My veins were filled with fire.
I just knew it. Fire or stinging ants, but at this point, did it really matter? I was panicked. And I was running.out.of.time.
Because my wedding was in only two days. And those two days were just... just terrible.
We've already talked about the fact that getting married scores super high in terms of stress. Marriage is a big change! But what about the wedding itself?
I'm a bit... controlling. And a little bit of a perfectionist, and I like things just so. But seriously? By the end of planning my wedding, I just didn't care. About any of it. And yet, I cared so very much. I just wanted the wedding to be over.
And you know what? With my stress level through the roof, my nerves completely ragged, after having slept all of thirty minutes the night before, and with a nervous stomach that just wouldn't go away... I got married. As soon as I held by beloved's hands in front of the altar, everything was okay.
But about ten minutes beforehand, nothing was okay. I was too much a bundle of nerves to even really enjoy my last few moments before my wedding.
Don't do that. Don't let yourself get so worked up and anxious that the days leading up to your wedding are just awful. This should be a time of happiness and joy, of celebration. Not of feeling like you're going to be sick every single minute.
(TMI warning: the morning of my wedding, I couldn't stop pooping. Seriously. I had the nervous poops.)
Delegate and Trust
You cannot physically do everything. There's no possible way to pick up grandma from the airport, get your hair done, and make sure the guestbook arrives at the church all in a span of fifteen minutes. You just can't.
Delegate things to other people. I'm sure you're rolling your eyes at me here because, duh, of course you know all about delegating. But for a control freak like myself, it was hard.
I wanted to do it all myself. But you know what? I alienated some people by holding on so tightly! My family and friends wanted to help, and here I was trying to keep the entire wedding under my thumb. When I finally gave up (it took me far too long- don't make the same mistake!) I was delighted to see that other people were actually excited to help, were actually interested in the wedding.
You can do it. Ask for help, and then trust that they'll do a great job. My sister-in-law set up the guestbook table, and you know what? It wasn't at all the way I wanted it. But it was beautiful and just fine. Because really, who cares that the angle of the book wasn't the way I saw in a magazine? No one noticed, anyway! It wasn't anything to be upset about.
Let it go. Everything will work out just fine, even if you're not the one doing it.
Love your Almost-Husband
The trouble with controlling my entire wedding, in my case, was that I sort of forgot about Zeke. He needed to get things ready for the wedding (mostly just making sure that the groomsmen were there on time), but micromanaging his responsibilities was really all the attention I gave him.
And it was his wedding, too.
I was so focused on the wedding and on what I needed to do that I acted rather selfishly. Not a great way to start out a marriage.
A hint: When your future hubby says, "Please, let's just talk about anything but the wedding. Please," it's a good sign that he feels neglected.
Do something nice for him.
And no, I'm not saying this to add to the ever-growing list of things that absolutely must get done before the wedding. I know it may feel that way.
It doesn't have to be a big thing- maybe a back rub, stop by with a box of sundae cones, ask him how his day was and actually listen to the answer (I wasn't so great at that one). And turning your mind toward serving him will help you get your mind off of everything else- off the wedding nerves, and off of yourself.
Yes, you heard me. Pray. Pray about the wedding, pray for the things you're nervous about, pray for that man you're marrying, pray for your friends and people who hear about on the news... just pray.
Prayer will put your attitude in the right place. I thought I could control everything about my wedding, but really, are we in control of anything at all? I had to let go. Trust God.
And just like ^ that one, praying about other people and other concerns will take your mind of off yourself (because let's be honest, planning a wedding is often about what I want, I need, I want this to look like...me, me, me.)
Take Time to Relax
You're saying, "Adrie! I'm getting married in four days! There is NO TIME TO RELAX!" Or maybe you're not saying that at all because you're calm and peaceful and not nearly as neurotic as I.
But honestly, I really wish I'd done more of this. Take the time to relax. You need it. Think of it as wedding planning task- you're planning and preparing to be a pleasant person on your wedding day instead of a complete mess.
-Take a bath, preferably with some kind of lavender going on. Breathe, read a light book about something other than weddings, or hey, even bring your laptop into the bathroom and watch a funny movie.
-Listen to soothing music. You can search "relaxing music" on YouTube and just listen to bunches. No words, just soothing tunes. (Don't listen at work, though. I made that mistake once and almost fell asleep at my desk at 1:30. But very relaxing).
-Let yourself feel things. Overwhelmed? Angry things aren't going the way you wanted? Emotional because you're getting married and things are changing? Give yourself time to feel it. Blocking out your feelings will only lead to more stress and anxiety.
-Do something fun. Something non-wedding related. Something that you enjoy or that thrills you or that makes you feel worthwhile. Create something. Find art in your world. Do something you've never done before. Try to do something active- ice skating or bowling or even just taking a walk down your favorite path and taking photos. The exercise will help to ease stress, too.
When you think of a bride before her wedding, the ideal "perfect bride," is she frenzied and stressed? She shouldn't be! Crunch time before a wedding can really crush your spirit and make you anxious and unpleasant. Don't be a bundle of stress and nerves on your wedding day.
Any other suggestions or tips, ladies? How do you reduce stress in your life?
This post is part of a series- make your engagement a time of intentional growth to prepare you for marriage, not just a time of planning for a wedding!
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