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How to Avoid Panic Attacks during a Wedding Ceremony

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If being the center of attention is something you fear, you are most likely worrying about how to carry out your wedding successfully, especially when it is time for you to walk down the aisle with all those eyes on you. Cold sweat, trembling hands, and the feeling of passing out are something that we all do not want to experience on our big day.

While it is common to be nervous on your wedding day, there are tips that can help you avoid panic and anxiety attacks. This will ensure that you will be able to savor the moment of your wedding instead of just enduring it.

How to Avoid Panic Attacks during a Wedding Ceremony

Below are the tips you can follow to avoid panic attacks and keep the tension at a minimum during the wedding ceremony:

1. Stay hydrated

bride drinking water in front of a window

You might be so nervous on the big day that you forget to drink water. However, keeping yourself hydrated is vital in keeping your body functioning properly.

Before the ceremony starts, it is best to drink lots of water – not tea, coffee, or any flavored drinks- as they dehydrate you. Then, go to the restroom just before you walk down the aisle.

2. Let people know what you feel

A few minutes before the ceremony starts and you feel that your heart is about to burst from nervousness, it will help if you tell a family member or friend you trust about how you feel. By doing so, it will be easier to manage your stress, and it will also help you release the tension.

3. Make use of physical remedies

Happy bride getting ready, fixing her earrings.

To help yourself loosen a bit, it is good to use physical stress-relieving remedies. Some of these include: smiling as it helps release endorphins that boost your mood, moving or wiggling your hands and body to loosen those tight muscles, and practicing proper breathing.

4. Practice deep breathing

Perhaps one of the most used and effective ways to calm yourself is to practice deep breathing. Knowing how to breathe in and out properly triggers relaxation and lessens the anxiety that you’re feeling before walking down the aisle.

Don’t hold your breath without exhaling properly, as it can increase your stress levels. Before walking, take at least 3 to 5 deep breaths. Right away, your chest will feel much lighter.

5. Use aromatherapy essential oils

Bride sniffs essential aromatic oil

A few essential oils promote a calm state of mind, including lavender, chamomile, jasmine, and rose. They come in small bottles that you can carry in your pocket, and there are also those that you can wear on your neck, much like a necklace.

6. Think positive thoughts

When you’re panicking, it might be hard to think of positive things. However, it is very important to eliminate negative thoughts on your big day.

Some of the thoughts you should think of are: “I can’t wait to go on a honeymoon trip with my wife/husband!” instead of “What if something goes wrong during the wedding ceremony?” or “I’m sure that the party will be loads of fun!” instead of “Do we have enough food for everyone?”

You may also recall when you first met your soon-to-be husband/wife, your first date together, the last trip you had, and so on.

By thinking of such thoughts, your body and mind unconsciously relax and become calm.

Bride smiling while getting ready for wedding ceremony

7. Focus on your senses

It is important to be physically and mentally present during the wedding ceremony so that your mind doesn’t wander to negative thoughts.

You may smell the bouquet, feel the fabric of your dress/tuxedo, listen to the noise around you, have candy, savor its taste, and examine your environment.

8. Make eye contact

Close Up of Bride looking on Groom During an Outdoors Wedding Ceremony on an Ocean Beach at Sunset.

Instead of focusing on your nervousness all by yourself, it is better to look at the people around you and give them kind attention through eye contact. This will allow you to feel their support on your big day, which will help ease the nervousness that you are feeling.

Keep in mind that your parents, family, relatives, friends, and all the attendees are there to witness and celebrate your wedding.

9. Turn off your phone

It is easy to get distracted when you receive a text about a minor problem on your wedding day. Therefore, keeping your phone away from you at your wedding is highly recommended. Just be in the moment – forget all the worries from the office, from your home, etc.

If you’re asking, “But I need to talk with the caterer to ensure that the food is already prepared!” Well, we have a solution, which will be tackled later in this article.

Bride in wedding dress holding smartphone in hands

Other Tips You Can Follow Before the Wedding Ceremony

All the things mentioned above are the things you can do to avoid panic during the wedding ceremony. Here, let’s talk about some of the ways you can do to better prepare yourself a few days or weeks before your big day.

1. Have regular exercise

Couple running together

A few weeks before your wedding, it will be a huge help to exercise regularly as it will help reduce the anxiety and tension you may feel on your wedding day. It is even suggested to work out the day before your big day.

2. Get a full night’s rest

Make sure to have a complete and relaxing sleep before your wedding. You may also take a warm bath and drink a calming tea to help you sleep better if you’re having a hard time sleeping.

3. Do not skip meals

Happy couple having breakfast together in the kitchen

With all the thoughts that you’re thinking of before your wedding day, you might not notice that you’re already skipping meals or losing your appetite. However, it is very important to eat your food on time.

It is also recommended not to drink anything with caffeine as it worsens anxiety and panic attacks.

4. Eat healthy foods

You cannot just eat anything that you find! As mentioned, there are foods and drinks that make anxiety worse, such as those with caffeine and sugar. Eating something healthy, light, and easy to carry is suggested, such as nuts, fruits, and salads.

5. Consider having a small number of guests

Bride and groom on their wedding ceremony in the sunny park and their guests sitting on the chairs

If you know that what’s causing you anxiety is those numerous pairs of eyes that are looking at you, you might need to consider having a small, intimate wedding. As a matter of fact, you can even conduct the ceremony with only the two of you or have your parents and families stick around.

6. Familiarize yourself with the venue

You can ask your coordinator to conduct a practice ceremony in order for you to become comfortable and familiar with the venue. This will help you become more assured and composed once the actual ceremony is held.

7. Have some me-time

woman relaxing at home, reading book and drinking coffee sitting on balcony in apartment

A few days before your big day, it is important to schedule a day where you won’t think about your wedding checklist – do not interact with your guests, do not hold a party, and all that. Have some me-time where you can rest and breathe in a quiet and calm place – this would help keep your mind refreshed and clear and help you feel recharged before your wedding.

You can also do this at your wedding by staying in an area where no one is around. Here, you can practice deep breathing, wriggle your body, think of positive thoughts, and trust that everything will go well.

8. Have a wedding coordinator

The solution to keeping your phone off on your wedding day is this – have a wedding coordinator. Perhaps one of the main reasons why anxiety kicks in on your wedding day is that you are worried if everything will go well for the whole ceremony. That’s why it is crucial to have a wedding coordinator.

You can hire a full-service wedding planner, but it is not mandatory. Instead, you only need someone who will serve as the “focal person” for the event. This can be your maid of honor or your family members. That person should know everything that’s planned for the day, as well as the flow of the event.

Female wedding coordinator discussing ceremony with clients in her office


While anxiety and nervousness are inevitable at your wedding – even the confident ones get anxiety, too! – there are ways you can keep such feelings at a minimum.

Before your big day, make sure that everything is planned so that you won’t have anything to think of on the day of your wedding.

If you’re still nervous even after all the preparations, it’s time to validate your feeling, let your most trusted people know about it, and release the tension by moving your body.

Remember, just be in the moment and do not think about anything else.