What to Do When Cold Feet Strike

The reception venue is booked. Your wedding jewelry is nestled in your hope chest along with your wedding shoes and your grandmother’s lace handkerchief. For months, people around you have been admiring the ring on your finger – the ring that says “I’m taken and ready to say ‘I do’.” But the truth is, you’re not feeling ready even though every new day brings you that much closer to speaking those very words in front of 100+ friends and relatives. Frankly, you’re anxious. Unsure.

And that is what we call a classic case of cold feet – a common malady among brides- and grooms-to-be.

There are two ways to address cold feet. Number one is useful when you absolutely know that you’re only really feeling nervous because you’re taking such a big, life-changing step. It’s so simple. You talk to someone. Just talk. It could be your mom or it might be a professional. Some brides-to-be feel actually feel comfortable talking to their SOs about cold feet, but we’d say that’s not the norm. The point is, you find someone to talk to and then find ways to work through your feelings. Again, that’s only when you have a strong intuition that your chilly toesies are just your way of coping with the stress of anticipating a wedding.

Number two is more difficult because it’s the method you use when you’re legitimately unsure. It starts simple – talk to a professional – and then gets complicated – seriously consider delaying or calling off the wedding. We hate to say it, but sometimes getting married isn’t the right decision. People change and the person you’re about to marry may not be the person you fell in love with. Some fiances and fiancees are abusive. It could be that you’re just not ready to get married. But if you feel really, really strongly that saying “I do” isn’t the right decision, you owe it to yourself not to say it, even if that means losing deposits and dealing with negativity from family.

Luckily, most of the time cold feet are just the brain’s way of reminding us to take marriage seriously when so much of wedding planning is totally un-serious. If you suspect that your cold feet may be trying to tell you something more, though, please please please give yourself permission to think critically about where you’re headed.