Have I mentioned that I’m usually a very anxious individual? Well, if you don’t know, now you know. So you can imagine my overall worry for our wedding day. My stresses were a little unique, however. I didn’t worry much about the external factors, like if the schedule was going to be messed up or if weather was going to be bad or if the cake was the wrong flavor. Nope. But for months leading up to the day I was so worried about performing in front of the 120+ family and friends. As if I was the lead character on a major broadway production.
In my previous post I talked about my engagement process and getting through all the (very real) doubts and questions that run through a new bride (or groom!)’s head when preparing for a lifetime commitment. Once all that inner work was completed, I became much more confident in marriage and what comes after a wedding. But my brain, of course, needed to channel all that energy into worrying about something else: the actual wedding day. This is interesting because as Sheryl Paul describes in her book (and as I mentioned in my last post), most brides actually focus too much on the wedding day and not what comes afterwards, which usually leads to post-wedding blues. I was switched. Here are some actual thoughts that ruminated through my head constantly leading to the day:
- What if I don’t have enough energy to talk and socialize with everyone?
And then that comes off as really bitchy?
- What if I get so nervous walking down the aisle I projectile vomit? (Yep, real thought)
And then it makes it on YouTube then goes viral?
- What if I faint at the alter?
…And then it makes it on YouTube and goes viral?
- What if I can’t handle being the center of attention and have a public meltdown?
- What if ALL THE MONEY my parent’s spent on this doesn’t pay off and they think it was a waste and it was all my fault?
Ridiculous, right? Those thoughts aren’t really typical worries you see come out of a bride. I was so scared about performing well and depicting myself as really happy, energetic and blissful 24/7. I texted every new bride I knew for advice. Forgetting about the actual rational reality of it, which is I’ll be surrounded by people who love me not a bunch of Simon Cowell’s, I finally looked in the mirror and said, “get your sh*t together, Jenna.”
Spoiler Alert! I was the calmest and most present I have ever been on my wedding day. Here’s how:
Drop The Details.
Because that’s all they are. Details. Who cares? Multiple times my mom came in the room throughout the day with a minor issue. Every time my response was, “it’s okay, mom, it isn’t important.” Which would calm both her and everyone around me. It doesn’t matter if a couple flowers in your bouquet are welting, or if people can’t really see the seating chart cause it’s not perfectly placed, or if the schedule isn’t right on time. Do you want to know what does matter? It’s a doozy so get ready:
- You walk out of the night married to your person.
- You spent time with the people you love.
The morning of the wedding, my bridesmaids and I woke up slow. Hannah and I watched the sunrise and listened to music. Kate had a cup of coffee and read her book. We popped champagne and joked around just like any normal day. Ryan and I’s first look was the best part of the day because it was quality time with him. Forget insignificant details and cherish the quiet, human moments.
Do Not Have A Single Expectation.
I’ve heard it said, “expectations are planned disappointments.” Ever gotten really hyped up for New Years? Or your birthday? And then those days didn’t even come close to what you wanted? That’s because you expected in the first place. Believe me, I was always guilty of this. Hence why I’ve ended up ugly crying almost every single New Years except this past one – the one where I had no idea how the night would turn out and had no plan.
Once I let go of the concept of perfection and everything going to plan for my wedding, the day naturally fell into place. Not only did I start doing this for my wedding, but I am applying it to everyday life. Instead of telling myself those “what if’s” definitely won’t happen, I said, “Hm, maybe they will happen, maybe they won’t. Who’s to say?” Which brings me to my next point.
Accept And Surrender To What Is.
Buddha said, “serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance.” I accepted the fact that something may go wrong, and accepted the fact that I may not feel happy or energetic all day, and just generally accepted the day for what will be. It sounds simple, but that decision to surrender to what is, and not fight anything not going “my way,” was the single most important reason why I felt completely at peace all day. Again, this is an incredibly powerful tool to apply in your everyday life. It will change the way you see the world.
If you’re about to have a wedding, be along for the ride and don’t fight the wave. If you do this, you can’t be anything but present.