Even the simplest weddings are performances. The bride and the groom, the best man, maid of honor, groomsmen & bridesmaids, the parents, even the flower girl and ring bearer are playing parts. The guests too, are on stage. People are often dressing up at weddings, wearing what for all intents and purposes are costumes. The wedding party parades down the aisle; the bride & the groom have speaking parts and the little kids are expected to follow instructions, even though oftentimes their parents haven't done anything to prepare them for being "on stage". For ordinary people, being the center of attention isn't part of day-to-day life.
In addition to the ceremony, there's even more details involved in the reception. There's flowers, music, food and dancing. Did the flowers arrive on time? How about the cake? Is the food hot? Is the deejay keeping things moving? How about the photographer? In a lot of weddings the reception is highly choreographed. All of this is nudging the bride and groom in the back of their brains while they are getting ready for the ceremony.
So what can you do to be less nervous on your wedding day?
- Plan: don't leave things to the last minute - that's a sure way to be nervous!
- Prioritize: make a list of your chief concerns, decide what is most important
- Be honest about what terrifies you - if you just can't get through your vows without sobbing uncontrollably, tell your officiant that you just want to say "I do"
- There is not one thing that you have to do in your wedding ceremony or reception, cut out the things that you don't want
- Budget: set your budget and stick with it
- Delegate: ideally, hire a wedding planner who will take responsibility for all the little details, otherwise a friend or family member that who you can trust implicitly to handle it all for you
- Surround Yourself With Positive People: keep your circle of confidants clear of complainers and "Chicken Littles" - no matter what, the sky isn't falling
- Watch out for the friends and/or family who are full of suggestions, it's your wedding!
- Schedule: set up a reasonable timeline for all the things that you have planned in steps 1 and 2
- Rehearse: definitely rehearse the ceremony itself, but a walk-through with the deejay and the photographer would go far in calming the jitters - make a list of questions to ask your officiant and other vendors so that there's no surprises
- Communicate: If something is a non-negotiable item, make sure that the people responsible know how important it is to you
- Relax: everything doesn't always go 100% according to plan!
- Laugh: sometimes the little things that go wrong make for hilarious stories!
The bottom line is that at the end of the day you'll be married - which was the goal - you achieved your goal! You get to have a party with your family & friends and you're not the one who has to clean up!