How to Avoid Stress on Your Wedding Day

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Last weekend we finally did it! Jess and I got married and I couldn't be happier.  Since I proposed to Jessica over 16 months ago, I thought we had plenty of time to plan our wedding without stressing out about time or other unexpected challenges.  But for those who have planned a wedding before, you know this is a naive thought.  No matter how much time you give yourself, there will always be a moment or several moments when things don't go according to plan, causing a chain reaction of stress that radiates through the wedding party and anyone in between.  

One example of these moments is when I conveniently left a bag full of my groomsmen's ties, pocket squares, and belts on the side of a road the night before the wedding.  We were all packing up after the rehearsal dinner, and I remember Jessica's mom handing me the bag while reminding me of the contents inside, as if she knew there was a chance it would eventually become misplaced. I was holding several other things at the time that were to be placed into Jessica's car.  I must have dropped it on the street while packing bigger items in the car first.  At the time, I was also trying to coordinate who was going where and which car to take while juggling a multitude of other things in my head.  Needless to say that by this point, I was already stressed out,  and I left the bag in the street.  A few hours later, I found myself in a panic searching both the hotel room and car for the bag. Luckily, groomsmen Diep thought it may have been left in the street back at the rehearsal dinner.  He went back to check and sure enough, there it was with all the contents still inside. 

Everyone handles stress differently, but for me, when I get stressed I tend to do one of two things: Workout or Eat.  As we were putting together the finishing touches of the wedding, I noticed I was eating more than usual, and what I was eating wasn't as healthy as my typical diet.  Although I would have preferred to workout, it takes time and coordination with other priorities.  Luckily, I was able to workout frequently, but it wasn't as intense or frequent as I prefer while being super cognizant of how much time I was spending working out versus preparing for the wedding.  Eating however, was something I could do most all the time.  

I never said it out loud, but I had a goal weight and look for my wedding that I never hit.  I wanted to be around 180 pounds in weight, which is about 5-6 pounds lower than my average weight.  Instead, as of my wedding date and this blog date, I am around 189-190 pounds.  What I am talking about is a 3-4 pound weight gain despite working out most every day.  Most of the gain is probably due to a combination of all the fast food I've eaten and the water retention that comes with consumer high sodium junk food like chips..I've been eating a lot of chips..

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With all that said, I know the state I'm in is temporary.  Once things settle down, and I get back to my routine, I'm sure I can return to my normal weight.  Looking back at these pictures, everything turned out great and I still fit into my tux.  I think I'm super sensitive about all this because I see it all in my face, the size of which fluctuates with every pound I gain or lose.  No one else probably notices, but it's hard to ignore when you see it every day.  

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If I could help someone avoid the pitfalls of overeating and stress that accompanies the process of getting hitched, here are a few recommendations.  

1. Don't let yourself be responsible for holding anything within 48 hours of your wedding.  This is where your wedding party comes in handle.  Delegate the responsibilities of holding things to others as much as possible.  From the moment after I lost those belts and ties, I told my groomsmen to not let me hold anything else for the entire ceremony and reception.  There are just too many forces pulling your attention in multiple directions. 

2. Drink Plenty of Water leading up to the wedding.  This rule applies to all times in life, but it is easy to loose focus with all the business of getting married.  Staying Hydrated will come in handy when you're taking pictures for hours at a time or taking shots back to back with wedding guests.  Trust me, drink your water, it will come in handy towards the end of the night. 

3. Schedule a 30 minute break between the ceremony and reception for rest.  This happened unintentionally for us, but there we were, the entire wedding party, photographer, and videographers, all sprawled out in the hotel room, grabbing a 15-20 minute power nap.  Taking pictures combined with the ceremony is much more taxing than you might think.  Do yourself a favor, and schedule some rest before the craziness of the reception.  

4. Hire Day-Of Coordinators.  Our Wedding Coordinator Prim & Pretty was responsible for setting up the reception and made sure that everything went according to plan.  They served as a filter for all requests from our caterers, florist, family and friends.  This was a LIFE SAVER as towards the end of the night, they also made sure that everything was packed up and the event space was clean prior to leaving.  If you have some extra room in the budget, hire a wedding coordinator. 

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Despite all the moments of stress leading up to the big day, I can honestly say my wedding day was the best day of my life.  Not only did I get to marry my incredible and lovely wife, it was the one day I got to see and hang out with all of my favorite people at the same time.  To all my family, friends, and loved ones who shared this special day with Jessica and I, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  And a special shoutout to our parents and our wedding party for helping Jessica and I with any request that came up along the way of planning this awesome day.  My last recommendation for those getting married is to surround yourself with people you can truly trust and count on to be their for you, like the groomsmen and bridesmaids Jessica and I had there for us. 

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