Having a pre-wedding freak-out? Here's a dose of sanity for ya…

January 26 | Guest post by Kacey

Kacey, the military bride who wrote Ariel's favorite book review , is getting married tomorrow, and despite having her shit together, she's still freaking out. Here's how she's holding onto her sanity.

Thanks a billion to Rebecca for uploading this to our Offbeat Bride Flickr pool.

Everything is done! Programs are printed and folded. Seating charts are printed, matted and framed. Décor vases are packed and ready to take to the venue. Menus are set. Dresses are hanging in the closet, ready for final steaming on Wedding Day. I'm even already legally married, having accomplished that three months ago in front of the Justice of the Peace.

Everything is done, and I've still got two full days until the wedding. One would think I'd be celebrating and ready to relax and enjoy in epic fashion.

One would be miserably wrong.

In my hubris, I honestly thought that I could avoid the bridal freak outs. I hired a fantastic planner, who has beautifully done her job of helping me to stay organized and in control. Surely if I just stayed ahead of the timeline and on budget, I should be able to avoid the legendary stress of wedding week, right?

Well, apparently not. In truth, today has been a tough day on the stress front. Despite my best intentions, I feel my anxiety levels ratchet upward with every question that anyone asks. I'm ready, I know I'm ready, and yet I still feel backed into a corner.

So, why?

Well, one thing comes immediately to mind; namely, the issue of control. I've done so much planning. But at this point, whether or not things work out is somewhat out of my control. Plans will either come to fruition, or they won't. Regardless of how heavily I've stacked the deck in my favor, there's still a tiny chance that things won't work out as they should. And that sucks, but that's life, which, I've heard, isn't fair.

At the end of the day, I'm going to go to bed with this man I love, and wake up with him the next morning.

So what do I do about it?

Well, first, sit down and write about it, to get it out of my head. Seriously, forcing myself to sit down and think through these feelings through, enough to articulate them, really helped lessen the feeling of looming panic. Not until I'd done that could I begin to believe that I could relax.

Secondly, pull out my bad-ass planning skills and do some small task that may or may not be strictly necessary. Busy work, if you will. In my case, I got out all of the items that I needed to transport from my home to the venue, labeled them all (totally unnecessary), and repackaged them for said transportation. I didn't need to do it, but the process helped me calm down and focus.

Thirdly, sit on the couch with my husband and realize that, since we are already married, in the end, I have nothing to worry about. At the end of the day, I'm going to go to bed with this man I love, and wake up with him the next morning. At the end of the day, we're together in the eyes of the law, in the eyes of our family and friends, and most importantly in our own eyes.

So, on wedding day, even if Murphy's Law rears its ugly head, we still win.

  1. I was married once before. I know what you are talking about. I was a bride wound so tight that as we were leaving the venue AFTER the wedding, I was still worrying over details and questioning myself, totally loosing track of the fact it was all DONE!

    I now realize that I was just in the habit of worrying and I didnt know how to stop. After I had a good laugh, I finally did stop, but not all at once. It took several days to unwind.
    Good luck to you and to all of us tightly wound brides!

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  2. Honestly, I'm most happy to hear that you got back home safely from overseas.

    I hope your wedding goes well, and your freak out is all for naught.

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  3. Congratulations Kacey! Tomorrow is going to be beautiful here for your wedding! Although a little cold, and… er… snowy.

    All the best!

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  4. A BIG THANK YOU! I'm 4 months out from my wedding and I don't think I'm gonna make it with my mind intact (or even anywhere to be found)! I'm so glad someone else feels it too and I'm definitely gonna take the small tasks advice!

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  5. As a girl who got married all of … 5 days ago, I found the whole day surprisingly easy. I stopped caring about a week before, and I had a fabulous cheif bridesmaid who helped so much as well as her fiance.
    My husband even got a wasp sting on his lip 3hrs before the ceremony and had a fat lip. I got a fright, but had to giggle … he was so worried he'd ruined the day for me but I was just pleased it wasn't my face!

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  6. Kacey,

    It was pretty exciting to see one of the pictures from my wedding on your post! Reading your words along with it just makes me smile when I think back to my wedding, which took place this past October 16th. Most of my planning went pretty well; I was confident with everyone taking part in the wedding and I was excited to just go ahead and party.

    What really got me was when I forgot the CD of ceremony music to the wedding rehearsal. We were already running late and everybody was waiting to just get the damn rehearsal over with, but my husband and I had to drive back to the house to pick up the CD. I most certainly lost it then; I bawled my eyes out the whole car ride there and back, and somehow managed to get myself back together once we got back to the church.

    I also didn't sleep that night, and preparing for the wedding the next morning was such a daunting task. I couldn't eat, and my fingers were shaking with such dread…over what? I didn't even know. It wasn't until my girlfriends started putting together their bridesmaids outfits that I realized that everything was going to be fine.

    And well, my drunk co-workers basically put all my sentiments down in the photo booth I had at my reception. Too much worry doesn't leave any room for fun!

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    • Side Note: Rebecca where did you get the talk bubble chalkboards? I was just looking for something similar.

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  7. I think a big part of it might also be that getting married, or even just getting wedding'd is a big life event however you're doing it and that tends to create stress on it's own.

    I was crazy nervous and therefore stressed at my graduation. Even though I'd technically already graduated. Even though I already had my results. Even though I'd argued that I therefore did not care and didn't want to be there at all. Even though all I had to do was walk up 3 steps, shake some guys hand and walk down 3 other steps. I was literally shaking when the moment came.

    Even if I'm super organised I know I'll be a quivering wreak the day before/morning of just from nerves and that "OMG this is actually happening. To ME!" feeling.

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    • Also I wanted to be a dragon rider too!

      Kinda, sorta still waiting for them to come and get me, I'm sure they've just not gotten around to it…

      Except now they'll need to take my husband-to-be as well.

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  8. Thank you for all you're doing and congratulations for being so kick ass! Can't wait to read about and see your wedding!!

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  9. I'm three months out. I am aware of my nervous tendencies. The things I am already waking up at 1am worrying about.

    But here's what I keep thinking: won't it be the biggest shame if I miss the whole day because I worried about things that never eventuated? That I can never have those moments back. That you can't say, a week later, okay, now that I know that everything will be alright, can I just have the day again?

    So I'm trying to live in the moment. Hope everything went well Kacey x

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  10. I've only been at the wedding planning for a month (big day is 9 months from now) and I already began freaking last week. My friend hosts a weekly Buddhist meditation and support meeting at her house and invited me (a non-Buddhist who just needs to effing CHILL) to join them. Looking forward to meditation as a stress management tool!

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