There are so many big moments during the wedding weekend, often starting with the rehearsal dinner and ending with a send-off brunch. But experts agree it's the moments between those big events that tend to be the most meaningful for the bride and groom. One of the most precious times to connect with your fiancé is the night before the wedding. The downtime between the rehearsal dinner and the wedding day is a quiet opportunity to reflect on the significance of the event.
"Couples can focus on, 'what are we pledging—to be there for each other; to be there every day,'" says Kirsten Lind Seal, Ph.D., a family and marriage therapist in Minneapolis. Not everyone decides to spend the night with her fiancé; for some, an event chatting with girlfriends is the ultimate calm. But if you do decide to snuggle up with your soon-to-be husband, here are a few ways to make this minor moment feel momentous.
Reflect on your first meeting.
Take your mind off the wedding by traveling back to your first date. "Reflect on what was it that enticed you, what attracted you to each other," says Seal, who recommends sharing details like what your partner was wearing, what he said that made you laugh, or even the way he styled his hair. If you listened to a specific song or watched a show in the beginning of your relationship, then revisit it that night. Discuss how you were feeling about each other at the time. Remembering those details that one of you may have forgotten feels intimate and encourages reflection on how you've grown as individuals and as a couple, says Megan Paige, a relationship coach in San Francisco.
Even if you're having a local wedding, book a suite in a hotel and order room service—basically, do something that makes this night feel special and different than your normal routine at home, says Jordan Flowers, founder and owner of Wedding Belles in Atlanta. If you're exchanging gifts, share them that night instead of waiting until the next day when you're getting ready in separate rooms. "One of the best parts of giving gifts is seeing the other person's reaction," Flowers adds. If you wrote each other letters, read them in person and experience the response, which will most likely be an emotional one.
Stay off social media.
Looking at pictures of your friends and family from the rehearsal dinner is exciting, but it's also time consuming and takes the focus off the moment you're in, says Seal. Set aside a two-hour window where phones aren't allowed, putting them in a physically separate area like a basket, so you can fully focus on your fiancé.