How to survive your wedding day

“It’s going to be the most stressful day of your life.”
“It’s all a blur.”
“It’s complete mayhem.”
These are some of the things people told me about their wedding day, and they were certain my experience would be similar.
They were right.
I don’t think there’s any way to prepare for it, either. Even if you have a wedding planner (which we didn’t), it seems the craziness of the day is just part of the experience. Emotions are everywhere. You can hardly focus on what you’re supposed to do, let alone follow a conversation. At Pourman’s Cafe the morning of the wedding, for example, I was helplessly distracted. Seated with people from all over the country, from different chapters of my life, I wanted to be a part of every conversation, which simply couldn’t be done. A few friends gave me a look – it’s a look many grooms have probably received: “where are you right now?”
The look was justified. I was everywhere. I wanted to share my time with all my friends equally. Impossible. I hardly got any time to play with my nephews. And I still had plenty of details to cover: pick up the flowers, get Nick and Mark guitars so they can practice the dollar dance song, pick up the rings from the house and other errands I’ve long since forgotten (some I forgot even then, hence why the flower girls didn’t have flower petals. We can laugh about it now).
Honestly, without my best man, Thomas, and his wife, Brittany, I don’t know how I could’ve gotten anything done. Seriously. Sitting in the back seat of their rental car was the most comfortable place that morning/afternoon.
“What do you need?” Brittany asked I don’t know how many times.
Together, we ran the errands and got things from A to Z, picking flowers up from the bride’s house, getting the last batch of decorations to the Elks, dropping the sign off by the turn to the reception hall. The list goes on. I’m getting stressed just thinking about it.
But if I visualize myself in that backseat, I’m calm, cool and collected again. It was in that back seat I could really start anticipating the glorious moment about to occur.
Everything came together beautifully. Kari was radiant. My dad shined as officiate, the musicians sang beautifully, the photographer captured it all magnificently and the reception was the most fun and heartwarming event I’ve ever experienced. The anxiety lifted, the nerves washed away. All that mattered was the moment.

But getting there, on the other hand, was even more insane than expected, and I expected it to be insane. Don’t doubt it when people tell you it’s going to be the most stressful day of your life, even if you’re not someone generally prone to stress.
My advice: let your wedding day come at you. Welcome the stress and anxiety, but have people around that you can fall back on. Like Bill Withers so beautifully sang, “We all need somebody to lean on.”

(as published in the Lewistown News-Argus)

About CharliesTrail

Originally from Indianapolis, Denison is a writer and musician who has picked up culture and influences from eccentrics all over the U.S. and overseas. He is a University of Kentucky Journalism School grad and an award-winning Montana journalist. Through the years he's had work published by "Chicken Soup From the Soul," DVD Netflix, Montana Quarterly Magazine, NUVO and Americana Highways. He has a solo album, "Whispers of the Lonely," and continues to chip away at his first novel. Currently Denison is the editor of The Boulder Monitor in Boulder, Montana, where he lives with his wife.
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