Pre-Wedding Jitters: Advice For Engaged Couples…From A Therapist

April 2, 2024
4 min

This article is a guest post contributed by Ours, a modern-day relationship wellness company, offering virtual couples therapy and premarital counseling.

Congratulations! You’re about to embark on one of the biggest milestones in your life. Getting married is no small feat, and as secure and confident as you and your partner feel about taking this next step together, it’s also common to feel panicked, nervous, or even existentially question the whole concept of marriage. These feelings co-exists alongside all the excitement. And, it can feel overwhelming. 

Meet the Expert

Benu Lahiry is the Chief Clinical Officer at Ours. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist with over 10 years of clinical experience. In addition to practicing therapy with individuals and couples, she is also an executive coach. Prior to becoming a therapist, Benu worked in early stage start-ups leading customer experience teams. Having grown up in a small town in Appalachia with limited access to health care, she is passionate about broadening access to mental health care services across the nation.

married couple holding hands while in deep talk

Common Causes of Wedding Anxiety

Why does this happen to couples? Does it mean anything? The simple answer is yes this happens, and no, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Feeling the pre-wedding jitters happens for a variety of reasons. 


First, it’s a nerve wracking experience to put your entire relationship on display for everyone to celebrate. People who struggle with performance anxiety deeply feel this. It’s a singular and strange thing to experience - just think about if you were asked to cement a friendship with someone in front of hundreds of people. 

Psychological Stress

Second, psychologically, the concept of marriage and what it actually means is a lot to absorb, and often doesn’t come up for people until weeks or days before the wedding. You’re about to commit to a life-long relationship. 

The idea here is that you’ll stay together forever and you will most likely be making proclamations (whether it’s said out loud like in traditional western ceremonies or implied in different wedding customs around the world) like “till death do us part,” and “in sickness and in health.” In theory, all of this sounds so simple and straightforward. In practice, it is not so straightforward and involves many peaks and valleys, experiencing profound challenges alongside the fulfillment in a marriage. 

Unresolved Questions

Third, you may find that this moment makes you think about the future (and see the past) in a new light. It’s easy to not talk about things. And you may find that the importance of the moment is helping you surface important and valuable questions about your relationship. I often find couples can ignore some important, but easy to skip questions like:

  • How do we plan on merging (or not) our finances?
  • If or when do we want to start a family together?
  • How will we prioritize our careers together?

Overcoming Pre-Wedding Stress

Self-consciousness, psychological stress, and unresolved questions can be scary! But this is a totally normal part of getting married and something you shouldn’t bury or deal with alone. Let’s talk through a few ways to work through those jitters.

Make time for self reflection

Sometimes the easiest solution is the best place to start. There is a wealth of research on the benefits of journaling and self-reflection. I’d recommend carving out some time every day to sit and reflect on your relationship (if you haven’t already). Here are some questions to get you started:

  1. Think back to when you first met your partner…what drew you to them? What were you excited to learn more about? What surprised you?
  2. How are your parents and in-laws similar or different? What do you want to bring into your relationship or do differently from theirs?
  3. Think back to when you get engaged…what first went through your mind? Who were you excited to share the news with?
  4. Imagine you and your partner in 25 years, thriving. What is your life like? What is the same and what is different?

Talk with your partner

Counterintuitively, I don’t recommend trying to directly make these jitters go away. Trying to prevent yourself from a feeling will just create more anxiety. Instead, let yourself feel into it. 

Communicate with your partner about what you’re experiencing in regards to stress and anxiety. See if there are areas where you can take action. The more open you are, the more opportunity for a rich dialogue which fosters a sense of validation, closeness, and calm.  

Get outside help

If you find yourself wanting more support or discovering bigger topics that need attention, premarital counseling with an experienced expert is an effective way to set the foundation for your relationship. 

Final Thoughts

Pre-wedding anxiety, stress, and jitters are normal - you are ok! Take some time to sit with your feelings and, if you need it, reach out to your friends, partner, or an expert for support. If you do decide to get some outside help, let Ours do it for you. At Ours, we hand-match you with an experienced couples therapist based on exactly what you need. Get started in just a few minutes.

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