AOW A-Z of Getting Married – Z is for Zzzzz (Get Some Sleep)



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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Z is for Zzzzz (Get Some Sleep) by Abi

I have a confession. I was planning to write an article for U – Umbrella (Rain on your wedding day). But I was in Thailand. Ironic.


Yes, sorry, not only did I not write one of the articles I was supposed to, but I am now also bragging about being in Thailand. You want me to go?


When I decided to write an A-Z post, it was a couple of months after the wedding and perhaps momentarily I felt like some zen wedding guru who knew ALL ABOUT IT. I’m no wedding expert, but like many many readers I’m a relatively recent bride. One who struggled sleeping.


I usually can sleep through most difficult, stressful life events. I love a good 8 hours. That’s just me.


But not before the wedding.


Before the wedding I was acting as if the world ended after the wedding day, I just couldn’t see past that day.


For a year and half, a lot of my brain was taken up with wedding thoughts and plans, and the closer it got, the more thoughts running through my head of all the things I needed to remember and do and sort and find and pay for.


The month before I got married was also one of the busiest months in work. I was organising a lot of events and conferences.


As you can imagine, there were a lot of lists. In bags, on kitchen tables, next to the bed and in work. Lots of lists and a lot of panic.


I couldn’t sleep, I would toss and turn with excitement and nerves. The sheer number of thoughts in my teeny little brain would not be silenced. As such, I did some of the things below, some of them I WISH I had done more of.


So my bit of advice for all those who are sleepless, excited, nervous, with only a few weeks to go:


1.Write those thoughts down. All of them. What you have to do, what you are worried about, how excited you are. (You’ll love looking back at that)

2.Talk to other brides to be. I met a few people online and we formed a little facebook group. I know it might sound a bit strange to some, but knowing that some of these girls were getting married around the same time really helped. I would chat to them about my worries and the excitement. They got it. They were often going through similar worries in their head.

3.I put on a large important conference a week before the wedding. I had suggested the date to the speakers… it was all my own fault. If you have any control over your work schedule, just DON’T do this. That would be silly.

4.Delegation, personally I’m terrible at this. If you are forgetful or panicked, see who can help. Whether it’s just asking someone else to remember something, so you don’t have to it all whizzing around your brain.

5.Take time off BEFORE the wedding as well as after. I was lucky that the Jubilee fell just before my wedding so I was given a couple of bonus days off to sort things out. I know it’s tempting to save all your leave for honeymoon. But if you have had lots on in work, try and take a couple of days beforehand.              

I used these days very productively. I got excited and then madly panicked for no reason. I also got my nails done.

6.Read a book. Some days I would wake at 3am and my brain was not going to go back to sleep. I would take myself off to our living room and read for a while. It helped me take my mind off all the silly little bits I was worrying about.

7.Do something. Is there something on that list you could do right now? Do it. An email to the venue, buying something online etc. You can do that anytime of the day. If something will make you feel better, just do it.

8.Don’t worry about not sleeping; this will only make it worse.

9.I love a bath. Have one. Take a book in there. (yes, most problems can be solved by reading)

10.Breathe deeply, tell your future spouse you love them, snuggle in and relax.

11.Enjoy it. Catch up on sleep on your honeymoon instead.

12.On the day, wake up early, with someone you love, and start to get really really excited. It will have all been worth it.

Here’s a picture of me and my sister, up early, and really excited!



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


  1. Posted February 20, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Great post and great advice, especially the bit about lists and about doing things straight away if you can! Delegation was the key for me, if I hadn’t delegated jobs to friends and family our wedding wouldn’t have been nearly as perfect as it was! Good luck to all those brides out there still planning their big day, just remember if you’re getting stressed and not sleeping, that it will all work out, that when you’re walking down the aisle to the one you love that’s all that matters, that it is just one day, it’s what happens after that one day that counts the most xxxx If that doesn’t help, follow Abi’s sage and practical advice! Xxx

  2. Helena
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    This is such true & wise advice! I’m glad I’m not the only one who couldn’t sleep on the night before the wedding. Despite an early night in a comfy bed with my sister* I didn’t manage to close my eyes at all that night and then, in my confused sleep deprived state, decided I had to get up and be at a nearby supermarket for 7am to get handcream for the loos we’d hired for the venue!

    *I actually think I’d have slept better if my then almost husband had been with me as I’m used to having him next to me but everyone said we should sleep apart, and he agreed. My bit of advice on this topic would be to do whatever you think is most conducive to a good night’s sleep!

  3. Posted February 20, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    All awesome advice.
    Anyone getting the weird wedding nightmares as well?
    Mine normally revolve around too many people coming, no-one coming or me turning up in jeans and everyone being unimpressed…
    I can’t wait to be excited on the morning of my wedding!!!!! Eeeee! xxx

    • Carly
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Yes, me!! I keep having the dream where I just cannot get out of the door and I’m three hours late and I’m still in my PJs. I’ve always been known for my very odd dreams, I’ve still got a year to go so goodness knows what I’ll be like nearer the time!


    • Posted February 20, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      Yes! So many – either I change my mind about the dress or realise I haven’t bought one, or the table plan doesn’t have space for me and Mr Frances. Last night I dreamt our invitations turned up in draft form with half the design missing :-s luckily they arrived today and are all fine!

    • Posted February 20, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Me! Lots of them recently. I’m in a major flap that I can’t seem to find the cause of at the moment.

      • Abi
        Posted February 20, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        You feeling overwhelmed Amy? It definitely happened a couple of times to me where there wasnt anything particularly wrong, just too much to think about.

        • Posted February 20, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

          Yep that’s basically it!

      • Posted February 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        It normally happens to me just when I’ve been thinking about it a lot. This weekend I dreamt of flowers!
        But it sounds a bit like you might be stressing out about it. Try not worrying? (I know that sounds like stupid advice, but sometimes making a conscious effort to calm down about it all works for me!)

  4. Posted February 20, 2013 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Some good advice here, thanks Abi! I definitely found writing everything down helped because it was less to keep inside my head and then I wasn’t so worried about forgetting it.

    Relaxing in the 20-30mins before bed is also an idea to help stop you lying there anxiously but obviously this is easier said than done.

    I read somewhere recently about a technique where you allocate a set time for worrying about things (perhaps your commute?) and then when you start doing it outside that time, you remind yourself that you’ve either already worried about it that day or have your allocated time to do so later. I’m not sure how this would work in practice though…..

    Lastly, all the AOW ladies on Twitter are very supportive, helpful and welcoming to newcomers. There is usually always someone around and most of the time other people going through the same difficulties as you (or been through them already). If you don’t have Twitter, I would highly recommend getting an account purely for this reason :)


  5. Posted February 20, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Yes to all of this. I had two exam boards the same month as the wedding. I always knew they’d be there and we still scheduled it for the end of June and not the first weekend in July.

    I am also a stress sleeper. But yes – this is excellent advice. Yes.

  6. Posted February 20, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Yes to all of this!

    We seem to be doing a lot of planning at odd hours – I’m not saying thinking about food choices and logistics at 11pm on a Sunday is always a good idea but if your brain is awake and focused enough to discuss/problem solve something on the list, sometimes it’s better just to embrace that and enjoy the feeling of ticking something off the list.

    Also to Helena – we’re spending the night-before together, we’re so used to it that it will probably give us a better nights sleep and let us be nervous-excited together – can’t wait!

  7. Abi
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Oh theres my sister and me… Hiya!

    So yes dreams… I had one the other night! And I have been married for months… I’ve recently given up smoking and in the dream I was really late for the wedding so I smoked because I was stressed! Woke up gutted ;-)

  8. Sarah
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Aww, lovely piece. Makes me feel all excited again! Also, at 7 months pregnant a lot of this still feels relevant – lots to do, lists, waking up in the middle of the night, putting on a conference before maternity leave…oh and I’m quite hoping to have a couple of days free to get my nails done before baby arrives too. Priorities ; )

  9. Sarah
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Aww, lovely piece. Makes me feel all excited again! Also, at 7 months pregnant a lot of this still feels relevant – lots to do, lists, waking up in the middle of the night, putting on a conference before maternity leave…oh and I’m quite hoping to have a couple of days free to get my nails done before baby arrives too. Priorities ; ) x

  10. Posted February 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    I am a terrible sleeper and I’m amazed I actually got a full whack of 7 hours the night before the wedding! I had a lot of insomnia leading up to it though, mostly as above being overwhelmed. Writing things down and talking them out is the best advice.

    If you can take a day or two off before I IMPLORE you to do it, I wish somebody had told me this before the day. I ended up with my client cancelling on me the morning before, and even with that blessed stroke of luck I was still frantic and running around and highly stressed. Try to schedule in some down-time with loved friends and family – get your nails done or whatever. If you’re a naturally anxious person then you’ll need it!


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