It’s a moment that most girls fantasize about all through their childhood, adolescence (and, sure, adulthood too). That moment when your man gets down on one knee and cracks open a hidden box. We see that diamond sparkle and our hearts go aflutter. In that moment we feel like the most important person in the universe. Rarely do we dream in that perfect moment of the logistical minefields we’ll have to navigate in the coming weeks, months or years. Nor can we foresee the multitude of concerns both great and small that leave many brides lying awake at night agonising over.
Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life and certainly the most romantic. The modern wedding has, however in recent years become a show of oneupmanship. Couples are no longer just expected to have a wedding that goes off without a hitch but to host an ostentatious (and expensive) wedding for the ages that will be the talk of your friends and family for years to come. That’s a lot to take onboard and it’s no wonder that many brides wake up in a cold sweat dreaming about all the myriad things that can go wrong.
Here, we’ll go over some of the most common wedding nightmares that many brides-to-be experience and the surprisingly simple ways in which they can be avoided.
You know the old saying, ‘there’s nothing to fear but fear itself’. Very often the most crippling of fears is that which you can never quite put your finger on. There are so many myriad tiny (though extremely unlikely) things that can go wrong, they tend to amass and congeal into a sense of non-specific dread that can be impossible to shake. Sure, there’s a lot that can go wrong with a wedding. Your band’s lead singer could get a throat infection (but it’s unlikely), someone could drop the cake (extremely unlikely), your bridesmaids’ dresses could get lost on their way from the warehouse (also far from likely). While none of these options is at all likely, they can weigh heavily on your mind. If this sounds familiar, you can mitigate a lot of this anxiety by taking out wedding insurance. Finding the right policy for you will guard against the (admittedly remote) possibility of something going wrong and potentially plunge your big day into chaos.
Pre-wedding jitters and cold feet
Pre-wedding jitters are perfectly natural, but that doesn’t stop them from being a huge cause for anxiety for would-be brides. As wonderful and romantic as a wedding is, it’s also a huge paradigm shift. It’s the start of a new chapter in your life and while very little may change in terms of your day-to-day life, it is legally, religiously and socially a real and lasting change. Human beings don’t tend to react well to change (even when it’s positive). We’re conditioned to hang on to what we have and resist any changes to the status quo even though it’s a change we actively welcome. With this in mind it’s natural for both you and your fiance to be plagued by pre-wedding jitters. Given the scope of your commitment to each other not to mention the enormous logistical considerations, it’s little wonder couples facing marriage are more than a little anxious. As much as you love each other, jitters, nerves and even cold feet) are part and parcel of the wedding experience. But that doesn’t mean that they should taint your wedding planning
The key to getting over your anxiety is in understanding it. Though it can be excessive under the right circumstances, anxiety is a normal human behaviour. It’s a survival instinct that we’ve learned through evolution to protect us from danger. Anxiety can be positive as it keeps us alert and encourages us to address its causes. It can also be crippling and ruin our ability to enjoy the wedding planning). Anxieties can build themselves up and distort themselves in your mind and you can take the sting out of them by writing them down and discussing them with your partner. Your troubles are often far more manageable when compartmentalised in this way.
Remember, that you’re not the only one getting married and your fiance can and should help you with a lot of the emotional and logistical heavy lifting. A lot of brides mask their anxieties by asserting ruthless control over every minute aspect of their wedding. While it’s undeniably their big day and it should look exactly the way they’ve spent their formative years dreaming it to be, these brides are only going to exacerbate things by taking it all upon themselves and not seeking help from their partners. Nobody wants to turn into a stressed out ‘bridezilla’ and working together with your betrothed will make the process of organizing your wedding far more enjoyable.
Running out of money
Weddings rarely come cheap and budget is one of the most common causes of pre-wedding stress. While getting your dream wedding on a limited budget is doable, it requires discipline to prevent money worries from keeping you up at night. Here are some ways in which you can mitigate money worries:
- Nail down your budget with your partner right at the start. Keep it realistic and stick to it.
- Divide your budget into subsections for different components such as dress, venue hire etc.
- Avoid blowing half the budget on your dress. As important as it may be, it can’t be allowed to eat up a modest budget. Let’s face it all wedding dresses are beautiful and choosing an off the peg or second hand dress won’t make your day any less magical.
- Make your own stationery, chair covers and table arrangements where you can.
- Utilise the time, help and expertise of friends and family where you can. Not every facet of your wedding needs to be arranged by expensive professionals.
- Put your wedding savings into a high interest account as early as possible so that you can make a little extra money without actually doing anything. Every penny helps!
Bored guests who find your wedding forgettable
While it’s their big day, many couples agonise over the experience of their guests. After all, nobody wants to be associated with a bland, boring or forgettable wedding. Fortunately, there are lots of cool little touches that you can add to make your wedding more fun and memorable, whatever your budget.
Incorporate a little something personal into your decor, stationery and table arrangements. Perhaps you might want to use a motif from your cultural heritage such as a Celtic triskelion, or Japanese kanji. If you and your partner are, say, huge Harry Potter fans then a lighting and glasses motif or naming the tables after famous characters is also a cool and inexpensive flourish.
Giving the guests something fun to do as part of the festivities is always a great choice as it gives them a sense of ownership of the occasion. Booth Boys Photo Booths, for example, allow your guests to take fun snaps that they can keep as a momento or contribute to a huge collage. That’s a fun activity and a wedding gift all in one.
The typical guest book can also be subverted to suit your personal tastes. Some couples substitute it with a tree on which guests imprint green fingerprint ‘leaves’, while it’s not uncommon for music lovers to have their guests sign a guitar or other musical instrument.
And finally… A late groom
Finally we come to every bride’s worst nightmare. The good news is that a late or runaway groom almost never happens (they know the consequences too well). Though a lot of men are only too happy to live up to their reputations for being unreliable, very few grooms actually wind up late to the altar. On those rare occasions when they are, it’s usually due to factors beyond their control anyway. If it helps, seek reassurances from his best man that come what may he’ll get your man to the church on time.