Learn to manage wedding stress before the wedding day

Couples getting married and professionals with wedding planning jobs confront a predictable set of psychological issues. Every couple getting married faces wedding stress-filled moments well before the wedding day. Every wedding planning career presents client-management challenges requiring intuitive counseling skill. Some planners recognize their role as counselors for their clients, and some clients instinctively look to their planners for guidance. But prior to this wedding planner course, the subject of wedding psychology and counseling for wedding planners and couples getting married has been overlooked. Key questions remain to be answered. How can wedding planners quickly establish trust with prospects? How can planners physically position themselves and their clients to optimize consultation outcomes in their office setting, at the client's home, or in a public place? How can planners support clients experiencing extreme wedding stress without violating personal boundaries? How can planners recognize and respond to clinical anxiety, irrational anger, and childish acting out by clients, family members, or friends? How can planners elicit and interpret psychological clues, including dreams, to help clients understand their feelings? How can planners accurately predict future behavior by learning about past behavior? How can a planner arrange a safe exit before a threatening situation spins out of control? Sooner or later all wedding planning jobs present psychological challenges. Every wedding event planner must be prepared to handle them professionally, while thinking and acting as their client's best counselor.

Photo courtesy Kiet Do

Teaching Wedding Psychology is Unique to this Wedding Planner Course

Before now no wedding planner course has addressed the clinical causes of wedding stress, common client-counseling issues, or the principles of wedding psychology needed for a successful wedding planning career. Instead, silly stereotypes, simplistic solutions, and demeaning fictions such as 'Bridezilla' have been accepted as wedding-planning fact. But gathering trends within the wedding industry, including the green wedding, gay marriage, and multicultural weddings, have focused attention on important new markets where old stereotypes, stale solutions, and media fantasies about the wedding business are both unhelpful and irrelevant. At the same time, the increasing age and decreasing number of couples getting married are changing the interpersonal dynamics between traditional wedding planners and their mainstream wedding clients. So let's all get real. It's time to stop blaming Bridezilla and treating clients like children. It's time to deploy adult counseling skills to solve common psychological problems, manage situational wedding stress, and prepare for the emergencies all wedding planners and couples getting married face. It's time for a psychiatrist to teach the facts and techniques of wedding psychology.

Photo courtesy Kiet Do

Course Video Tutorial: 'A Clinical Psychiatrist Teaches
The Principles of Wedding Psychology and Counseling' (60:46)

Kevin Smith, MD, BCFP, DFAPA, is a board-certified clinical and forensic psychiatrist who served as chief psychiatric resident at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. For this first-ever presentation on the subject by any wedding planner course, New Wedding Planet engaged Dr. Smith to analyze the subject of wedding psychology from the perspective of a clinical counselor and physician. To produce this course video tutorial, Dr. Smith led a private two-hour seminar with a professional wedding event planner group selected by New Wedding Planet. Each participant submitted questions based on challenging psychological situations encountered in his or her wedding planning career. Dr. Smith researched these topics in depth and organized his answers by category. He then detailed practical steps to equip wedding planners and couples to recognize, define, and cope with the causes of wedding stress, manage common psychological issues, and diffuse the difficulties, disruptions, and dangers encountered in all wedding planning jobs. The course video tutorial has been edited for length.

Kevin Smith, MD, BCFP, DFAPA, Clinical Psychiatrist

Learn 12 essential elements of wedding psychology and counseling:

  • Five fundamental principles of wedding psychology
  • Five life changes that cause the greatest stress
  • The importance of empathy in establishing trust and supporting clients
  • How to set up your office and arrange seating to eliminate invisible barriers
  • How to predict and manage future behavior by exploring the past
  • How to enforce boundaries in client behavior through your contract and fees
  • How to ask open-ended questions to gain information and test perceptions
  • How to avoid the anxiety of unmet expectations by documenting and revisiting objectives
  • What dreams mean and how to help clients understand theirs
  • 10 questions every couple should discuss before their wedding
  • 23 ways to control anxious behavior by an overstressed bride
  • The 'ERASE' method of managing disruptive wedding stress

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