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How men can beat their wedding jitters

By Dr Pam Spurr
How men can beat their wedding jitters
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MSN's behaviour expert Dr Pam Spurr offers top tips to tackle any pre-wedding jitters.

Deciding to get married is one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make. Apart from deciding to have children or not, it ranks at the top of life-changing moments.

Rest assured pre-wedding jitters and nerves on the day are completely natural. Heck, you angst over what car to buy or where to live, so why wouldn't you worry about getting it right with the woman you're going to love, honour and cherish... and from her perspective, obey?!

Before the big day
The biggest question likely to play on your mind and bring you out in a cold sweat is this: "Is she really the one?"

This is a completely natural question to ask. It doesn't mean you're not in love with her. It doesn't mean you're not ready to settle down. It means you're human and part of that is about questioning the decisions that will change your life for good.

How to put these jitters right
  • When these thoughts strike, make a list of all the reasons you love her — and I mean all of them, big and small. 'Think in ink' and write it down. Keep that list in your wallet so you can check it any time you feel the need.
  • Try 'thought stopping' — when a worry comes to mind, close your eyes, visualise her face and tell yourself, "She's the one for me!"
  • Ring her up for relaxed chat to get a better vibe going. Once you hear her voice, have had a chat about your plans for the evening, everything will be put in perspective.
  • Definitely let her know if too much talk of wedding plans is "getting" to you. Of course you should do this tactfully. Many men tell me they feel overwhelmed in the run-up to the wedding because everything becomes about the day. It's easier to lose sight of all you share, and get those jitters, when wedding conversations/plans are out of your control.
  • A little bit of tactful honesty goes a long way. You don't want to panic her but at the same time if you're getting married you should be able to discuss even the most difficult issues. Open up a loving and thoughtful conversation by asking if she ever gets "nervous about the whole thing". Reassure her that you've both made the right decision but you'd like to share any worries.
  • Am I making the right decision to marry?
    The second biggest question causing jitters is wondering why you haven't just decided to live together. Why have all the fuss and bother of the ceremony?

    Again, simply reassuring yourself that you both feel marriage is the right choice can go a long way. Use the above strategies — the reasons why you love her, thinking in ink, etc — to put the stoppers on this question.

    On the big day
    Just as brides do, men have a few key worries on the day.

  • First off, looking your best weighs on many grooms' minds. It's crucial to try on your suit a day or two beforehand just in case you've had any weight changes (perhaps from all your nerves!) Sort it now and you'll look handsome on the day.
  • Do a 'dress run' — put on your wedding outfit and practice holding yourself confidently in front of a mirror. Hold onto this strong image of yourself as the confident groom as you wait at the altar.
  • Be prepared and lay everything out the night before. You don't want to search high and low in the morning for those special cufflinks, etc.
  • If there's going to be a bride-and-groom first dance practice with your bride-to-be. Whether you're a novice or an expert dancer, it all helps.
  • When it comes to giving a speech as a newly married man, thanking your father-in-law, praising your bride etc, know what you're going to say. Just as the best man should practice his speech you should too. Definitely watch the alcohol intake pre-speech — a slurring groom is not impressive!
  • Relax and enjoy yourself — it's your day, you're in love, you're starting a new phase of your life and have everything to be happy about and little to worry about!
  • What if your nerves really are more than just nerves?
    Deep down if you know you're marrying for the wrong reasons — she pressured you into it, you've fallen for someone else or you want to be free, for instance — you're going to have to face her and break it off. Believe meyou won't be the first man (or woman!) who changes their mind after the wedding invitations have gone out. Better to break it off now than to go down the aisle and have to go through the whole process of divorce further down the line.

    Related: 10 reasons to embrace marriage
    Related: Why it's great to be in a relationship

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    Dr Pam Spurr MSN's relationship and behaviour expert Dr Pam Spurr is perfectly placed to give you the inside information on how the female mind works. In each column, she'll reveal the thoughts that race through a woman's mind at a common crucial moment in any relationship.

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