7 Self-Care Practices To Help You Stay Sane On Your Wedding Day

Photo: Vitor Pinto via Unsplash
Wedding Planning Tips For Self Care So You Don’t Stress And Stay Calm
Love, Self

You’ll find all kinds of self-care hacks out there to combat the stress and boost your mental health during the planning process, as you prepare for your wedding day.

But once you get there, there’s a lot to accomplish before you walk down the aisle and you really don’t want it to be a non-stop, frenetic flurry of activity.

It just takes a little planning and some good support from your wedding team to make sure your wedding day is as stress-free as your honeymoon will be!

RELATED: Here Are The First 5 Steps All Brides Who Are Planning Their Own Wedding Should Take

Fortunately, some pretty yummy self-care is already built into your wedding schedule.

After all, what other time do you get to indulge in the trifecta of beauty favorites — mani-pedis, hair styling, and makeup applied by an expert — all in one day?

However, you'll want to be more strategic than that to ensure that you stay calm so that everything surrounding all that traditional pampering while you're planning a wedding is equally nurturing.

Here are 7 self-care practices for your mental health leading up to your wedding day.

1. Exchange love notes with your soon-to-be spouse to read

So, this is one that definitely requires some advance planning with your honey since the idea is to write them beforehand.

If you’re seeing each other the day-of, you can take a quiet moment and read them to each other in the morning before things get busy. If not, you can save it for later when you need a calming moment.

Make it short and sweet, just sharing a little about what you love about the other and how excited you are that this day has arrived. Even if you’re exchanging vows during your ceremony, this is just a light touch before you get there. And now you have yet another special memento for your wedding album!

2. Start the morning with some movement

You’re going to spend the rest of the day mostly sitting and being fussed over, so get it all out now!

Go for a run or walk and get some oxygen pumping. If you’ve got a regular yoga, pilates, or barre practice, take a class or just do an abbreviated version with some bridesmaids or friends.

If nothing else, put on some great music — Maroon 5’s "Sugar" is a wedding favorite! — and boogie throughout the day! The more you can stay in your body, the better chance you have of not getting stuck on the hamster wheel in your head.

You’ve done all the wedding planning. Now, just enjoy it.

3. Be sure to carve out alone time

With all the wedding tips you're trying to absorb, it can feel pretty impossible with everything going on. But, having some alone time will ground and center you, which will only help you move more gracefully through any snafus that come up.

Make it easy — even just 5 minutes sitting quietly first thing in the morning, reflecting on the day ahead (or reading your love note) can get you off on the right foot. If you can manage a little meditation outside (weather permitting), that’s even better! Mother Nature is a great de-stressor.

Then, be sure to carve out 10 minutes right after the ceremony, so you can have a little kissy-face "Yay, we’re married!" time with your new spouse. Pictures can wait (or do it right after photos if the sunset is an issue) — it will literally be the only private time you’ll have together for the rest of the day!

RELATED: 5 Things To Keep In Mind If You Want To Pull Off Your Dream Wedding

4. Surround yourself with your favorite pictures, mementos, flowers, music, food, and drinks

This is your day! Whatever the bride wants, the bride gets! Put some thought into the things and people you want surrounding you. Favorite flowers, music, and munchies are standard but you can go a little deeper.

Carve out a corner in your bridal suite to create a little wedding altar with pictures of your soon-to-be spouse and a special gift they gave you. Maybe add a beautiful bracelet that belonged to your grandmother or a note from the dear friend who can’t make it because she just gave birth.

You’ll be surprised at how the presence of these special people "in spirit" can have a calming effect as well.

5. Get some aromatherapy going

This probably fits under the point above but really deserves some extra attention. Our sense of smell is the most powerful of all of our senses since it’s directly connected to the limbic system, the part of the brain that holds our memories and emotions.

Yeah, it’s nice to smell good, but you can use essential oils to elevate your mood and atmosphere, too.

Lavender, chamomile, clary sage, and bergamot are all classic essential oils for relieving stress. Rose is too, and perfect for your wedding day since it’s the quintessential flower of love. Or if you have a favorite scent that’s attached to a special memory, that can be uplifting as well.

If you’re a beach lover, take a whiff of your favorite suntan lotion and feel your whole body relax!

6. Let someone else monitor your phone

Yes, brides have made it through their wedding days for thousands of years without smartphones! There’s no doubt that they come in handy for last-minute questions and logistics check-ins, but you don’t have to be the one handling them.

Find someone in your bridal party who's efficient, naturally calm, and a little ruthless in her mission to protect you from unnecessary craziness. It could be your maid of honor, but might actually be someone else in your bridal party or family that you trust.

Hand over the phone and enjoy being fully present in the fun and excitement of the day.

7. Remember to eat during the reception

In fact, if you have the option, arrange for some nibbles and drinks to be waiting for you in the wedding suite right after the ceremony — make it part of those 10 minutes of alone time with your sweetie before you join the party.

Even if your reception plan includes time to eat, it’s really tempting to flit around and talk to everyone. If your meal is sitting untouched while you do that, and you’re flitting includes drinking, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Assign a friend who’s a loving noodge to keep an eye on you and gently but firmly guide you back to the food if you’re being too much of a social butterfly. You’ll thank her later.

Your wedding day will most likely be the most magical day of your life so far. It can also be a pretty stressful one as all the planning you’ve done up to point has finally come to fruition.

So when you're learning how to plan a wedding, be as super intentional about your self-care as you are about finding the perfect venue, caterer, photographer, and band because you won’t enjoy any of it if you’re an exhausted, stressed-out puddle on the floor at the end of the night.

Instead, create a few self-care commitments beforehand and stick to them so you can celebrate like the fabulous Queen of the Day that you are!

RELATED: 10 Best Wedding Planning Checklists (To Keep Your Day Smooth And Organized)

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Deborah Roth is a Life and Relationship Coach and also an Interfaith Minister, who has married hundreds couples from different faiths, or simply those who are looking for something "spiritual but not religious". To learn more about how you can create a unique, personalized wedding ceremony or plan for a really magical honeymoon, visit her website at Spirited Living.