Getting ready for the big day can be extremely hectic. But the fact is, looking your very best on your big day involves more than the perfect dress and a good makeup artist. Ask any recent bride and she’ll tell you it’s looking and feeling stress-free. The key is to expect the stress and know how to deal with it throughout the months of planning time. Here are some ideas to help you be stress-free:
Get plenty of rest
Anxiety leads to insomnia. Stick to a schedule by keeping your biological clock in sync. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day—even on weekends and holidays. Making up for lost sleep by “sleeping in” isn’t the answer. Also, a good exercise routine guarantees a good night’s rest. Regularly scheduled workouts reduce stress and ease tension, so sleeping will be easier.
Breathing Exercises When Needed
Deep breathing can help you achieve a state of profound rest. It’s very useful at some of those extremely stressful moments. Try a yoga class. Considered by many experts as the ultimate in stress relief, it is beneficial for mind body—and spirit. Then take a few moments to do some deep breathing when feeling tense. This will help create a sense of calm.
Take Bubble Baths to Relax
Minimizing stress can be as easy as setting aside half an hour every day to decompress. Fill your bathtub with water, add some bubbles or bath salts, light some candles and turn on some calming music to soak away your tensions.
Imagine You’ll Have a Perfect Wedding
Rather than picturing relatives fighting at your reception or even your ex-boyfriend crashing the wedding, try to imagine the best of what your wedding can be. See everything going well—the gorgeous flowers you selected months ago, and seeing yourself in your first dance with your new husband. If anxious moments suddenly creep in, simply visualize a peaceful setting like the calm ocean and you’ll soon find yourself with a smiling face
In Really Stressful Moments, Chill by Enjoying a Good Laugh
Scientists say that laughter kicks in the body’s feel-good hormones. In those really stressful moments, you know that simply sharing a good laugh with people close to you can simply make you feel better. Rent a comedy DVD movie or go to a comedy club. Spend time with loved ones who always make you feel good. Laughter is—and always will be—the best stress remedy.
Give Yourself a Time Out
Some brides get so caught up in their wedding that they go overboard with the planning process. Maintain balance in your life. Remember that you are not only a bride-to-be, but a daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, etc. Keep that in perspective and remain present for the other areas of your life. Try to avoid too much “wedding talk” during social outings.
Before deciding where to host your reception, there are a few things to consider. To start: What’s your wedding’s style? A casual summer wedding requires completely different accommodations from a formal winter wedding, so first nail down your preferred style and season. Next: How many made the guest list? If you haven’t made one yet, hop to it – you’ll need a head count so you can find a reception site to suit your needs. Finally: How big is your budget? This goes hand-in-hand with your guest list – sometimes, your budget will determine the number of guests you can afford to have, not to mention the caliber of venue. Once you’ve made these critical decisions, start the search.
Most on-site locations offer the majority of services needed to host a reception: catering of food and drink, chairs, tables, tableware and linens, and a serving staff. With all these necessities already covered and calculated into the cost of the venue, on-site is an appealing, potentially less-stressful way to go.
Every venue offers advantages and disadvantages. Your job is to sift through the features of each and find what works best for you. Here are some things to consider:
Location. To avoid inconveniencing your guests, the reception site should be no more than a 30-minute drive from the ceremony – ideally less. But if there’s no avoiding it and the site is located in a remote area or poses parking and traffic challenges, you should consider providing shuttles for your guests.
Size and layout. Is the venue in question just one large room, or will cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing each take place in separate, smaller rooms? Make sure the cocktail area is large enough for guests to mix and mingle and that the dinner area will comfortably hold the number of tables you’ll need. Make doubly sure that the dance floor is big enough for everyone to bust a move! Beyond spatial comfort, also consider temperature. Throwing a summer wedding? Don’t skimp on air conditioning.
Privacy. If the reception site caters to multiple events simultaneously, find out if there are any other bookings on the date you have in mind. If there are, work with your site contact person to ensure that you will have adequate privacy for your celebration.
Parking. Make sure there is convenient, well-lit, ample parking for your guests. If such conveniences aren’t an option, find out if the site offers valet or shuttle services.
Technical details. Whether you go for a DJ, band, or iPod playlist, inquire after any music restrictions the venue might have. Is there sufficient power for speakers, mixers, and amplifiers? Are the acoustics suited to live music? Some sites have built-in public-address systems that can be used to introduce the wedding party and to toast the bride and groom. If your venue doesn’t provide this equipment, find out if your DJ or musicians can. Or, look into microphone and speaker rentals yourself – your contact person should be able to walk you through the wiring hook-ups prior to your wedding day.
Décor. Most reception-ready sites offer a neutral background to work with, but see that the flooring, ceiling, and wall coverings work well with the style and season of your wedding. So that nothing clashes, some brides even wait to decide on their color scheme until after they’ve procured a venue. In terms of decorative details, find out what you’re allowed to bring in as far as tangible décor and lighting. If the reception location is spacious, decorating can be overwhelming. In this case, try concentrating on one element, such as tablescapes. Or, if funds allow, hire a wedding coordinator to assist with site beautification.
Services offered. With each venue you visit, find out in clear terms exactly what services are included. There’s a lot to consider: catering, bar tenders, wait staff, cake cutting – get these details up front.
Personal touches. When looking at sites and imagining your celebration, ask yourself (and your contact person) if you can have fun with this space. Is there a spot for showing a photo and video montage during cocktail hour? Is the layout conducive to a choreographed entrance by the wedding party? Is there room for a photobooth?
It’s a real complicated issue. To some, it may sound trivial. But can I ask my fiancé for a different ring? Not getting your dream engagement ring is a big deal for a lot of brides. It’s jewelry you wear every day. If you wanted a platinum ring and your fiancé bought you one in white gold, can you ask him to reset it?
Here’s how some wedding etiquette experts weigh in on the issue. No matter how you look at it, bringing this up to your fiancé is sort of insulting him. Having your ring reset is a huge expense. Platinum typically costs twice what white gold costs, so you’re probably talking at least a couple thousand dollars to re-set. You have to respect the fact that your future husband was smart to buy only the ring he could afford. The best thing to do without hurting your future husband’s feelings is get the ring dipped. If you have to get your ring dipped every 6 months to a year that may be an option for you. Platinum can be very expensive and maybe it was not in the budget for him at the time.