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Get over those pre-wedding jitters

Dr. Dale Atkins on how to recognize and conquer your fears before heading to the altar.
/ Source: TODAY

The date is set, the invitations are out, your seating arrangements have been decided on but the only problem is that you may feel like Julia Roberts in her film “Runaway Bride”. So what do you do when the last thing you feel like doing is walking down that aisle? Dale Atkins, a psychologist and advice columnist for the, has advice on how to recognize and conquer those pre-wedding jitters.

WEDDING JITTERS CAN start the moment you begin talking about getting married to when he slips that ring on your finger to the moment you’re walking down the aisle.

They happen because marriage does change your whole life. The jitters don’t necessarily mean you’re having second thoughts about the person you’re marrying. He or she may be the best soul you could ever find. Jitters can come from the life change marriage causes. It changes the way you live, your friends and who you are friendly with, the new family you might be gaining. It’s basically fear of the unknown.


Know there’s no pattern, jitters come in waves. Sometimes they are more intense than others.

It is about letting go and changing and adapting to someone else and your new sense of who you are.

It is about new beginnings as well as separating and loss, doubts about marriage this person, his or her habits, parents, other aspects you may not know yet and are worried about.

It is about making choices and being on your own.

It is about committing to someone else who is going to be more important than your own family. If you have never lived with someone, this is a biggie. You may fight a lot over little senseless things, you may cry, storm around, become someone you don’t recognize.


Live your life

Jitters are helped when you relax and keep your own life intact. Don’t lose yourself and your sense of who you are. Look realistically at the challenges you face together and separately. Consider your friends, his friends and the friends you make together. Do you have fear about giving up your friends? Talk about it. Keep those lines of communication open. Your home (space) and your taste?, Your job? Are you not taking a job because you are going to be married?

Friends react to your getting married. Be aware of what is going on and bring it out in the open.

Forget perfection

People focus on perfection. Perfection breeds jitters. Get rid of “perfect.” Everything will not be perfect! The perfect wedding will not happen — accept it, the perfect apartment, the perfect friends, the perfect sister in law, some things are just the way they are and you have to learn how to adapt, which is all normal.

Let go and give away the need to control everything. Be careful about what is fantasy and what is real. Focus on what is truly important.

Perfectionism is about control. If you let it loosen a bit, you will find that the grief, fear and loneliness that many people who are about to marry experience are not only normal but healthy. Everyone questions whether they are making the right decision. Questioning is not doubting.

Face your fears

Jitters thrive on fear. Worry never prevented nor solved any problem. It is normal to feel fear when jumping into the unknowns of marriage.


Not quite! There are many father’s who have jitters about walking their daughters down the aisle giving them over to a guy they may not like much. Everyone involved may be having jitters. Find a healthy way to deal with all of the family and their demands and expectations. Understand that you cannot please everyone and everyone may not be pleased. They have their own feelings of loss, happiness, disappointment — they may not like your fiancé! And that will cause you to have jitters. If parents disapprove, remain calm and do not react with anger. Attempt to remain an adult, no matter what the situation.