Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nervous About the Big Day? Feeling Faint? Here’s What to Do.

Time to rise and shine! It’s your wedding day! Take a few deep breaths and take a couple of cat-like stretches. There is a lot going on today so let’s begin by getting rid of any anxiety or nervousness you may have that might affect you during the ceremony. You might have butterflies in your stomach and your legs may feel like they are turning to jelly.

It is only normal for the bride and groom to fell a bit nervous before the wedding. Nervousness is a state of mind: it occurs because of unpleasant thoughts, fears and worries that plague a person. A little nervousness can give you an edge. It can give you the energy you need to dig deep and do a really good job. Accept your nervousness. It doesn’t need to paralyze you.

Diminish all the negative thoughts that dwell in your head, and stop thinking about nervousness itself. What you think about and speak about, you bring about. The more you keep thinking about how nervous you are, the more you will be unable to let go of those feelings.

Focus! Be in the moment. It may not be easy but do your best. Relax. Breathe. Concentrate. With a little perseverance and confidence, you can Just know that everything will turn out fine. Be happy. Avoid medications, caffeine, alcohol and illegal drugs.

nervousbride3Normally we make blunders because we are nervous and we concentrate more on avoiding mistakes rather than using our skills to perform better. Remember, you can’t get anything wrong because the guests have no clue as to what you will be doing. Knowing that should give a boost to your self-confidence. If you make a mistake, don’t call attention to it. The guests are on your side. They want you to do well.

Plan your rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner two days before the wedding not the day before. This avoids two stressful days in a row and gives you a day of rest before the wedding. Often there is a wonderful party atmosphere at the rehearsal dinner and too much booze can really put a damper on the big day.

Planning a bachelor or bachelorette party? If you must party. . . plan your party a week or more before the wedding and behave yourself. You do not want to start your wedding day with a hangover or with the guilt of something that you know you should not have done.

Get to bed early the night before your wedding, or else you may have baggy, puffy circles under your red-rimmed eyes. Lack of food and sleep can also cause your blood pressure to drop. Take good care of yourself. Take a brisk five-minute walk. Sometimes the movement of your body will help release feelings of nervousness. Treat yourself to some alone time and relax with a warm bath and some hot tea. Meditate. Aroma therapy might help. Burn your favorite incense. Close your eyes and see the perfect wedding that you know is possible.

stressedladyEven if you don’t ordinarily eat breakfast, eat a good breakfast and substitute healthy juices for coffee. You’re standing at the alter, about to say your vows, and all of a sudden you hear a growl. Opps! Then it dawns on you that it’s coming from your own tummy. Be sure to have a very light snack before you head down the aisle.

It’s important to keep your energy up. Crackers and cheese and a Pepsi are better than nothing. Eat some fruit, such as bananas, apricots, and nectarines, which are high in potassium. This keeps your electrolytes balanced and helps give you energy. Eat before you dress, or cover up your clothes to avoid any accidental food stains.

It never pays to be undernourished at the wedding. You will look tired and drawn, and you could faint if you don’t get enough breakfast. Eating before the wedding will give you energy for your big day and you won’t feel light-headed.

Groom’s usually sweat buckets while some brides (and grooms) have been known to faint.

guyfaintFeeling faint at the ceremony? Swaying back and forth is one of the signs that someone may be close to fainting. Reach out. Let someone know if you can. The first thing you do is support yourself. Hold tight to the groom or someone nearby. Remember to breathe. This is important. One on the tricks I learned as a professional speaker was to breathe in slowly through my nose and out slowly through my mouth if I was a little nervous during the introduction to my speech. You have to think about breathing that way and when you think about something other than what you are nervous about it has a calming effect that can help you gain your composure. Keep breathing like this a few moments until you begin to feel better.

IMPORTANT: Do not lock your knees. Remember to slowly shift your weight from one foot to the other. Never stand perfectly still. Keeping your legs stiff while standing for a long period of time can interfere with your circulation and cause the blood to pool in your lower extremities. The brain needs the oxygen that the heart pumps to it. Locking your knees slows that process down. If the blood has trouble getting to your brain, you may be in danger of passing out. Keep your knees loose and shift your weight occasionally, especially if you start to feel any numbness. Slight movements will help keep the blood flowing.

Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids during the day, especially if it’s hot or excessively dry. Stick with water, ginger ale, or other clear liquids in case there is an accidental spill. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates you and can make you dizzy or light-headed. The effects will be stronger if you haven’t eaten much. Steer clear of caffeine.

Never take any new medication. Well-meaning friends may offer you sedatives or nerve pills to help calm you on your big day, but don’t be persuaded.

nervousbride2Face the minister with your backs to the guest – at least, at first. In my ceremonies, about 8 to 9 minutes into the ceremony I ask the bride and groom to face each other. For those who do not like to speak or be in front of people, this gives them a little time to get used to standing there. Look at the minister or at each other – not at the guests. Enjoy the moment. Savor the connection you’re making with the person you want to be with, and do your best to forget all the rest.

Choose temperature-appropriate clothing. In Arizona, it’s very hot during the summer. Most of the weddings in June, July and August are indoors or in the late evening. Avoid long-sleeved dresses and bulkier synthetic fabrics that don’t breathe.

If you’re getting married outdoors in Arizona, make your attire matches the climate. Go with silk or linen and other light fabrics that let the air in against your skin. Skip the tuxes for the guys and consider linen suits or go with something even more casual.

Read, “Getting Married in Arizona? Here’s the Latest Scoop!

If you are planning on saying some of your own vows, remember this: DO NOT try to memorize them. Write what you are going to say on an index card and when the time comes, have the minister hand you your notes. You may want to write in a little humor. Humor has a tendency to break the tension and help you cope with some of the anxiety and nervousness you may feel.

The butterflies in your stomach usually begin to disappear as you walk down the aisle and see the man of your dreams waiting for you at the altar.

Just for fun, take this quiz from “The Wedding Book” to see what type of bride you are! What Kind of Bride are You?

BONUS Article: Nervous on My Wedding Day
Writing Your “Personal Promises (Vows)”

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. –

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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