40% of soon-to-be-weds categorise wedding planning as ‘extremely stressful’, with 71% of couples admitting that it’s more nerve-wracking than other pivotal life events, such as finding and starting a new job.
Of course, your wedding day is likely to be one of the happiest moments of your life. But from ensuring things runs smoothly to organising a ceremony that all guests will enjoy, there is no hiding that the celebrations can also be filled with anxiety.
That said, there are several steps you can take to tie the knot with fewer headaches and worries. Lake District Country Hotels, owners of luxurious wedding venues in Cumbria and the Lake District, offer precious tips on how to manage stress levels on your special day.
In the days leading up to your wedding and on the morning of the celebration, make sure to take time to practice some much-needed self-care.
Hannah Arnold, Wedding Coordinator at Cragwood Country House Hotel, said: “It is only natural to feel agitated and nervous on the eve of such an important moment in a couple’s life. But don’t make the insecurities get the better of you – you deserve to enjoy your wedding from start to finish!
“This is why it is always vital to take some time for yourself and practice some well-deserved self-care ahead of the ceremony. This could be anything from taking a soothing bubble bath and going for a stroll in the park to meditating and doing some yoga.
“For example, spending time in nature can significantly decrease your levels of cortisol, a stress-inducing hormone. So connecting with nature a few hours before the event can help you alleviate your sentiments of anxiety and prepare you mentally for the exciting day ahead.”
There may well be many things to think about on the morning of your wedding, but this shouldn’t be an excuse to skip breakfast. In fact, it will give you the right nutrients to navigate through the emotions of your big event.
Avocado, for instance, is a deliciously versatile option that can get the day to a bright start. It contains micronutrients like magnesium and vitamin B6, both of which can help regulate the body’s stress response and stabilise your mood through an injection of feel-good hormones (serotonin).
Pair your avocado slices with a couple of poached or scrambled eggs, and you will feel more relaxed overall. Egg yolks have minerals like zinc and choline in them, which can actively help keep those unwanted anxiety feelings at bay.
Breathing techniques can act as a handy hack when things begin to feel a tad overwhelming. Whether it’s time to recite your vows at the altar or give a speech in front of your guests, there are moments when taking a deep breath will allow you to stay cool and collected.
Charlie Penwarden, Mental Health Consultant at Behaveo, explained: “Breathing is a powerful tool to brush stress and anxiety away.
“In short, deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is also known as the ‘rest and digest’ system. It regulates things such as your mood, your heart rate, and even your digestion.
“Taking deep breaths will send more oxygen to your brain and other organs, which in turn can promote relaxation and alleviate any sentiments of stress or anxiety.
“The best way to do this is by using the so-called ‘box breathing’ technique. It consists in inhaling deeply for four seconds, holding your breath for four seconds, exhaling for four seconds, and finally holding your breath again for four seconds.”
The temptation to keep an eye on everything as the day unfolds is difficult to resist. But remember that you shouldn’t take care of all things yourself.
Offloading some of your duties and delegating tasks to family and friends will help you stay calm on the day and make the most of the celebrations. After all, it’s your wedding, so you should enjoy it to the fullest!
You will find that most guests will be more than happy to help, whether it is forwarding song requests to the DJ or taking photographs of crucial moments throughout the ceremony. And if you don’t feel comfortable asking your invitees, the venue’s in-house team will gladly offer a helping hand.
It is only normal to want your special day to be as perfect as possible. However, things might not always go to plan, and that’s absolutely fine.
Imperfections and unexpected moments will only make your wedding day even more memorable, and you might look back at them with a smile on your face.
So don’t worry about pulling off an impeccable ceremony – instead, focus on your better half and on the joy and love surrounding you both.
Also, don’t fall into the trap of comparing your special day with other weddings. If one of your guests raves about the incredible cake at your cousin’s celebrations, just tune them out or change the subject.
What truly matters is that you and your partner are celebrating the beginning of married life together – all the rest isn’t worth your stress!