When I got married, my mind was spinning with a million ideas about what I should make sure I did on our wedding day. I wanted to hang out with friends who’d traveled from out of town for the weekend. I wanted to make time to really focus on my new husband. Others suggested we should keep an eye to the religious experience. Some of our parents thought our priority should be making time for relatives.
So at the end of the day, I boiled it down to this: just try to stay in the moment. Truly allow myself to enjoy the special moments. How hard could that be, right?
*insert chuckle here*
It all seemed easy until I was standing there waiting to walk down the aisle. *breathe in, breathe out* And suddenly I couldn’t get my emotions in check to save my life. I was freaked out, completely overwhelmed with excitement. I was somewhere way outside the moment, and I had to start walking. So walk I did, with my daddy, and right then I realized that there are moments, and there are moments. On your wedding day all kinds of moments will be thrown at you. The tears will flow, anxiety may take over, joy will cause you to nearly to burst. It will not always be a calm yoga class.
With all of that fresh on my mind, I still think that trying to stay in the moment is one of the best things you can do on your wedding day. Here are my best tips for trying to enjoy the day (and remember it all) you put all that never-ending effort into planning.
1.Begin your day with a little relaxation: Start your day out just for you. If you’re getting married in the evening, take some time to read a few chapters of a book, take a long, relaxing bath, or just do your morning rituals. Diffuse your favorite essential oils while getting ready. If you’re getting married in the morning, pick people you love to surround you as you get ready. This includes your partner, if you desire.
2.Put the electronics away: This goes for tablets, iPods, laptops—anything that might distract you. On your day, you don’t need to be the one in charge of phone calls. That is what the wedding coordinator is there to do. You don’t need to check Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat or any other social media platform that day. In fact, just give your phone to someone else so you’re not even tempted.
3.Make sure you eat: Load up on the good stuff—nuts, fruit, vegetables. Actually make sure you put food and water into your body at regular intervals, especially if you’re getting married in the summer. I hired a coordinator for my day and I am grateful, I lost track of time with getting hair and make up done, chatting with my sisters and she was there regularly to make sure I had something good to eat and drink.
4.Accept early on that weddings happen the way they happen: You can’t control the weather, your uncle stepping on your dress, your flower girl spilling juice down the front of her dress, your ring bearer throwing a tantrum before walking down the aisle, the wedding schedule getting a little behind schedule, your maid of honor getting lost on her way to the ceremony, or any number of things that could go wrong on your wedding day—and there are always things that can go wrong. Release any expectations that you can. Let your coordinator and other vendors on site handle these issues while you spend time with those nearest and dearest to you.
5.Make sure someone you trust is in charge: You don’t have to have a maid of honor or best person, but it’s worth having a wing person who has your back, whether or not he or she is standing at the altar with you. This is the person who is the designated point for phone calls, the person who can make a final décor call, the person who keeps tabs on all the little details of the wedding, the person who makes sure everything is lined up so you can focus on the more meaningful moments that are happening around you. This person can be a wedding coordinator or professional bridesmaid.
6.Wear something you can move in: There endless supply of clothing options in the wedding world, and plenty of them won’t restrict your movement or stop you from being able to take a deep cleansing breath. Consider purchasing wedding attire that doesn’t restrict your movement so you can keep your head space free of thoughts like, “Crap, I can’t breathe.”
7.Take a moment or two to lock eyes with someone who can ground you: It may not be feasible to make eye contact with every single person as you walk down the aisle, but if you can pull it off, make sure to toss a glance at someone who can ground you like no one else as you make your way. If that person is your partner, hone in. For me, I looked at my sisters (they were standing beside each other). They have been an amazing support system my entire life. I knew they would keep me calm with silent encouragement. If I looked at my husband I would have been overjoyed with emotion..again.
8.Steal away for a few minutes totally alone with your partner: After the ceremony, the two of you go off, totally by yourselves (no photographer, no one) just to bask in the fact that you’re married. During the cocktail hour is the perfect time for this quiet moment. The photographer won’t mind and I promise your guests will not notice!
9.Remember it is YOUR day and that you can shape the moments you want to have. It’s not wrong to say “I’m going to hang out with people before the ceremony,” or to insist that your brand-new partner pay attention to you a few moments before the reception begins. In other words, don’t let your wedding day happen around you. With that in mind also realize it’s okay if you’re not in the moment. You can’t be totally present every single second of every day especially on a day as momentous as your wedding day. There will be moments when you’re overwhelmed, or emotionally burned out… and you know what? That’s probably exactly what you need. I will say it again, just breathe.
10.Take care of your emotional well-being: Sure, you want to say hi to everyone, but you also want to sit down and have a snack, breathe, and just giggle together in a corner. Don’t forget to do that. Those moments where I sat at various tables for a few moments instead of rushing to get to everyone by a certain time were my favorite.
11.Let the feelings happen. All of them. If ever there’s a day to just feel every single feeling possible, it’s your wedding day. That means all of those feelings might not be love, bliss, and joy. There will be moments of shock, frustration, and who knows what else. I had moments on my wedding day where I felt out on top of the world, and other moments where I felt totally disappointed. It can be a roller coaster, so ride it. Luckily, I had friends and family around me to ground me and snap me back onto the more relaxed, happy train.
12.Just step back and observe. Every hour or so, try to take a minute to stop, look around, and take it all in. You are in the midst of celebrating your love and creating joyful memories to last life time.
There you go, those are my top suggestions for remembering the details and enjoying the ride of emotions on your wedding day.
What helped YOU on your special day?