1 wedding down - another to go.
My first wedding was located in my own hood of Warwickshire, in my parents back garden. Not a traditional English affair, but a somewhat hybrid Bengali meets British garden bash. Think the equivalent of a Chicken Tikka Massala at a picnic - but only from a damn good restaurant.
It was interesting to say the least. Full of laughter, fun, and LOVE. But my oh my was the lead up stressful. As my parents and I are very hands on, there was plenty for us to get busy with. So much planning and of course so much expectation.
Making matters a little more difficult is our somewhat genetic inability to mis-handle stress. We're not good under the magnifying glass. Luckily for us however, we are aware of our shortcomings. So, in order to minimise the stress of the lead up and ultimately the day, we all made sure to put in some personal R&R to maintain stress levels to almost normal levels.
I can say that we were mostly successful in our efforts. So much so that, wedding day number one, in despite of some major screw ups, turned out to be an amazing couple of days.
That being said, now that the day is over I look back on it in contemplation: Was it TOTALLY stress free? Is there anything that I, or the people around me could have done better in order to make the wedding a more pleasurable experience?
The answer is yes- a HELL yes. There were major lessons learned that will definitely carry into my 2nd wedding day prep. We brides owe it to ourselves to have as much of a stress-free day as possible so that we cherish the beauty of getting married. I mean ladies, it only happens once (well OK, twice in my case, but stick with me here....).
SO in the spirit of sharing wisdom: here are my key lessons learned & top tips for ensuring a stress free wedding day lead up:
There is a lot that can be said about those who plan ahead. That wisdom can be shared to ensure that you remain calm on the big day. Primarily, the plan should be to keep yourself free as much as possible the days before but to also pepper in the things that spark joy - that way if firefighting arises, you'll have the ability to look froward to something in the near future: a massage, a film, a mani....
Aim to have at least 1 day purely for yourself in the immediate lead up.
Kate Spade Folio Weekly Planner (available at Liberty)
The nice things
One thing I've learned (the hard way) is to make sure you do more things that make you happy in the lead up. It can easily feel like you're neglecting yourself amidst all the chaos and I really do wish I did more of what I fancied ahead of the day.
Here's a list of some of the most effective ways to reduce anxiety and stress:
- Go shopping: Treat yo'self! You deserve it!
- Getting Creative: Write, Draw, Paint, Bake...
- Laughing: Watch a funny film or 2...or 3
- Getting a massage
- Munching on chocolate
- Having a bath
- Swimming...or whatever takes your fancy.
Make time for yourself! Be alone and embrace it. Be nice to yourself both inside and out and you'll then appreciate your wedding more.
Aromatherapy has been a go to for many at times of stress - for me, it was what I fall back on. It's accessible, easy, and downright luxurious. I purposely planned plenty a bath-time for my pre-wedding prep and it worked a treat.
Aromatherapy Associates do an amazing selection of bath oils and they were kind to send a few for us to try. My particular favourite was the Light Relax which was AMAZING. Perfect for a early morning pamper.
I then finished off with a slick of De-Stress Body Oil for glistening skin and all day aromatherapy. I was then ready to go!
"Sleep is Golden", professes This Works. To show us what they mean, they sent us some of their best selling sleep products which promised to help us catch some more Zzzzz. And you know what, it was universally a hit at our HQ and personally, a triumph for my wedding day prep. Furthermore, beyond the obvious lack of alertness, lack of sleep is really hard to hide which serves as more of an intensive to get more of ahead of the wedding day. Therefore, anything that can be done to reduce those pesky cortisol levels before the wedding is a must.
Make your bedroom a boudoir of relaxation to entice you to beddybyes. Think luxurious linen sheets, silk pillow cases, sleep time socks, and snuggly PJs. I wish I treasured sleep time more the week before and going forward I definitely will for the next. I'll be making myself a lovely sleep time brew also - I chose Dr Stuarts Valerian plus.
Finish off with a good old spritz of This Works Sleep Plus spray and Sleep time oil on pulse points = sleep time heaven.
Dr Stuarts Valerian Plus Tea
Let us know your tried and tested methods of relaxation - comment below.