Five things you’ll seriously underestimate about your wedding day

Emily_Ellie wedding by Ruth Blamire Brown

No matter how prepared you think you are for your ceremony and wedding day in general, you will still not be prepared for some (most) things. And most of those things that there is no amount of preparation for, are your emotions. Those beasts are a law onto themselves and do whatever the hell they like when they like, with little regard as to how you would actually like to be feeling at a particularly moment in time!

So here is my little run down of five things that you will seriously underestimate on your wedding day. And yes, emotions feature high up on the list, but they’re not the only things that you may overlook!

You will underestimate…

How nervous you will be

Imagine how nervous you will be on your wedding day. Then, multiply that by a thousand and it still won’t be enough. Your nerves will be planning a full on, stealth military attack on your body and mind, like you never will have experienced before.

And the thing with nerves is that they are sneaky. Sneaky little buggers. So sneaky in fact, that one minute you are happily getting yourself ready for your ceremony, enjoying a nice glass of champers and looking forward to what’s ahead and then the next minute your stomach is doing cartwheels and you’ve got to sit down before you throw up. Seriously.

Your nerves will have you on a rollercoaster ride for most of the day, but it’s those moments before the ceremony where they’re likely to cause you the most trouble. And what’s worse is that you will have absolutely no control over them whatsoever, so don’t even bother trying.

Marbella wedding

If this photo was a video, you would see the groom’s hands change position so many times. Back, front and sides, bless him! His nerves had them all over the place! Photo by Owen Farrell.

Also, you may find that your nervousness displays itself in the worst and most annoying ways imaginable. For some, it’s uncontrollably laughter or crying, not to mention the uncontrollable shaking. For others it’s actually being sick or worse, tummy trouble! For some men, it shows itself through fidgeting and not knowing what to do with their hands. Especially, at the start of the ceremony, if they are waiting for their partner to arrive. For me, it was the need to constantly go to the wee. I think I went about 30 times in the whole run-up before the ceremony. Serious waste of my precious getting ready time, but something I had no control over.

So the key is to just go with it. Let it be what it is and before you know it, it will pass (hopefully!).

How much you will cry

Crying is one of those funny things that so many people think they are immune to, but that’s usually because they’ve never been married before. When it comes to crying on your wedding day, you actually cannot call it in advance, no matter how much you think you can. I know so many brides who before the ceremony have told me they will be in pieces during the ceremony and who actually turned out to be really together and composed. Then there’s the people who say they won’t cry and well you’ve guessed it, they turn into a sweaty, snotty, hot mess! You just don’t know how you’re going to be until in the moment.

An emotional groom

Photo by Toto Villaruel

Also, crying gets people at different stages throughout the day. You can be crying as you get ready but be fine for the ceremony. Or like most people, it will be the sight of your love bunny that will get you and I mean really get you. For some couples, those with children who are perhaps part of the wedding party, it can be the sight of their little ones making their walk down the aisle that has their chin wobbling and the biggest of lumps in the throat. And then during the ceremony itself, if the readings and/or music don’t get you going, then your vows most certainly will!

Just be content in the knowledge that there will be tears on your wedding day. Yours, his, hers, your family, your friends. Don’t try to stifle tears, the best thing is to let them roll and embrace them! I mean, no-one wants to see really ugly crying and the hand-flapping, face-fanning actions, do they? You know, the crying that comes when you’re trying to stop yourself from crying? The worst kind! In Elsa’s words, ‘let it go’, people.

How fast the time goes

I don’t know what it is about time on your wedding day, but it seriously goes more quickly than on any other day. I actually believe that a minute is only 30 seconds long on a wedding day, as it’s the only way to explain where the time goes. You can wake up in the morning all confident that your wedding day schedule is intact and everything is running as clockwork, but then somewhere a long the line, you will just lose a few hours, like they’ve been swallowed up by some invisible wedding black hole. And it’s like ‘shit, I’m getting married in an hour and my hair is still in rollers,’ type-of-thing!

The champagne flows, everyone's relaxed and then before you know it, two hours of gone! Photo by Miki Barlok.

The champagne flows, everyone’s relaxed and then before you know it, two hours have gone! Photo by Miki Barlok.

My ceremonies are sometimes 30-40 minutes long, but even I have the sensation that they are much shorter and I’m as surprised as the couple are that the ceremony is over and done with, when it felt like it had only just started!

And then before you know it, you’re waving your guests off and wishing them a safe journey.

So I’m sorry to tell you, but no matter how well organised and planned you may be, the time will disappear right in front of your eyes, so make the most of every minute because the day is over too quickly. This is why more people are becoming a big fan of two or three day wedding events (a Friday night casual dinner or BBQ, Saturday wedding day, Sunday post wedding BBQ or lunch, kind-of-thing), to keep the momentum going and to make the most out of having all of your loved ones around you for as long as possible!

How little quality time together you’ll have

Now I can already imagine that some of you are thinking, ‘how is this even possible?’ Well, trust me, it really is. Although, your day is about your commitment to each other and your togetherness, much of your time is spent not being with each other and then when you are together, it’s fleeting time, spent chatting to others and accommodating your guests, as the hosts that you are.

Think about it. In the morning, if you’re getting ready separately, you will basically have a whole morning of not seeing each other. Then you’ll have the ceremony. You’ll get to see each other but not really see each other. Then maybe you’ll have cocktails and canapés, where you’ll be chatting to EVERYONE but the one you’ve just married. This then followed by some photos maybe, then dinner, where you might squeeze in a little chat, kiss and cuddle before the speeches, but probably not, because the whole world is literally watching your every move. Then it will be dancing time, but loud music means not much talking and then it’s bed time, when the two of you of you are far too exhausted/drunk to hold a conversation.

Miki Barlok

Quality time together can be precious and rare on your wedding day! Photo by Miki Barlok.

Okay, I may have exaggerated a little, but trust me, you will be so busy with everyone and everything, that quality time with your love bunny is hard to come by. This is why I highly recommend a ‘first look,’ a little private time to see each other before the ceremony and have some meaningful time together before all your guests need seeing to! Or some couples very cleverly go off for some couples’ photos right after the ceremony, which is a fab chance to be together for five guest-free minutes and simply get to check in with each other and see how the heavens you’re both doing!

How much love you will feel

You know how much your loved ones mean to you and how much you love them, that goes without saying, but there is something about getting married, which brings all of those feelings to the surface and makes them literally overflow. If you think about it, on a wedding day there are so many relationship dynamics going on. The love between parents and their children, the love between siblings, between best friends and close relatives, between you and your love bunny. And all of these feelings and emotions are all at play, all at the same time. So it’s no wonder that getting married can feel emotionally draining, as some weddings just turn into one big love fest.

Emily_Ellie wedding by Ruth Blamire Brown

Photo by Ruth Blamire Brown

And the feelings will be reciprocated by all. It is not just the newlyweds who are emotional on their big day, but everyone else too and I think this is something that people hugely underestimate. Sons don’t imagine that their mums or dads may be tearful. Daughters might not expect their dads to cry. Friends might not realise how emotional they find themselves in seeing their closest buddies tie the knot.

Getting married stokes up so many emotions of so many people involved on a wedding day. So when I see that couples have put tissues in their order of service programmes for their guests ‘happy tears,’ I don’t scoff, because I know they’ll need them!

It is a real privilege to have so much love on display in your honour, from your loved ones to you both, and back again. And this just describes the love between you and your nearest and dearest without even dipping into the love between you and your love bunny and how that will make you feel on the day!

And as with all of these emotions, the best and only thing to do is to soak it all up and to love every minute of these extreme sensations, because as time moves on, you may not remember all that was said or what happened on your big day, but you will always remember how you felt.


About the author

Natasha Johnson

Natasha Johnson is an experienced Wedding Celebrant, blogger and writer on all things related to weddings, in particular wedding ceremonies. Her mission is life is to encourage couples to see the importance of their wedding ceremony and to get married in just the way they want to. Make sure you catch her on the Engaged and Ready Wedding Podcast, here or on iTunes and Stitcher.

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