Then there is the reception... putting on a big show - bigger than the Oscars and the Super Bowl!
But ultimately, according to Dr. Dan Clement, associate professor of psychology at Argosy University/Dallas, the most important thing to
concentrate on is not the size of the wedding cake or the color of flowers - it is the goal of committing to the person you love.
Along with all of the anxiety about the ceremony, "It is common for the bride
or groom to have some moments of realization about what they are about to do. The pre-marriage jitters are pretty common," says Dr. Clement.
Engaged people often have certain emotionally-charged questions that bloom in their minds as the wedding day approaches.
"I wonder if I can really give up my search for the perfect match, now that I am getting married?"
"What if they suddenly change, and show me a side of themselves I haven't seen?"
"Is my spouse really going to fit in next Christmas when my whole family gathers?"
Even for couples without any doubts, wedding day stress is mostly due to being evaluated by guests and loved ones during the ceremony or the reception.
"A newly-married couple often makes the marriage ceremony so much about the illusion they want to project, rather than a time of special bonding for the bride, groom, family and friends," explains Dr. Clement. "So much goes into the thousands of details that it can become a tremendous challenge for bride and groom to stay focused on each other."
To help overcome the stress during the ceremony, Dr. Clements suggests that the bride and groom should look beyond the actual day and view it as a launching time for the couple beginning their lives together. "The wedding and all of its trappings have little to do with the ultimate success and happiness of the marriage."
Dr. Clement also recommends that the bride and groom should focus on one another, and take lots of 'mental snapshots'. "If you are
very nervous, the opportunities for these mental snapshots will pass without notice because our self-consciousness has robbed us of the
ability to see what is most memorable."
These mental snapshots - noticing parents' tears of joy, the smiles on the guests' faces, the pure physical beauty of the bride or groom - will help alleviate stress on the wedding day.
Even the anticipation of taking these special mental snapshots can help refocus you on the real reason for the ceremony and alleviate the jitters that build up prior to the wedding day.
From the moment of engagement to the wedding reception, if couples focus on what really matters - marrying someone they love - brides andgrooms can help ensure a truly magical, memorable, less stressful wedding day.