How do you cope with pre wedding nerves? Have you thought about it? If your prone to overthinking and getting a bout of the nerves, and lets face it, most of us do, especially on the lead up to the big day, then we have some top tips and advice for you on todays blog on how to deal with those pre wedding nerves and real life techniques that you can try at home. Here we catch up with mindset expert and coach, Dave Cottrell from Mindset by Dave, who talks us through his top tips for the big day and how to combat those pre wedding and wedding day nerves…
“So, let’s address the elephant in the room first. My name is Dave, that’s right I’m a bloke so although I’ve been a groom (twice) I’ve not been a bride. But don’t let that put you off all of the following advice is based on sound principles that can work when helping you get the most out of any experience!”
“Rule number 1 – We get better at things we do often. So the big key to any relaxation or mindfulness practices is to get accustomed to them ahead of the big day. This allows you to develop the skills of relaxation and mindfulness (yes these are skills) away from the pressure of the actual day. You wouldn’t step on stage to belt out a ballad without doing a bit of singing practice so we won’t have you turning up to your wedding without having a bit of practice of mindfulness.”
“The first technique to practice is positive visualisation. If you have any nerves/anxiety about the day I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s not because you’re thinking “oh my god, what if I turn up and everything goes perfect?” In fact it’s quite the opposite. Anxiety or panic attacks feed on creating the worst case scenario, we visualise this and it makes us anxious, the anxiety then causes us to think of even worse cases and so on. We’re going to flip this on it’s head by having you mentally rehearse everything going right.”
“So you’re going to picture the scene in your head, picture yourself looking amazing in your dress and your partner looking fantastic too. Picture the smiles on each of your faces. The guests enjoying themselves, the first dance going flawlessly. Pay attention to the details and if there’s anything that doesn’t look quite right rewind the image, change it and play it back with everything perfect. I start with this technique for several reasons…
1 . “The more you visualise that confident looking you on the big day, the more you begin to associate with being that person. You literally are practicing in your head, not just in an empty room or in front of the mirror, but in a virtual version of the exact day in your own mind. This builds confidence as confidence is not something we have, but rather something we do and in your visualisation you will see yourself handling yourself with confidence and elegance.”
2. “Practicing the best case scenario is a fantastic way to squash anxiety, nerves or apprehension. We begin to associate the day with all the wonderful feelings that will come as you start to imagine this image.”
3. “Doing this at bedtime is fantastic as it usually results in 1 of 2 things. Either you get the aforementioned good feelings, or you focus so intently on this one thing that your mind isn’t wandering and you fall asleep. It’s a form of mindfulness mediation called mental rehearsal and it is one of the best ways for getting ready for a situation that you can’t just have a practice run of!”
“The second technique is a very simple mindfulness exercise to help you take it all in on the big day. As with the previous technique we want to practice this ahead of time and throw away those pre wedding nerves. In fact why not start right now?”
1.”First take a great big breath in and hold it for a second. Now as you breath out imagine that time around you is slowing down. The whole world is moving just that little bit slower, but you are able to think, see, hear and feel in real time. Now bring your attention to something you can see, focus specifically on that one thing as if nothing else in the world is important. In your head (or out loud if you prefer) list three characteristics of what you are looking at; the colour, size or shape for example.”
2. “Now take another breath and as you breath out bring your attention to something you can hear, it could be something in the room and close, or maybe something further away, but focus directly in on that one sound. Now again list three characteristics of it; is it quiet or loud? Constant or changing? Clear of muffled? Finally on the next breath bring your attention to something you can feel. This could be an emotion of the sensation of your body in the chair or your clothes against your skin. Now give three characteristics to this feeling. Is it subtle or intense? Is it static or changing?”
3. “Now imagine this on the day. When you put it into practice there you could glance out from the top table and look at the faces of your guest in conversation. Take a moment to drink in this experience, maybe even take a mental snapshot. Listen to your partner talking to you or a guest and pay attention to all the different qualities of their voice, or maybe focus intently on the speeches (even the terrible jokes). Finally (and regularly) take a moment to acknowledge how you are feeling. The gratitude of having certain guests there, The butterflies before saying “I do”. The delicious taste of your eic wedding cake (mindful eating and drinking are a great way to make these things even more pleasurable).”
“Staying calm on the day. The above tips will most certainly help with this but an additional tip would be to not latch on to anything that goes wrong. The time for planning has been and gone by the time the day rolls around and despite all the best planning in the world weddings are complicated machines with a whole host of different liabilities (I mean guests) at them.”
It’s Your Day
“Remember this – it is YOUR day. Some people may want you at the bar doing shots, other may hide far from the dance floor and not engage with anyone. Your responsibility by this point is to enjoy things as much as possible and help your partner to as well (and if you’re lucky they’ll be on the same page!) So if you don’t like how someone is acting – and as long as it’s not directly interfering with the main proceedings – then just you do you and let them do them. I think it bears repeating… this is YOUR day!”
Pre Wedding Night Tips
“Eating and drinking on the night before/morning of. I have trained a lot of athletes and we have 1 very strong rule “nothing new the night before or day of an event”. This means no new food, no new drink, stick to what you know. Well you’re about to have the event of your lifetime so it pays not to leave anything to chance. In the build up to the wedding pay attention to your evening meals/drinks and particularly how they make you feel. Anything that makes you feel sluggish or bloated, particularly the next morning is best to stay away from. If you want to make a bit of an event out of this you could always have your maid of honour (or all the bridesmaids) over for a night a few weeks before the wedding and have a “dry run” where you have a meal together in the evening then have a few glasses of bubbles with breakfast. Day drinking in the name of bridal science? Why not.”
“Ultimately you want to experience the day as much as possible and getting ready with your bridal party is a big part of this (before all those stinky boys try to get some of the attention). A couple of glasses of bubbly can be part of this but please go in knowing your own limits, especially if you have lost a lot of weight leading up to the wedding, your alcohol tolerance might not be what it used to be! If you still want all the experience of this but with lower risks of turning up tipsy then how about mixing the fizz with some fruit juice, or even trying something alcohol free. Communicate these decisions with your Maid of Honour ahead of time and make sure they’re in your corner. That way you’ve got backup when that one bridesmaid who you only asked out of politeness to your future partner wants to turn the morning into a session.””Final tip for those pre wedding nerves? A great big breath can be a much bigger ally than you can imagine. Remember to use it!
Find this pre wedding nerves advice handy and want more tips and advice for your big day? Check out our online magazine BOND Bride
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