Hannah West, First Colony Inn
It’s finally time. After months of planning, hours or even days of travel to reach the remote and beautiful Outer Banks, an entire morning of primping and preparation, the moment arrives when your first step down the aisle commences the main event.
As an event venue coordinator, I’ve seen that first step approached in many ways. There are those who bounce up and down with nervous excitement, or bust a little dance move (perhaps from a morning of mimosas? Those who wait on their mark, oddly calm with a steely determination, or those already fanning their eyes to hold back tears in hopes of saving their makeup. Moments before stepping down the aisle, one bride boldly declared, “It feels like my skin is on fire...”
Whatever your approach may be, here are a few helpful hints to help make the moments leading up to your walk down the aisle as smooth and memorable an experience as you’ve dreamt it would be.
Watch That Bouquet
As they prepared to walk to their places, a seasoned wedding planner once cautioned a bouquet-bearing bride and her maids to be conscious of how they were holding their flowers. She pointed out that the nervousness is easily revealed by the natural inclination to clench your bouquet and raise it up, along with your shoulders, closer and closer to your face. Instead, try to keep your shoulders down and back, relaxed as you hold your bouquet around hip level with soft arms.
Check Your Face
A seasoned photographer once instructed a bridal party to, “get caught up in the moment, be candid, but remember that the photos last forever.” Your wedding photos will likely catch facial expressions, ranging from solemn to smiling, to tearful, to bursting out in laughter (my favorite). Be mindful of maintaining a pleasant expression as you make your way to the ceremony. This detail will help ensure great photos and may even help you keep calm.
You’re Not Alone
Every bride or groom walking down the aisle experiences the feeling of being the center of attention. Some relish in it, while some want to run from it. If you’re more aligned with the latter, take a moment to consider the arm that will be hooked in yours. Whether it belongs to a parent, a friend, or a family member, that person is playing a special role in your life. Not only will they walk with you every step of the way, they will undoubtedly feel a similar range of emotions, sharing in your experience.
Eyes on the Prize
It can be easy to become distracted by the mountain of details comprising your wedding day, and the stress of feeling like you’re part of a production. While walking down the aisle amidst a rapt audience, remember the reason for the entire ensemble is waiting at the other end of what seems to be a never ending walk. Take a second to look at your partner as you prepare to move toward them, and let everything else blur into the background. You would be amazed how quickly this advice can replace panic or stress with a warm smile on a bride or groom’s face and the emotion they are feeling as you walk towards them.
Though these pointers are intended to help diminish or alleviate nervous moments prior to starting down the aisle, the most important tip to remember – enjoy your day! Surrounded by loved ones, this moment is the one you’ve been dreaming of.
Header Image: Lori Douglas Photography