Avoid wedding day memory loss: How to slow down and actually remember your wedding #Advice#ceremony#wedding day schedule June 18 | Ariel Meadow Stallings offbeatariel Photo by Grant Thistle Everyone tells you to make sure to "slow down and take everything in" on your wedding day — but no one says how to actually accomplish it! How can I make sure I take a minute to stop and smell the roses on the day of my wedding? 100 guests, all those decorations, all that shit to do… How can I make sure I take a second to slow down? I have this cockamamie theory about memories: when you're in a state of continual non-stop stimulus, you brain doesn't have time to file any moments away for you to remember. As I said in the Offbeat Bride book: So many brides report having foggy memories of their wedding days, and it's no surprise — with all the stimulation and people and excitement it's hard for your brain to slow down long enough to process and store any memories. If you make yourself step away for a moment or two, you'll give your mind the opportunity to imprint at least a few memories of your wedding day — these memories will be more valuable to you than any photograph or video. It's actually worth asking a trusted friend to remind you to do this several times during your wedding day. So, now that you understand the reason why you really truly NEED to slow down on your wedding day, the next question is: HOW THE FUCK to do that when there are guests and logistics and food and music and so much stuff competing for your attention? Here are a few of my suggestions for creating anti-memory loss moments: Preparatory sacred snack-time Related Post The wedding day items that could save your ass Shooting weddings has taught me a lot about common mishaps and mistakes that are prevalent and almost communal in the fact that they've happened in... Read more Have a snack in your Oh-Shit Kit, and wherever you're getting ready for your wedding, find a little corner where you can sit quietly by yourself to nibble some food and collect your thoughts. Being overstimulated often results in forgetting to eat, so this kills two birds with one stone: you get a little snack AND can take a special, perhaps even sacred, moment to reflect on what's about to happen. Pre-ceremony solitude If you're doing the traditional "one of you at the altar/one of you walks down the aisle" set-up, then only one of you will get this pre-entrance quiet moment… but I feel like there's a real value in the two of you being together for a moment of quiet before the ceremony. At my wedding, Andreas and I walked down the aisle together, so we were able to sit together holding hands "backstage" (which was actually behind some trees) while our officiant was getting everyone calmed down and opening the ceremony. I think it's important for BOTH halves of the couple to have some solitude before the ceremony. Ceremonial collective deep breath Ask your officiant to include a moment in the ceremony when everyone (guests included!) stop for a moment and take five collective deep breaths. This could be tied into setting the intention, calling in the directions, offering a silent prayer, or whatever else fits your belief system or ceremonial style. Just make sure everyone (you and your partner included!) stops for five breaths to quietly breathe, to listen, and be quiet for a minute. You'll all need it, and chances are that someone will get the shivers from the power of the moment. Post-ceremony walk Inspired by the Jewish tradition of Yichud, Andreas and I took a 15 minute walk alone together after our ceremony. Sure, we were tailed by our photographer, but she mostly just lurked behind us while we walked and chatted and held hands and were like HOLY SHIT DID THAT JUST HAPPEN WE'RE MARRIED NOW? It not only acted as a very solid dividing point between ceremony and reception, but also gave us some really important quiet time to just be together. First married meal So many couples forget to eat food at their own wedding reception, so ask someone to make sure you each get a plate of food, and then have them literally stand guard and allow the two of you five minutes (JUST FIVE MINUTES!) to eat quietly together. You could even have fun with it and have your wedding party stand around with their backs to you, visibly blocking you off from the rest of the reception. Give them secret service sunglasses. But seriously, just for five minutes: eat together and breathe. Chew. Swallow. WHEW. Transition moments Regardless of how you structure your wedding day, there are going to be transition moments: in between getting prepared and doing photos; in between the photos and the ceremony starting; after eating, but before dancing. Ask your wedding party (or family, or friends, or EVERYONE!) to remind you during these transition moments to step aside and take a couple moments to breathe. Deep Breath Cards …Heck, you could even give some wedding party members or choice guests "Deep Breath Cards" to have on-hand, with instructions to hand one to you throughout your wedding day. Then their job would be to "stand guard" and fend off other guests while you take 60 seconds for your deep breath. Obviously, my ideas won't work for everyone — you'll need to find methods that feel like a good fit with your wedding style and day-of flow. That said, I'd suggest scheduling in at LEAST one very clearly defined anti-memory loss moment, and baking it into your wedding day plan. (And when I say "bake it in," I mean ask someone to help you enforce it!) I'd love to hear from our married Offbeat wives: how did you schedule anti-memory loss moments into your wedding day, and how did you enforce those quiet moments? Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Ariel Meadow Stallings Author of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, Ariel acts as the publisher of all the Offbeat Empire websites. She lives, loves, and dorks out hard in Seattle, WA. @offbeatariel @offbeatbride PREVIOUS Storm Troopers, puppy kisses, and one canoe processional NEXT Wording from an Unplugged Wedding program Show/Hide comments [ 56 ] My maid of honor is a chef and said she'd like to make me wedding-day breakfast before our 10:30 AM ceremony. So my husband and I, my maid of honor, the best man and their spouses had a nice breakfast of omelets and coffee, seated on the floor while watching Saturday morning cartoons. A good breakfast gave us all energy and perk, and it was a great "calm before the show" moment for us all. 35 agree Reply How about just telling a person who might be in mid-story mode, or coming in for a hug, or otherwise engaging your attention…"hold on for just a second. I want to make sure to remember this moment" Who wouldn't find that totally endearing??? 25 agree Reply I love the Take a Deep Breathe cards! I will definitely need these at my wedding. I'm sure I'll be waaaay to distracted to even think about breathing! 5 agree Reply I tried to go off for a few minutes with my new hubby, we drove around the parking lot. Then, dinner got started without us, and everything went to hell, and I mean everything. The DJ started the dance music for dinner, causing me to miss my favorite songs. I was unable to have our entrance music that led up to me thanking everyone for coming or helping, causing me to lose a few friends because they thought I was being a selfish bridezilla for "forgetting" to thank them till the next day. BE VERY CLEAR THAT NOTHING CAN HAPPEN WHILE YOU ARE GONE IF YOU LEAVE TO HAVE PRIVATE TIME! 13 agree Reply Yeah, I think the key is to have time *scheduled* and ideally have someone (wedding coordinator, attendant, appointed family friend, whoever) managing the time. When we took our post-ceremony walk, our officiant made sure everyone knew what came next, and after the ceremony was over, a couple friends gently herded guests toward the buffet. We may have left the wedding for a few minutes, but there was never any doubt for guests about what to do or what came next. 12 agree Reply It was scheduled. We didn't have a coordinator, but the DJ, kitchen staff, and my parents who were doing the work of a coordinator all knew we were going to do it, they just didn't care enough to wait for us on our wedding day. 2 agree Reply Friends you lost through this type of circumstance may have been worth losing. 28 agree Reply This is what I did when I wanted to BE IN THE MOMENT: I would physically stop where ever I was, and breathe for 10 seconds. Sometimes I would slowly turn in a circle to see everything around me. And in my head I would be like, "This. Is. Amazing." Of course this didn't work for things like, preparing to walk down the aisle (for that I said, "Hang on one sec" looked at both of my parents, took a deep breath and a nice big sigh and then said, "Okay! let's do this!" Also, as cheesey as it sounds…just looking into my new husband's eyes helped me out. It was great to fixate on him and be purely in the moment. Also, sitting back and just watching people for a second. Sometimes people would ask me if I was okay…and I just said, "No I'm perfect…just enjoying this." Although if you're like me, and don't have an appetite when you're excited…don't worry too much about eating. Drink lots of water at least, and nibble throughout the day. That's what breakfast is for the next day! 27 agree Reply I spent more time on my wedding day preparing myself to be fully present and experiencing every moment. I don't remember all of it (3 years later), but I do remember the emotion and connection of the day. 2 agree Reply I am going to need this advice soon! I have scheduled pre-ceremony nap-time and that may be our quiet moment together, if the day does not get taken over with last minute details. 5 agree Reply At one wedding I attended, the bride had mentioned at dinner that she was worried she would forget details. They had guest book pages at each plate for people to fill out advice and such, so her brother, the best man (and my fiance) wrote down details he thought she might forget. I believe the bride did the same as well. I haven't asked her if it helped though. 12 agree Reply Such good advice! I think it was somebody on the Tribe who suggested it, but I can't remember who…hiding in plain sight. Like, using a slow dance with the hubs as a way to have a little time in peace…most people will just let the newlyweds have a dance without interruption. I'm going to pick a few songs, and ask the DJ to play one per hour…and that'll be my cue to find the hubs and spend a couple minutes turning slowly and mindlessly in a circle, get some QT with my man and survey the scene. 25 agree Reply I remember all of the wedding pretty vividly. I definitely made sure to mentally prepare to remember – I thought about having to remember beforehand, and how I would make sure that I valued my time in that way. And I second the "eat something" and "drink water" recommendations! Having some time to ourselves at the beginning and end of the day really helped. At the beginning of the day, we made a nice meal together – pancakes, French toast, and bacon while we watched an episode of the Simpsons. It was very comforting and familiar. Then after we got home and finished with the consummating, we cuddled on the couch and watched a couple more episodes of the Simpsons (a quote from said show was also read at the wedding). I also tried to take mental pictures of things that were happening. Quite often throughout the day, I thought to myself "you are so happy now, this is such a wonderful day in your life, look at what is happening and remember it." Looking at the Facebook pictures the night of and the day after also helped to crystallize some parts of the day. 9 agree Reply Your pre- and post-festivities Simpsons watching sounds so fantastic! Both of us are big Simpsons fans. Can I ask what quote you used during the wedding? Reply We didn't plan moments to catch our breaths, but they did happen. I think it helped that I had several friends prepped ahead of time as the go-to people for last minute questions about things like food, decorations, schedule, etc, so I didn't have to field a lot of questions. I just had to show up and smile, LOL. We also sent the guests ahead of us to the reception while we took some coupley photos at the wedding site, then sent the photogs ahead and had some quiet time in the car driving to the reception. We joked about just jetting out of there and skipping the reception…. 4 agree Reply We got ready together at our own apartment before the wedding, just the two of us and our photographer. The photographer scheduled and hour and a half for us to get ready… but it only took us about 40 minutes. So were were able to relax, eat breakfast, play some Bubble Bobble on our old school Nintendo, hang out with our awesome photographer and enjoy each others company before the craziness of the day set in. So glad we did it that way, it set the tone for the whole day. 10 agree Reply OMG Bubble Bobble! 12 agree Reply We baked a piece into our ceremony for "take a breath and be in THIS MOMENT RIGHT HERE" and we were lucky that good friends and family stopped us and reminded us to eat and brought us plates of the dinner we'd been so excited to share with everyone, and we had moments to sit and watch everyone playing trivia together and just take in that all these people we loved were enjoying each other's company, but I'm forever indebted to the kind man who ran our venue, who brought me a handful of popcorn fresh popped for the evening, and reminded me to take a breath and look around as we finished getting set up for the whole thing. All the prep was done and the Wedding was Happening, and I remember vividly seeing all our friends working together and it was magical. So, on some level, be that person for another couple. Hold your friend's hand and say, "Look at all of this. It's wonderful!" and help them freeze-frame a moment. 24 agree Reply So, on some level, be that person for another couple. Hold your friend's hand and say, "Look at all of this. It's wonderful!" and help them freeze-frame a moment. THIS!!!! 38 agree Reply A friend of mine said to do this (it's like a replication of a psychology 101 memory/recognition test): close your eyes for those 10 seconds that you're taking the deep breaths. Then open them and see the room/crowd/field/whatever. Close them again. That's a picture for your mind. I just had an idea because I'm working on my program: a tear-out page for people to write one thing they loved at your wedding and put it in the card box or something. Would be great to see the event through the eyes of your guests too. 12 agree Reply TOTALLY plan to do this for my friend when I am in her bridal party next year! I don't want her to miss out on that magical "Look at this" moment. 1 agrees Reply YES! Everyone be this person for your friends! Also hand them waters, food items, and tell them to reapply their lipstick! 😀 2 agree Reply I was happy that I got this advice pre-wedding. If you're having a beach wedding, I recommend doing what we did and tell everyone to leave you alone as the two of you take a moment to watch the sunset together. That was one of the most gorgeous and FAVORITE moments of our wedding day. 27 agree Reply Awwww Reply For me sunset is the most contemplative time of the day. What a great time to be alone for a few minutes listening to the birds say goodnight and watching the light change. 2 agree Reply Totally! PLUS it's a built-in time frame. Not too long that your guests are wondering where you are, not too short that you don't feel like you got a substantial amount of time together. Claim that sunset as your own on the night of your wedding! 2 agree Reply We had a cloudy day but during the sunset, the sun came out. We must have had 5 people in 60 seconds run up to us and go HAVE YOU SEEN THE SUNSET IT'S AMAZING. We took that as our cue to sneak outside for a few pics with our photographer. It was less about the backdrop and more of a great excuse to take a moment together . . . with our photog who was a friend and didn't detract from the moment at all. 1 agrees Reply I was really glad that our officiant built in a "moment of silence" to remember those who couldn't be with us. We didn't know it was going to be part of the ceremony but it was so meaningful. We also snuck out on a walk right after the ceremony while the guests were mingling, getting drinks, and heading towards their tables (we had the event all in one room). Best few minutes of the day. I also really remember the times I got to actually relax and really enjoy my loved ones' company. The lingering conversations, the chance to actually sit down at a table and chat together, etc. stand out among those hours of rapid-fire mingling. 3 agree Reply I also recommend writing down your memories from the wedding in the days or weeks that follow, but definitely before you see the photos. Seeing photos of an event can change the way you remember it and make you forget other aspects of the day. 15 agree Reply We honeymooned in Australia, and we're from New York. I used the time n the plane to write down EVERYTHING- good, bad, EVERYTHING that happened. I even had enough time to figure out an anagram of all the letters in my newly hyphenated name: "Angelically Aged Junk" 7 agree Reply Our catering manager built in the time for us to have a few minutes to eat during the cocktail hour in a room separate from all of the guests. It may only have been 10 minutes, but it helped. We also signed the wedding certificate in the bridal suite with our officiant right after the ceremony, so we had a few minutes semi-alone together then too. Another thing I did the day after the wedding that helps me remember all the little moments a few years later is that I actually sat down at the computer and wrote out everything I remembered, especially all the sweet things that people said, since there can't be photos of that. I wrote down about all my aunts who said it was the most heartfelt ceremony they'd ever seen, the family members I don't know well who were visibly moved, my Dad who has never smiled as wide as he did during our dance, friends telling me the centerpieces were "showstoppers." Now I don't need to worry quite as much about wedding day memory loss! 10 agree Reply My sister and her husband had their dinner separately too. After all of the wedding party was announced and sat down to eat, she and my brother-in-law were going from table to table instead of eating. I was all worried because my sister is hypoglycemic, but everything was OK and it gave them more time to circulate/greet folks during the reception. Plus, they got to spend some quiet time together. Reply I remember sitting there, at one point during the meal, as I took little nibbles because I was almost too thrilled to eat, and looking out over the whole room just taking it all in and feeling the love in the room. You should definitely sit down for a few minutes during the meal, even if you can't eat, because it gives you a great view of the room and people tend to leave you alone if they think you're eating. We also took a few minutes with our bridal party and parents after the ceremony to relax and enjoy before joining in the cocktail hour. We decided to do our photos after our afternoon ceremony to capture the sunset light, so we hung out in a private area eating some snacks the venue staff brought us and having a cocktail before we went out to join our guests during cocktail hour. That let us take some breaths and be like, WOW WE JUST GOT TEH MARRIEDS! It was a nice way to wind down some of the just-got-hitched high and prepare to greet our guests. Also, a few days later, I sat down with a notebook and wrote down every single thing I could remember about the day, even if the memories were not in order or seemed random or were disjointed. I'm so happy to have that list of memories and details in my notebook now! 5 agree Reply Between the bedekin and the ceremony, while everyone was moving into the ceremony, my BFF came over to me and said "you have to go to the bathroom, don't you." (THAT is why she's my BFF.) While I was washing my hands after, I said to her "its going too fast, it's all going too fast." She replied "It's YOUR wedding, slow it down if you want. So I did. The best "in the moment" part was the circling before entering the Chuppah. My DH circled me three times, I circled him three, and we circled each other once, creating our sacred space for each other. It was flirty and fun and we were focused entirely on each other. 1 agrees Reply There's a Jewish tradition called Yichud, where the bride and groom have a few minutes alone together after the ceremony – symbolically it's the consummation of the marriage, but in modern times it's more a chance to chill for a minute, have some food, and celebrate together before returning to the community. For me, this is a very important part of the day – but I like the idea of building in a moment of silence into the ceremony, too! Reply For me, having time before the ceremony for photos was awesome, to have that time to be with my husband. It kind of slowed things down nicely. It meant all the "firsts" weren't slammed into a tiny few hour block. 1 agrees Reply One of our photo locations (shit…I need to organise this…) is a coffee/chocolate shop. We'll do some posed photos and stuff, but it will also give us a chance to drink some hot chocolate, chill for a few minutes, and goof off before the reception. We'll also have a car that is just us and the driver, so between photo venues etc we'll have some time alone-ish…the driver is a friend so it's not so awkward 😀 2 agree Reply I can honestly say that I didn't feel like my wedding day was a blur. We had an amazing wedding party who did most of the set-up of the reception hall and outdoor ceremony area (while I took a nap!). We had our rehearsal about 5 hours prior to the ceremony and lunch with our wedding party and my parents afterward. During the ceremony, we had a ring warming, which allowed us to have a quiet moment looking out at our guests while our guitarist played lovely background music. After the ceremony, we had about 15 minutes of alone time in a separate room on site. One of my favorite moments of the evening was when I left the reception hall (aka barn) to use the restroom in a nearby building. I took my time walking back into the party, taking in the scene from outside the barn. I could hear our swing band playing, see the twinkle lights and people dancing inside, but I was also very aware of the quiet, fresh air surrounding me outside. We also took some time a few days after the wedding to write down all of our favorite memories from the day and we plan to read them on future wedding anniversaries. 1 agrees Reply My oldest sister had a lot of the photography done before the ceremony. The photographer (who was amazing, but, sadly, has since passed away) escorted her to the sanctuary, where her groom was waiting, and then he left them alone for five minutes before coming back in to take pictures. It was a great moment for the two of them to share before things got busy. My other sister wanted to do the same, but her groom had his heart set on his first sight of her on their wedding day being when she came down the aisle. Instead, she asked for ten minutes to herself in the room where she was getting ready, and she took that time to record her feelings in her diary. 2 agree Reply I don't feel like our wedding day was a blur (over 2 years later now) because 1) we scheduled a lot of down time, like eating lunch together, lots of extra time to get ready, ect. so we had enough time to take things down a notch and enjoy and 2) we worked our butts off to get EVERYTHING done before our wedding day. What couldn't be done prior was delegated away. So all we had to do was wake up, get ready, relax, take pictures, and do the wedding thang and not be preoccupied with finishing up details. Making a concious effort to be done working on the wedding the night before and only enjoying it the day of really made a huge difference. 2 agree Reply This article had brilliant timing. I have been painting the frames and pegs I am using to help with this for our wedding. I am planning on setting up a table, with a very large picture frame on it. The frame has no glass or backing, but is strung with string and a bunch of mini pegs. Next to it will be a pile of red envelops with the numbers 1 – 25 marked on them and a pile of blank card stock. In another frame on the table, is this: —————— Framed moments A wedding is a day, but a marriage is for a lifetime. Thank you for sharing our wedding day with us. Now we would like your help with our marriage. Chinese tradition at weddings is to give money in a red envelope, which brings luck to both the giver and the bride and groom. Rather than money, we would like to gather happy memories that we can pull out on our anniversaries over the next twenty-five years. We would ask you to freeze frame a moment. Write down a memory or detail of today and put it, along with your wishes, in an envelope that we will open in the marked year. We hope in this way, today will live with us until it's time to renew our vows. J&T 31 agree Reply I love this idea!! Reply Some great advice here. We kept our wedding small and informal so that we would have time to speak to everyone there are try and savour the moments. 1 agrees Reply Our photographer told us that she likes letting the bride & groom have some quiet moments alone right after the ceremony (while she quietly lurks and photographs) because she loves to capture that moment and the happy faces she gets. I'm happy she's already built that into the schedule for us. Reply Just keep it simple! If details are going to freak you out, skip them or let someone else be completely in charge for the day. That's what we did and it WORKED! I am a worrier by nature, but on my wedding day I was present and joyful and my memories are crisp and clear and wonderful. I took some time the morning after to have a cup of coffee and spill out my memories. I also wrote a letter to my husband the night before (that I haven't looked at since or shown him). I was just THERE. Fully present and thoughtful for the whole thing. 3 agree Reply this is a big concern for me and my future hubby..we just went to a wedding where the couple had those tiny little flip cameras to capture moments. It's a rad idea and we are going to do the same thing. 1 agrees Reply We ended up considering this very topic as part of our planning. As a result, we planned a very small ceremony on Friday (just us, his parents, my dad and best girlfriend and our dogs) for free in the Arboretum in Boston. We went out to dinner with our small crew, then we went home and had time to reflect on the day. Saturday we had a big party for everyone else. So instead of having a ceremony, running around, racing to the next thing, and having a party that we have to take photos through (therefore missing our own party!), we split the two events into two days, had plenty of time to reflect between events, and even had plenty of time to look forward to the next thing without feeling stressed and rushed. 1 agrees Reply I have lots of anxiety and we planned the wedding around that. We are getting married on a lake (calming and keeps people admiring the view rather than poking their noses in different rooms). My fiance and I are having a first look pics before any guests are expected to arrive, so it's just us (my sister is the photographer, so no strangers around). I have a snack time planned out right before the ceremony where our small bridal party and us can get snacks down us (I'm hypoglycemic, so lots of private snack times planned in the transitions) Then after the cake's been cut and everyone is mingling, I've assigned a bridesmaid a video camera to go take well wishes and comments of the guests to help funnel them away from us and also keep those comments forever. Our exit leads us to a private cabin up the hill on the same lake, so while everyone is still at the reception, hubs and I will be in our private cabin changing. Also, the cabin has a kitchen in it, so we will have something already for us to heat up in the fridge too. But most important, the cabin comes with the venue rental so that we don't have to take off and worry about honey moon travel after we are both tired from the wedding. So we can have the rest of the night to ourselves before we take off for our honey moon the next day. 1 agrees Reply This is really helpful. I don't remember my first wedding at all! Reply I was getting the same advice- "be in the moment!" "enjoy it and take it all in!!" so, I did! I made sure to look around during ceremony (which might sound a little weird…), but I did. I made sure to look at our happy guests and appreciate that they were there, enjoying this moment with us. I also made sure to look right at my groom and really pay attention to what our friend/officient was saying… looks at guests again… pays attention. We also had a few minutes in the back room after, where we collapsed into each other's arms and said "we did it!!!!" and enjoyed a champagne toast out of dixie cups. And food was important. I knew that they'd serve us close to first and that we'd have plenty of time to visit once we were done eating, so eat we did! But really, what worked for me was actually telling myself "you're in the moment, be present, enjoy it, absorb it". Reply I tried to step back every so often and just look at the people I loved having fun during our wedding. It helped me remember happy little snippets even if I didn't remember every detail of the day! My husband and I did plan a quiet few minutes alone after the ceremony and went for a walk, but I forgot to warn my best woman, who decided that I must have freaked out and done a runner! my poor bestie had a very worried ten mins running around looking for us! 2 years ago and I still feel guilty for scaring her! so top tip: plan time alone but tell someone the plan! Reply After the ceremony we went with our witnesses to sign the marriage certificate and take celebratory shots of alcohol. It was a fun photo shoot and afterwards we wandered around for about a half hour, just the two of us, chatting and relaxing while our photographer captured it all. There were some snacks for the guests, a timed post ceremony playlist, a photo booth and some origami to play with so everyone was entertained while we took a breather. During the wedding I tried to take moments where I just looked around and appreciated how it all came together. I also took time to not only eat my food but enjoy it, and I also made sure to eat and savor my cake. There will be a lot of people to talk to and see, but honestly if you don't talk to every single person it won't be the end of the world. Instead try to take a few moments to enjoy your own wedding, because in the end that is what you will remember. Reply Thank you for these tips. I really want to remember my wedding day for the rest of my live because this is my first wedding and I hope this is also my last wedding. 1 agrees Reply Take at least a few photos yourself. *A few,* as in definitely fewer than ten. The Polaroid I took of my groom is still my favorite and helps me remember certain things about the day. 2 agree Reply Here's how I remembered our wedding: 1. A few moments together with our bridal party to collect ourselves before beginning the ceremony, which helped me collect myself and focus on what was about to happen. 2. A "moment of silence" during the ceremony where our guests could pray, send us loving vibes, or zone out–those silent moments helped me regroup and refocus after the down-the-aisle jitters so I could pay attention to the ceremony and be fully present for it. 3. Post-ceremony snack time where the venue brought us a tray of goodies and we noshed with our bridal party and photographer. This led to some adorable photos. It also helped me get out some excitement before I went downstairs to greet guests. 4. Having our table set up as a sweetheart table and set apart from the rest of the tables at the reception. This made it harder for people to come up to us during the meal and gave us some time during the luncheon to sit together and take everything in. We also sat facing everyone so it was easy to scan the room and take some mental photographs. 5. Bathroom breaks with lady of honor helped me get away and refocus myself. (Also led to some funny interactions with guests who were in the ladies' room at the time!) 6. Spending lots of time in the days immediately after the wedding talking to my husband, family, and bridal party to refresh my memory and capture some of theirs. I then wrote down absolutely everything I remembered and that they told me in a notebook. So I now have almost a play-by-play "script" of all the things I remember that day. 1 agrees Reply I went to a wedding this weekend where the bride/my friend was a bit frazzled with last minute details and getting to the venue etc. and I learned something about all this. Her officiant, of all people, was the one to calm her down when she arrived. She had intentionally hired this woman who is trained in awareness/mindfulness (she spoke like a yoga teacher, coaching her on breathe and visualizations, intentions, loving thoughts). It really changed the mood, taking it from a 10 to a 2, so she could walk down the aisle and say her vows with grace and awareness. I will definitely consider hiring an officiant with a similar personality. Sometimes only a stranger can take you out of your headspace. 1 agrees Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. 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