Alana looking nervous before her wedding.

Your wedding day is a big deal. Planning for it can take 18 months of preparation. Some say it is like taking on a part-time job. Yet it all culminates in one day. There is one part that is more stressful than the rest.

The engagement seems to be the starting gun to a long journey towards a wedding. Meticulous planning meets with desires and dreams in context of the hard realities of budgets. Difficult choices are made, vendors are visited and selected, family politics can play in the selection of guests.

When my sweetheart and I were in the throws of this – we did have the thought of eloping. Saying “The heck with you all!” and presenting everyone with un fait accompli. I do book people who seek me out for an elopement ceremony exactly for that reason. They didn’t want the fuss. Or, they wanted their vulnerable heartfelt moment to be private.

Another alternative is the destination wedding, where couples and a select few head to an exotic locale for festivities thereby avoiding the grand display. Yet they face different challenges with legal systems, languages, customs. One friend who went down for a quiet beachfront wedding ended up beside the bar at happy hour. And that was the beginning of the adventure.

You may have guessed it by now. The most stressful part of the wedding is the ceremony itself. A reception is a party and we have all organized parties before. This party may be a bit more elaborate – but it is a party nonetheless.

Whether a first or second time wedding, I find that the brides and grooms are most nervous and concerned about the ceremony. It is why you are here- the raison d’etre for the day – where you share with each other and loved ones how you feel about each other. And you don’t want to screw that up.

From my experience here are some tips to help you through the ceremony:

1- Give yourself time to arrive at the ceremony location in plenty of time. If you are late you will stress and so will everyone else.

2- Make sure you have a nervous pee before the ceremony.

3- Review your ceremony that you worked on the night before to reassure yourself. Go over the entrance and exchange details to start it right.

4- Take it slow, be present, and savory the moment. You are NOT in a race to the end.

5- After the ceremony, run away from everyone so you can have a delicious moment to yourselves and say “Yes. We are married. We did it!”

All your nervous energy will be dissipated and you will be able to relax and celebrate.

Alana looking a lot more relaxed after her wedding ceremony.

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