One of the biggest challenges for every couple when planning a wedding is — believe it or not — actually enjoying the wedding day! Couples spend so much time preparing for this incredibly special event that when the day arrives, they forget to stop and take in everything their love for each other and hard work planning has achieved.

We can tell you to enjoy your wedding day over and over and over but chances are you will get caught up in the events of the day and time will fly by without you ever stopping to take a moment for yourself. So here are some tips for staying mindful at your wedding.

10 Tips for Staying Mindful at Your Wedding

1. Breath
Simple, right? Well, sort of. We’re talking about intentional breathing whenever you remember to do so. Breath in for four counts and out for eight. This allows your mind to settle, your nerves to calm and you to take in your surroundings. Anytime you’re waiting for something — paying the hair stylist, standing outside the church doors, sitting down for your meal — take a moment to breath intentionally.

2. Be Mindful on Cue
Pick something you are going to hear or see throughout your day and let it be a reminder for you stop and be conscious of your surroundings. We like the idea of choosing a phrase you’re going to hear a lot, like “How do you feel?” or “Are you excited?” Lots of people will be asking these questions and they’re great reminders to enjoy whatever is happening at the moment. You could also use your engagement ring. Every time you look at it or touch it, remind yourself of where you are, what you’re doing and that every minute of today is something to cherish.

3. Play 5-4-3-2-1
This is a mindfulness practice often recommended for those with high anxiety but it’s a great practice for anyone (and probably appropriate for most brides). Pick out five things you see, four things you feel, three things you hear, two things you smell and one thing you taste (if possible). This is an excellent way to take in all the details of your wedding day.

4. Use Your Hands
Our sense of touch is a powerful way to stay in the moment. Feel the material of your wedding gown, the beaded details, the curls in your hair, the warmth of holding someone’s hand. Focus on what those things feel like and allow yourself to be grounded. Not only are you experiencing the moment, you’re more likely to remember more about the day when you go back to reflect on it.

5. Enjoy a Hot Beverage
Sit down for a cup of coffee or tea. Hold the warm mug in your hands and sip slowly. Don’t carry the beverage around with you as you do 100 different things. Just stop and sip. Maybe someone will join you and you can enjoy a peaceful moment together.

6. Read the Wedding Program
Seems silly because you have probably poured over the details that go into your wedding program at length, but the meaning changes completely the day of your wedding. Read it from beginning to end without skipping names or song titles. Notice every person and every tribute going into this one day and feel the love.

7. Be Thankful
Acknowledge what you’re thankful for that day. There are so many things to choose from so pick as many as you like. You can do this through prayer, by saying it out loud to the people around you or writing it down like you would in a journal. The nice thing about writing it down is that you can save it for your wedding album or scrapbook.

8. Don’t Look Down
Look up, look out and look around. We have a tendency in public situations to look downward at the ground. It feels safer and more comfortable especially when surrounded by lots of people but try to resist this tendency, especially when walking down the aisle. Before you begin walking, stop and look at everyone around you and as you begin walking keep looking at all the friends and family surrounding you. These are the moments that go by so fast but you can take a mental snapshot to remember forever.

9. Walk Barefoot
You can do this anywhere at anytime but if you’re having an outdoor wedding you simply must walk barefoot for a bit. The feeling of the grass beneath your feet will draw you into the present and help you focus on the beauty of your surroundings as well as the sunshine on your face and the wind on your skin. This is an incredibly relaxing practice you are going to love.

10. Strike a Pose
Do you practice yoga regularly? Perhaps it’s a hobby you share with your future spouse. Bring your yoga practice into this special day. Practice a gentle routine in the morning to begin your wedding day calm and grounded. No time for that? Strike a few poses throughout the day as a reminder to stay centered and balanced.

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