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Worried Sick? : Wedding-Day Planning Requires a Healthy Perspective

Too often, stress about invitations, cakes, bridesmaids, makeup and more overshadow the actual romance of a bride's big day. That's not without reason, because planning a wedding is an involved process. In fact, The National Women's Health Information Center's Web site cites getting married as one of the most stress-ful events in a person's life.

Barbara North, M.D. says too much wed-ding-related stress can actually hinder plans for the big day. "Women will sometimes worry so much about details like favors and bridesmaid gifts that they literally worry themselves sick," says Dr. North. "While it may seem necessary at the time, too much wedding stress can take its toll on both the bride and her relationship."

To avoid the wedding-day blues, Dr. North offers tips to keep brides happy and relaxed. Don't forget to eat. It's not crucial to your marriage that you fit the cov-eted size-6 designer dress on your wed-ding day, but it is important for your body to be in good condition. Some women may exercise and start dieting before their weddings, which is fine, if you're staying healthy. If you eat right, drink plenty of water and get enough calcium, you can ensure you'll be in better shape both physically and mentally for the big day.

Also, don't forget to eat a light meal the morning of yourwedding. You'll need fuel to make it through the ceremony, pictures and up to the cocktail hour. Sense your cycle. Stress can actually impact a woman's monthly cycle, affecting everything from the timing of her flow to hormones and pain. While some women plan ahead and use the pill to "schedule" their periods around their weddings, you can't always ensure how your body will react. Plan instead by having the right tools.

Stop thinking. Taking a day before the event to do anything but think about the wedding can streamline planning and help you get back your focus. Wor ying 24/7 can cause physical problems including muscle tension, insomnia, headaches, digestive issues, skin irritation, anger, sadness, or even decreased libido. No matter how fabulous your big day, there's nothing worse than avoiding intimacy on your wedding night because you've worried too much.

Rather than tying the knot with a knot in your stomach, Dr. North says you can de-stress by focusing on what really counts -- your health and the health of your relationship.

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