They say teach what you need to learn.
I woke up the morning of my wedding exhausted, stressed, and haggard. My mom was frantic about the forecasted rain that day, and I hadn’t slept a wink. A few hours later I hunched in the salon chair letting the stylist do most of the work to keep my head propped up and debating whether a cup of coffee would jumpstart the best day of my life or unleash the full-blown, barely-concealed crazy. Then I had a near meltdown when I couldn’t find my lipstick, and I coped by throwing back mimosas on an empty stomach as my friends worriedly stood by. While I felt calm, collected, and present during the ceremony, the full day of preparations was just not that great. But that time is precious, and as everyone will tell you, it flies by. Part of mindfulness is simply noticing; being present makes a moment that you would otherwise skip past expand like a balloon.
Here are five tips for staying mindful and truly soaking in your wedding day:
1. Cultivate a friendship with the weather. Is it sunny? Let the sun warm your heart, inner arms, and eyelids, and feel energized for the day. Is it cloudy and raining? Find peace and calm in the moody weather, and let it soothe your anxiety. Chilly? Hold your loved ones closer; make your day cozy and snuggle more.
2. Start your morning with an embodied practice. For you, that might mean a jog, yoga, stretching, or a little meditation. Get your feet on the ground, and your mind will follow.
3. Before the ceremony, take a moment to breathe deeply alone—even if you have to do it in a bathroom stall. After the ceremony, breathe together—even if it means spending a little less time with your guests.
4. Plan with intention. Select a guest list with the knowledge that these are the folks you will talk to during the few precious hours of your wedding. Often, less is more. Hire a day-of coordinator so your thought space isn’t dominated by logistics. Start letting go of perfection and control the week before your wedding. This practice will change the way you remember your wedding experience.
5. Take a few seconds out of the day to express love and gratitude to the family and friends that supported you in the planning process. Bask in the remarkable joy and love present in your community.
Liz Susong is the Editor of Catalyst. She's a transient adventurer who can call anywhere home as long as there is a good wifi connection.