"Don't be nervous walking down the aisle." You're going to hear this from everybody — your rabbi, your minister. Your maid of honor, your bridesmaids. Your mom, your dad. Your wedding coordinator. Even those teeny tiny flower girls might tell you: "Don't be nervous."
Don't be nervous? Yeah, right. Are they the ones wearing the big, white dress, with all eyes on them, about to make a lifelong decision? We think not. And here are 10 reasons why:
1. It is the grandest of entrances.
2. It is one of those "Big Moments" in life.
3. It is silent.
4. It is ceremonial: Your guests will stand to honor you.
5. It is transformative: You are walking out of one stage of your life and into a new one.
6. It is unknown and unpredictable: You can try to anticipate how you're going to feel, but in the moment, you can't control it. (Nor should you, if you want to be authentic.)
7. It is sad: Just look at your wistful mom and dad.
8. It is powerful and moving: Just look at your choked-up fiancé.
9. It is the most photographed walk of your life. How odd it is to be the subject of paparazzi?
10. It is nothing short of life changing and profound.
It's okay to be nervous — got it? But here are five reasons to counter-balance that:
1. You are not alone. Whether or not you walk with your dad, parents, or solo, you are not alone. You've surrounded yourself with your nearest and dearest.
2. It's epic and ancient. Think of the billions of brides who've come before you. You are walking in their footsteps. We think this is a pretty cool concept.
3. It's a forgiving crowd. Remember: You're not giving work presentation in front of your cutthroat co-workers. Everyone in this crowd is so happy for you.
4. He's waiting at the end of the aisle. This wonderful man you've chosen, who'll walk with you in life til the end of your days.
5. This is what you want. This man. This life. This future. It all begins now. All you have to do is take that walk down the aisle.
Allison Moir-Smith, MA, is the author of Emotionally Engaged: A Bride's Guide to Surviving the '"Happiest" Time of Her Life and has been helping brides feel happier, calmer and better prepared for marriage since 2002. She is a bridal counselor, an expert in engagement anxiety and cold feet, and the founder of Emotionally Engaged Counseling for Brides.