Illustration by Kali Ciesemier

Your big day is soon approaching. The butterflies are beginning to flutter about and you are wondering how you are possibly going to stay calm throughout the whole affair.

Here are five tips to steer clear of morphing into Bridezilla:

1. Your Outside Affects Your Inside
Our outer environment naturally affects our inner state of affairs too. Take time to set up your getting ready area. Put out your favourite flowers, play soothing sounds, burn calming candles, and instruct your bridal party to keep calm and carry on at all times throughout the day. Remember the power of a smile (even if it’s forced at first) in staying upbeat and relaxed.

2. Switch From Doing To Being
From seating arrangements to final fittings – it seems like it will never stop! Well the truth is, it won’t. Until you make it. At some point, you are going to have to entrust the people with allocated roles to do their job. And around that same time, you are going to have to let go. Remember that nobody else can see the perfect image you have imprinted in your mind, so they definitely won’t be making any comparisons. They won’t be able to realise any differences or the inevitable things that go ‘wrong’ (such as the seating chart being placed on the left side of the entrance instead of the right). It’s time to switch from conductor to guest of honour.

3. Eat, Drink, And Be Merry
Did someone say hangry? It’s not just your big day because you are the centre of attention, it’s also your big day because you’ve got to stay energetic and enthused for a super long time. So you’re going to need all the sustenance you can get. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times (with a straw to protect your painted lips) and continue to sip on it frequently throughout the day. Ensure you consume proper nutritious meals, taking the time to sit down and mindfully eat to ensure it digests optimally. Assign a bridesmaid to keep an eye on you!

4. Get Out Of Your Head And Into Your Heart
Hold on, this isn’t just the day you are meant to look your prettiest, it’s your WEDDING day. You are about to marry the person of your dreams. The one who makes you feel the most you. Who you have chosen to laugh with, cry with, spend the rest of your life with. What does this truly mean for you? Think it, write it, draw it, record it – however you choose, just take some time out to actually feel it.

5. Purposefully Pause Often Throughout The Day
Your wedding day begins the moment you wake up till the moment you go to sleep. Not when you are walking down the aisle. You must have heard the advice plenty of times already: “take in every moment”, but the reality is that it can be challenging to stay present 100% of the time. The scary part is a lot of Brides have foggy memories of their wedding day because they were too go go go the entire day. Here are some suggestions of how to slow down without needing to physically slow down at all:

  • When you are getting your hair done, scan your body from top to bottom for any sensations that might exist.
  • When your make-up is being applied, take deep and full breaths feeling your belly rise on the inhale and fall on the exhale.
  • When you are getting photographed, tune into each of your senses: listen, look, taste, feel, and smell what’s around you.
  • When you are on your way to the venue, rehash all those reasons you are about to marry the one you love.
  • When you are walking down the aisle, appreciate each and every person that is there to support you.
  • When you are standing at the ceremony, mindfully listen to every word that the person officiating your marriage is saying.
  • And when those anticipated words come: “you may kiss the bride”, actually feel the lips of your new spouse on yours.

Then for the rest of the day, pause at every opportunity to truly take in your surroundings, check in with your emotions, appreciate the present moment, and then carry on drinking, eating, dancing, and downright celebrating!