Managing Wedding Ceremony Nerves

Epic Love Story

March 29, 2021

Having wedding day nerves is totally normal, but for a lot of nervous brides and/or grooms-to-be the ceremony is one of the biggest sources of concern. Alternative wedding celebrant Jeannene Powell is here to offer you a few insights and tips to help you transform those wobbles and nerves into excitement butterflies instead.

Even if you’re the kind of person who gravitates towards the limelight, you can still experience anxiety heading towards your wedding day. What will the day be like? How will people behave? Will it be strange having everyone starting at me all day? What if I fall flat on my face when I’m going down the aisle? And if you’re a normally shy or introverted person, these concerns are only going to be magnified.

If you’re feeling shy and self-conscious

If you don’t like being the centre of attention or you’re nervous about everyone looking at you, practice the things that you can in advance – from your entrance, to some of the words you’ll say. Doing this will help you do these things more comfortably on the real occasion and enable you to better focus your attention on your partner, instead of the fact that you feel shy.

If you’re worried about crying

Weddings are emotional occasions and tears are totally normal! However, it’s quite a common pre-wedding concern. Just accept the fact that it may happen, wear waterproof mascara, have some tissues handy, and just go with it if it does. Shedding tears happens so often during wedding ceremonies, it’s not something to be afraid of!

If you don’t want to show your nerves

Being nervous effects people in different ways. Some get a dry mouth, some stutter, others get sweaty palms or shaky hands and other might feel dizzy. To combat this during the ceremony, ask to have a glass of water somewhere nearby and if you need to take a minute to calm down, then do it. If you warn your celebrant in advance that you might need a moment, even better. You could even have a code word to whisper to them if you need them to fill the time a little while you gather yourself.

In the event of tears or sweaty hands, having or asking for a tissue can help and shaky hands can be placed into your pocket (hell yes for wedding dresses with pockets!) or it provides a wonderful excuse to hold your partner’s hand. Practising breathing techniques prior to your wedding is also a good idea and will help you to better calm your breathing on the day.

If you’re concerned about rushing

Rushing automatically makes us feel more nervous so the key to feeling calmer is to pace things instead. Start to go down the aisle only once you’re truly ready and at a speed which feels right for you. Speak at your own pace. If your officiant says some words for you to repeat and you didn’t catch all of what they’ve said, it’s OK to ask them to repeat it or break the sentence into smaller repeatable sections.

If the enormity of the day has just hit you

Being repeatedly told from different sources that your wedding day is ‘the biggest and most important day of your life’ can bring extra pressure to try to make everything perfect. This, in turn only brings more stress and nerves. The reality is that this is only one day in your life and one moment in your ongoing relationship story. Yes, it’s an important day, but it is not the ONLY day.

So many of my couples have told me after their wedding that no matter how they felt before the ceremony, once they saw their fiancé any nerves they had disappeared. I have no doubt in my mind that it will be the same for you.


Jeannene Powell is a wedding celebrant who prides herself on helping couples know all their options so they can have a ceremony which is perfectly suited to them. You can visit her site at

This article originally appeared in issue 20 of Rock n Roll Bride magazine. You can purchase the latest copy here, or why not subscribe to never miss an issue?