The Peaceful Wedding Planner

Gabrielle Bernstein


A New York Times bestselling author, motivational speaker and Kundalini yoga instructor, Gabrielle Bernstein knows a thing or two about releasing stress. As a recently engaged bride-to-be, Gabby shares her personal advice on how to stay centered when it comes to wedding planning.

WBM: Like you, most modern women today have a packed work schedule. How do you balance planning a wedding with all your other responsibilities?

Gabby: I have an insane work schedule. Therefore, I chose to plan my wedding a year and half in advance. I also decided to get ahead of it all. I booked the venue, found the caterer and secured the band in the first month of being engaged. I did this so I wouldn’t have it hanging over my head while I was launching my new book and running my business. I think the trick is to be efficient and clear about what you want. Then get it done.

WBM: Planning a wedding requires a lot of attention to detail and couples can quickly become overwhelmed with their to-do-list. What are some suggestions you have for couples who find themselves stressed with the small stuff?

Gabby: Always bring it back to love. It’s very easy to get stressed about the details, but couples must make it a priority to stay committed to their relationship and remain partners in the process. My fiancé and I have grown closer throughout the planning process because we constantly remind each other that we are in it together!

WBM: For some women, dealing with the mother-of-the-groom can be very challenging while planning a wedding. Do you have advice for keeping this relationship intact?

Gabby: The wedding is your time to establish how you want to relate to your mother-in-law. I suggest, bring in the kindness. Be loving, compassionate and generous towards her. She made your husband for God sakes; be grateful! Do your best to manage her expectations but most of all—keep the peace.

WBM: How would you suggest couples stay true to what they want for their wedding instead of feeling pressured or guilted into pleasing others?

Gabby: I believe you need to be clear and direct. The more specific you are about what you want, the less room there is for other people’s opinions. Weddings can excite parents like it’s their prom night. Therefore, I suggest laughing a lot of it off. Don’t let your wedding day become all about your family. Stay clear, confident and focused on what you and your husband want.

WBM: What are some suggestions you have to minimize negative emotions that can arise from couples’ disagreements during wedding planning? 

Gabby: When feeling anxious, resentful or fearful, I suggest you use this wedding meditation: It will guide you to release these emotions and center you back into love.

A happy bride makes for a happy groom. Keep yourself at peace and he will respond to your good vibes. 

WBM: How can women release wedding stress?

Gabby: When we’re stressed, we are not breathing. My suggestion is that you take one-minute breath breaks. Whenever you notice yourself out of control and stressed, simply breathe in for five seconds, hold your breath for five seconds and exhale for five seconds. This simple exercise can change your attitude and reduce stress instantly.



Nora Walsh is an award-winning journalist, copywriter and blogger with an expertise in travel, destination marketing and luxury hospitality. She’s a perennial traveler, having visited over 35 countries around the world. Nora has written for newspapers, national magazines and online publications focusing on experiential travel, destination guides, luxury hotels, dining and design. She is Travel + Leisure magazine’s Latin America Correspondent and frequent contributor to their Carry On blog, AFAR Magazine’s Mendoza Local Expert, as well as a Yahoo Travel Explorer. Patchwork Compass, her travel & lifestyle blog, is an inspirational collection of her personal adventures, practical travel tips and original photography that helps others navigate life’s journeys.

Passionate about Latin America, Nora left New York City after almost a decade to relocate to the “Land of Sunshine and Good Wine” in Mendoza, Argentina. She’s spent most of her professional career representing luxury hospitality brands including Four Seasons Resorts Costa Rica and Great Exuma in The Bahamas, as well as The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York and has successfully marketed destinations like Colombia, Miami, Park City and Tasmania, Australia while working for a tourism agency. Her writing has garnered a New Jersey Press Association Editorial Award for a feature story covering immigration in her hometown Manasquan, New Jersey. Nora continues to explore the world with candid curiosity, connecting with locals and documenting her authentic experiences for others to enjoy. To view her professional portfolio, please visit her website at

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