Sweaty palms, a palpitating heart, headache that won’t go away, panic attacks, the feeling that you are having a heart attack…Perhaps there’s something wrong with you. Or perhaps, you are just getting married! It is nearly impossible to stay calm before one’s wedding day, say experts (and anyone who’s tied the knot). “Last-minute details, follow-ups and the feeling that little things have been left undone play havoc with one’s mind,” says architect Nisha Grewal, who collapsed out of sheer anxiety just three days before her wedding.

“It’s not uncommon to feel like your world is coming to a shattering end just before you are supposed to take the ‘life-changing’ vows,” says Mumbai psychologist Dr Richa Jha. And that, people say, is generally the state of affairs for most brides and grooms.

“From honouring their last-minute professional commitments to looking at the minutest details of the wedding arrangements, brides and grooms are usually involved in everything. Result: super confusion and stress,” says Dr Jha. “For the big day to pass off smoothly, it’s important to be calm.” To achieve that, the only option, say all the experts, is to plan, and plan well.

Together, forever: Don’t just keep your partner ‘posted’. Include them in all your preparations

1. Save the date and work backwards
If you can, pick a day that’s at least six months away. Determine what you’ll need and set deadlines.

2. List it out
Make a list of what tasks need to be done to make your wedding happen. Separate it into ‘Musts’ and ‘Others’ categories. “A lot of things need to be done for weddings,” says planner Kaveri Bora. “What happens in the process is that a lot of the ‘must dos’ get missed in the confusion. A categorised list will make sure you finish all the ‘musts’ before starting on ‘others.”

3. Build a team
“Treat your wedding like a project. Pick your most reliable friends, cousins and family members and delegate tasks according to their skills and interests. Meet regularly for updates. Give yourself two hours each day to fix details,” says Priya Singh, a corporate lawyer who planned her wedding with a core group of seven people.

4. Involve your partner
Don’t forget to keep the most important person, the other half of the bridal couple, in the loop. It isn’t enough to just ‘keep them posted’. Include your fiancé or fiancée in your core team, and incorporate their likes and dislikes into everything you plan to do, so your wedding represents you both.

5. Do things together 
“While on the fiancé-fiancée bit, plan most of your wedding preparations together,” says relationship counsellor Bhavna Kumar. “It works wonders in taking your relationship forward. It will not only bridge any distances, but help you understand each other for the future.”

6. Get counselled
How should you deal with a dominating mother-in-law? What will her aunty say? Isn’t his sister really bitchy? How will I live with all these strange people? Or the big one: Should I be getting married to this person? Or perhaps, should I be getting married at all?

“Before your wedding, apprehensions lurk at every corner,” says Dr Jha. “You’re jumpy, scared and unsure. You begin to doubt everything, from the preparations not being up to the mark, to your partner being ‘the one’ or not!” She recommends you discuss your fears with your partner and a professional. “It will ensure that you’re there for each other in ways that you haven’t thought of discussing before.”

7. Take stock
As the date approaches, make a note of things that are done and those that still need some work. Take a few days off to address all these details.

8. Take a break 
“You’ll need it. Step out of the circus, even if it’s just for a day or two before the pre-wedding functions start. Read, go to a spa, just sleep, but take a breather,” says Kumar.

9. Pamper yourself
Your indulgence starts with your short break; continue it with massages, a full-body polish, waxing and very relaxing pedicures and manicures. Your time starts now.

10. Create a memory
Start your big day on the right note – the romantic one. “Pick up the phone and call your ‘would be’ to say ‘I love you’ and that you are looking forward to seeing him/her tonight,” says Kumar. You’ll feel happy and forget the fights, anxieties and stresses. Finally, focus on what matters – the beginning of your happily ever after.