7 Ways to Manage Pre-Wedding Jitters: Strategies for the Big Day

When I became a Sydney wedding photographer, I was most excited by the prospect of getting to take photos for a living. But it didn’t take long to realise how much of the job revolved around building relationships with the couples I serve. In some cases, the most critical part of my day happens when I arrive to take the “getting ready photos” an hour or two before the ceremony is due to begin.

I arrive at the hotel/house/wherever the action is happening, and I walk in to find that my clients are overwhelmed with pre-wedding jitters. My definition of pre-wedding jitters is the sensation of nervousness or anxiety that people feel in the hours leading up to their wedding ceremony.

For better or for worse (see what I did there!) the pre-wedding jitters are sometimes an unavoidable aspect of the day. You may not be able to avoid pre-wedding jitters completely, but here are 11 strategies that I have found to be effective for pre-wedding jitters on your big day.

1) Delegate

In the final days of the planning process, try to delegate some of the important decisions to a close friend or family member so you don’t feel overwhelmed with too many choices and options. It’s a great way of taking the load off yourself.

2) Get ready with your fiancé

I know it might be a radical suggestion for some couples, but the reality is that oftentimes the person who is most calming in your life is the person you are about to marry! So why torture yourself by actively staying separated in some of the most stressful hours of your life? Plus, it’ll make for some hugely intimate and romantic getting ready photos.

3) Name your jitters

Call them out and name your jitters for what they are: a physiological fight-or-flight response that boosts adrenaline production in your body. When you begin to notice things like your heart beating faster, or quickening breath, then you can logically rationalise those experiences and allow your body to just do its thing.

4) Have a pre-wedding brunch

If you’re planning to get ready with your fiance, instead of spending the morning prepping separately, consider having a pre-wedding brunch and getting ready together. Whether it’s pancakes or avocado bagels (my personal favourite), feed yourselves a nourishing meal before the madness ensues!

5) Stay busy

I’m not talking about avoiding pre-wedding jitters by getting drunk the night before your wedding (I actually highly discourage this approach), but rather, try to keep preoccupied with other activities. Whether it’s a morning yoga session or catching up on Stranger Things Season Two (yes please!), anything you can do to preoccupy your mind will help you to overcome pre-wedding jitters.

6) Keep a pre-wedding to-do list

The best way I’ve found for staying preoccupied is by creating a pre-wedding to-do list that you can refer back to throughout the day. This will not only help keep your mind occupied on productive tasks, but it’ll also give you something solid and tangible in front of you when pre-wedding jitters start to creep in.

7) Schedule a pre-wedding nap

When you can, it’s always good to get some sleep before your wedding day. And if pre-wedding jitters are fuelling insomnia, then try taking a pre-wedding power nap. It’ll do wonders for your pre-wedding jitters!

Pre-wedding jitters are a feeling of nerves or anxiety that engaged people feel in the hours leading up to their big day. This article discussed strategies and tips on how to manage pre-wedding jitters, such as delegating decisions, getting ready with your fiancee instead of separately, naming pre-wedding jitters for what they really are (a physiological fight or flight response), keeping busy throughout the day by taking care of other tasks like making a pre-wedding checklist, having a pre-wedding brunch with family members and friends before the big event starts.

All the best with managing your pre-wedding jitters, and here’s to a joyful and memorable wedding day ahead!


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Henry Paul Photography acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. I pay my respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and to Elders both past and present. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


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