressed. Visit their website or call their helpline on 0800 838 587 and you can have a chat with a professional. They can offer advice or direct you to the right places, or even just listen. If you do have concerns just chat it through with your loved ones or contacts, and help realign your thoughts to what matters most.

Get in touch

We would love to help you on your planning journey, whatever that looks like, and are always happy to offer tips and advice (even if you’re not booked with us!) – get in touch with our team today for more information.

Top Tips for Vow Renewals

Riddles Court, Geddes Room, couple smiling with flowers

Top Tips for Vow Renewals

Home > Top Tips for Vow Renewals

Renewing your vows is one of many simple, yet meaningful ways to display your enduring commitment to your partner. A lot of couples use vow renewals as a symbol of closing a chapter in their lives. This chapter may have been particularly stressful, and they would like to start afresh. Or it could be that they want to reaffirm their love for one another as a change is about to occur in their lives.

Why have a Vow Renewal?

Vow renewals also provide couples an opportunity to have the intimacy that they may not have had at their wedding due to putting their guests before themselves. One of the biggest regrets from couples is not spending enough time celebrating with each other on their wedding day as they would have liked – a vow renewal is the perfect opportunity to celebrate your love more personally, either alone or with your closest friends and family.

Planning your vow renewal should be significantly less stressful than planning your wedding day. It shouldn’t be as nerve racking of an experience, as you’ve already gone through the commitment to each other. This is an endorsement of that love for one another. There are no expectations of what your day should be like, other than your own. It is also an opportunity to do what makes you happy, instead of worrying whether everyone else will be enjoying themselves!

The Wild Love Club

This isn’t a Re-run of Your Wedding!

How you celebrate this day is entirely up to you. Your vow renewal can be as formal or informal as you like. You may decide to have a ceremony followed by a drinks reception or a full day event with a sit-down meal. Contrary to popular belief, your vow renewal doesn’t need to be a re-run of your wedding! So pick a venue that caters well to your chosen style. You should consider how many people you would like to be in attendance; a vow renewal is a warm and intimate celebration.

Many choose to renew their vows on the anniversary of their wedding to commemorate their special day; however, you can have your vow renewal whenever you like, there is no obligation to have it on your anniversary. So if your wedding anniversary doesn’t suit, how about the day you met or when you started dating? What is key is that the time is right for you both and perhaps represents a period in which you want to pay particular tribute to your commitment.

Make it meaningful for who you are NOW!

Make sure the day is focused on you and your partner and do what makes you happy. Whether that is a more opulent style or casual celebration, there are no rules! We advise couples to try to decide early in the planning process how formal your event and dress code will be, as this will set the tone for your day. It is important though when inviting your guests you clearly communicate the plan so they know what to expect.

Unlike a marriage, a vow renewal does not require a license. It is purely ceremonial, so can be conducted by anyone. Though some couples decide to have a celebrant, it is not essential, and it can be an opportunity to have a friend or family member conducting the ceremony. You can also incorporate your children or other guests who may not have been present at your wedding. For example, if you were married during the Covid-19 pandemic, you may have a number of guests you wish to spend this special day with. Having a celebrant may however, bring you peace of mind and help bring structure to the proceedings. Celebrants can also guide you on readings, poems, quotes etc. that you may want to incorporate into your ceremony. If you are using a family member/s, we recommend appointing one individual to oversee the planning of the speakers and the music on the day, as this can lift some of the responsibility from your shoulders.

The McGlynn Sisters

Your Guest List will be Different from your Wedding

A vow renewal is a fantastic opportunity to have the guest list you perhaps didn’t have at your wedding. You may wish to condense the list you had, making it just your nearest and dearest. As many people find their wedding guest list comprises of many people they do not really know, your vow renewal can be a day dedicated to those you have close relationships with. Or if you were married during the global pandemic, why not invite those you wished you could’ve had there and let them celebrate your love in person? Since being married you may have nurtured new friendships that are very meaningful to you, this could be an opportunity to involve those people in your special day

The day is completely yours- no traditions needed!

As you are already married, a vow renewal doesn’t have a set symbolic act like a wedding, so again it’s up to you what you would like the climax of your ceremony to be. Some decide to buy new wedding bands, however others decide to take a different approach, like other symbols of unity. Hand-fasting is an old Scottish Tradition for wedding ceremonies but can also be effective in your vow renewal. If you have children, you could fast you and your children’s hands bound to symbol of your family and what you have shared together. Another Scottish wedding tradition you could adopt is sharing the Quaich. The Quaich is a two handled ‘loving cup’ which when drank from seals the bond of two people and seals the bond of two families, making them one. The Quaich symbolises the love and trust implied by the bond and could also be passed to family members. You could also light a unity candle or use sand-blending as symbolic gestures.

Harper Scott Photography

I think we can all say that the last couple of years has made us re-evaluate what truly is important in our lives. Those nearest and dearest to us will most definitely sit high in the priority list for most! The renewal of wedding vows may not have been something that you ever gave much thought to. Here at SHBT Weddings our experienced team would happily have a chat with you to see how a vow renewal might work for you from the intimate small celebration to the merriment of partying into the wee hours!

Contact Us

Get in touch with us for more information on renewing your vows!