Tips For Planning A Sensory-Friendly Wedding by Clay Reese

(image: Unsplash, Jakob Owens)

Your wedding day is meant to be a truly special time, a day to celebrate your love with friends and family. Once you’re engaged, you’ll likely find many people want to know what you’re doing for the wedding – with some people expecting a big, showy day, with everyone in your extended family getting an invite. 

Weddings are exciting, but they can also be overwhelming, especially if you don’t love large social gatherings or find the fuss and fanfare that traditionally comes with the day a little anxiety-inducing. However, the most important thing about your wedding day is that it is right for you and your partner, not what everyone else expects from you. Here, we show you how you can still have a dream wedding day, but keep things calm and sensory-friendly. 

Get comfortable with your venue

Often, couples have one chance to view their venue before booking, and then they might only get one visit in before the big day. This is especially true if it’s a popular venue, or you want to get married in peak season. Unfortunately, this can leave you feeling a little unsettled on the day of your wedding, since you aren’t familiar with the space and don’t have your own familiar things around you. 

If this is something you’re concerned about, you may want to opt for a less popular venue, or one that you’re already familiar with, such as a local church, hall or even a family home. This will allow you to make several visits before the big day, so that you feel comfortable with your surroundings and can relax and enjoy the moment.

Keep things small- if that’s what you want

Big weddings can come with a lot of noise, talking and a huge amount of people to organise. Keeping things small and only inviting your closest friends will mean that you don’t have as much sensory input to deal with, but it also means they’re likely to respect your needs. If you have any specific requirements, consider communicating this with your guests beforehand, so you can arrive assured that no one is going to cross your boundaries.

Making the decision about your guest list as soon as possible will allow you to speak to people well in advance of the big day, and handle those conversations in the best setting for you, whether that’s written, over the phone or in person.

Consider your outfit

Weddings usually mean wearing a special dress or suit, but sometimes those with sensory issues can find the feel of certain fabrics or seams can cause problems. If this is the case for you, then make sure to find a dressmaker, tailor or clothing brand that you feel comfortable with, so that you’re not distracted by your outfit on the day. 

Wear ear plugs

Even with a small number of guests and a quiet venue, there can still be a lot of stimulation if you’re sensitive to noise. Wearing discreet ear plugs can allow you to soften the impact of this noise and enjoy your day without getting overwhelmed. There are plenty of subtle options available, but if you’re worried about them being obvious in your wedding photos, you could take them out for the solo and couple shots, since it’s just likely to be you and your photographer at this time.

(image: Sooz at Unsplash)

Plan for breaks

When planning your day, work with your venue so that you don’t feel rushed or under pressure at any time. Incorporate plenty of breaks into the schedule, and make sure you leave some time for just you and your partner to soak up the joy after the ceremony. You could go for a walk, or sit quietly in a separate room – whatever you need, speak to your venue to make sure you can get that special time. Not only will this help you deal with any sensory overwhelm, but it’s also just a really lovely way to celebrate together and take your first moments as a married couple.

A calmer day

By carefully planning your day to meet your needs, you can relax and enjoy the wedding planning process. Invite your closest friends and family, raise a glass, and celebrate your love together in a way that is perfect for you.

Clay Reese is a blogger and digital media expert.

How To Stay Emotionally Healthy During A Divorce: by Lizzie Weakley

(image: Karolina Grabowska: Pexels)

When you are in the midst of getting divorced, you may be surprised at just how much it will drain you emotionally. Whether you have been married only a short period of time or perhaps for decades, knowing you will soon be divorced can be a scary thought that may leave you very depressed, which can result in you making poor decisions as your divorce moves forward. If you want to emerge from your divorce with some emotional health, here are some steps you should take along the way.

Don’t Stay Isolated

As your divorce process moves forward, don’t make the mistake of staying isolated. Instead, stay in touch with your family and friends. If your social network is now cut in half due to your divorce, make new friends by perhaps attending church/synagogue or learning a new hobby- whatever feels right for you.

Don’t Blame Yourself

When couples divorce, it is not unusual for one spouse to blame themselves for the marriage breaking up. Even though there is usually fault to be found on both sides in most divorces, this does not mean you should continually beat yourself up emotionally day after day about your marriage ending. Instead, you need to accept that it happened, plan your future, and try to move forward as best you can. You should reach for support if you need it.

Write Down Your Thoughts

During your divorce, you will be having plenty of meetings with your divorce lawyers and others as well. Needless to say, you may feel a bit drained at the end of the day. If you have plenty of thoughts running through your mind, take some time to write them down in a journal. By having the chance to express your innermost thoughts in this manner, it can be a great way to relieve stress and keep your emotions in balance. Another option would be to talk about your feelings with a therapist when you are ready.

Take Care of Yourself

Last but not least, taking care of yourself physically will play a big role in keeping you feeling ok emotionally. Therefore, you should eat healthily, exercise regularly, and treat yourself to something special now and then, such as dinner at your favourite restaurant, a relaxing vacation, or getting pampered at a day spa. By doing so, you will find many things that were eating away at you will suddenly not seem nearly as important. Self care is vital in the aftermath of a relationship breakdown.

Though you may wonder what the future will hold for you after your divorce is final, looking after yourself and your mental health will pave the way for a new chapter in your life.

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer, based in the USA.

How to reduce Stress and maintain Mental health during a Divorce: Guest blog by Luci Larkin at Woolley&Co

divorce1

(image: https://sasforwomen.com/divorce-quotes-inspirational/)

Going through a divorce or relationship breakdown can be one of the most stressful situations a person can find themselves in. You lose your friend, partner, confidante and have to adapt to living as a single person, often as the primary carer of children. 

This is a time of extreme and mixed emotions made more complicated by the stresses and worries of legal and financial considerations as well as having to support and counsel any children that may be involved and suffering too.

With mental health problems on the rise and divorce being listed as one of the leading contributors, Luci Larkin from Family Law Solicitors, Woolley & Co, explains how you can reduce stress during such a turbulent time in your life.

“If you have decided your marriage is over you will most probably want to make the whole process of divorce as painless as possible. Contrary to public perception not all divorces have to involve outright war leaving a trail of destruction and despair.

Every individual going through a relationship breakdown will deal with this in their own way. Some prefer to carry on as though nothing has happened, others find it cathartic to talk to someone about their problems.”

It’s fair to say that anyone going through a separation or divorce is going to experience a series of emotional stages post-breakdown. These could range from anger and depression to fear and frustration. All perfectly normal feelings and reactions to an emotionally difficult situation. It’s important to recognise these feelings but to try and stay positive. 

Sometimes the support of friends and family is enough to see a person through, others may need more help such as counselling or medical advice.

With the right divorce lawyer you should be able to resolve a divorce sensibly enabling you and your children to move on with your lives in the most amicable and constructive way.” 

So what is the secret? 

Divorce lawyers’ tips for a less stressful divorce

Luci explains, “As tempting as it is to take advice from your best friend or the “know it all guy” in the pub it’s really important to seek proper professional advice. Couple this with my 5 tips below:

 

  1. Talk to a family lawyer who is ideally a member of Resolution committed to resolving disputes in a non-confrontational way.
  2. Listen to the professional advice given to you and try to act upon it. Always negotiate before you litigate. Compromise is the essence of any agreement.
  3. Inevitably there will be disagreements with your spouse but try to keep emotions under control and avoid verbal abuse and threats. This will simply lead to them becoming difficult and inflexible. You do not want a war.
  4. Try to avoid involving the children or using them as a pawn. They are innocent in this situation and they will need the love and support of both parents. Ideally sit down and agree a parenting plan.
  5. Think about timing. You may have been thinking about a divorce for years whereas your partner may only have received the news a matter of weeks ago. Expecting your spouse to discuss future living arrangements at a time when they are still reeling from the news that you want to end the marriage, may be unrealistic. You might have to slow down for a while, be patient, and wait until they are ready to move things forward.”

Whilst getting a divorce is clearly not an ideal situation it does not have to be a time consuming, stressful, unpleasant money pit.

Sensible advice coupled with calm cooperation can help to ensure the experience is as painless and cost effective as possible but more importantly that you and your children can move forward with your lives in the best possible way.

Luci is an experienced and approachable divorce and family solicitor with Woolley & Co, based in Barnet, Greater London.  Her working mantra is to establish what clients want and move towards achieving that outcome as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible.