Taking a chill pill – a personal post

I’ve written a lot about relaxing before your wedding – about not worrying, because (in the words of the late and great Bob Marley) every little thing’s gonna be alright. The problem is, I’ve been having serious trouble taking my own advice. I’ve advised you all to take baths, walks, watch fun movies – to make sure you get enough time for yourselves. And I have to say, I’ve been terrible at doing so myself. Sure, I have baths – I spend them mentally ticking things off my to-do list. Sure, I take walks – then I berate myself for taking walks when there’s so much left to do for the wedding and so little time.

The other day I was on the phone to my cousin and bridesmaid, Ella, after a particularly nasty bout of stress-related illness. I was telling her about how annoyed I was with people who were messing us around about attending, how my suppliers were driving me nuts – and just as I started to launch into a rant, she gave me some advice which stopped me in my tracks.

She basically told me what I’ve been telling you, and what everyone else has been telling me, all along. But the way she said it made all the difference – and I wish I’d recorded the conversation, but I’ll try to, at least, paraphrase what she said as best I can.

She explained that letting myself get so wound up and stressed can only lead to more stress. That expecting people to let us down could lead me to subconsciously treat them in a way that makes it obvious to them – that worrying about who will be there could actually attract the outcome I most dread. I have always believed in the power of my thoughts – and here I am poisoning my own wedding with my negativity. She pointed out that I have no control over last-minute disasters and drop outs – and that I’ve always been a strong believer in fate – whoever is meant to be there and share in that day with me will be there. End of story.

Weddings are about love – don’t approach yours with anger and frustration. Image © 2012 Modern Vintage Weddings

The way I’ve been approaching the last few weeks of my wedding, fraught with anxiety, perched on the verge of anger, waiting for someone to screw up so I can explode at them, has only worked to my detriment. These are the last few weeks I will ever have of being a bride.

Being a bride has brought so much joy into my life – it’s been the best year and a half of my short 24 (almost 25) years on this planet. It’s brought me a new and prosperous career, friends and a social life I could barely have dreamed of before. It’s brought me and John closer together (even if I have spent the last couple of months yelling at him about napkins and place settings). It’s taught me painful lessons about my friendships, it’s pushed me to spend time with my family and friends – it’s bringing family together from all corners of the world – how often do we all get to be together?

Yes, making lists and plans can be stressful. Yes, I dread the hard work that comes with it – it’s been a year and a half of hard work and it hasn’t always been easy – but our wedding is about celebrating our love and committing to each other forever. As tedious as some of these tasks are, I’m at the final hurdle now. 19 days to go now – every little thing I do is contributing to having a wonderful day – so every little task should be approached with love.

After I hung up the phone, a real wave of calm washed over me. I’m going to bloody well enjoy this day – every second of it.

So ladies, if you’re stressed out about your big day – if family dramas are getting you down – if suppliers aren’t cooperating, if you’re finding yourself a bit frayed, all the baths, walks, books and films in the world won’t help until you are able to remind yourself, every step of the way, of the reason you are getting married. So when I sit down today to do the final order of the day (and believe me, I hate admin) I will remind myself that this document will enable us to have a wonderful wedding day. And when I’m sewing the last napkins and the task is repetitive and laborious, I’ll remind myself that each one is being made for the day I get married – and I’ll remember to make them with love.

So as corny as this sounds, if it’s all getting too much for you, I want you to stop and remind yourself of the following things:

I don’t have control over external factors – worrying about last-minute drop outs won’t stop them from happening, but it will stop you from having a good time if there are things that go wrong on the day.

The party is secondary to the ceremony – the reason you’re getting married is to get married. Don’t start your married life stressed and upset.

Every task I take on for this wedding should be approached with love and patience.

It’s OK to get stressed, it’s OK to vent – but as your day approaches you want to make sure you’re in the frame of mind to enjoy the day. Don’t set your heart on it going a certain way – make sure you’re fully prepared to go with the flow and take any setbacks on the chin and you’ll have the best day of your life. 

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