The morning of your wedding day is full of excitement, anticipation, and nerves. You’re about to say “I do” to your significant other, so it’s completely normal to experience a range of feelings. However, instead of waiting around and letting your emotions get the best of you, you can use those hours before the ceremony to your advantage.
Before the wedding festivities begin, it’s crucial to spend the morning-of doing enjoyable activities that put you in the right state of mind. That sacred time before the ceremony is an opportunity to unwind, ground yourself, savor time with loved ones, and feel prepared for the day ahead.
“The morning-of, I encourage our brides to get centered,” says Robyne Swink of Southern Affairs Weddings & Events. “It’s so easy to become overwhelmed with excitement from your emotions and the timeline of the day, so it’s important to chill and have fun. Being able to relax will allow you to focus on what’s to come and really take in all the special moments we sometimes overlook.”
Of course, it’s important to make sure your hair and makeup goes according to schedule and your wedding dress is intact. But, if you spend your morning preoccupied with logistics, racing the clock, checking tasks off of your to-do list, and worrying about how the day might unfold, you’ll quickly become stressed and overwhelmed. Not to mention, you’ll carry that frantic energy with you into the day’s events. Instead, there are other activities to prioritize that will give you peace of mind and set you up for a successful wedding day.
Whether it’s going for a walk, drinking a glass of Champagne with your bridal party, or writing a letter to your partner, there are so many ways to slow down and savor the morning. It doesn’t matter whether you spend that time in your bridal suite with your bridesmaids or around the venue with your partner; partaking in your favorite activities will put yourself in the right headspace.
To make the most of your morning, Tracy Taylor Ward of Tracy Taylor Ward Design advises that couples give themselves plenty of time. “We recommend being realistic and even overestimating the time things will take on the wedding day, so no one feels rushed or stressed if things fall behind,” the planner explains. “Over-scheduling on the wedding day can result in an unnecessarily hectic and stressful environment, which is never a great way to start the day.”
If you’re wondering which activities are best to incorporate, refer to any of the hobbies, interests, or pastimes that bring you joy. If doing downward dog instantly decreases your cortisol levels, arrange a yoga class with your bridal party. For those who turn to self-care activities at the end of a long day, do a face mask with your best friends. “It’s so important that the morning of the wedding reflects the brides and grooms’ ideal energy to ensure they feel their best as they head into such an important milestone in their lives,” Ward notes.
Besides getting glam and changing into your attire, here are fun ways you can spend the morning before your wedding ceremony.
Meet the Expert
- Robyne Swink is the lead designer of Southern Affairs Weddings & Events based in Dallas, Texas. She’s been planning, designing, and styling weddings since 2014.
- Tracy Taylor Ward is the owner and creative director of Tracy Taylor Ward Design, a full-service planning and design firm in New York, New York and Boca Raton, Florida. She’s been working in design for 19 years and planning weddings for 12 years.
Write Your Vows
Once the morning of your wedding day arrives, you’ll probably be flooded with a whirlwind of emotions. The day you’ve been dreaming about is finally becoming a reality, so the love you have for your partner will feel raw and real. When you’re in that state of mind, inspiration will strike and the right words will come more easily to you. So, it’s the perfect opportunity to put pen to paper and churn out heartfelt vows that authentically capture how you feel. Set aside some time in the morning to reflect on those feelings and jot down your thoughts. Or, if you already wrote your vows, you can make a few edits that capture the feelings of the day. Once you’ve finalized your promises, consider practicing your delivery, so you’ll feel more confident at the altar.
Since your wedding day will be jam-packed with festivities, you’re going to need a steady release of energy to carry you through. A substantial and nourishing meal will fuel you for the celebrations ahead. Before you walk down the aisle, enjoy a delicious breakfast or brunch with your bridal party. Order a mix of dishes to the room, organize a big buffet, or even hire a food truck. Not only will you feel energized from the sustenance, but you’ll also feel invigorated after spending quality time with your best friends.
Take a Stroll
Starting your day off with some light exercise will help clear your head and boost your mood. If you want some one-on-one time with your partner, walking around the grounds of your venue is an excellent way to take in your surroundings and share an intimate moment together. For those who want to spend their morning socializing with a larger group, organize a hike with your wedding party at a trail nearby.
Say a Prayer
For those who consider themselves to be spiritual or religious, saying a prayer with your family or bridesmaids before the ceremony will give you peace of mind. Take the time to express gratitude for your partner and loved ones, or ask for strength and guidance during the wedding. If you don’t feel comfortable improvising, you can also recite a Bible verse or written prayer that’s meaningful to you.
Reveal Your Dress
Of course, doing a first look with your partner is an unforgettable moment, but another pre-wedding trend that’s gaining traction is a grand reveal with your bridesmaids. Since your bridal party is your biggest support system, sharing a first look with your girls will start your day off with love, connection, and motivation. Once you show your squad your dress for the first time, their reactions will be priceless. Even though getting ready in separate rooms might not sound appealing, it will be worth it once you see their faces.
Pop Some Bubbly
There’s no better way to kick off the celebration than with a glass (or two) of Champagne! Popping open a bottle of bubbly is a fun way to bond with your bridesmaids and ease some of your nerves. Have some fun with your beverage display and set up a mimosa bar. Don’t forget to make a toast to love, friendship, and this next chapter in your life.
Go for a Swim
If you’re hosting your wedding during the summer months or at a tropical destination, taking a dip before you swap vows is the best way to unwind. Whether it’s a pool, ocean, or lake, plunging into the cool water will wash away your worries. Consider swimming laps with your partner to blow off steam or host a pool party with all of your friends for a more communal experience.
Exchange Love Letters
Since you’ll probably be spending a majority of your wedding morning apart from your partner, it’s the perfect time to give the person you’re about to marry a handwritten letter. Exchanging earnest notes before saying “I do” will remind you and your partner how much you love one another. In your letter, include the qualities you admire about your significant other, the first time you fell in love, and any hopes you have for the future. By capturing your feelings in writing, you’ll be able to refer back to those words time and time again.
Find Your Zen
Taking an exercise class is a great option for couples whose priority is to spend the whole morning with their wedding party. Booking a yoga session, in particular, will appeal to all fitness levels and accommodate a large group of participants. Not to mention, the emphasis on breathwork and mind-body connection will alleviate pre-wedding jitters and ground you in the present moment.
Hire a Spa Service
Of course, you’ll want to block out plenty of time in your schedule for hair and makeup. But, your wedding morning also allows for extra pampering. Why not schedule a spa treatment with your bridesmaids? Sit back and relax while a team of professionals works their magic, whether it’s a massage, facial, manicure, or pedicure. If you’d prefer the DIY route, apply a face mask or under-eye patches while lounging around in your robe and slippers. These self-care practices will help you slow down, savor the moment, and look and feel your best.
Swap Wedding Gifts
Wondering how to make your first look even more special? Follow up your grand reveal with a meaningful present. There’s nothing that signifies your love and captures the sentiment of the day quite like a thoughtful gift. Consider a personalized item that’s engraved with your significant other’s initials or your wedding date. You can also opt for something timeless, such as a piece of jewelry or artwork, that your partner will actually use.
Have a Dance Party
No party is complete without music. While getting ready with your wedding party, throw on a killer playlist full of upbeat love songs and dance anthems. Twirling to feel-good tunes with your biggest supporters will bring the energy and create a celebratory atmosphere. A morning spent dancing, singing, and laughing will be just what the doctor ordered.
Enjoy a Boat Ride
If you’re planning a waterfront vow exchange, setting sail is a unique way to relish the morning. Arrange a romantic boat ride for two or schedule a full excursion with your wedding party. Being on the water will calm your mind, and taking in the scenery of your locale will get you excited for what’s to come.
Play With Your Pet
For pet parents, another important relationship you can’t overlook is the one you have with your furry friend. Including your favorite four-legged pal in your morning-of activities is a must, especially if they’re part of your wedding party. Playing with your pet, even if it’s just a few minutes, is also a fun way to release stress.
Carve Out Some Time Alone
Even though your wedding morning is a time to bond with your bridal party and connect with your partner, giving yourself a moment alone is just as important. During those hours before your walk down the aisle, take a few deep breaths and release any anxiety you might be feeling. Meditating, practicing gratitude, and journaling are all practices that can help center you, so you’ll feel mentally and physically prepared to say “I do” to the love of your life.