As a make-up artist I speak to a lot of future brides on a personal level and have learnt a lot about how brides feel and what they endure before their big day. I recommended Ruth to many of my brides who have experienced fantastic results. I hope Ruth can help you answer some of your most frequent questions and assist you in managing your stress and controlling your nerves, to ensure you enjoy your special day!
Why do brides fear walking down the aisle?
Most brides fear walking down the aisle because it’s something they haven’t done before! They are the star of the show but many feel conspicuous because they know that all eyes are on them. Their minds work overtime – Do they look perfect? Is the dress lying right? Is their hair in place? Is their makeup still ok? Will they stumble when saying their vows? Will they forget what to say?
A rehearsal can help in terms of being familiar with the building but of course there are no people there. Visualisation is a good way of “walking down the aisle” in your mind. Seeing your man waiting for you, imagining Aunty Mary and Uncle Fred and everyone else watching you. The more you do this, the more familiar it becomes and it feels less scary as your mind accepts this picture with you being calm and relaxed for the real thing.
Deep breathing before you walk in also helps. Remember that the person giving you away may also feel nervous and need a bit of reassurance.
Why does planning a wedding become so stressful?
People talk about Wedding “Stress” but it is in fact pressure, which goes away after the event itself. That doesn’t stop the feelings of stress however.
Planning any large event is very demanding on both mental and physical energy not to mention emotional. It can feel overwhelming and a sense of losing control can take over. It is supposed be a happy day and you know what you want. So why is everyone else, friends and family offering ideas and advice which can be confusing and cause resentment and friction?!
Signs that things are becoming too much include feeling irritable, not being able to concentrate or sleep, eating or drinking too much, crying for no reason, feeling panicky, having butterflies, headaches and constantly worrying and struggling to make decisions.
There are loads of wedding planning books on the market with guidelines and things to do in them. Having one of these or creating your own is important to keep track of things and reduce pressure. Start to plan as soon as you can – it doesn’t matter how far in advance!
How can a bride prepare for the big day?
Brainstorm on dates, venues, guest list, invitations, photography, dress, bridesmaids, best man, ushers, caterers, transport, honeymoon, budget etc. Then work your way through them with your partner and families, prioritise on a timeline. Learn to delegate tasks to family and friends in doing some research on prices etc. Say NO if you don’t agree with something – don’t be persuaded into something you don’t feel right about (trust your instincts) Proper planning prevents pressure!
As tasks are completed, they can be crossed off and not worried about. You may need to check or confirm a few things nearer the date, but taking a step by step approach reduces pressure and keeps you in control. Get someone else to organise your hen night but make sure they plan something you will enjoy! (tell them what you DON’T want!)
The week before the wedding, pamper yourself by having a spa day, maybe as part of you hen night, plan hair trials, make up tan and nails, take a walk in the country. Ask if you need help, rather than panicking or worrying.
What does ‘Cold feet’ really mean?
Cold feet is the term given to pre wedding nerves. Am I doing the right thing? Does he love me as much as I love him? Will it last?
These questions and concerns are all perfectly normal and probably go through the minds of most brides (and grooms)
However – if in doubt, leave it out! If you love your partner and you have a warm, trusting honest relationship, then you will be fine.
If however you are getting married because “everyone else is” or you are being pressured by parents or friends, you still have feelings for someone else, you are scared that your partner will be unfaithful on you, it’s time to settle down, you want kids, so he’ll do, you don’t want to be left “on the shelf”you think you can change him once you’re married – then think again!
Be honest with yourself, first, is priority number one. Then you can figure out what to do from there. It is better to be honest with yourself now and call it off or delay it than face the upset and costs of divorce later on. Don’t worry about what other people think, this is YOUR life, not theirs!
How can a bride be more confident on their wedding day?
Confidence is built on achievement, self belief and self esteem. If the bride is comfortable and secure on her wedding day, knowing that she has achieved all the planning and preparation necessary for the day to go well, then she will feel relaxed and confident. The breathing technique helps you stay calm and can be used at any time. If you have low self esteem and lack confidence generally, then that will transfer itself to your wedding day. Get some professional help to ensure that your self belief and self esteem are where they should be so you can enjoy your big day!
A – Z of Wedding Tips
A – is for Anxiety
Many brides feel anxious at the thought of planning the day and this can increase as the date gets closer. Contact Ruth to relieve stress and anxiety.
B – is for Budget
Making a budget should be one of the first things you do when planning for your wedding. Include any contributions from family and then try and stick to that number.
C – is for Centrepieces
Decorations that go in the centre of your tables at your reception. More often than not, these are made up of an array of flowers which can be placed in various sized vases. Other ideas include candles, balloons, vintage books, sweet jars, bottles or candelabras. You could also have something more personalised to you as a couple.
D – is for Design
Think about what overall look you want for your wedding. Get a mood board together and design something that fits in with your personality. Are you going to have a theme? Certain colours? Textures? Putting a design together can be so much fun and seeing it come to life on the day is a great feeling.
E – is for Emergency Kit
This is something your wedding planner will have. Alternatively you can make your own. Essential things to include are:- tissues, sewing kit, super glue, basic first aid kit, double sided tape, deodorant and mints.
F – is for Favours
Thank you gifts for your guests as a token of appreciation for their presence. Traditionally, favours used to be sugared almonds. These days, couples are a bit more creative with their favours. There are hundreds of ideas you can use. A few ideas are bubbles, miniature bottles of alcohol, preserves, plants or even scratch cards!
G – is for guest book and Gifts for mothers, bridesmaids , best man
Most couples still opt for the traditional guest book for their guests to write a message in, whilst others are choosing different ways.
H – is for Honeymoon
Book your honeymoon nice and early when you can get a good deal. Having a well deserved break after your wedding day will be greatly needed.
I – is for Information sheet
Include these in with your invitations. They should contain all the information your guests will need to know for your wedding day, such as a list of nearby hotels and taxi firms as well as directions to the ceremony and reception.
J – is for Jewellery
Any jewellery you wear on your wedding day should be plain and compliment the dress. Your wedding ring is the most important piece of jewellery so this needs to stand out over your other items.
K – is for Kids Table
The little ones will love it. A table just for them. Provide a goodie bag for each of them at their place setting. This could include a colouring book and pencils, stickers or treats. As well as keeping them happy it also entertains them for a while.
L – is for Lingerie
Wearing the right lingerie is a must. Many brides want sexy underwear, but remember, you will have to wear it all day under your wedding dress, so going with support and comfort may be the better option.
M – is for Music
This is usually a big one where wedding planning is concerned. The norm used to be either a DJ or a band. These days, couples are opting for both. Music usually makes the reception, so make sure you do your researchbefore you book and your guests will thank you for it.
N – is for Nails
Everyone will be wanting to see that gorgeous ring of yours, so go ahead and show it off by treating your nails to a manicure.
O – is for Organisation
One thing I am big on. If you haven’t got this one sorted then you may as well give up now. Planning something as big and special as your wedding day takes a lot of careful organisation so get plenty of help and support around you because you are going to need it.
P – is for Planner
More and more couples are choosing to hire a wedding planner for their big day. They can take away the stress, save you time and money, and they don’t take over, so it’s no wonder they are becoming highly popular.
Q – is for Quiet
Ssssshhhhh. Take some time out throughout the day as newlyweds. It will be hard to grab that precious time together when guests are pulling you in all directions to get your attention.
R – is for Reception
Where the fun begins! You and your guests can start to relax a bit more. When booking a reception, choose somewhere that suits not only your budget but your personality. Ensure you receive a written document of everything that is included from your chosen venue.
S – is for Speeches
Traditionally it is the men’s duty to do the speeches but a lot of brides choose to do their own too. Plan your speech in advance and make sure it is short and to the point. The recommended time per speaker is five minutes each. Anymore than that and your guests eyes start to glaze over.
T – is for Transport
Get written quotes from a few different wedding transport companies so you can compare. Remember, cheapest isn’t always best! You don’t want to be late for your own wedding.
U – is for Ushers
The Groom’s ‘squad’. They are responsible for ensuring that all the guests and family members are escorted to their seats as they arrive for the ceremony.
V – is for Vows and Videos
Often couples go with the standard vows that are set but writing your own vows can bring a really personal touch to your ceremony. A celebrant can help you with this. Ask someone to video the event.
W – is for Website
Couples can now set up their own wedding websites for free. There are plenty to choose from so pick one which is suited to you. Some are free and some ask for a small fee. It can be used to help keep your guests up to date with all the details of the wedding day.
X – is for Kisses
Lip balm at the ready! You will both be getting plenty of kisses throughout the day.
Y – is for Your Day
Remember is it all about you and your day so make the most of it and have what you want, not what someone else wants you to have.
Z – is for Zzzzzz’s
Getting a decent night sleep before your wedding day is really important and after all the planning is done and you have had your dream day, you will need plenty of sleep then too. Phew!
A-Z Adapted from wedding planner: Christina Barker
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