What Do You Want to Remember Most About Your Wedding Day?

All it takes is just 12 seconds.

Updated 10/05/19

Alison Conklin Photography

You're working your butt off to create an amazing experience for guests at your wedding. But how often do you stop and ask yourself, "What do I want to remember most about my wedding day?" Amidst all the pomp and circumstance, don't forget to "pause" and cherish those extra-special moments—from your first look (if you choose to do one) to your first dance as newlyweds. Just think: These are the keepsake memories that you'll be savoring for years to come.

Be More in the Moment

Figuring out what you want to remember most about your own wedding day actually helps you, in two different ways. First, it allows you to prioritize your time, energy, money, and efforts into things that are truly meaningful to you while giving 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—all good and to be expected. But it will be hard to hone in on that minuscule detail, that song, that singular moment in your wedding ceremony, if you don't prepare ahead of time.

Turn Your Experience Into a Memory

It's easier to do than you think. In fact, all it takes is 12 seconds to create a lifelong memory. Yep, just a whopping 12 seconds.

Rick Hanson, neuroscientist and author of Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence, says 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 arrive at that precious moment of your ceremony that you really want to remember, notice that it's occurring right there and then. Become fully present.

Step 2: Open yourself up to the good feelings you're having

Thoroughly 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 present for just 12 straight seconds.

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? Absolutely! Doing so will ensure that your memories will be vivid, fresh, and alive within you forever.

Allison Moir-Smith is a bridal counselor and an expert in cold feet and engagement anxiety.

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