Your wedding day is one of high expectation and emotion. For this reason, for some brides and grooms it can turn into a day of disappointment, unhappy tears, and even conflict. Nearly every bride has been told and warned time and time again about the things that could go wrong on the “big day” – but it doesn’t have to be so! With some preparation and a positive outlook on the day itself, every bride can be a happy one – Cat Williams, relationship counsellor and author of Stay Calm and Content, tells you how.
How to prepare for your wedding day
Take care to cover possible small ‘emergencies’. Do all guests and suppliers have directions to the church and/or venue and a number to call (not yours) if they get lost? Does everyone involved in the ceremony or reception know their role, where they have to be, and when? Have you allowed plenty of time to have your hair done, get ready, and take photographs or drink champagne? Have you tried on everything in advance? Does someone have the rings, any important documents required, and the money to pay the band etc.?
Put together a kit of emergency items in case something goes wrong, e.g. make-up, safety pins, hair pins, hairspray, etc., and a change of shoes so that you can enjoy dancing later when your new wedding shoes are killing you.
If you have a wedding coordinator make sure he or she is there on the day, or if not, entrust a friend or family member with being the ‘point of contact’ for the photographer, florist, catering staff, band, DJ etc., otherwise you will be answering questions all day.
Write a note to your fiancé and other people who are important to you for them to open on the morning of your wedding day. Explain what this day means to you, and express your love and appreciation. It is likely that you will become ‘swept up’ and will not be able to spend as much time as you would like with the people you care most about, so let them know what they mean to you in advance and you won’t be worried if you don’t find time to say it out loud.
Talk to a trusted friend before the day and ask them to be a ‘shoulder to cry on’ if you feel emotional or overwhelmed on the day itself.
How to stay calm and serene on your wedding day
Get as much sleep as possible the night before – everyone is more emotional when they are tired. Don’t forget to eat on the day. Have a good breakfast and ask someone to carry some water and snacks for you, you are likely to need them.
Be aware that friends or relatives who don’t normally spend much time together might be more stressed than usual. However, it is your big day, you are not responsible for ‘making them happy’. If conflicts do happen don’t get involved, spend time with guests who are enjoying themselves, and especially your new husband – this is your special day so stay focused on each other.
Some guests might grumble about where they are sitting at the reception, how many photos they are in, or what the food or drink is like. Gracefully ignore them – they are being rude and it is impossible to meet everyone’s expectations – you have thought carefully about what feels right for your wedding day, and that is all that matters.
If something small goes wrong (which happens at most weddings) keep it in perspective, it is not the most important part of the day. We all care about our appearance and about ‘getting things right’, but we cannot control everything – the most important thing of all is that you have become a Mr and Mrs.
If someone upsets you find a quiet place (e.g. the loo!) for a few minutes. Calm yourself by taking slow deep breaths. Say to yourself “I am okay, this day is about feeling loved and happy, I can ignore anything which distracts me from feeling that way’. Whatever another person has thoughtlessly said or done will be about their self-esteem, i.e. making themselves feel important at the time, it is very unlikely they would want to hurt or upset you on purpose.
Above all, remember that your wedding day is about marrying the person you love. Try to find a few moments in the day to share just with each other. The most exhilarating and private moment is often when you are in your wedding car driving away from the ceremony. Hold each other’s hands, look into each other’s eyes, and remember that moment for the rest of your life…
Cat Williams’ new book Stay Calm and Content is out now, available for £9.99 from Amazon.