Anyone who’s been a bride knows all about those tense days/weeks leading up to the wedding. I remember waking up in a blind panic, in the middle of the night, a few days before my wedding worrying about my to-do list, before thinking, “Oh, for God’s sake Jess, get a grip and go back to sleep!”
Even if you’re usually a laid back and level-headed person wedding fever somehow catches hold of you. However, it’s completely normal to feel nervous and slightly anxious ahead of your big day. So it’s crucial to find time to de-stress and chill out, so you can be happy and relaxed when you walk down the aisle.
Here are my ten tips to help you be a calm, beautiful bride:
1. Have a digital detox
After a hard day at work or a weekend packed with wedding preparations, turn off the TV, laptop, iPad and mobile phone. Put on some soft, chill out music and pour a glass of wine or a soothing cup of tea – take time away from life’s craziness to spend a tranquil moment just relaxing with your fiancé.
If you’ve never tried meditation before, now is the perfect time. There are loads of guided meditation apps and online videos to help you get started, or you can attend a local yoga class. All you need is a comfy place to sit with minimal distraction, and just 10 minutes can instantly help you feel more peaceful and ready to face the day. Give it a go.
3. Get intimate
Turn the lights down low and get romantic in the bedroom – the release of endorphins is sure to put a smile on your face and a skip in your step. Even if you’re not in the mood at first, set aside some alone time with your fiancé, as sex is proven to reduce stress levels and triggers a positive feeling in both mind and body.
4. Pamper yourself
Nothing beats a spa weekend with your girlfriends to ease a frazzled mind. A massage, facial or pedicure in a spa setting will do wonders for your stress levels. Ragdale Hall Health Spa is one of the UK’s most luxurious retreats; your worries will melt away in their Thermal Spa and drift away in their sleep retreat. A scenic location mixed with specialised spa treatments is the perfect tonic for a stress-free bride.
5. Stay connected
Under the pressure and stress of planning a wedding, it’s easy to lose touch with the person you love most – your groom-to-be. So find time for date nights, a romantic dinner, a movie or a weekend away. Squeeze in some quality time away from choosing chair covers and cake stands and remind each other why you’re getting married. If you’re having any last minute worries, tell him – he’s probably feeling nervous too!
6. Get active
Exercise is without a doubt one of the best ways to eliminate stress, so go for a run, join an exercise class at the gym or simply dance around your kitchen. Any type of physical movement will produce uplifting endorphins to help you feel more positive in both mind and body. Plus, a pre-wedding workout routine will give you the added bonus of feeling slimmer and sexier on your big day.
7. Calming scented candles
Create a calming environment for yourself by lighting candles throughout your home. A luxurious candle Jo Malone London Lavender & Lovage is the perfect stress buster, as lavender is well known for its soul-soothing qualities and can shift your mood quickly. These little indulgences are necessary for helping you stay well balanced, so go ahead and treat yourself.
8. Start a journal
Writing down your feelings, especially any that are making you feel anxious, will help clear your mind. Any emotions you’ve been bottling up will be released once you’ve written them down and you can identify what’s bothering you and stop more worries festering. It’s a great way to get emotions out into the open and then deal with them in your own time.
9. Hot bubble bath
Taking thirty minutes to yourself for a nice warm bath will help melt away any stresses. Make sure the water is warm enough to relax any tense muscles and use bubbles or bath salts for added aromatherapy. As you lie in the bath, focus on nothing at all except breathing in and out – this will give you a moment to fully recharge.
You can’t handle everything by yourself – as amazing as you are! Weddings are major events, so don’t be afraid to ask family and friends to pitch in and help make place cards, decorate tables and tie ribbons on favours. Don’t think you’re turning into a bridezilla by asking people to run errands; they’ll love that you asked them to join in.
I wrote this feature for Wedding Ideas magazine’s 150th issue, out July 2015. You can see the finished article below.