If you don't watch it, your eight-hour wedding could fly by in a flurry of activity, people, emotion and excitement. It's important to take a few private moments to help you be fully present for this life-changing event. Here, four times it's okay to call "time out" on your big day.
Before the ceremony
As they say in Hollywood, "Can I have the room?" Before the ceremony, ask your bridesmaids to give you a moment alone. Look into the mirror — and really see yourself. Take in your beauty (you've worked your butt off to look this good). But look deeply within yourself, too. Take this moment to mark this transition in your life, just before you walk down the aisle to get married.
After the ceremony
There will be ketubahs to sign and photos to take. But there are only a few minutes of your lives during which you and your husband are absolute newlyweds. So take a moment — in the limo, or go for a walk away from the crowd — just the two of you.
Before the reception
Ask your wedding planner to give you and your husband five minutes alone in your reception hall — before the guests enter and crowd the space. You've worked hard to make a statement for everyone's first impression, and you need to see your vision come to fruition.
At the reception
Grab your girlfriends — the ones who've had fun pouring over wedding boards on Pinterest, who love the details of planning your wedding, who helped tie bows — and go on a tour together of all your special details at your reception. You'll have more fun seeing your hard work and creativity that you put into your reception with your girls at your side.
Allison Moir-Smith, MA, is a bridal counselor, creator of How Brides-To-Be REALLY Feel videos, and author of Emotionally Engaged: A Bride's Guide to Surviving the "Happiest" Time of Her Life.