KEEP CALM. It's Your Wedding Day | Just Add Ginger

It's no secret - things can get really stressful on the lead up to your wedding day. As somewhat of a perfectionist, I knew that without enough time to prepare, I could easily succumb to pressure and turn in to a raging, quivering, quaking Bridezilla (with a capital 'b' for extra ferociousness!) 

But by putting some easy steps in to practice, come the wedding day (aside from a fussing, excitable Mama Ginger,) everything ran smoothly, and I was calm and relaxed right up until I put on my wedding dress. So for all my fellow fretting Brides, here are some of my top tips for keeping calm on your wedding day. 

You Can Never Be Too Organised

It's true. And it all started from the minute the invitations went out. Planning in advance, we stated our guests needed to be seated well ahead of time. This ensured there were no stragglers, and that everything (and everybody) was in place before I arrived for the ceremony. 

Okay, so this is going to sound very "Monica Gellar" of me, but on the day, to be absolutely sure everybody knew what they were doing and when, I wrote my bridesmaids an itinerary with approximate timings for everything, and a broken down list of what their duties were and when so that they were always ready should I need to call on them. All big tasks (speeches, photographer's aide) were delegated way ahead of time, so that the girls knew what specific jobs they had should they be needed. At the bottom of their itinerary were the numbers of my husband-to-be, my mum, and the venue so that if there were any questions problems, or queries, they could be contacted and I could be left to concentrate on keeping calm.

And the over-enthusiastic planning didn't stop there. Together with Ryan we sat down and divided all that was needed to dress the venue into envelopes, individually labelled and coordinated. There were table diagrams, check-lists and labels galore. I even wrote him a list for the wedding morning of what he needed to do at the venue so that nothing would be forgotten. 

It all may seem a little OTT, but it's always best to be as prepared as you can be. You never know when those pre-wedding jitters are going to kick in. Ryan was the epitome of calm right up to the wedding morning, and then he was a ball of nerves. Having these plans in place meant that even though he was stressing out, nothing got forgotten.

Let Yourself Breathe 

It's okay to feel anxious. To get stressed out. To feel those nerves. It's a bride's prerogative. All that time planning for your big day, making it all as perfect as you can, and then before you know it...BOOM, here it is! And you want it to be amazing.

If you're feeling wound up as you get ready for the wedding, it's alright to slip away and just have some moments to yourself. Pick somewhere quiet, with no noise, and just give yourself a minute or two to gather your thoughts. I did this twice whilst everyone was getting ready Once to go through my vows one last time (I honestly was so scared I'd cock them up,) and the second time for a toilet break. I didn't make a big deal that I was feeling a little nervous. I took myself out of all hustle and bustle, gave myself some time, and when I was ready, I came back.

I have to hand it to our photographers and my bridesmaids that day. They really helped to keep my grounded. MG was getting very over-excitable just before I got dressed, and me, having been cool , calm and collected for the majority of the morning could feel tension begin to bubble up inside me. And when I get really nervous, it takes a lot of control to re-centre my thoughts. I shake. I shake uncontrollably. And in that situation, I knew I'd probably start to cry and that would have been a disaster....I HAD FALSIES ON PEOPLE!

That's where your bridal party is your biggest support system. MG left the room, distracted with another task, and accompanied by a bridesmaid, whilst I got dressed with my other two bridal party members. Our photographer was also great, sensing I was close to tears, and ensuring I was okay. Within minutes, the atmosphere was returned to a relative state of calm, and the situation averted.

Set The Mood 

Never underestimate the power of music on your wedding morning. As soon as it was a reasonable hour, I turned on Spotify, and hit play on my "Wedding Morning Playlist," which was essentially the exactly same playlist of songs we had had for the Hen Night. I knew that playing relaxing, calming melodies would just not work for me. I needed something that would get me up and dancing, singing, smiling, dancing round the apartment, and that would create a massive firework display of excitement. The last thing I wanted was to be shaking from start to finish of the preparation process, and turning up to the wedding in a big dishevelled mess!

Of course, choose music that works for you. If you like soothing sounds, spa tracks, motown, 90's pop, rock, hip-hop, or jazz, make yourself a collection of your favourite tunes to play that morning to act as background noise, entertainment, and to set the right mood for you as you get ready.

Remember To Eat

Sound so simply, doesn't it? But it's something that's really, really important. Because the fact of it is on your wedding day itself, you might not get to eat that much. I remember having a few spoonfuls of soup (I was scared of spilling it on my dress,) about half of my main (my dress was quite fitted and space was limited,) and only a little of my dessert. Canap├ęs were lost on Ryan and I because we were having photographs taken, and by the time the evening reception came along, I just wanted to have my glasses of fizz and let my hair down. So food in the morning is so important. PG acted as our food delivery man, bring round a huge selection of pastries, juice, and chocolate milk, just in case I was too nervous to eat. There was fruit in the fridge from Friday night, and tea and coffee galore. Plenty for everyone and some to spare.

And it was breakfast that carried me through. Admittedly, it took me about an hour to eat it (I was here, there and everywhere,) but it filled that hole and stopped any nervous nausea. I understand you my not feel like eating as you're getting ready to go, but even if it's a juice, smoothie, fruit, or piece of toast, get something in your stomach so that you're not running on empty.

Remember What It's All About 

You might be worrying about what could go wrong. People might be flapping and fussing around you. But always remember what your wedding day is about - you and your other half. A celebration of the love you have. And ultimately, nothing else matters. Don't dwell on the ifs, buts or maybes about the ceremony, food, flowers, or reception, because when it comes down to it all, those things aren't so important. What is important is making the day memorable for the two of you, to see yourself off on the start of a brand new adventure.

I don't remember that much of the ins and outs of the day. What I do remember is walking down the aisle towards Ryan, and knowing that we are going to have the most wonderful, exciting life together.

Your wedding is one fabulous day. Your marriage is one fabulous lifetime. 

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