In today’s fast paced society, it is impossible to avoid stress in our lives. A 2020 survey, near the beginning of the COVID pandemic estimated the prevalence of symptoms of depression was 28% and symptoms of anxiety 21%.

On top of that, if you are planning a wedding, it may be impossible to avoid stress. For engaged couples, external sources of stress around on top of the wedding plans such as work, career and income tend to be overriding stresses that couples try to deal with.

Here are some strategies that you might find helpful to work through with your wedding plans or to discuss with the couple you are working with:

  • Consider the Big Picture
  • The standard tools of effective communication taught in PREPARE/ENRICH are particularly important when there is tension between couples. Examples are speaking for yourself using “I-statements” rather than attacking the other person, listening to understand before proposing solutions, and choosing the best time and place to talk about difficult matters. Everyday communication patterns might be fine for everyday matters, but when you are negotiating a wedding, it’s good to be at your best!
  • Do you need help with an issue or problem? Our approach helps to generate deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations can restore insight and understanding about one another.


    • Fisher, J. Tran, T., Hammarberg, K., Sastry, J., Nguyen, H., Rowe, H., Popplestone, S., Stocker, R., Stubber, C., and Kirkman, M. (2020): Mental health of people in Australia in the first month of COVID‐19 restrictions: a national survey: Med J Aust 2020; 213 (10): 458-464.
    • Neff, L.A., and Karney, B.R., (2009). Stress and reactivity to daily relationship experiences: How stress hinders adaptive processes in marriage. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97 (3), 435-450.

    Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith or @ www.relationships or