The big day is finally here! The wedding you’ve worked so hard to plan for months or even years is just around the corner, but while the stress of planning is melting away, you might suddenly be finding your nerves are through the roof.
Wipe off those sweaty palms, take a deep breathe and follow these easy tips for keeping calm during the big day.
- Know That Nerves are Normal
Getting cold feet? Not to worry, says Leslee Gillette, LMHC, a therapist at Lotus Counseling Center in Miami, Fla.
“Getting pre-wedding jitters is completely normal, I know I did,” she says. “There is, though, a difference between general anxiety about planning, décor and the weather versus thoughts and concerns about your relationship.”
While thinking about your future with your new husband might bring up some worries, it’s only time to really worry if these thoughts bring up any major relationship flaws, which often signals it might be a good idea to seek marriage counseling to make sure any problems can be worked through.
- Use Coping Skills Like Mindfulness
For the days leading up to the wedding, and the day of, try to remember a few basic coping skills and the use of what’s known as mindfulness.
Mindfulness skills, according to Gillette, or those that help anchor you in the present moment, can keep your mind from drifting. Some common techniques include focusing on your breathing and noticing and paying attention to things around you (take in your surroundings with all your senses and focus on what you see, what you hear, and what you smell).
- Focus on the Bigger Picture
For Gordon Whitney, who got married July 2010 in Marysville, Mich., it was the moments right before the ceremony that really brought out the nerves. Whitney, a team member with The Marriage Group in Port Huron, Mich., remembers being nervous about the kiss, whether he would trip coming down the stairs, even about the rings somehow getting lost.
“As cliche as it sounds, your ceremony will be over in an instant, and all of the worry melts away,” Whitney says. “So if you’re nervous, think about the fun you’re about to have at your reception, on your honeymoon or three years after your wedding when you’re on your couch watching a marathon of The Office.”
- Know What Might Trigger More Anxiety
Another good way to combat anxiety (especially if you already tend to be an anxious person) is determining any triggers that might cause you more worry on the big day. Individual and couples therapist Gillette says that identifying triggers can help you plan ahead. For instance, she says, if there’s a particular person that triggers your anxiety (maybe a rambunctious uncle or overbearing mother), think about getting support from a trusted friend to help redirect this person during the ceremony or reception.