Photo: Alison Conklin Photography
Figuring out what you want to remember most about your own wedding day actually helps you, in two different ways. First, it helps you prioritize your time, energy, money and efforts into things that are truly meaningful to you (and give you permission to skip what's not). And second, it gives you time to create strategies (and practice them) to assist you in remembering your important things.
Your wedding day, as you already know, will be a whirlwind of activity, people, and high emotion — that's all good. But it will be hard to hone in on that that detail, that song, that moment in your wedding ceremony if you don't prepare ahead of time.
It's easier to do than you think. In fact, all it takes is 12 seconds to create a lifelong memory. Yep, just 12 seconds.
Rick Hanson, neuroscientist and author of Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence, writes that if you want to deeply, authentically remember something, you must deliberately internalize the positive experience into your implicit memory.
How do you do that? Step 1: Notice you're having a positive experience — when you're in that precious moment of your ceremony that you really want to remember, notice that it's occurring right there and then. Get fully present. Step 2: Open yourself to the good feelings you're having, really enjoy the experience as it's happening. Step 3: Be conscious of how this experience is sinking into you, as you sink into it. Don't just let the experience happen and move on. Instead, be aware of the experience becoming an event in your life history.
Done. Happiness hardwired, your special memory saved in your memory bank. All completed by being fully, fully present for just 12 straight seconds. (For a lot more detail, check out his book.)
Will your wedding day be a buzz of activity? You bet. Can you find 12 seconds to genuinely focus on what's important to you, as it's happening? Please do, so your memories can be vivid, fresh, and alive within you forever.
Allison Moir-Smith is a bridal counselor and an expert in cold feet and engagement anxiety.