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Your Wedding Day Forecast: Calm and Clear

Alanis Morrissette warned us of the so-called irony of “rain on your wedding day”, but for today’s brides, a chance of rain isn’t the primary cause for the sleepless nights that can often come with the territory when planning for the big day. From the guest list and seating arrangements to the music and dances, brides have to work hard to combat an overload of anxiety that can too-often overshadow the special season of wedding planning.

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February 13, 2019

Alanis Morrissette warned us of the so-called irony of “rain on your wedding day”, but for today’s brides, a chance of rain isn’t the primary cause for the sleepless nights that can often come with the territory when planning for the big day.  From the guest list and seating arrangements to the music and dances, brides have to work hard to combat an overload of anxiety that can too-often overshadow the special season of wedding planning.

Here are three of the most common, yet often understated, concerns that can weigh heavily on a bride’s mind – and what you can do to calm the fears that surround them:

Tripping Down the Aisle:  This is a biggie!  Most of us have taken an embarrassing misstep from time to time, but at no other moment is coordination, balance, and gracefulness more coveted than the moment the bride takes her steps down the aisle as the guests stand and look on.  It’s an understandable concern, but it doesn’t need to plague your nightmares.  Remember:  

  • You’ll be walking slowly.  This, alone, will help you to feel more sure-footed, even if you’re wearing heels that are a bit higher than you’re accustomed to wearing.  
  • You’ll be wearing a smile.  Countless studies show that when you smile, you innately become more confident and feel more in control of any given situation.
  • You’ll have fewer steps to take than you think.  When you’re staring down the aisle, the brain can play some pretty lowball tricks on you, making the distance of your travel appear far more daunting than it truly is.  Keep in mind that the pathway down the aisle is going to be a shorter distance than your fears may cause you to believe.
  • You’ll likely have some help.  If you’ll have an escort, rely on this special person to help you maintain your balance.  Even if you do start feel yourself stepping a little uncomfortably, taking a subtly tighter grip on the arm of your escort can quickly put you back on course.

Need more reassurance?  While brides tripping down the aisle may be excellent fodder for YouTube, it’s a rare occurrence.  The chance of you making even so much as an obvious misstep down the aisle is quite slim.  Mind your posture.  Take a deep breath…or three, and remember, you’re beautiful and you’ve got this!

Complaints from Bridesmaids:  It may seem cliché, but the age-old story of bridesmaids complaining about their dresses is still a thing – and unfortunately, the dresses may not be the only cause of an occasional bridesmaid meltdown.  Anything from the hairstyle choices to who said what when can cause a squabble in your squad.  Remember:

  • They love you.  Even if they utter the occasional complaint here and there, your bridesmaids are a part of your celebration because of the relationship that they have with you (not necessarily one another).  If they need to vent a little about something petty, you can help cool the hot buttons by thanking them for being there for you.  More often than not, having a gentle reminder about why they’re there will help to shift the focus back on track and smooth out any minor concerns that may have been overshadowing the real significance of their role in your wedding.
  • They are nervous too.  Because they love you, your bridesmaids want to do the right things at the right times and look their best while doing it.  This bit of unintended pressure can cause anxiety to be expressed in the form of the occasional complaint here and there.  Just keep in mind that if your bridesmaids are blowing off a little steam, it’s most likely due to the pressure that they’re feeling to try and be at their best.  This is a good time to cut them a bit of slack and remind them of how much you appreciate having them stand beside you on your special day.
  • They will get over it.  Even if you find yourself in a situation where the bridesmaids are expressing more pronounced complaints about their appearance, attire, or role, even the biggest complaints or concerns will become of less importance when the big day arrives and after the ceremony, as well.  Little things feel a lot bigger when stress levels are high.  Thankfully, little things also have a way of sorting themselves out.

While it’s understandable that you want your entire wedding party to be happy and to have a great time, there’s only so much that you can do to help calm the nerves and settle any tensions between the individuals of your party.  Your time is best spent keeping calm and remembering that if in your wedding party has an issue, these big girls and boys can – and most likely will – sort out their concerns and fears on their own.  Give them the space to do just that.    

Family Drama:  Nothing is as uncomfortable as worrying about family politics and trying to please everyone from both families; and no family is without a fair share of at least a little drama.  From little digs to full-on feuds, brides often fear their most important day only out of dread of what other members of the family will say or do or feel.  Before you let worry of family matters cloud your thinking, remember:

  • You can’t control other people.   Naturally you want everyone to be happy, to get along, and to enjoy everyone’s company.  The reality is that there’s very little that you can do to make a big impact here.  Rather than obsessing over the seating arrangements, recognize that you’re not responsible for the relationships of other people.  While you can make some common-sense choices about seating, your role as a bride shouldn’t require you to feel the need to have the peacemaking skills of Gandhi.
  • You can’t see every perspective.  As a bride, you’re being put in the loop on nearly every decision and conversation that involves your wedding day.  For as appropriate as that is, it can also box in your vantage point, making every little thing feel larger than life.  Even the smallest rumblings of family tiffs can feel like the brewing of World War.  Remember that all families have issues and that your family is comprised of people who are coming together on your wedding day to celebrate the moment with you and fiancé.  Don’t let fears of discord deflate the momentum of YOUR big day!
  • You exude positivity energy.  Your wedding epitomizes love - the love that you’re expressing as you begin your marriage, the love between the family and friends who gather together to celebrate that love, alongside you.  Remember that love is the running theme on your wedding day – and nothing and no one, not even an obstinate family member or two, can overshadow the energy of love that’s running through your wedding day.

No matter what form a bride’s anxiety takes, it’s an unwanted guest when you’re planning your wedding.  It’s important to remember that even for lengthy engagements, the actual season of wedding planning – and the wedding day itself – are precious, once-in-a-lifetime moments.  Don’t let a second of this cherished time be tainted with undue stress.  Enjoy the process.  Seek support from the people closest to you and make the most of every facet of it all.  Remember that jitters are normal – just like spring rain; and like the rain, they can help you to grow and be stronger.  Embracing a little wedding day rain?  Now that’s ironic.

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