We've witnessed a number of stressed Brides throughout our time in the business. Weddings are quite simply a production, and the Bride is usually the Director. That isn't to say the Groom's role is redundant - quite the opposite.
Weddings are the day of two people. Two people who should be feeling an abundance of positive emotions including love, joy, and happiness and a large dab of calm. Stress can undoubtedly ruin the day if negativity overpowers good thoughts in your mind. Maybe your hairdresser can't make it on time, or you've spilled red wine on an area of your pure-white dress. The way you feel on the day will ultimately bring an appropriate experience. Knowing how to savour every second of this short once-in-a-lifetime moment will keep your nerves down and your level of gratitude up.
It is of paramount importance that in the weeks leading up to the wedding, and on the day itself, you visualise everything flowing perfectly, like a river with no rapids. Visualisation has become a leading method in safeguarding positivity by preventing negative energy from creeping into situations that overbear the biological sensations of a human. From job interviews to performing on stage, professionals and students alike have turned to visualisation as a way to mentally rehearse an event prior to it even happening. The science behind this is that if you've already experienced the event multiple times, you'll know what emotions to dismiss when the real day comes. Connor McGregor, for instance, visualises his fights many times before even stepping foot in the ring. Most Brides' nerves diminish once they've had placed the ring on their finger. Interestingly, by implementing this technique you'll be reliving your Wedding day many times over before it's even happened!
2. Simply, Don't Stress
Yes, it's most certainly easier to say it than achieve it, but absolutely within the boundaries of your capabilities. Usually, the more organised you are from day one of planning the wedding, the less likely it is for stress to seep into your reality on The Day. It's important to have the schedule in your mind and really think ahead so you can prepare for any blunders. Always have a Plan B in case things go wrong. When your mind drifts and angst begins to build, bring your focus back to what truly matters: the moment. Enjoy the present rather than an unlikely future, born from overthinking.
3. Let it Be
You've come this far. Life has brought you to this moment. So let life take control of the wedding day too. Most people want a perfect wedding where nothing goes wrong and every single guest leaves thinking nothing but beautiful thoughts of you and your significant other. Usually, that's what happens. But it's never guaranteed. A few years back, we attended a wedding where the song for walking down the aisle didn't play properly - dodgy cable! There were two ways the Bride and Groom could have dealt with the mishap. Fortunately, they chose to see the funny side. By the time the vows were made everyone had forgotten about the music. It's crucial to simply let go of what is, and savour whatever the day throws your way. Every moment makes up the greater experience. Being a control-freak will only end in disappointment. It's a fact that how we react to a situation makes up for 95% of our experience of it.
4. Let Go of Fear
We humans spend a lot of wasted energy thinking about how others think of us; their perception and judgement. If there's one day in your life you choose to live on your own terms (that those of your spouse), make it your Wedding Day. Dance like you never have, speak to every single one of your guests and listen intently, don't be scared to ask for what you want. Today is your day, make sure it remains that way.
5. Take a Moment
Don't spend too much time in your mind, thinking about the fact you're working on Monday or wondering if you handled a situation from last year in the best way you could have. Bring yourself into the moment. Stand and observe. Watch the children playing with each other, recap the entire journey that led you to this moment, smile. You made this incredible day happen. If you're running around worrying about the first dance, give up doing so and live presently. Your Wedding Day experience will be ten-times richer if you feel it rather than watching it pass you by.
6. Breathe Deep
This day will fly faster than a rocket en-route to Mars. Breathe slow and deep, take in every sight, smell and experience. It really does come down to shredding off any unwanted thoughts, feelings and emotions and concentrating on the now. Stress builds easier when the body is tighter. Listen to your body: if there is tension in your shoulders and you're breathing short, shallow breaths, stress will hit you sooner than you think, if it hasn't already.
7. Limit the Alcohol
Celebrating your day with alcohol can definitely loosen you up, but don't go over-board. Alcohol clouds judgement and amplifies your dominant emotions. If you're in a great mood, it will heighten that, but also if you're stressed it will heighten that too. If you're wanting to remember your day as a beautiful, rich event full of laughter and fun, alcohol isn't going to make that happen, you are. By lowering the amount you drink, not only will you save money for other areas of the Wedding, but you'll stay sharp, in control and will remember every beautiful moment more vividly. Plus you won't wake up the next morning feeling like garbage. Why make it a Wedding Day? Why not make it a Wedding Week?
For an hour or so after the formal photographs, and before the wedding reception, schedule time to go for a walk or embark on some form of private activity with your new spouse. Keep your distance from people so you, and only you, can enjoy some time alone. After all, this is your day, not that of the guests.
9. Assign a Shepherd
To protect yourself from the potential stress and chaos of the formal wedding photos, make sure you already have in place someone trustworthy (and sober) to round up guests on-demand to improve efficiency. Although they'll help keep things flowing as much as possible, your guests are total strangers to your Photographer. They'll require somebody appropriate to help them organise everyone, especially if alcohol is involved. Once the formal photographs are complete, there'll be a heightened sense of freedom.
10. Say Thank You
When the night comes to an end, take a moment to pause and say thank you. Considering praying whether or not you're religious; thank life for bringing you this day. You could have not got married, but it's a beautiful thing you did. Gratitude sparks feelings of fulfillment, wholeness and joy. It only takes a minute and can truly heighten your experience.