Since that ring has been on your finger you’ve probably been focused on everything but yourself. The inner you that is, not the wedding hair and makeup you! But before the big day arrives, it’s important to take some time to yourself and change your focus from the seating arrangements and running order, to what really matters.
“I sometimes think people can get caught up in the performance of the day and lose track of why they’re there,” says Bonnie Parsons, founder and CEO of dance class company Seen On Screen. As a recent bride (you can gorgeous see her wedding here) and a business owner who strikes a pose like Beyoncé on a daily basis, we asked Bonnie to share her words of wisdom on how to be confident on your big day.
‘Spark Joy’ your guest list
While this may cause some awkward conversations in the lead up, on the day you’ll be grateful, especially when it comes to walking down the aisle.
“It can be nerve-racking with everyone looking at you, but know that everyone there just wants the best for you and focus on that thought.”
Rip up the rule book
If there’s a part of a typical traditional wedding that gives you anxiety, skip it. Too scared to walk down an aisle? Change the setup of the ceremony room or your entry point! Would rather walk on hot coals than have a first dance in front of everyone? You don’t have to either!
“I think you should plan your wedding day based on what you love, not by what other people will expect,” advises Bonnie. “And that way everyone will enjoy the day because they’re getting a taste of what you love and sharing in your love.“
Set your intention before the day begins
It may come as a total shock but, according to Bonnie, even Beyoncé gets nervous. “She does! And so before every performance her and her team stand in a circle together and pray,” says Bonnie. “I completely advise everyone do it before the ceremony begins. Because you’re setting your intention around the circle. Even just getting into a huddle with your bridal squad and saying you’re grateful for this moment and let’s have a beautiful day, it sets everyone out on the right track.”
Strike a power pose before you walk down the aisle
“Your body language will tell your brain how to feel,” explains Bonnie. “And it will also communicate to the audience how you feel, so when you walk down the aisle you have to fake it till you make it.”
If you’re not quite sure how to fake it, Bonnie recommends striking a power pose in private before heading out. With Beyoncé in mind, start by rolling your shoulders back and down, lift your rib cage away from your hips and stand up really tall. With great posture, you then put one hand on your hip and one hand up in the air, close your eyes and think of something you’re really proud of.
“If you hold it for a minute it will really shift your head space and change your energy. Sometimes I do it before I teach a class just to give myself an extra boost of confidence.”
Have your squad around you
You have a bridal party for a reason. Amongst the bridesmaid duties, their most important role is to be there to support you on the day. If there are moments where you know you’ll be feeling nervous (before your speech or the first dance), ask one of your bridesmaids to be with you, to talk you through the moment and even give you a little pep talk.
“On my wedding day I felt very nervous about the first dance, even though I’m a dancer. I was worried about dancing in my dress which was a full ball gown,” says Bonnie. “My friend pulled me aside and said ‘now you listen to me, no fear! Do not go out on that dance floor with fear.’ It really helped me to get out of my head and into performance mode.”
Take your time and be present
Every bride will tell you the day goes so quickly, so don’t be afraid to take your time and take a moment to yourself. “Don’t be worried about how your guests are. It’s such a natural thing to play the host and worry about everyone else, but your guests don’t have to think about half the stuff you have to,” says Bonnie.
“I remember sitting at our wedding breakfast and looking around the room at all the familiar faces. I took 5 minutes to take it all in and that memory has really stuck with me.”