The Best Ways to De-Stress the Morning of Your Wedding

bride with family

Photo by Jenny Fu

The morning of your wedding is sure to feel like a dream, right? Well, with cameras in your face, bridesmaids running in and out of your hotel suite, and an about-to-be mother-in-law criticizing every one of your hair and makeup choices, the entire day can start off feeling more like a stressful stupor. Instead of letting yourself become overwhelmed, consider trying one of the best ways to relax the morning of your wedding. You'll be able to shake off the nerves and kick the stress—even with your entire wedding party and a camera crew around.

Just Let It Out

Sometimes the best way to release stress is to just let it out. Think: an on-a-mountain, top-of-your-lungs kind of scream—but less dramatic (there’s still a videographer in the room, after all). Donna Rossiter, yoga instructor and founder of Satya Yogawear, suggests finding somewhere to sit (on the floor, a pillow, or on a chair) and letting out a few big sighs. “Place your hands on your belly and take a deep breath through your nose. As you exhale, open your mouth and sigh your breath out, relaxing your mouth and your jaw as you do so.” She adds, “Take a few rounds, perhaps adding a little more volume to your sigh with each round.”

Turn to Aromatherapy

Never underestimate the power of aromatherapy. Co-founder of EO Products Susan Griffin-Black says, “We know that slowing down our breathing deeply relaxes us. It calms our nervous system, even if we inhale for six counts and exhale for six counts ten times—the effect is remarkable. When we add essential oils to our slow and deep breathing, stress just melts away.” And the best part is you can even do this while you get your hair done. Start by picking your favorite essential oil scents—Griffin-Black recommends lavender, Roman chamomile, orange, and rose for maximum stress relief. You can choose a calming roll-on oil blend and apply it to the palms of your hands. Rub them together to warm, cup your hands over your nose and mouth, and take a deep breath. Hold your breath for a count of three, then release slowly. Griffin-Black says her favorite way is to use the dropper bottle in the shower. “I use a few drops of lavender and drop them on the shower floor. Turn on very hot water for a few seconds, adjust to the appropriate temperature, and it’s an aromatherapeutic paradise when I get into the shower.” Do this before you go into hair and makeup and you’ll feel relaxed and ready for your big day.

Eat Breakfast, Even If You’re Not Hungry

It’s a big day, so you might have too many butterflies in your stomach to even consider eating breakfast, but herbalist, founder of Crystal Hills, and Reiki Master Andrea Sazwan will be the first to tell you that’s a bad idea. She says, “It’s essential to have something healthy in your body to prepare you for your big day ahead.” Sazwan adds, “Food really does impact your behavior and emotions. Even a simple snack will help to put you into a more positive, stress-free state with extra energy to get you through the day. And don’t forget to stay hydrated throughout the day.” Sip on a smoothie while in the makeup chair and pack some bars or trail mix to fuel up throughout the day.

Release Good Vibes

One of the best ways to relax on the morning of your wedding and ensure you’ll have a good day is to simply manifest it. “I find that if you start off by setting some intentions and expressing gratitude for the wonderful day ahead, it is destined to turn out that way,” says Sazwan. Because the entire day will surely be a whirlwind, she suggests getting your hands on a crystal and keeping it on you the day of your wedding. “An easy way to keep your mind on track for creating the perfect day and not stress is to carry a little crystal with you. Find one that bestows calming effects and is known for helping relax the mind. You can even tuck it into your bra. The reminder of the crystal will help you to be present with your wedding-day experience and banish those jitters. Crystals like amethyst, lithium quartz, and lepidolite all have a great reputation for reducing anxiety, calming frayed nerves, and releasing tension.”

Stretch It Out

Whether it’s quiet or not, take a moment to stretch before you get ready—it’ll do wonders for your stress levels. Mark Mullett, co-founder of live-streaming fitness app Obé, says, “Slowing down and taking some time for yourself is exactly what you need on your big day. A luxurious stretch will increase circulation and allow your muscles to relax and get fresh blood to your brain, which in turn will elevate your mood.” His partner and fellow co-founder Ashley Mills adds, “You’re also likely to breathe deeper while stretching, which will lower your heart rate, stabilize your blood pressure, and lessen any anxiety you may feel! Even a quick 10-minute stretch will help you be more present and enjoy the magical day you’ve planned.”

Massage Your Face

We hate to say it, but stress can have a visible reaction on your face. Megumi Setoguchi, esthetician and Brand Director for Koh Gen Do, says, “When you’re stressed out, the sympathetic nervous system increases the heart rate, changes the salt balance in the body, and even affects your posture. When you’re stressed, shoulders rotate forward, which tightens your upper chest muscle, and decreases circulation and the flow of lymph drainage to your face. This makes your face look puffy.”

Since no bride wants to walk down the aisle with a puffy face, Setoguchi shares a few at-home face massages to instantly reduce swelling. Though this can be done with your normal skincare products, it works best with Koh Gen Do’s Macro Vintage Massage Milk for a smooth glide. She explains, “Place your palm in the middle of your eyebrows and apply pressure. Hold for five seconds, then release pressure in an upward motion up to the hairline. Repeat this motion two more times, once in the middle of the forehead and once at the hairline.” Do the same at your temples. Use both palms to apply pressure on both temples for five seconds, and repeat two to three times. To naturally contour your cheeks and reduce swelling, Setoguchi says, “Using your thumb, find the pressure point located right under the highest point of the middle of your cheek. With both thumbs, apply even pressure upward and into the cheekbone. Hold for a few seconds.” Lastly, “Place the side of your index fingers along the smile lines and apply pressure with both hands while gliding out to the side of your face. Place hands under your ears and gently glide down to your neck to further drain the lymphs,” instructs Setoguchi.

Now get out there and be the most beautiful—and stress-free—bride there ever was!

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