If you’re anything like me, you get nervous just planning just a little movie night at your house.  It’s a lot of pressure to make sure everyone is happy, comfortable, and having a good time, whether it’s a handful of friends in your home or 200 guests at your wedding.  Sometimes the pressure is enough to bring on a classic case of cold feet; other times, it can cause a near mental breakdown on your big day.  So, how can you keep jitters from ruining the day? 

First things first, overcoming pre-wedding jitters begins even before you pop the question or answer with a “yes.”  Well before engagement, you need to have some important conversations with your partner. Discuss family: do you both want kids?  Do you have specific ideas about how to raise kids?  Have a conversation about religion, financials, homeownership, and career aspirations.  Make sure your differences are fewer than your similarities in these important areas before you tie yourself to another person for life.  These are conversations to have long before you’re engaged, not the night before you tie the knot.

You’re both human, so it’s a fact that you’ll annoy each other sometimes.  My husband hates that I lose my keys nearly once a week, and it drives me up the wall that he never hangs his clothes up after they’re washed.  These little annoyances are almost never deal-breakers, but when you’re about to get married, they can become magnified as you begin to realize that you’re committing to be with this person forever.  So, before you start picking out reception centerpieces, take the time to discuss any and all petty annoyances.  Get your feelings and frustrations out in the open before they become a big deal in the midst of the wedding planning stress.  A little patience and understanding goes a long way.

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If you already know that your partner’s long-term expectations are compatible with yours and you’ve addressed the inevitable day-to-day annoyances, your jitters will not be coming from a place of uncertainty, but from stress.  Prevent unnecessary stress by starting the planning sooner rather than later.

In the year (or less, if you’re going for something simple) before your wedding date, the key is to plan plan plan.  Consult online wedding checklists to remember everything that needs to be done.  Your day is all your own, so your checklist will look quite different from the general lists available online, but you’ll get a sense for what needs to be done at what point.  The earlier you check things off the list, the less you have to do as the date gets nearer.

In the few weeks ahead of the big day, create a more detailed weekly and daily plan.  Schedule hair, fittings, and other appointments well ahead of time.  Don’t feel bad about delegating responsibilities; you may be surprised how helpful friends and family can be in taking the pressure off of you.  

In the days ahead, take care of yourself.  Eat well, continue with your normal exercise routine, try to relax, and most importantly: look forward to the celebration!  You worked hard to make it all come together, so you deserve to enjoy it.

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