If you're feeling a little stressed out and nervous about your upcoming nuptials, it may be comforting to know that you're in the same boat as many brides- and grooms-to-be. Not only are pre-wedding jitters totally normal, but they also come in all different shapes and sizes. In fact, when you start digging into what causes these pre-nuptial worries, you'll find that most women and men don't share the same exact set of concerns and fears. "Planning and executing a great event is tough, but realizing you're now going to be committed to one person for the rest of your life can also add another level of stress and anxiety to the point where a bride might even question whether or not she's making the right decision," explains Carlisha Magnarella, owner and lead event planner at Orlando Designer Weddings.
If you're feeling this uneasiness, don't fret. Plenty of other brides have been in your shoes—and managed to walk down the aisle without a hitch (or a heart attack!). Here, three brides get real about what caused—and alleviated—their pre-wedding jitters. Whether you're stressed about how your future husband or wife will react at the ceremony, the weather, or your how your guests will experience the day, we're here to tell you that your concerns are just temporary.
Janella S. says she was slightly anxious about the big-day schedule and keeping everything on track, but adds that her nerves quickly escalated to full-on jitters once she started imagining how her husband, Tarik, would feel during the wedding. "I wondered if he would like the vows I wrote and if he was going to feel that they encapsulated how I truly felt," she shares. "I became so shook up over everything that I started getting chest palpitations!" Dealing with her nerves was tough, but her bridesmaids were there to help. "The day of, my girls saw that I was very quiet, so they started making me laugh and putting on music because that's what mellows me out," she explains. "I tried to change my perspective on my fears and instead imagine Tarik's smile and how his lips curl, which I love."
For Heidi M., her pre-wedding jitters didn't involve her future husband, but rather their wedding venue. When she showed up at the church on the morning of her wedding, there wasn't a single available parking spot, meaning that when her guests arrived in a few short hours, there would be no place for them to park their cars. "As it turns out, the convention center next door was having a huge job fair, and the overflow parked at our church! My mom went over and had them make an announcement to move their cars, which took hours, but right before my guests started to arrive, the parking lot started to clear out," she says. "It's amazing with a wedding how you can plan every last little detail for months on end, and then something like this, something you never would have anticipated and therefore planned for, occurs!" Although she wasn't nervous about her upcoming marriage, she did spend the entire morning fretting instead of enjoying her day. "Sometimes your wedding day throws you a curveball!"
Darisha D. was more than a little anxious on her big day—she was a self-proclaimed nervous wreck. "I had the worst butterflies in my stomach, and they were so bad that I had to ask the waitress for a ginger beer," she explains. While one of the reasons for her anxiety was the weather—it had rained every day before their wedding—she says her nerves were also due to the fact that she had recently lost her father. "I've always been such a daddy's girl and dreamed that he would be at my wedding, walking me down the aisle," she says. "It was so heartbreaking in the months leading up to my wedding, imagining him not being there." Instead, her brother walked her down the aisle to Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud," and her anxiety subsided as the hour countdown to her ceremony approached.
Whatever the cause of your pre-wedding jitters, know this: It too shall pass. "You (hopefully) only get to plan one wedding in your life, so try your best to enjoy it while you can!" says Magnarella. "Guests will never know if something didn't happen as planned and they won't miss the items you don't have, so give yourself the break that you deserve and enjoy to the max."