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How to Handle Cold Feet Before Your Wedding

It's not always a sign that you should call it off.

Whether in real life or in popular culture, “cold feet” is a term often bandied about when a bride or groom is nervous before the big day.

Relationship Advice
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Photo: Kortnee Kate

Whether in real life or in popular culture, “cold feet” is a term often bandied about when a bride or groom is nervous before the big day. Obviously most people want to avoid cancelling a wedding if they can. Depending on how far along you are in the planning process, you may lose out on a lot of money due to nonrefundable deposits. It can also be embarrassing to have people find out that you’ve broken off your engagement, especially if you have already sent out the invitations.

what to do if you get cold feet before your wedding
Photo by Lindsay Adler Photography

However, there are some completely legitimate reasons to call off your nuptials, such as abuse, a partner with addictions, infidelity, incompatible views regarding crucial aspects such as money and children, or simply realizing you don't belong together. In these cases, it’s important to remember that it’s both easier and less expensive to cancel a wedding than it is to get a divorce. That said, sometimes nerves are just nerves, and do not indicate that your relationship is certain to fail. Calling off a wedding is hard enough, you'd hate to do so and then realize it was a mistake.

Read our tips to find out if your feelings are simply a case of momentary panic, and what to do to assuage your fears.

- Examine your anxieties; is this an external or eternal issue? Is someone in your life bad-mouthing marriage? Don’t let someone else’s relationship put irrelevant doubts in your mind.
- It’s natural to be panicked over such a big change. You were probably nervous before starting high school or college, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have gone through with the process.
- Are you worried about losing aspects of your life, such as time for hobbies? Talk to your future spouse; see if there's room to compromise.
- The stress of coordinating the wedding may be influencing your mood, or even your libido! This doesn't mean that you are not meant to be together; just that life is hectic right now.
- Talk with happily married couples for reassurance of lingering doubts.
- Remember that no person or relationship is perfect; see if it's possible that you're just nit-picking. You know your single friend who will nix a potential suitor for the slightest reason? Are you acting that way?
- Make sure you're taking the time to reconnect throughout the planning process. The wedding may be ironically hurting your relationship.
- When in doubt, try premarital counseling to sort out your issues.

For more relationship advice, discover 12 cute ways to strengthen your relationship, see if you should attend premarital counseling, and learn how to deal with a groomzilla during wedding planning. If it's more than cold feet, learn what you need to do when you call off a wedding