July 01, 2011

For the grooms: Dealing with nerves

Every groom gets nervous on his big day, but some simple calming tips will be sure to keep the jitters at bay.

While for many grooms-to-be the most nerve-racking experience is out of the way once your bride-to-be has said yes to your proposal, as the special day looms closer, the realisation dawns that this may have been a piece of (wedding) cake in comparison to what comes next.

Standing up in front of family, friends – sometimes in a cast of hundreds – can be a daunting experience for even the most confident of grooms.

And with so many things to juggle on the day – remembering the vows you’ve so carefully prepared and memorised; ensuring you don’t trip over your bride’s $8,000 Alex Perry gown during your first dance together; keeping everyone mingling and having a good time at the reception; praying that your best man omits any embarrassing past indiscretions during his speech – can all spell major stress time for grooms.

For recent groom Dennis Perry, 35, who married Anna, 33 in a lavish yet intimate ceremony at Riva in Melbourne, keeping his nerves in check was all about remembering why he was there.

“I was pretty nervous before the ceremony,” he admits, “but I just thought about how special Annette is to me and how excited I was to stand up in front of everyone to make our commitment to one another.”

“Once I was just focused on Anna, I forgot about everyone else in the room.”

As for the speech, says Perry, it was a matter of relaxing and just being himself.

“I didn’t prepare a great long speech. I jotted down a couple of things before the day and then just went off the cuff once I had the floor. I wanted my speech to come from the heart anyway, corny I know, but I didn’t want to be wooden and rehearsed.“

“Plus a glass of Champagne beforehand really helped!” he laughs.

For grooms really trying to battle the nerves the key is to remember you are there to have a good time, and remember that the people attending are there to share in your happiness. Also, try the following:

Write down a few key points you want to include in your speech prior to the day. For grooms who are a little stuck, try retelling the story of how you and your bride first met – guaranteed to garner some “awww’s”.

Big day jitters? Presentation skills trainer and coach Nigel Heath advises taking some big deep breaths to steady your nerves. “This is so simple and obvious that many people dismiss it without trying it. That’s a pity because it is really powerful,” says Heath.

“Just notice what happens to you when you deliberately take three slow, deep breaths, preferably in through your nose and out through your mouth. This simple exercise will bring you a deep sense of relaxation and calm.”

Get a good night’s sleep the night before. And whatever you do – schedule the buck’s night at least a week before your wedding day.

While it may be tempting to down a few glasses of Moet for a little “Dutch courage”, don’t go overboard. You want to remember the day after all!

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