1/ Do a mental walkthrough
Image by Trent Bailey Studio
No matter how involved you are in the planning, your own wedding can still end up feeling completely new and overwhelming. Suddenly you’re centre of attention, you’re navigating the day wearing a dress unlike anything you’ve worn before, you’re getting constant waves of emotion, and your thoughts are racing!
To reduce this feeling, do a walkthrough of each part of the day, imagining what you’ll see and feel. A rehearsal ceremony and dinner can be helpful for this, but you could just as easily conjure the day in your mind’s eye and do a mental walkthrough instead! This should help quieten your mind when you do it again for real.
2/ Prepare for hiccups
Image by Hudson Nichols Photography
In all likelihood, something will go wrong on your wedding day. A vendor may arrive late, a family member might be insensitive, you may stumble over your vows...
These things happen all the time; the key is not to let it spoil your enjoyment. Prepare yourself practically, so you know how you’ll fix an array of issues, or have someone trustworthy on hand to field them for you. Prepare yourself mentally, too, so your attitude to things in the moment is more positive. (E.g focus on “let it be,” “it’s not the end of the world” or “it’ll make a great memory.”)
3/ Have a plan for staying calm
Image by A Bryan Photo
Plan a strategy to use when you want to feel grounded and calm. This might include some of the following ideas:
- Take deep breaths
- Have a mantra like “be here now”, “stop and smell the roses” or “serenity”
- Acknowledge and embrace the emotional ups and downs
- Take ‘mental pictures’ of meaningful moments
- Catch the eye of a loved one
- Take time to feel gratitude
4/ Schedule time for yourself and with your groom
Image by The Ganeys
Even better than waiting for a free moment to arrive, is to plan for it. This is especially true if you’re introverted by nature and get drained by lots of stimulating activities. Build some short periods into your wedding timeline where you can enjoy quality time alone or with your groom. It could be part of the first look, immediately after the ceremony or after a photo session. You’ll be spending plenty of time with your family and guests – there’s nothing wrong with escaping to catch your breath, reflect, recharge and just enjoy your own or your fiancé’s company.
5/ Be intentional rather than reactive
Image by Nancy Ray Photography
Possibly one of the most frustrating feelings to have during your wedding is to feel that you’re being passively swept along, or that you’re going through the motions but somehow aren’t involved in everything that’s happening to you (the out of body experience!). A good way to combat this feeling is to be really intentional about how you want to spend your time every step of the way. Make the most of the dessert table, if that’s what you feel like doing. Have a laugh with a close friend you haven’t seen in forever, dance with the kids, hit the photo booth. You don’t want to get to the end of the day and realise you missed out on something fun!