An Open Letter to the Anxious Bride

Like most brides and myself nearly 2 years ago as a bride, the feelings of anxiety and stress creep up so easily when we realize we have only XX amount of days before this event we've been planning for months is about to unfold.  But really, this isn't just an event that's taking place. Yes, it's most definitely a grand program that you and other have put a lot of dollars, love and time into, but it isn't just that

I had a bride text me today who admitted she's felt nervous and as if she's forgetting something. She lays in bed at night and anxiety creeps in as she thinks and plans.  My heart felt for her, because firstly, I have had some dark nights in my past where anxiety crept in at night to haunt me and secondly, I've also been there as a bride. I get it. I really do. I've felt it; I've experienced it. And I was reminded of the most important thing--the marriage.

Dear anxious and tired bride, 

Your wedding day is just around the corner, and you have a lot on your mind. There is a lot that most definitely could be on your mind! It's totally valid. But aside from the unknown, the worries, the stress, there are some pretty amazing, pretty beautiful, and pretty exciting times ahead for you...

So let's focus on them!  

Remember that this day is entirely about you two.

You and your fiancé. Your fiancé and you. Period. Continually remind yourself of that! You are not only planning a wedding, but you are planning for a marriage. As much time, love and effort you invest in your wedding, invest the same into your marriage as you prepare and begin your lives together. Can you imagine how prosperous our marriages would be if we did that!?

Think of your fiancé and what you love about them. You are totally and completely committing your life, heart and desires to and with them. It's an exciting day to take in, and I'm not sure it's fully comprehendible in a 24-hour day! You can beg to differ, but it flies by whether you want it to or not! So take time on your wedding day to pause, remember, and feel. My favorite moment to photograph on a wedding day is the portion of the day where we document the bride and groom. I remind them beforehand that this is one segment of their wedding day that they get to spend together, just the two of them. In each others arms. And once they realize that, it's such a rush for us to photograph and savor!

It's not about a perfect wedding, but a wedding with purpose. 

Just to clarify, I'm kind of stealing this one from Lara Casey in a paraphrased kind of way! Any who, try not to worry about the perfect, nitty gritty details of your wedding day. I am naturally the kind of person who would do this. So instead, I told myself that I would work as hard as I could to get whatever I could done, but once the Monday before my wedding hit, I wrote down those extra little details and asked loved ones to help me with them. And guess what? They helped me! And those couple little things that I didn't cover? It really doesn't matter today. And I don't even remember them.

It's not about a perfect wedding day but the purpose of the wedding. Really--why are you getting married? It can be a very deep, evaluative question! :-) 

The surface answer is to marry your love. To spend the rest of your life with the man you love! To become one with your husband. To continually be reminded of what selfless and service looks like. To laugh for the rest of the days of your life! 

Nerves are completely okay. 

When you are diving into something new or unknown, more often than not, it would be abnormal if you weren't nervous about it. And in this sense, it's okay. If you're nervous, it's not a bad thing. It's okay to feel anyway you want in the midst of such a new adventure. But when you feel these rising, refer back to my two points above, and let that be your therapy. Just remind yourselves of the facts in the journey, and these nerves can hopefully be replaced with excitement! Fact is: you're going to become a Mrs. 

Times will be beautiful, fun, and full of memories, but they will also be difficult, trying and full of grace.  And it's completely worth it. It is so completely worth every bit of it. Jordan and I can both agree to the good times and bad being ultimate marriage-shapers. 

And you can take these with a grain of salt... ;-)

On another note, aromatherapy, massages, and a glass of wine with girlfriends worked for me before my wedding day too! ;-)

And on another tangent, the following could be inappropriate... but going into my wedding day, I told myself that 1 thing was most likely going to go wrong. Out of the 28407 opportunities there were, statistics showed that at least 1 details wouldn't pan out accordingly. And unfortunately, I was right. But when I was, it didn't sting as badly! Jordan and I had made large, wooden J&L signs and drilled holes in them. We strung lights twinkle through the letters and planned to hang it above the barn our in which our reception took place, but the wind said otherwise! It was okay though, because at the end of the night, I had my honey! 

Here's to hoping this resonates with some of you brides who are saying, "I do" to their honey soon! Enjoy every second of your wedding day, the moments leading up to it, and the future with your sweetie! And share my mini counseling session with a bride who could use it! :-)

We are continually praying for all of you couples' wedding days and marriages. 

Joys,

Lindsay 

(And that's me and my sweetie below! Thank you Leah Grace Photography for the photo!)