Your wedding is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. Though it's inevitable that some things won't go as you planned, it's important to focus on staying in a good mood – after all, it's a once-in-a-lifetime event that you won't want to look back on in disappointment. With emotions running high on wedding days due to the culmination of months of wedding planning with a wide range of guests from all parts of your life in attendance, stress can begin to creep in.
Whether you were heavily involved in planning the big day or not, you'll admittedly want everything go perfectly. So when even the smallest detail goes wrong, it can either cause a mood swing and make a bride feel like the day is ruined – or you can choose to let it go and focus on what really matters: marrying the love of your life.
Many brides wonder: How do I stay calm on my wedding day? How can I calm my wedding anxiety and be stress free for my wedding? The advice below will help you let go of any minor aspects that dare to try to ruin your big day – because one way to "prepare" for what you really can't prepare for is to realize that even if something does go wrong, it doesn't have to be as big of a deal as it may seem to be at the time. Find out how to stay positive and calm on the wedding day, below:
If you tend to feel anxious when all eyes are on you, or you find yourself putting too much pressure on yourself to make sure the big day is perfect, take a moment to sit down, close your eyes, and just breathe to calm your mind. It sounds simple, but when you're in go-go-go mode, taking a few seconds to relax and remember what matters can make a huge difference in your mood and make you feel much more positive instead of experiencing stress.
The more prepared you are, the fewer potential disasters can have a large impact on your day. For a list of suggested items for your wedding-day emergency kit to have at the ready to make sure you don't have to waste any time tracking down a needle and thread to repair your gown or a stain remover if you happen to spill your red wine. Feeling prepared will help you to limit stress and have a sense of calm knowing you're planning for anything that may not go your way.
It's no secret that a good night sleep will go a long way to help your day go smoothly – whether you're getting married or not. When people don't get enough sleep, it's that much easier to be agitated and feel stress when anything doesn't quite go your way, so make sure you get some rest before your wedding day to ensure you have the best day possible with the one you love and all of the attendees who will be witnessing your vow exchange.
Once you wake up, start the day taking one step at a time. Don't let the upcoming schedule cause you more stress – stay calm, light a candle, turn on your favorite music, and take the time to help get yourself in the right headspace for one of the biggest days of your life. Even if you only have 30 minutes to yourself the morning of your wedding day before your hairstylist, makeup artist, and bridesmaids arrive to start getting ready, just a little bit of time can help you stay relaxed. Have a healthy breakfast, don't move too quickly, and focus on feeling positive, relaxed, and calm before your to-do list comes into play.
Barring any serious injuries, the majority of wedding mishaps are something you will someday look back on in laughter – or at least with a smile. If your wedding cake collapses while you cut it or it melts in the sun during an outdoor wedding reception, try to have some fun – and then deal with your vendors when you return from your mini-moon or honeymoon. Feelings of stress are inevitable, but it's your wedding – stay calm and carry on!
Photo by Amy Anaiz Photography; Bridal Salon: Bridal Reflections; Venue: Oheka Castle; From Real Wedding: San Francisco 49ers NFL Player Dontae Johnson's Castle Wedding in New York
Having visuals at the ready will help you feel more prepared on your wedding day – from ensuring the flowers are perfect, to your hair, makeup, and more. Your wedding planner or day-of coordinator should be outfitted with images of what your florist said they would produce in case there is a mishap. If it's not perfect, try not to let it bother you on the day of your wedding – your guests likely don't know what you planned and therefore won't be disappointed.
Similarly, if you had a hair and/or makeup trial (both of which we highly recommend), have pictures of what look you decided on for your wedding ceremony and wedding reception – or both looks if you're changing your hairstyle in between the events. Your stylists have a lot of clients, and you’ll both be happier with a guide to recreate your dream wedding look.
This is where it can help drastically to have a planner help you make the right decisions for your wedding timeline. Having just one extra hour of contingency time will go a long way to make sure you don't feel rushed. Make sure you have ample time to get ready before the ceremony, have a shot list confirmed with your photographer before the big day so family photos can go smoothly (whether you do them before the wedding or during cocktail hour), and have someone available to keep the day moving as scheduled so you don't miss out on (or have to limit) important moments that you value, such as the cake cutting, wedding speeches from loved ones, or any special dances or performances during the reception.
You don’t need to have a second wedding dress for the reception (unless, of course, you want to!), but it’s important that you’re able to move and breathe easily throughout your reception – especially on the dance floor! In that same vein, making sure you have shoes that won’t keep you from enjoying the evening is crucial. You don't want to look back on your wedding day and focus on the pain you were in throughout the reception – instead, you'll want to look back on the happy memories of your wedding day while celebrating with friends and family.
Even if you fall during your grand entrance into the wedding reception, the best man's speech was over 10 minutes long and extremely inappropriate for a wedding with your older family members in attendance, or the DJ played everything on your “do not play” list, the important thing is that it's your wedding day and you’ve married the love of your life. Do your best to laugh it off and celebrate together and really cherish your time as the new Mr. and Mrs.
You've spent months planning the wedding of a lifetime for your loved ones, so take some time to revel in your accomplishment! Many of the couples featured in Inside Weddings share that their favorite part of the wedding day was when they stopped, took a step back, and made the time in the wedding day schedule to watch all of their friends and family having the time of their lives on the dance floor.
Opening photo by Laurie Bailey Photography; Planning & Design by Tessa Lyn Events; From Real Wedding: Ocean-View Ceremony + Elegant Reception with Fall-Inspired Décor in California