Wedding Jitters: What Makes Us Nervous About Our Big Day?

Along with moving house, weddings are one of the the most stressful and nerve-wracking events that we go through.

Months or even years of planning for a single day that kick-starts the rest of your life is not easily pushed to the back of your mind. Dresses, suits, venue, catering, speeches, bridesmaid coordination, and family feuds can all build up in our minds to cause us sleepless nights — but we’ve proven that you’re far from alone if you’re suffering from wedding jitters.
Groom and Bride Drinking Champagne

Wedding jitters survey

Since we like to know all things wedding, we surveyed 1100 soon-to-be grooms and brides to find out the main cause of their wedding anxiety as they approach their big day. This way, we like to think we can help you pinpoint and combat your personal wedding nerves — and, as you can see, we got some interesting answers from both sides…


Hen Party Survey


Wedding day nerves top spots

To start, we had to establish the basics. A massive 82% of everyone we interviewed admitted that they are, or had been, nervous about their wedding. Pretty much what we’d expect, although we’d love to know the remaining 18%’s secret.

Digging deeper, we found that what makes most women (41%) nervous about their wedding day is being the centre of attention during the first dance, while the most nerve-wracking part of a wedding for men (35%) was the possibility of embarrassment at the best man's speech.

Understandable, we suppose. The first dance is the next major event in the day where the couple must be in front of their guests after the ceremony and holding centre of attention isn’t every girl’s bag. Plus, we’ve all seen cringey best man’s speeches on Facebook and YouTube where the groom takes a verbal battering, while the bride laughs and points along with the guests.


Bride and Groom First Dance


Other interesting results

Although ‘first dance’ and ‘best man’s speech’ won the top spots, the other worries ranked very closely behind. The thing that surprised us most about the rest of our wedding jitters results was the difference between our bride and groom answers.
Overall, it seems that brides tend to panic about the look of the event more than grooms, with 30% saying how they appear in photos concerns them and 24% stating that what they look like in their wedding dress keeps them awake at night.  


Wedding Dresses


Although the worry of a bad-weather wedding was roughly the same for both men and women, more grooms than brides seemed to have wedding jitters about the possibility of absent guests. 22% of men worried about wedding guests not making it — which only just made it into the top five for women — while a fraction less fretted about the bride herself not showing up!

A third of our nervous grooms also seemed to find it hard to shake off the panic associated with committing to one partner for life, which doesn’t appear at all in our bridal top wedding jitters. Does this mean our brides are more committed to their choice of life partner than grooms? Not necessarily — if at all. Remember, nearly a fifth of grooms were anxious that their bride wouldn’t do them the honour of showing up on the big day, which is perhaps an indicator that they’re worrying more about their bride’s choice than their own.

Although there are some differences in how brides and grooms rank their wedding anxieties, the mutual worry about bad weather and guests not showing suggest that there is definitely common ground when it comes to wedding jitters. So, if nothing else, at least you both have that mutual understanding to help talk things over together and panic less.


Groom Getting Ready


How you can calm your wedding jitters

We hope that this wedding jitters survey has made you feel less alone in your anxiety. If you need a bit of extra help, check out our tips on relieving wedding nerves:


  • Have fun: make sure to pack the weeks leading up to wedding with days out. Even if it’s just a meal at your favourite restaurant, trip to the cinema, or weekend away in a spa; these will all help to positively divert your attention from the wedding day.


  • Communicate: as you can see above, both brides and grooms have wedding jitters and a few will be identical. Talk about your worries with your soon-to-be spouse. You’ll be shocked at how quickly your issues pale into insignificance once you verbalise them. Plus, helping to calm someone else down naturally does the same for your own worries without you realising it.


  • Create plans: nothing too heavy of course. Just think of what you want to do together after the wedding, such as redecorating the house, random outdoor activities, and visiting places around the world. This takes your mind off the wedding and onto the marriage.


  • Ask for help: that’s what families and bridesmaids are for. If you feel like you have lots of odd tasks to do that are building up, ask a friend to take a few for you to share the workload.


  • Breathe: take a tai chi or yoga class to help with your breathing, inner peace and mental clarity. Or just book a massage.


  • Visualise: think about a happy wedding day and you’ll get it. Most of the time, we create problems that aren't there. So, simply telling yourself everything will be fine and being relaxed and confident will put you in the perfect frame of mind to cope if there is an unlikely hitch.


Wedding joys

Committing yourself to someone forever is scary but remember; you asked or said “yes” for a reason and the risk is always worth the reward. We know this has revolved around our own questions, but we’ve looked at countless other blogs, newspaper articles, reports, and surveys to research this topic with almost all saying that wedding days are the happiest days in our lives. And those that don’t, are only beaten but the marriage following them.


Worry gives a small thing a big shadow, so don’t ruin the exciting build-up to your special day with pointless wedding jitters.


Guests Throwing Confetti on Wedding Day


Survey Methodology

In this survey, we asked 1100 people (52% male and 48% female) what makes them feel nervous about their wedding day. To retrieve our data, we gave each participant a multiple-choice survey which they could use to select their top concerns from a list of common worries.

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