There are 12 hours before the big day – your big day!
Every place card is set, your manicure is flawless, your dress has been picked up, the cake has been delivered to the venue, each member of the bridal party know the procession of the day, the flowers have been collected and everything in between is finally complete.
But the most nerve-wracking part for brides is still ahead. It’s time for the live show, not the rehearsal. Everyone will tell you to just stay calm and enjoy the moment. Sounds ideal doesn't it?
Some women are capable of taking one deep breath and relaxing into their day, however it’s not so easy for some.
So here are a few basic tips to help keep your nerves at bay.
THE NIGHT BEFORE THE WEDDING
This is not the night to be making dinner plans with friends or spring cleaning your wardrobe (as overdue as it may be).
Just take this time to sit back and relax with your favourite book or movie – preferably one you have seen before or a comedy as it will feel familiar and easy – with your sister, mum, best friend or any person in your life who makes you feel at ease.
Order takeaway or ask a family member to make your favourite dish.
Avoid new experiences
It’s great to be up for new culinary experiences and foreign cuisines but the night before your wedding is not the time to test it out!
Even if you have a strong stomach, avoid eating something you have never consumed before just in case it does not agree with you in some way.
Also, avoid new skincare or haircare products. If you are washing your hair, stick to the same shampoo and conditioner and don’t try a new face mask or cleanser or an overnight miracle cream in a bid to improve your skin at the last minute.
The last thing you want is a bad reaction or a break out to upset your skin’s canvas.
Don’t look at devices
I know this is a nightly habit for many that may be hard to break but you never know what you will come across scrolling on your smartphone through the day’s social media madness.
Perhaps you will see another person’s wedding and start comparing, you may read an article (like this) giving you advice on what you should or should not have done in the lead up to your big day or you will come across a satirical read about the challenges and the trials of marriage.
So put the phone or tablet down. Plus, it is proven that the blue and white light emitted from digital screens prevents your brain from releasing a hormone known as melatonin, which is what tells your body it is time for sleep.
Get an early night
At risk of sounding like your mother on every school night, you will need an early night because the next day is going to persist from early morning until late at night. If your body is not attune to being in bed before 10pm, try having a warm bubble bath and drinking a cup of chamomile tea to help relive anxiety.
Try some meditation, listen to soothing music, light a scented oil candle or pop on an eye mask to make your sleeping environment as tranquil as possible.
Whatever helps you fall asleep – including counting sheep – you must do it the night before your wedding day!
THE DAY OF THE WEDDING
It doesn’t matter how addicted to coffee you are – stay away from it on the morning of the big day – the last thing you need is more wedding day jitters! (Also, you don’t want the scent of coffee on your breath.)
Don’t Forget To Eat
It doesn’t matter how much you have dieted to fit into that gown – eating on your wedding day is non-negotiable! Enjoy a hearty breakfast with plenty of sustenance in the early morning and again, stay away from caffeine.
Consider packing some light and nutritious snack foods to nibble on in the limo before the ceremony, before professional photos (check there is nothing stuck between the teeth afterwards) and before you get to the reception venue.
Remember, it is likely that you will be pressed for time to eat the full three courses throughout the day. Whatever you eat, keep it as mess-free as possible – stains on the white dress will only add to stress levels!
Put away your phone
Turn off your phone, put it on airplane mode and leave it at home or give it to a member of your bridal party.
Our phones can sometimes trigger added and unwanted emotions which add to stress levels. It’s just one day.
You can get back to the text messages, emails and Facebook notification and Snapchats after you have tied the note and danced the night away.
Smile and laugh
Simple yet effective and you will feel better for it. Laughing instantly reduces the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline) and triggers the production of serotonin and endorphins which, as the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, reduce the effects of stress.
It’s your big day – have fun and don’t sweat the small stuff that people won’t even notice.