With wedding season upon us I thought I’d take the time to address this very common issue. When you ask someone how they are feeling in the run up to their wedding, “stressed” is probably one of the most common answers.
Popular culture often belittles the feelings of brides with unhelpful stereotypes but the truth is that getting married is on the top ten list of stressful life events, along with losing a loved one, moving house and changing jobs.
So why is it that brides (and grooms) get so stressed about their big day?
First of all, have you ever planned a dinner party, a weekend away or a holiday for more than one person? Then you know the pressure of trying to get it right for everyone. So, imagine planning a dinner party for around 100+ people! Some or all of them might need to travel and stay overnight at the venue or nearby. Some of them might have dietary requirements, mobility issues, children who need entertained and with the complexities of modern families, some guests may need to be seated at separate tables.
Then add to this the fact that you, as the person who is getting married, are entering in to a legal agreement with your partner. This is a huge step and life decision, not to be taken lightly. However much you love your partner and no matter how sure you are that marriage is the right thing for you, it is normal to have some thoughts like “what if…”
Also, (and this is a big one!) there is a very public element to the wedding ceremony itself, which most people are not used to. I mean, how often do you stand up in front of all your family and friends and speak about your innermost feelings for all to hear? How often do you walk into a room where everyone stops, stands up and watches you as you enter? Add to that the expectation for brides to glow and be the most stunningly beautiful they have ever been in their life… No pressure then!
As a wedding celebrant I often work with people who are overcome with stress about their big day. This makes me sad, as it is supposed to be one of the happiest days in your life. And of course it will be, if you let it.
So what can you do to reduce the stress and calm those wedding nerves? Here are some ideas that I use to help couples:
- Remember that it’s about YOU! Don’t let your fear of what other people will think stress you out and lose sight of the true purpose of your wedding – to make a commitment to the one you love in a way that feels right for you. I help couples create their own ceremony exactly as they want it, using any words or traditions that are important to them, whilst still honouring family members traditions.
- Remember that everyone at your wedding is there because they love and support you. They are not there to nitpick about what flowers you have chosen. They are there because they want to share your happiness and support your life decision.
- Plan, plan, plan! It may seem time consuming, but planning out every detail will help you feel calm and make sure things run smoothly on the day. When I help people create their ceremony i write it out for them to edit until they are completely happy. They can then read it as many times as they like, so that they are familiar with what will happen on the day. This also applies to anyone who is contributing to the ceremony, like a family member doing a reading or the best man bringing the rings. It also helps to plan out who is going to bring what to the venue, when and where everyone will be before, during and after the ceremony. Being prepared will help you feel in control.
- Consider learning some mindfulness stress reduction techniques that you can use in the lead up to your wedding. Some simple breathing exercises and visualisations can help you mentally prepare for the day and keep stress at bay. It is also invaluable for the last few minutes before entering the wedding ceremony, when even the most laid back of brides usually get butterflies! I offer a mindfulness for brides workshop, teaching a variety or techniques that you can practice at home. I also offer a special relaxation session before the wedding, for my brides and bridal parties, to ensure everyone is calm when walking down the isle.
Please contact me for further information and bookings