How Visualization Can Help You Mentally Prepare for Your Wedding Day

A newlywed couple stand in a field with balloons

Our brains are funny sometimes. It can be easy to let a stray thought turn into a cycle of negative thinking. These rabbit holes of thought occur even more during a time when you have a lot to think about. Planning a wedding is one of those times when you may be prone to negative “what-ifs,” even if you are typically a positive person.

Psychology offers an option for how to cope with the many thoughts that come to you while you are busy planning your wedding. Using a technique called visualization, you can reverse the negative spirals and work to make those thoughts move in a positive direction. Visualization can help calm you down and make you feel more centered. Best of all, it builds positive excitement about your upcoming wedding event, especially if the complications of planning are otherwise feeling a bit overwhelming.

Visualization amounts to a kind of intentional daydreaming, where rather than letting your mind fully wander, you force it to focus on positive outcomes. This technique is used by athletes who want to “get their heads in the game,” in the sense of creating such positivity in their minds that they are fully prepared to win. You can harness the power of this kind of thinking to make you feel prepared and positive about your wedding day, rather than running over to-do lists and worrying.

Consider these steps to use visualization to build your happiness and mental preparedness.

Visualize Exciting Parts of the Wedding Week

There are tasks that need to be done that will be meaningful and fun in the run-up to the wedding. Take a few moments to think about them. These tasks might include getting a manicure with a friend, picking up bundles of flowers and smelling their scents, or cooking a big meal for family who are in town. Visualize getting some nice conversation time in with relatives you haven’t seen in a while, or working on a last-minute craft project with your friends. These thoughts give you excitement and joy about the last stages of wedding preparation.

Guests sitting at a table drinking wine at a reception

Visualize Waking Up on the Morning of Your Wedding

Visualizing what you’ll be doing when you wake up on your wedding day is a great idea. By thinking this through ahead of time, you won’t be as tempted to rush head-first into preparations or getting made-up and dressed too soon. If possible, wake up a few minutes before you need to, and in your visualization, think about what would be meaningful: sitting outside and enjoying the weather? Journaling? Reading a few lines from a favorite romantic book? Give yourself the gift of preparing for that moment of getting married, so that when it happens, it can be a treasured memory rather than just the start of another busy day.

Visualize the Ceremony Going Well

The ceremony can make some folks nervous, and no wonder—you are making some really big promises! That being said, one of the best things you can do is to imagine your way through the whole ceremony, specifically focusing on a daydream of the day going really well. Imagine how your beloved will look while reading or reciting vows, and imagine the ring slipping onto your finger. It’s easy to drift away from these thoughts into some other cycle, but it is more valuable to try to imagine it in your head in a positive way. Rather than feeling nervous, you’ll feel excited when the real moment actually comes.

Visualize the Reception or Dinner as Meaningful and Fun

Whether you are having a casual cake and punch reception or a long dinner with an evening of dancing, whatever happens after your ceremony may seem mostly unstructured, but there are always moments you can envision. If you want to daydream about dancing your first dance as husband and wife, you can actually rope your spouse-to-be into helping with the visualization as you dance around the living room. After all, practice makes perfect!

A bride and groom dance at their wedding

Visualize the Joy at the End of the Wedding

Many people run off to a fancy car under a rain of bubbles or rice, but whatever your exit strategy is, envision it going well as you literally leave on the well wishes of those you love. This moment may seem insanely far away right now, with all the wedding events still ahead of you. However, imagining this part of the night can give you clarity and comfort, realizing that however wonderful and magical a day is, it is still just one day before a lifetime together.

Even if visualization isn’t normally an activity that brings you meaning and success, it may be worth trying before a wedding. Many people get married once, maybe twice, in their entire lives, so helping yourself work through the many emotions of a wedding day ahead of time is likely to make you feel more calm, relaxed, and present.

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