With any large milestone, you’re bound to have a healthy dose of anxiety. Whether you’re worrying about a late vendor, a missing shoe, tripping over your words – or feet – during the ceremony: all couples preparing to tie the knot experience some fear.
To avoid getting in over your head with these thoughts, the key is to be as prepared as possible – though, of course, something will always go wrong no matter how organized you are. It’s good to get ahead of the things you’ll be able to control, and let go of the things you cannot. We’ve put together a list of some of the most common wedding-related worries – and how to cope with them in a healthy way.
1. Guests wearing white. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you’re able to do on this front. Attendees may not take kindly to seeing a “please, no white attire” line on the invitations or your wedding website. The more people you’re inviting, the more likely it might be that someone will show up in an ivory dress – she’ll insist to others that it’s “not exactly white,” but she’s not fooling anyone.
If it happens: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? The key here is to get your head out of the “it’s my day” mindset and develop a more positive, “I’m about to get married to the love of my life” attitude. You’ve planned elegant, picturesque nuptials – one alabaster frock shouldn’t muddle things for you or your beloved.
2. Weather. This can mean anything Mother Nature may have in store: a massive heat wave, thunderstorms, a particularly windy day, and beyond. The usual preventative measures depend on the particular climate in which your venue resides – though, having the wedding entirely indoors is the only 99%-effective route to take when hoping to avoid unpredictable weather. Earth can be very fickle – and very unwilling to recognize the importance of your wedding day.
If it happens: This kind of issue can be skirted with the existence of a back-up plan – and maybe a “Plan C” as well. If you’re worried about a particularly humid day, provide fans for guests. If there’s a chance of rain, ensure your alfresco venue can be tented. Ask your wedding planner or venue coordinator what they’d recommend for your particular season.
3. No-shows. You’ve invested a lot of time and money in the selection process for your entertainment, rentals, caterers, etc. The fear that, due to some unforeseen circumstance, someone providing a service does not arrive at your event is a popular one. Additionally, the worry that a chunk of guests will fail to show up may arise at some point during the planning process. Similar to an attendee wearing white, there aren’t any measures you can take to thwart this occurrence after booking vendors and sending out clear, descriptive invitations.
If it happens: This is a problem you should feel comfortable handing off to someone else: your mother, maid of honor, wedding planner, anyone who is not preparing to say “I do” that day – unless it’s in response to question “do you think you can call the caterer and ask why he’s an hour late?”
4. Misbehaved friends and family. The crying toddler, the drunken cousin, the groomsman’s girlfriend who mistakenly believes she has the voice of an angel: every wedding should anticipate at least one of these disruptive characters. If you know ahead of time who your likely suspects will be, you can assign bridesmaids or close family to keep an eye on their behavior – and quell their unruly tendencies before they get out of hand.
If it happens: Hopefully, you’ll only have one of these guests to deal with. If, by chance, you have more than one of these people on your hands, it might be a little more complicated to nip in the bud. In these cases, fellow attendees may take the issue into their own hands: a parent will take the baby outside, your cousin’s wife will convince him not to make an impromptu speech, and the groomsman will occupy his lady with a twirl around the loud dance floor. Have faith in your friends and family!
5. Public speaking mistakes. Does the idea of reciting your vows give you flashbacks to giving speeches in high school? That alone can be the cause of some intense anxiety. If the thought of speaking in front of a large group of people frightens you, there are two basic options you can choose from: plan for a short ceremony with very little spoken words on your part or write the vows you want to make and keep in mind that your focus will most likely be on your beloved. Unless the officiant is shoving a microphone in your face and telling you to “cheat out” to the audience, chances are you’ll be entirely consumed by the process of getting married.
If it happens: If you mess up a word or a line, find comfort in the fact that everyone will be almost as invested in the current happenings that they won’t hear it or find your slipup endearing. You can always blame any mistake on your overflowing emotions – no one will question you!
6. The ol’ trip and fall. This is likely the most common worry amongst brides: gliding gracefully toward your sweetheart, taking one false step, and subsequently tumbling in front of everyone. This is a great reason to have your father, mother, brother, uncle, or someone else you’d like to honor, walk you down the aisle: if for no other reason, for the physical support – though, hopefully, for more sentimental reasons as well.
If it happens: Did you do gymnastics growing up? Could you turn that fall into a balletic somersault? If not, no worries: one of the best benefits of being the bride is that it is an unspoken rule that guests can’t laugh or point if you trip. Laugh it off and continue on your journey. That tall glass of water at the end of the aisle is all that really matters after all.
Opening photo by John & Joseph Photography Inc.