AOW A-Z Of Getting Married – J is for Just Too Exciting!

The AOW A-Z of Getting Married is a resource for brides (and grooms) to be.  It’s a welcome piece of sanity in an industry-saturated world where people are bombarded with what weddings they should have, what they should act like, and how a bride should feel.  Created by the team behind Any Other Woman, this A-Z is the first collaboration of its kind, bringing together posts from readers across the AOW community filled with advice, wisdom and experience from sane, smart, real women, many of whom have been there.  From wedding planning to family trials to breaking taboos, no topic is out of bounds.  We are honoured and excited to run each and every post, and we learn from each and every one of our readers.

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J is for Just Too Exciting by Katie

That sounds like a weird title, no? How can weddings be TOO exciting? We all know weddings are the most exciting and everyone loves them, right? I shall explain. Weddings are great, they’re a huge glorious celebration of love. They’re an opportunity to revel in your happiness, your joy, and in the happiness and joy of those around you, for you. They can be fun, classy, elegant, vintage, retro, all or none of the above. They can reflect you in every detail or simply reflect you in the overall emotion of the day. They’re a chance to choose dresses and flowers and napkins and music and food and cake and decorations and rings and more dresses for other people and shoes and jewellery and confetti. And all of it, it’s SO EXCITING, RIGHT? ARE YOU NOT SO EXCITED ABOUT YOUR WEDDING THAT YOU COULD SCREAM/POP/WEE RIGHT THIS SECOND RIGHT NOW?! NO???

I cannot be the only bride ever who found it all TOO exciting. Excitement overwhelm. Too much. Please stop being exciting now, I need to sleep. And if I am the only bride who felt that then I am both considerably less normal than even I anticipated and also wasting my time writing this. I bet I’m not the only one though. Personally, I think there are two main types of excitement overwhelm (or there were for me and this is a subjective pile of drivel about my own experience, so we’ll go with that).

Type I: I’ve been excited for so long that I am now no longer excited, I am just stressed and seriously, if one more person says ‘You must be so excited’ to me, I will brain them with this fabric sample that I don’t know why I’m holding, and it’d be hard to brain someone with a fabric sample but I will try because too much excitement has done this to me.

Type II: I’ve become so excited that it has tipped over out of control into adrenaline-surging shaky panic and now I’m not sure what to do and um… is it okay to want to curl up in a ball under a table and shake for a bit at your own wedding? They never mentioned that in the magazines.

I definitely experienced both of these, and I can offer some sage advice random and potentially vaguely helpful suggestions as to how to cope.

Coping with Type I excitement overwhelm

Stop. Take a step back. Arrange some time to be spent doing something that is not wedding. Plan a night out or a weekend away with your husband to be, and set a rule that no wedding talk is allowed. Plan a small party or trip or activity for after the wedding, to remind yourself that there is Life After Wedding Day, that the wedding is not the be all and end all of everything.

Above all though, have someone with whom you can be honest about your feelings. Talk to other brides who are planning, or marrieds who have planned. I was very lucky because my best friend planned her wedding concurrently with me, hers was 4 months later, and this meant that I could call her anytime and she would almost always be able to relate to my crazy, and vice versa. But on top of her (and she was amazing), I found this place, this community knows what it is like to be a bride, not a blog-perfect bride but a real, slightly stressed, occasionally fed-up and pissed-off bride. I lost count of how many times it helped me feel normal again when I was worrying that I didn’t feel like a bride SHOULD feel.  I guarantee if you addressed AOW readers on Twitter with a message about how you were finding wedding planning overwhelming and no longer exciting, you would be smothered in support and understanding and cake in moments. I GUARANTEE IT. And it is invaluable to have that reminder.


Coping with Type II excitement overwhelm

Maybe not everyone experiences this type, but I did. I wrote in my AOP that sometimes I think extremes of emotion feel indistinguishable, and while in that moment I was simply stupendously happy, mere minutes later the opening line of the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” sung by a friend in memory of my Grandpa tipped me very suddenly over the edge and I started sobbing in the church. I managed to pull it together (with help from my Mum), but I was close to the edge. Wobbling. Not serene.

Later that day, after a million photos, an amazing afternoon tea, some wonderful funny speeches and a stellar jazz love song set from my gorgeous baby sister, I started to feel overwhelm again. There are a lot of people at a wedding, there’s a lot of emotion and almost all of it is being thrown your way. There is no denying that it can be overwhelming to have that much energy and emotion poured your way, even when it is universally positive. The best advice I can give? Know yourself. Know what you need to calm down and make sure you can get it. If you don’t feel you can do that, designate someone to make your emotional well-being a priority that day. By that I don’t mean that they watch you like a hawk for signs of any emotional instability, but that you can go to them and they will know what you need and have a plan in place.

Me? I needed to let it all out, and I had my Mum on hand to help me. She took me to the toilet and let me panic, she held me while I shook and sobbed my way through the overwhelming-emotion-induced panic attack. And then I was okay. I came back out. I danced the night away and I ate more pieces of cake than anyone should probably eat in one evening. I had fun, because I was able to go and do what I needed.

The key thing is not to be unrealistic about how you will feel, you will still be you on your wedding day, if like me you tend to find extreme emotions overwhelm you, that will probably still be true. It is unlikely that you’ll morph into a calm, serene, magazine-perfect bride, you’ll probably grin like a monkey and sob like one too, so don’t try and be perfect, be yourself, and give yourself what you need to cope with what will certainly be a simply extraordinary day.

All photos in this post (except for the adorable shot of Katie crying) taken by the wondrous Andrew Dobell


Categories: A-Z of Getting Married
9 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted October 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I think I was lucky in that I was mega excited but only after I handed the last thing to the venue coordinator (which for some reason my sister WOULD NOT LET ME DO for a very long time – just thinking about that makes me stressed. I was five minutes from the venue, I had it in my hand, why could I not just walk to the venue and give it to the lovely man who would then be taking over? I’ve not let that one go yet)

    I did cry in the week before though as everyone seemed to want to see me and I needed to not be with people for a bit before the day with all the people. I think the alone time beforehand is how I coped. Then I was just the bounciest bride. But I agree and think everyone needs to remember who they are and that they have not changed just because it is a wedding the same way other people don’t change just because it is a wedding, and the same way that a rubbish yera is not fixed just because there is a wedding. So I think planning to cope with you being you is excellent advice.

    • Posted October 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      P.S I love the photos – you look glorious!

  2. Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Stellar advice as always Mrs – and to top it all off some pretty pictures :) you look immense! x

  3. Lucie
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Yes, yes!! Great advice and good to know other people feel like this too :-) thank you! x

  4. Sam
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    I was Type II excited/terrified in the week before. In fact, I think it was more nerves than anything. And thinking about everyone looking at me. I’m not a fan of being the centre of attention. Eloping seemed like the best option about a hundred times during the planning.

    The rehearsal was horrendous, but probably did the job. I was in tears before I even started walking down the aisle with my Dad. I could barely get the words out. In fact, I didn’t. Our very patient vicar said “I, Samantha” about three or fours times and then shortened it to “I” before I could summon the composure to splutter through the tears. I was so worried about saying my vows out loud in front of everyone, I had been practicing for the last two months, but I still couldn’t do it.

    However, on the day, I was completely fine. Not one tear, or even a threat of a tear, walking down the aisle or during the vows. I think getting it all out at the rehearsal really helped. In the run up to our wedding, I often wondered how Kate Middleton stayed so calm during their vows, with a billion people watching. I was convinced it was valium, but maybe that’s why they had so many rehearsals.

    Once the vows were out the way, I surprised myself at how much I relaxed.

    So, I would echo Katie. Work out what is most likely to tip you over the edge and figure out a solution. Even having a plan is calming in itself.

  5. Roz
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Katie I love this post! I agree whole heartedly with your advice to know what parts in the day might be overwhelming, I was pretty unprepared for seeing my dad cry just before we set off to walk down the aisle and it threw me big time. In all the photos of us walking down the aisle I look scared (I think it might be my trying not to cry face!) or crying (pretty much bawling!)!! What must my poor boy have thought?? xx

    • Katielase
      Posted October 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Ha, I’m sure he loved you all the more! I LOVE Gareth’s face in the top photo above, he hadn’t realised what the song was and so from his perspective I just very suddenly started sobbing for no reason. He was slightly bemused,

      K x

  6. Lara Blue
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Love this post Katie! :) For me, it was the night before that I suffered the most, cycling between excitement, stress, fear, happiness and worry although mostly feeling a combination of these all at once. I was really glad that I had my sister staying the night with me, otherwise I’m sure it would have been worse if I had been alone. As everyone has said, it’s about knowing yourself and I asked her to stay because I knew it would help to calm me…. :)

  7. Chirsty
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    When my beautiful and wonderful oldest friend got married last year I was given the honour of being one of three bridesmaids. The other two were her sisters-in-law and, with their prior experience and inexhaustible supply of ideas and opinions were allocated key jobs assisting with flowers, dress, invites and venues.
    As her cynical wedding-phobic un-married friend, whenI agreed to be bridesmaid I was given one unshakable important job.
    “Chirst, you are my anti-wedding anchor”
    My role was to be on call, available and the one person on whom she could rely to NOT talk about The Wedding or try and get her excited. I was the antithesis of any wedding related excitement. In the entire lead up I never asked about hair or dresses or if she was feeling ‘terribly excited’ but we did meet up, drink lots of wine and chat about everything and anything else just like we always have done and, one the one or two times she needed to, we met up so she could cry and rant and rumble random over-excited emotions at me with no judgement.
    I like to think that, in my own weird way, I helped contribute a little toward what was a totally perfect day for everyone, but especially her.

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