Pre-Wedding Jitters? How to Warm Up Your Cold Feet

Angel’s Lovers

April 24, 2024

Wedding day jitters aren’t to be taken lightly. The guilt, the self-doubt, the midnight anxiety. You know what? Let’s just say it how it is, you’re going through some serious shit here. So, for the next few minutes, I’m gonna try and be as positive, calm and reassuring as possible. Like someone might talk to a horse that’s about to bolt.

Easy, boy. Eaasssy *strokes nose*

First of all, don’t feel guilty about feeling nervous. It doesn’t in any way mean you love your partner any less. Nervous is normal. If I got the job of Head Red Wine & Cheddar Guzzler at Sainsbury’s, I’d be vibrating with nerves right up until my first day. And I love red wine and cheddar, very, very much (til gout do us part).

But ‘excited nervous’ and ‘worried nervous’ are different. It’s exciting to go to the zoo; it’s worrying when the tiger gets loose. If you’re ‘worried nervous’, you need to grab the problem by the ears and have a word with it. Ignore it, and it’ll only get bigger. Best case? It spoils your day. Worst case? You end up unhappily married, quietly resentful of each other, and deeply miserable for the rest of your lives.

No, wait! WAIT! COME BACK! Shit. *chases after horse*

Right, where were we? Ah yes, your wedding jitters. Don’t worry, I’m here to help.

Figure out what you’re actually worried about

There are plenty of reasons you might be nervous about getting married. And the good news is, most of them have absolutely nothing to do with your partner. Family pressures, money worries, social anxiety, the weight of expectations… it can all put a pretty big strain on your mental health. The chances are, it’s the wedding you’re nervous about, not the marriage.

So, let’s isolate the problem and take ‘the wedding’ out of the equation for a while.

Imagine you just ditched the whole thing and hopped on the first flight to Vegas. No wedding to worry about, no family, no speeches. You get home a few days later and it’s done. No guests, no pressures, no expectations. Just your future together and your married lives stretching out in front of you.

How do you feel now? Suddenly all featherlight and fancy-free? Great! We now know where the problem lies, and whatever it is, it’s an easy fix.

Still filled with dread at the thought of married life? Then honestly mate, it’s a tough one.

Call me old-fashioned, but marriage shouldn’t be a throwaway thing. You’re choosing a partner for life. If you’re in any doubt about who you’re marrying, or you don’t think it’s the right time, you should hold off until you are sure.

Talk to your partner

I know, shark-infested waters. I mean, how the fuck do you start that conversation?! (Sorry, I know, not helpful!). Seriously though, this is the person you’re going to be spending the rest of your life with. If there’s something that’s weighing on your mind, you need to be able to talk to them about it.

Be honest (but gentle), and tell them how you’re feeling. The chances are, they’ll instantly sift through your bullshit and see what the problem is better than you. And I promise, once the problem’s out in the open, you’ll be surprised at how small it seems.

Either way, don’t dread the conversation. If they love you, they’ll take your side and help you through it because they want you to be happy. If you come to them with a problem and they jump down your throat? Fuck ‘em. You may have just dodged a lifetime of bullets.

Stay off social media

Don’t get me wrong, social media’s great for finding suppliers, nicking ideas and getting inspired. But remember, all you’re seeing is picture-perfect moments. If you’re already feeling that ‘perfect wedding’ pressure, scrolling Insta is like drinking seawater.

I watched a photographer edit a photo the other day. It started out as a normal shot. A couple at the altar, a stone-faced officiant, a videographer creeping into the frame… And then the photographer got to work.

A few clicks and the videographer and officiant were gone, AI’d into nothingness. Another click, the sky was bluer. Click, flowers brighter. Click, skin flawless.

A few days later, that image was all over Insta. Beware of reality made perfect.

Plan a day to look forward to

There’sonly one thing you have to do on your wedding day. You have to get married. And that’s it, literally everything else is optional.

Is the thought of doing a speech giving you anxiety? Then just don’t fucking do one. Is the first dance making you nervous? Skip it. Even things like the photographer, the dinner, the confetti (all the main characters) …they’re all optional.

This is supposed to be the best day of your lives, a day for you. Plan it accordingly.

If you do cut any traditions, why not replace them with activities of your own? Things you can look forward to (“fuck a first dance, let’s have a Bucking Bronco competition!”). Think outside the box and plan a day that has you buzzing with excitement, not heavy with dread.

But of course, there’ll be times when you both want different things. In a tie-break situation, talk about it and find a solution you’re both happy with. Remember, it’s never worth one of you being anxious for months, just so one of you can be happy for a few minutes.

Take care of yourself

You’re an adult, so this shouldn’t be a groundbreaking idea. But self-care is important.

Exercise, sleep, take vitamins, drink water.

Your body is just a meat puppet controlled by your brain. If you’re tired, malnourished, unfit and dehydrated, every problem will seem insurmountable. If you treat the puppet like shit, the puppeteer gets depressed. Be kind to yourself, and the problems will seem smaller.

See the big picture

In the grand scheme of things, your wedding day doesn’t really matter. It’s a blip. A droplet in a deluge, a voice in a cacophony. It’s a landmark day, but not the most important one.

The important days are the unremarkable ones. They’re bleary-eyed and groggy mornings, Cheerios with your daughter at the breakfast table. They’re days out in the rain, sprinting through an airport at 2am, or sunny evenings down at the park. They’re opening the door to your son and his wife, hugging them hello and scooping up your granddaughter in the doorway.

If you ever find yourself panicked, or anxious, I want you to do this. Look past the wedding and picture your lives in twenty years. Where will you live? Will you have children? Will you travel the world? What will you be like when you’re old together? Will you still talk each other to sleep when you’re seventy? Can you imagine how close your friendship will be after all those years?

You’re about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime with this person. It’s silly to get nervous about the launch party.


Jon has been writing about weddings for over five years and been married to a wedding photographer for six. He proposed in Kefalonia, got married in Whitstable, eloped in Vegas and now lives in…well, Chatham. But at least the first three sounded cool. Either way, wedding-wise, he’s pretty wedding wise.

This article originally appeared in issue 52 of Rock n Roll Bride magazine. You can purchase the latest copy here, or why not subscribe to never miss an issue?