Easy ways to Conquer Your
Fears about Your Vows
(21/11/2019) | Categories:
| Vows | Wedding Ceremony |
the love of your life is going to be an
extremely emotional experience. In fact,
and this is no secret, the reason we all love
weddings (celebrants included) is precisely
that. Seeing the emotions on your faces - tears
and all - is what really makes a wedding. It's
what grabs the heart, lifts the spirit, and
makes everyone present silently go Awwww.
And often we join in and shed a tear or two as
well (celebrants included).
I call it the three big W's of a wedding -
Welling Up, Willing the Couple On, and Wishing
the Marriage Every Success.
But one of the biggest fears couples share with
me is about speaking in public, stuffing up
their vows, and ugly crying! It
is normal to feel a bit nervous at the same time
as feeling excited (the butterflies are the
same, by the way), but don’t worry, it will be
all right on the day.
vows to one another is not like standing on a
platform, facing an audience, and making a speech.
You will be looking into the eyes of the love of your
life. You’ll be making promises about how you are
going to behave towards this person for the rest of
your life. You’ll be prepared. You’ll know exactly
what you are going to say. And I will be leading you
through these promises (repeat after me) or, if you
choose, you’ll be reading them from a very
Insta-worthy card I'll make for you. You won’t be
making a speech.
With my help, we’ll make sure that your vows are
natural expressions of what you want to say. And,
because you are prepared and happy with your vows,
none of the following things that marrying couples
commonly worry about are going to spoil your day:
Common Fear #1: Going blank
Going blank isn't going to
happen. You don’t have to memorise and
remember your vows. You can repeat them after me, or
you can read them from lovely cards I'll make for
Common Fear #2: Freezing up
If you do need to pause for a bit, just breathe calmly
and quietly in through your nose and out through your
mouth. Practice this and use it both before ceremony
starts and during it. You’ll be amazed at how calm
Common Fear #3: Blushing,
Shaking, Dry Mouth
These are common physical responses to being nervous.
Even if they do happen you can do things that will
bring you to a calmer state where the symptoms start
to fade away. Ignore blushing and concentrate on what
you are promising to you best beloved. Drink lots of
water before the ceremony and try not to think about
it. Concentrate on what you’re doing (Marrying the
love of your life) instead of the fact that you’re
blushing, shaking, or have a dry mouth and the
symptoms will resolve themselves quite quickly.
Common Fear #4: Ugly Crying
There's nothing wrong with shedding a few (happy!)
tears on the big day. But I definitely get it that you
don't want to be sobbing like a two year old whose
sandwich has been cut in squares when they wanted
triangles! Definitely have a handy handy, but here are
the things that you can do well ahead of time
that will make sure that you don't ugly cry on
- Negotiate your vows
Yes, I know that what we see in many weddings is
the couple fishing out bits of paper on which
they've each written their personal vows - as a
surprise. And the things that are most likely to
make you ugly cry as things that are common to
such vows. All of the "this is how you make me
feel" statements. There is a reason for this
approach to vows. When the ceremony is a fixed
one, everyone gets the same, "personal" vows are
the only place that such statements can be
made. That's not the case in Australia, or
with me. So, keep your vows to promises about the
way you are going to behave to one another during
your marriage, and you have discussed and agreed
on those things beforehand (healthy for your
marriage!) and then you promise those things on
the day, you'll avoid some of the triggers for
ugly crying. We can make sure all of the "how you
make me feel" feels are integrated into the
ceremony in other ways.
- Practice, Practice, Practice
Don't worry, you won't wreck the moment. Saying
them on the day will always feel different,
emotionally, to saying them when you're practicing
them. But being so familiar with the words that
you could virtually say them off by heart makes it
much easier to avoid crying.
- Say your personal promises in unison
There is something very powerful about hearing
your best beloved say the same words, promise the
same things, at the same time as you are saying
them. High emotion, yes. Ugly crying? It won't
happen. You'll be smiling ear to ear!
Other Ways to Avoid Ugly
Pressing your tongue to the top of your mouth is a
tried and true remedy. And so is taking deep, slow,
breaths. But if you're worried that you will be crying
before you even get to your vows, here are some things
that will help with that.
- Choose your music wisely
Go for the upbeat, rather than something that you
know always makes you well up. Save that emotional
song for when you're signing the certificates, or
cutting your cake, or for your first dance.
Actually, there is no reason why you shouldn't go
for a medley - switching from
emotional/sentimental to upbeat and back again.
- Incorporate an in-joke
Challenge one another to come up with something
that (as a surprise) will make you laugh when you
meet one another at the altar, or just when you're
about to walk down the aisle. Just keep it subtle.
The guests don't have to be in on it, or even
notice. All they'll see is joy.
- Use your safe word
And no, this is not a 50 Shades of ...
suggestion. But if you and your best beloved have
a word or little saying that always lightens the
mood, makes you laugh, or brings you back to earth
(and most do), now's the time to use it.
- Wriggle your toes or subtly change your
weight from one foot to the other
Both of these can be imperceptible to the guests,
and they get the blood moving and the oxygen
flowing to the brain
- Go easy on the booze, and don't
forget to eat
Alcohol lowers inhibitions. That's a given. So it
can make it harder to control emotions. Yet
everyone will ply you with it while you're getting
ready. Drink plenty of water instead, and
make sure you have something to eat that's
- Do a first look before the ceremony
A first look is when you share a private moment
before the ceremony. It really helps to get
rid of nerves and reduce stress by the time the
ceremony starts (you can still have your walk down
the aisle). While not everyone wants to do a first
look, most couples who do one agree that it takes
nothing away from the moment they see one in the
aisle. So they get to double-dip on that powerful
feeling, but are less likely to cry when they see
one another in the aisle - and there is time for a
makeup freshen up before you walk down the aisle!
Just make sure you invite your photographer to
capture the moment.
PS You are NOT going to Ugly
Cry no matter what because ...
Actually, Ugly Crying , while a description that often
gets bandied about (and something that TV and
movies really capitalise on because it is easier
to fake than more realistic crying), is something
that just doesn't happen on a wedding day (except
maybe by a flower girl or ring bearer who decides
to have a full-on tanti). And here's why. It
is all about the anatomy:
- Ugly crying is at least two-thirds lips
Apart from a quiver, what you do with your lips
and mouth is easy to control. To ugly cry you need
to collapse both lips and at the same time pull
- Ugly crying requires clenched and furrowed
Who does that on their wedding day?
- Ugly crying is enhanced by chin action
Are you starting to get the picture?
- Ugly crying is usually punctuated by saying
something really "sad" - in all senses of the
If you aren't convinced by now that you won't ugly
cry on your wedding day, regardless of how anyone
cuts up your sandwich, go watch a couple of movies
(Diane Keaton's ugly crying in Something’s
Gotta Give (2003), is something to see)
or borrow a small child and cut their sandwich the