Cool, calm and collected – top tips for a stress free wedding

Wedding day fast approaching? Your head chock-full of seating charts, colour schemes and menus, right?

We’ve all been there.

Every bride-to-be feels the pressure in the run-up to her big day. Don’t let stress ruin your wedding.

I enlisted the help of Jo Surkitt from Torquay’s Revitalize Lifestyle – who specialise in women’s retreats and special ‘Indulge Days’ for brides-to-be.

Follow Jo’s top tips for transforming even the most frazzled bridezilla into a zen princess.


Just because your wedding day isn’t a military campaign, doesn’t mean it can’t run like one. Diary apps, post-it notes, calendars or a good old fashioned schedule. Whatever your style; keeping track of what’s left to do, when the deposits are due, and the final deadline for payments, means you won’t be losing beauty sleep in the run-up to your big day.


Your nearest and dearest are just as good at ferreting out bargains, checking out bands and whittling down photographers as you are. So don’t treat the bridal party as set dressing, make them earn their keep!


Yes, you can spend months running around bridal shows, reception venues, caterers and heaven knows what else, but we live in the digital age — let the internet do the work for you. Sites like Ivory Tribe and Pinterest are great for picking up ideas and seeing what works well. And once you know what you want, you can narrow down your search area.

Don’t be afraid to ask those around you for recommendations as well. We all want our day to be unique and special, but that doesn’t mean you can’t borrow a few good ideas or use the same florist as your cousin. Tradespeople who come highly recommended are worth their weight in gold, and are a stress-free alternative to gambling on unknowns.


Go and see the band live, taste test a gazillion types of cake and don’t be afraid to ask multiple caterers for sample menus. Take the guesswork out of the selection process and you can relax, secure in the knowledge that the band sings on pitch and the food will hit the mark.


It’s lovely that everyone wants to help (and impose their own set of ‘great’ ideas and family traditions on your big day), but don’t lose sight of yourself. Book an hour out for a massage, schedule a pedicure or hit the yoga studio and give yourself a break from it all.


If you’re preparing for the biggest day of your life, then chances are you’re no stranger to the cross trainer. But exercise isn’t just about fitting into that dress. Even if red-faced and sweaty isn’t a look you covet, it can make you feel better. A gentle walk, short swim or full-on gym sesh will all do wonders for your psychological and physical health and help you stay stress-free.


So wedding stuff’s getting on top of you and you don’t have time for a pedicure or a quick run? We’ve got a tip for that! Balance your brain with some cross crawl exercises or down some water, both will activate brain function and help you to concentrate on the task at hand.


Meditation is an excellent tool for helping you to focus, and it doesn’t need to take long. A couple of minutes of deep breathing exercises will calm your mind, slow your heart rate and enhance your health. What’s not to love?


It is important to remember what your wedding is really about — even when Great Aunt Aggie is refusing to sit next to Uncle Leicester and the whole seating plan is going up in flames. Repeating positive affirmations like ‘our wedding will be fun, memorable and everyone will enjoy it’ will help you to refocus on what is important (and why you are putting yourself through all this in the first place).


There will be days when, even with the best will in the world, the wedding gets on top of you and eloping to Vegas starts to look like the favourable option. It’s OK to feel like this, as long as you let those around you know how you are feeling. Talking through your concerns and articulating how you feel will preserve your relationships…and your sanity!


Don’t lose sight of who you are as a couple as the wedding gets close. Establish a weekly date night, go away for the weekend or just walk the dog together. Take the time to listen to each other.

Remember, this is your first real test as a couple, establishing good practices now will help you stay strong in the future when work gets busy or the patter of tiny feet overwhelms you.


Feeling nervous in the lead-up to a lifelong commitment is perfectly natural. Don’t beat yourself up about nerves or imagine that you’re getting cold feet. Instead, take the time to acknowledge how you are feeling. Discuss your thoughts with those closest to you, invest in some Rescue Remedy (nature’s answer to wedding jitters) and spend time as a couple.


Struggling to sleep? Perfectly normal. Take a relaxing bath with Epsom salts right before bed, dab lavender oil on your pillow or try a restful meditation to help you drift off.


The cabbage soup diet might work for Beyonce, but let’s not pretend it’s a good look for anyone else. Look after yourself in the run up to the wedding. Eat real, nourishing food, drink lots of water and engage in regular exercise and you’ll be able to handle any last minute niggles without a melt-down.


Photo – Sheree Dubois

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