A Colorful Conversation with Shirin Eskandani of Wholehearted Coaching

Wedding planning doesn't have to be stressful. It should be a fun time to reconnect with all of your loved ones in anticipation of tying the knot.

But to make sure the process stays manageable, there are a few easy things you can do. In this interview, we discussed how meditation, digging in to your beliefs, and working on your communication skills can make your wedding planning process go smoothly.

This Colorful Conversation features Shirin Eskandani, former opera singer and founder of Wholehearted Coaching.

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Identify the core feelings you want to have on your wedding day.

The wedding industry is notorious for telling you how your wedding should be. And most of us have an idea of what we want the day to look like — but Shirin suggests skipping over that.

“It’s all about what does that day feel like for you,” Shirin says.

She suggests coming up with five core feelings you want to have on your wedding day. Then determine three things you can do to ensure those feelings happen.

To do this, she suggests going through a values exercise with your partner.

  • Print out two copies of this values list

  • Take 10-20 minutes to individually go through the list and narrow it down to your top five values or feelings you want your wedding day to have.

  • Share your lists with each other.

  • Determine three things for each of your five values that can help ensure you incorporate those feelings. If your partner values playfulness and you value elegance, figure out ways both of these can be worked into the day.

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Meditate, meditate, meditate.

You’ve probably heard this before and you’ll definitely hear it again, but Shirin and Leah both emphasized the effectiveness of just a few minutes of meditation each day. Leah loves the Calm app and Shirin recommends the INSCAPE meditation app and the Insight Timer app.

You’ll probably have wedding thoughts during your meditation, Shirin says, but that doesn’t make the time any less valuable. Quiet time by yourself can make a world of difference in your stress levels when wedding planning. She also recommends a quick tool to build gratitude in your daily life: stop, pause, and savor the moment you’re in.

If you’ve never [meditated] before, you might have this idea that it’s not for me, or I don’t have that much time, or it seems too woo or difficult. Really you can do three minutes. You can do it on your commute to work.
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Ask clearly for what you need.

“People are allowed to do and act however they want,” Shirin says. “We are, in turn, allowed to do what’s best for us.”

A big part of taking care of ourselves is making sure we set (and communicate) clear expectations with our friends, families and partners. A common argument is “I don’t know how to help you,” so setting up the ask in the right way is key. Shirin recommends this tactic from Allison Armstrong:

  • Let them know exactly what you need.

  • Let them know why it matters to you or what it will provide for you that you’re currently lacking.

  • Ask if there’s any way you can help them do what you’re asking.


Ask yourself if the beliefs you have are yours.

Shirin had to face her beliefs head on when she and her now-husband got engaged. While ring shopping, she thought, “If he loves me, he’ll buy it for me.” They both left the store feeling unhappy, so she started digging into the beliefs she had about what the ring buying process should be like.

She realized that belief came from society telling her how to feel rather than how she actually felt. It can be uncomfortable to break through those beliefs, but Shirin encourages couples to create their own unique belief system for their wedding.

When I really sat down… it’s the question of is this belief mine? If not, is it a belief I want to hold on to?

Mentioned in this interview

Where to Find Shirin

Website Wholehearted-Coaching.com

We love Shirin’s story she shares on her website about accomplishing her childhood dream of singing at the Met and finding it wasn’t quite what she expected.

Instagram @wholeheartedcoaching & Facebook @Wholehearted Coach

Check out Shirin’s hilarious Instagram Story highlight of her life coaching the Real Housewives. On Facebook, we love her #MindsetMonday mantra series.