“I would prefer to be sitting down where my guests are at during MY wedding ceremony!”

Is this the kind of wedding experience you are expecting to have?


When I met John and Marie to discuss what they wanted in their ceremony most of my questions were met with the answer “I don’t know” followed by “what do other people do?” or “what is the norm?” I am always curious when I am asked these questions and I ask these question “Have you ever been to a wedding that you remember vividly to this day?” Invariably the answer will be ‘Yes’ The obvious follow up question is “what made it so memorable?” I will be told “Oh it was so personal and relaxed making it a most enjoyable day” And is that the kind of wedding day that you would like to have I asked. I was quite taken aback when Mary said “Actually if I could sit where my guests are sitting I would be grand, that way no one will be looking at me”. As Solemniser of legally binding wedding ceremonies since 2011 I can safely say that a variation of that statement pops up, more than I would like to hear when I meet couples. I always feel for people when anxiety about things going wrong and being embarrassed or having to speak in front of a crowd over whelms them. Strangely enough it is for the most part anxiety about the ceremony that causes the most anxiety.

  1. Knowing that they are on view to others
  2. Then having to speak publicly, albeit as little as possible it is still the main of anxiety for couples.

But have no fear that anxiety is now going to be slaved and a most enjoyable wedding experience will take its place.

There is another option

c) How about I help you to reduce the anxiety and increase the excitement so that you have the Perfect Wedding Experience that reflects you both as a couple. (This is usually followed by a sigh of relief and the conversation takes on a new lighter tone of voice.

The consultation now starts with the question “Tell me what you are looking forward to on your wedding day” Seeing how you are internally viewing your wedding day is key to helping resolve that anxiety. Working out in what proportion are you thinking of the “relaxing” part of the day vs the “stressful” part of the day. You might ask “Am I viewing my wedding day as stressful and something to get over or relaxing and something to celebrate and enjoy”. Even if you answered with the latter, this post will offer you some tips and tools to further enhance your wedding experience.

Let’s get real

Having to speaking at your ceremony and being the centre of attention are unavoidable. You will at least have to say “I do” during your ceremony and you are going to be sitting a short distance away from your guests so you cannot blend into the guest seating area to become invisible.

Your wedding dress, flowers and morning suit will be a dead giveaway anyway.

There are some strategies you can employ to help you along the planning journey.

Public Speaking – easy peasy right?

There is no doubt that speaking in public is named as one of the things in life that cause people to feel a lot of stress and when it comes to your wedding day this stress can cause anxiety unnecessarily.  It is important to note here that excitement is similar to anxiety so it is worthwhile to stop for a pair of New York minutes (so not very long at all) and take stock of where you are in the process.

Planning and Timing

You might ask yourself am I anxious because I am way behind with the planning process and have not given it enough time. If this is the case then let’s get real about how to address that? Look at where you need to restart with the plans and chip away at them as best you can. Enlist help from others who can do parts that do not directly require YOU to do them.

Understanding anxiety

To start with firstly let’s try to understand the state of anxiety a little bit more and how it actually manifest in the feelings that you wish you did not feel.

Anxiety is a combination of a few things

1) How we react to the jittery feelings that are stirred up inside,

2) How are those feelings being interpreted by you and

3) How expression is given to those jittery feelings or how we DO NOT give expression to those feelings and stay silent. Once we can acknowledge these feelings are within our circle of control then implementing strategies are the next step.

Tip 1 Remember why you are doing this? Go back to that time when nothing and I mean nothing could wipe that silly grin off your face?  What is it all about for you? Think back to the proposal or agreement conversation that marriage was the next step for you both. Even if it is for Tax reasons.

Tip  2 Write it down. Get it out of your head onto paper in whatever medium  works for you That might be it a list of concerns, or mind map, or depict it visually in some way shape or form through images that are meaningful to you. Think of them as little reminders about those feeling you had when you were at step 1 (Remember when you doodled images of engagement rings or growing your family or all the smiley faces you drew on every scrap of paper you came in contact with)You can access 750words.com which keeps your writing safe and secure with no worries of it being published anywhere.  Or if you like Images Hay House have a Vision Board app that allows you put images up that resonate with you on Hay House Vision Board App.

Tip 3 Amid all the planning, telephone calls and emails take a few minutes to BREATHE. When we do not pay attention to our breath we can shallow breath which does not give the lungs enough oxygen to do their job properly for your mind and body. You will find a 10 minute breathing exercise that you can do anywhere (so long as you are NOT driving) here You may feel like you have no time to do this but if you do time will work with you not against you.  Breathing is sooooo good for you.

Tip 4 Take time to review your plans against your planning time frame.  There are certain things that fall into your time line naturally. For example you would not go for your final dress fitting a year out from your wedding date so it would not make sense to do that task 12 months out from your wedding. Open a Google Calendar and populate your face to face meetings or Skype calls if that is the communication medium and colour code them. Google Docs can be accessed from anywhere once you log into your email and you can share the docs with others with changes made live. No more emailing attachments with version 1 version 2 as titles and confuse the bejebus out of you.

Tip 5 You may not like being the centre of attention so it is worthwhile thinking about all those people who are so happy for you and are really there to celebrate with you. Your wedding is a day of celebration with a tonne of planning gone into it. This is YOUR day YOUR way and it’s all about celebrating a milestone moment in your life. Everything you do is building up to the celebration. All that planning has culminated in everything the day has offer so enjoy it, dance your feet off and laugh ‘til the cows come home.

Final words

And when you do talk, talk about everything that is great about your day, how great it is to see people you invited, talk about how great it was to be pampered and attended to in your preparations that morning, talk about how giddy the champagne has you and talk about how thoroughly enjoyable the whole day is.

I wish you both, every happiness that there is to have in life and then some.