It's inevitable that you will feel nervous in the lead up to your wedding day, and in the morning before your ceremony. While most brides will relax after the ceremony has been and gone, there is still a lot riding on the rest of the day running smoothly, which may lead to further nerves.
Remaining calm and composed is the key to fully enjoying your big day, although this is easier said than done. Take note of these ten top tips to making the most of your wedding day and keeping anxiety at bay.
1. Sleep well
Getting a good night's sleep before your wedding day is essential to feeling revived, re-energised and stress-free ahead of the celebrations. However, your mind will likely be racing with last-minute thoughts and worries. Nip these in the bud by soaking in a warm bath before bedtime and creating a restful sleeping environment that is dark, quiet and cool. Resist the urge to check your phone or worse still, endless scrolling on Instagram.
You may even start to panic when you still can't get to sleep a few hours after going to bed. Try to relax as much as possible by counting or focus on your breathing. Sleep apps, such as Calm and Headspace, guide you towards a better night's sleep with meditation exercises to settle an overactive mind. Download these a few weeks or months before the wedding, so you can decide whether they work for you.
Whatever methods you choose for a good night's sleep, don't forget to set an alarm, or several, to give you plenty of time in the morning to get ready and celebrate with your bride tribe.
2. Consider a 'first look' or 'first touch'
While the 'first look' between the happy couple before the ceremony is growing in popularity, with 12% of 2021 wedding couples adopting the new tradition, the 'first touch' is also an emerging photography trend preferred by superstitious couples who consider a glimpse of their other half bad luck. A 'first touch' can serve to ease nerves before the ceremony by having some form of contact with your partner before your big moment.
3. Have faith in the professionals
Remember that it won't be the first time your venue team, florist, cake maker, photographer or entertainment provider have been involved with a wedding. They are the experts who have seen and done it all before and will know exactly how to make things happen on the day without your involvement, so trust them to deliver on their promises.
You will have discussed your wants and wishes, logistics and practicalities with them all ahead of time, so there should be no stone left unturned when the big day arrives.
4. Delegate tasks
Ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen to step in on the day and head up some of the tasks that would otherwise fall to you or partner. After all, it is part of their responsibility in their respective roles for the day to run smoothly. Organising food and drink during the morning preparations, welcoming guests at the venue and liaising with the photographer on the group shots are all key tasks that your bridesmaids and groomsmen can take the lead on.
As well as the general order of the day, you could also compile a more detailed itinerary for your bridesmaids and groomsmen to follow so that they can keep on track with tasks.
5. Have contingency plans at the ready
There is only so much control you can have over your wedding day, especially when it comes to the British weather. Set up a contingency plan for downpours or cold temperatures so that indoor spaces can be used instead of outdoor areas, and have umbrellas and blankets to hand to ensure guests' comfort at all stages of the day.
Also, if guests fall ill before the day and are unable to attend, speak to your venue team in advance about how your seating plan can be rearranged quickly and easily.
6. Try calming remedies
While essential oils, primarily lavender, are ideal to have on hand due to their stress-busting properties, so too is a purpose-made product such as Stress Check Breathe In by This Works, which features a blend of calming essential oils as an easy-to-use rollerball. Apply to pressure points including the insides of your wrists and at your temples for optimum benefit. Rescue Remedy is another brand which focuses on natural and organic stress-relieving solutions.
7. Carry crystals
Calming, balancing and peaceful energies can be sought in the alternative medicine technique of crystal healing. Followers of this practice use different crystals for different purposes, holding them in the palm of their hand and/or repeating positive affirmations to boost low mood and block bad energy. Calming crystals include amethyst, rose quartz, howlite, sodalite and black tourmaline.
8. Practise mindfulness
Mindfulness is a practice that you may wish to begin in the months leading up to the wedding, teaching the body to be in the moment through various deep breathing and body centering techniques. When used correctly, it can allow you to better enjoy moments in time that may have passed you by.
Take yourself away from the crowd on your wedding day and practise mindulness from afar, observing your guests from a distance and appreciating the sights, smells and sounds that would otherwise go forgotten. Visit the NHS website for more on mindfulness.
9. Remember to eat and drink
It seems obvious but you'll be so busy on your wedding day chatting with guests and having your photos taken, that you may not give food and drink any thought or you may not feel like eating at all. Yet eating and drinking can make you feel more positive and relaxed.
Ensure you partake in all the catering that you have arranged for your guests, including a taste of your wedding cake, so you satiate your appetite and don't regret missing out on any of the culinary delights the day after. Intersperse alcoholic drinks with water to quench your thirst and stay suitably hydrated, but avoid too much caffeine as this can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and a nervous stomach.
10. Organise entertainment aplenty
Take your mind off the smooth running of your wedding day with entertainment to amuse you and your guests. From a soothing acoustic band during the drinks reception, or a mind-blowing magician, to uplifting, feel-good music selected by you and your husband or wife for the evening party; it can be surprising how entertainment transports your mind, body and soul.