::10 Ways to Manage Wedding Day Anxiety::

Raise your hand if you’re a fellow introvert.

The struggle is real. I know.

I’m actually an introvert with extrovert qualities. And it is exhausting. People expect one thing but I’m perfectly happy living as a hermit under a blanket on my couch watching Hallmark movies and eating nothing but Lucky Charms forever until the end of time.

When I was engaged, I was super terrified of being the center of attention on our wedding day. I really wanted to elope and have an intimate gathering but there is nothing intimate about the size of our families and our dads are so networked that it just wasn’t possible. So 300 people is what we invited and a shot a tequila is what got me down the aisle.

Guys, I’m not a shot taker. Those are reserved for a rare occasion and my wedding was not on the shortlist. But it happened and it was just what I needed to take the edge off before those double doors opened.

But I know I’m not alone in my trepidation to have all eyes on me as the bride walking down the aisle. The last thing I wanted to be worrying about is if my hair was just right or if I had something in my teeth. I just wanted to set eyes on my groom and walk in without heart palpitations. My main goal was to not fall. But don’t worry, I saved that for our first dance. Just call me grace. Knowing I’m not alone in my wedding day anxiety, I want to share my favorite tips for staying calm and handling all of the attention.

10 Ways to Manage Wedding Day Anxiety

1.       Yoga in the morning! There are plenty of instructors that will come to your venue and lead you and your wedding party in a calm routine to get the day started peacefully.

2.       Do bridal portraits ahead of time as a trial run so you can tweak anything that doesn’t feel right.

3.       Host a welcome party. In addition to the rehearsal dinner, end the evening by inviting out of town guests for a night cap. It allows you to go ahead and say hi to some people, relieving some of the wedding nerves and pressure.

4.       Pray with your wedding party prior to walking down the aisle. Set aside five minutes to just be in the moment with them. Or with your parents.

5.       Drink a glass of champagne. A little classier than my shot of tequila. But I didn’t like bubbles at the time. All the more to judge, I know. OR, wear Hayley Page and drink a beer. This is my girl. 

6.       Eat throughout the day and stay hydrated. Jitters can cause you to forget but it’s a nasty cycle because a lack of calories only makes it worse.

7.       Do a first look. Not only does this allow you more time with your groom, it can have a major calming effect.

Photo by Andrew Chan

Photo by Andrew Chan

8.       Listen to music that takes you to your happy place.

9.       Hire a wedding planner to be your buffer.

10.   Buy a dress that is YOU. Don’t worry about “wow”ing your groom. Being yourself means you will be comfortable and when you are comfortable, you radiate and THAT is what will “wow” your groom.

Even in being that one that secretly wanted to elope, I can tell you I’m so glad I didn’t. There will never be another time in my life that so many of my favorite people are in one room. Except maybe my funeral and I don’t know about you but I don’t really plan on “being there” for that event. There is beauty in elopement and I would never discourage it. Weddings are not for the faint at heart but I do want to encourage you that if this “behind the scenes” gal can do it, you can too.

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Managing wedding day anxiety by Austin Wedding Planner, Heavenly Day Events. 

Managing wedding day anxiety by Austin Wedding Planner, Heavenly Day Events. 

::11 Ways to Manage a Wedding Guest List::

Wedding guest lists are often the first thing that causes stress between families in what is otherwise a really exciting time. Headcounts either determine what is realistic within a certain budget or perhaps they dictate what a budget has to be in order to invite everyone. There is so much to consider when deciding who makes the final invitation list so without further to do, here are some tips and tricks I offer to my clients so they feel like they can manage that daunting wedding planning task.

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::Character flaws- fix and change or just be aware?::

Unfortunately, our flaws can create conflict within relationships so as I’m talking about this, I’m bearing in mind that maybe there is a characteristic that is driving a wedge between you and your fiancé. Perhaps it’s putting a damper on the engagement and wedding planning. Be encouraged, though!

Just because we can’t change how we are wired doesn’t mean we can’t have healthy relationships. Being aware of our weaknesses can actually be our biggest strength.

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::Wedding Exit Ideas::

Weddings are what? Tens of thousands of dollars and they are up and done in 4-6 hours. A year of planning for 5 hours, guys. Mind blowing. We’ve got these massive parties, we spend a shiny penny or two on them and then we close ‘em off with… womp womp, sparklers.

Half of you just said ‘oh thank God, she said it’ and the other half of you (like me, even though I said it) LOVE sparklers. I mean, I do say a prayer for my hair every time I coordinate a sparkler exit and now that the years have passed and I feel safe confessing, I may have once pushed an aunt that was pressing a lit sparkler against the bride just as she was about to walk out. It kind of surprised me to discover that a sparkler exit had turned into a full contact sport, and I’ll never forget her face or the instant regret I felt BUT, the bride did not catch on fire. So there’s that.

All in, they are beautiful in my opinion but mercy are they a bear to manage. Alcohol, fire, lots of girls doused in hairspray and perfume… it’s just a bag of fun.

With that said, vendors have inside jokes about them and really do wish for new and fresh ideas. But before we start, there are two others I’d like to talk about. Rice and Chinese Lanterns. Really, most venues won’t allow either but for the ones that do and the couples that consider them, I urge you to reconsider. Rice kills birds, which maybe a lot of people don’t know? And Chinese Lanterns are a good way to burn down the hill country. Oh, I guess there is a third: balloon releases. The litter and harm to animals makes me sad.

TWO OF MY FAVORITE EXITS

Two of my favorite exits of this last year were pom-poms and streamers. The pom poms were unique and everyone got excited about them!

Photo Credit: Two Pair Photo

Photo Credit: Two Pair Photo

The streamers were just plain hilarious. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about how long these strands were so the couple got tangled as they progressed through the line. Adam made the best of it and gave us his best inner-Chris Farley while Toni used him as a shield to make her way behind him. It was awesome and I can still hear the laughing. Total memory!

BUT I would go with the right length if doing it again. I will say, we were particular about finding ones that were easy on the clean-up. The streamers stayed attached to the poppers so nothing flew away.

streamer wedding exit

Photos by Justin Douglas Photo 

 

AN EXIT I’D LIKE TO SEE

I’d really like to see a Second Line as an exit for a wedding. If you’re at all familiar with NOLA style weddings, you’ve likely seen one. Having walked Bourbon Street as part of one for a friend's wedding, I can't tell you how fun they are for guests! For everyone. Basically, the bride and groom lead a parade. They are directly followed by a small jazz band with their guests following suit. In the streets of New Orleans, we walked about a mile while all of the rooftop bars and people on the street danced alongside us and cheered on the couple. I think Austin is set up well for this, especially for couples getting married downtown!

Styled Shoot Photo by Heather Johnston Photography

Styled Shoot Photo by Heather Johnston Photography

 

If you’re really into the sparkler look but not totally into sparklers, I recommend connecting with companies like Big Dog Pyro about flare paths and even dance floor statements that can close the night out in style. In a lot of ways, I feel like a controlled “show” is much safer than waving, wands of fire, in the hands of the inebriated.

Whatever you choose, think about clean up. Anything that guests are tossing or don’t know what to do with once used (eh hem, sparklers) is a higher risk for clean-up fines. In all fairness, it’s pretty rare that guests are belligerent about sparkler trash because we always have galvanized buckets for them to use for discarding but it never fails that 2 or 3 weddings every year, there is a guest list that just drops them and walks away. Trying to pick them all up in the dark is impossible. Flower petals are usually fine and easy to sweep if the terrain isn’t rocky so just check for that. I know confetti has gotten shut down pretty fast by most venues. The clean-up is wild. And unfortunately, certain types can stain if they get wet and I promise you don’t want that taken out of your security deposit.

::The ONE Reason You Need to Have Wedding Videography::

I’m often asked my opinion about doing video and I have to remind couples that it’s all relative. I don’t have the answer on how many times you may or may not watch it. Some really may watch it all the time and others, rarely, if only ever the one time. Will you have a little girl that will play dress up in mommy’s gown while watching daddy kiss mommy on video? I just really don’t know.

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:: Managing Conflict::

In an ideal world, what would you choose for your relationship… conflict resolution or conflict management?

I feel like America throws “resolution” into the ring and binges on popcorn and coke while watching it get beat like a dead horse. We push and push for something that just doesn’t or can’t always happen. In all reality, I actually think we avoid conflict. But when we are knee deep, we do long for resolution.

In our home, I may never get used to John’s sudden sense of urgency over something extremely random and I can assure you that he is a bit over rescuing me from lost keys. But these things are not going to change so why fight about them over and over, seeking complete extinction of behaviors we don’t like in the other? We’ve recognized that while some things can be resolved, others are simply best to just manage.

I think we tend to get our panties in a wad on this resolution thing. Granted, random senses of urgency and lost keys are small fruit compared to the big guns but the point is that we get so worked up over conflict that we can’t just walk through it. One party demands it never happen again and the other just shuts down. So inevitably, it does happen again and the separation of thought grows with deeper darkness each time.

There are some important things to consider here. Just so we are clear, I’m not encouraging anyone to walk through an unsafe storm. Being mistreated is grounds for deeper conversation. I’m talking “every day”, “don’t even know what we are yelling about”, “you didn’t fold the laundry and now it’s wrinkled” kind of distractions that drag us down. With that in mind, what do we do with the mess of it? There are a few options but we will focus on these:

1.       Decide if it’s a battle worth picking. If not, then call a spade a spade, remind each other you’re ultimately on the same team and take a “time-out” to cool off. If yes, go to step two.

2.       Here, in step two, you get to talk about it after cooling off.

When discussing, focus on the emotion, not the action. The action is likely less of an issue than the feeling it sparks. For me, I can feel disrespected by things based on a root issue. An action can trigger an issue and I'll go into a confusing frenzy because really, what he did wasn't all that big of a deal.

If it’s true that opposites attract, we will always find things to disagree about and that is okay. With our differences comes opportunity for growth and learning about things beyond our own perspective. Find the good in your differences and lean into conflict. Don’t be scared to disagree. We are so much healthier when we just simply agree to disagree. Sure, there are things that really need a team consensus. But if at the end of the day, the topic doesn’t impact the bigger picture, let it go.

Sometimes, the best way to salvage a bad day is to manage the moment rather than pushing to solve the world's problems. 

::The Art of Apologizing::

Apologizing requires making a choice but having some strategies can help! Pride comes before the fall but our goal is to avoid that fall. Let's chat!

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::Six Things to Consider When Hiring a Wedding Band::

So you want the best wedding singer that money can buy? Awesome. Here are some things you need to consider when you are talking to different bands, especially in relation to the venue you have booked. Any oversight in these items could alter your wedding budget or cause conflicts in your wedding day timeline. All of these things should be in band contracts but their importance is often lost on couples that haven’t done this before. That’s okay, I’m here to help with that. Here are six things to consider when hiring a wedding band. 

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::2017 Wedding Trends::

Each year, we reflect on trends of the year before and awe at what is to come. 2017 has me particularly excited. I had the pleasure of attending Wedding MBA in the fall and according to WPIC, these are the trends that are going to get all of your Instagram hearts and comments.

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::Real Wedding- Anna + Benjamin::

Having had a few very young couples this year, I'm seeing the advantage they have going into marriage that some of us may not have had! Anna and Benjamin make this list and I wish them many years of fulfillment!.

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::Passion Project #1- Marriage Curriculum::

The combination of feeling equipped in my own marriage and having a unique audience of engaged couples has given me passion to speak about relationships! I want to talk about avoiding the pitfalls of engagement. I also want to present tools and resources that allow my couples to have open conversation and successful marriages. I think you all have known for a long time that I may plan weddings but it's always been about much more to me. 

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::How to have a wedding on a smaller budget.::

Who cares what your budget is.... your wedding will be awesome no matter the price tag! Don't let anyone tell you it can't be awesome. Sure, you may have to adjust that champagne taste on a beer budget but whatever, isn't craft beer all the rage these days anyway??? 

Today, I share about my wedding (on a lower budget) and the compromises I made to make that work. 

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::Are Weddings Over the Top?::

It's about attitude, not money. Come over and have some real talk with me. By now, you've learned I say what no one else is willing to say. It's a gut check, but it will save your relationships and sanity. 

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::Alcohol- Serving Responsibly::

Your wedding should most definitely be the best day of your life but alcohol can ruin it pretty quickly. Today, I'm sharing my experience and advice on how to approach this responsibly without killing all the fun of the day. There is a reason the State of Texas has laws around this, a 'why' behind your venue putting their foot down and context on why your catering / bartenders are doing what they do. No one is a jerk here. We want the best for you. So listen up! 

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::Why hire a Wedding Planner?::

There is a lot of information out there and it can be really overwhelming. Whether you think it's a sales pitch or not, the truth of the matter is that you need a leader. My wedding day was nuts! I was a corporate event planner and I thought I had it under control. I'm now a professional wedding planner to help other sweet souls avoid the train wreck of stress that I experienced.

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::The Pros and Cons of a First Look::

Deciding on doing a First Look or not can be a really emotional decision and no one should pressure you either way. There are some things to consider so join me as guest blogger, Justin Douglas, shares his perspective on the pros and cons. 

*Photo credit for all images: Justin Douglas Photography

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::Why is my Vendor a Jerk?::

Why is your vendor a jerk? Well, they likely aren't but I totally get why it can feel that way sometimes. Let's talk about what may be going on and then go over your feelings and how to address them! 

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::REAL WEDDING - Laura + Garth::

When good people find love, and focus on their marriage, they truly have the best day ever. Laura + Garth lived their dream day in the rolling Hill Country of Texas by saying their vows at Ma Maison and the rest is history!

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