• Jackie Reynolds

A Bride

Updated: Apr 27

Stepping into a new life as a married woman had a very unexpected spiritual impact on me. Shane proposed only seven months ago, and we both agreed we did not wish to wait for the world to 'come back' to start living our lives as a married couple.

After finding the perfect venue for a small wedding, we snagged the date they had available.

Only thing - the date was three months away!

With little time to plan and no opportunity to see the site beforehand, we got to work and relied heavily on our wedding planner and vendors to take our vision and work their magic.

Since the date was fast approaching, I could instantly feel my insides changing with excitement and nerves for this transition.

Some would call this feeling butterflies (LOL) but I am not a naturally nervous or anxious person, and I happen to think I work really well under pressure.

This feeling felt different. After all, we were not planning a huge wedding that required too much stress. These 'butterflies' didn't feel like wedding nerves.

I began to realize that every new beginning has an ending, and that marrying Shane was never the source of the nerves.

This transition was the biggest transition I had made as a woman on a spiritual level.

It was the letting go, and saying goodbye to an old life life that was giving me this visceral reaction. The only way I can describe it was that it felt as if a part of me was physically changing to make way for the woman I was stepping into.

I was having restless night's sleep with all of the excitement, no appetite, and my adrenaline was through the roof. In the observance of all of these abnormal feelings, it became almost like an out of body experience. I knew I wanted to process all of the feels in a way that honored my past self to show compassion for that woman before, and to make space for the excitement of the new woman I was becoming.

In this post I want to share with you all of the prep I did that allowed me to feel my absolute best in my body, skin, mind, clothes, etc. leading up to the big day. These tools helped me stay present with my emotions, while allowing myself to enjoy and fun with the transition all at once!

Sober Curious / Caffeine Free:

In start of 2021 Shane and I did dry January.

We got married in March so as the date approached, we both remained sober curious once dry January ended.

This is where we would go days or even weeks without alcohol, and if we did choose to have a glass of wine, we were extremely thoughtful about it.

The last two weeks before the wedding I was also completely caffeine free.

I decided to go without caffeine because I noticed it would add to the nerves and fuel the anxiety in a negative way. I switched to herbal tea and hot water with lemon to start my day which also settled my stomach and allowed me to stay cleansed.

Skin Care / Make Up: Shane and I both explored new skincare products as well. We both loved trying out, and are now obsessed with Osea.

Click the link to try some of my favorite products - their Ocean Cleanser and Mud Cleansing Mask. It actually feels like my pores are waking up and exhaling every time I used it, and it was a great element to add to my morning and evening routine.

On top of trying new skin care products, I also went out and purchased new make up!

Something about having new and clean products for my skin allowed me to feel like I was taking care of my self and skin in a nurturing and fresh way.

My new favorite products are the Tarte Foundcealer Foundation and Charlotte Tilbury lipstick.

Sun Screen / Self Tanner: We got married in the Florida Keys in March! The last thing I wanted was to feel pale in our wedding photos, or even worse, get a horrible sun burn within the first day of being down there.

Before the wedding it was fun to try self tanner to prep for the sunshine. I highly recommend the St. Tropez Tanning Boost for the most natural glow.

And as for sunscreen, Shane and I both really like the Supergoop Matter Sunscreen! With an SPF 40 you can feel safe about being in the sun while also enjoying the natural clean coverage it has for your face.

Working Out: Feeling good and connected in my body goes way beyond the physical. For me, sweating has always been therapy. But with my favorite studios and classes still being shut down, I was looking for a way to go beyond my usual at home workout routines to take it up a notch and feel more toned and strong in my body. I ended up finding Kaylie Daniels Glow Method a month before the wedding. Her Yoga Sculpt classes are my new favorite addition to my everyday work outs. What I love most is that she gets right to the areas you want to strengthen and creates creative and challenging flows that add a lot of cardio and strength training. She also adds moments of mindfulness and breath, leaving you with the presence and peace you receive from yoga, and an amazing endorphin release you get from cardio. Here is her Youtube Channel to try her classes out for free!

Meditation / Journaling: Leading up to the big day I was meditating twice a day! When we find ourselves lost in anxious thoughts this is usually when we forget that we have these self healing tools to turn to in the moment for guidance. Stillness is magic. It amazes me how I could spend days letting stress build up, or I could sit in stillness for 20 minutes and separate myself from my thoughts and begin to work through the emotions and move on.

When I come out of stillness, I like to write from that place of clarity.

I usually like to focus on gratitude when I write after meditations, but I noticed during this time I would write down what emotions came up during my meditation. Once I get it on paper, it is now detached from my mind and I can separate self from thought and truly become the awareness.

If you're looking for an incredible and free guided meditation series, check out Abraham Hicks guided meditations on YouTube! She has the ability to turn your whole week around.

Daily Walks: No links for this one. During this time I made it, and still make it, and priority to get 10,000 steps in a day. Going out in nature, unplugging, and walking always brings me back to truth and self. Taking the time to reflect on my excitement, the emotions, and everything in between was a way I could reunite with myself and feel aligned with my life's path even when it felt like everything was changing so fast.

Organization: Believe it or not, when I am in 'go mode', I am an incredible organizer.

But in this case I even surprised myself! Four weeks before the wedding I started laying out every single outfit and object to pack for the wedding and honeymoon! This not only helped quiet my mind and prevented me from over packing, but it was so fun and comforting!

I had purchased new outfits to take down on the trip that made me feel confident and new - and it brought me so much joy to see them laid out and ready to be worn for my first days as a married woman.

Every time I would enter my office I would see my new clothes, the items I could not forget, and presents that needed to be wrapped in front of me. This process literally organized all of the little things I was thinking about in my mind and allowed me to see them all and feel excited for the adventure.

And last, but certainly not least..

Get a Wedding Planner! Getting a wedding planner is a lot like dating, and in my case, I turned to Instagram! Searching in the Florida Keys, I looked everywhere on the internet to find ideal photos of the vibe and location we wanted. When I found our wedding planner on Instagram, I sent her a message only to have her call me and discover that she is the

micro-wedding planner for the venue we had our eyes on. BOOM!

Leading up to the day we would have early morning chats to settle my thoughts and talk through the process as much as possible.

My best advice when looking for a planner: find someone who gets your vision and who, at the same time, you can trust to have complete artistic freedom. Do your research on the work they have done in the past!

Our wedding planner was Peggy from @destinationweddingstudio.

If you're getting married in the Florida Keys or South Florida, she is your woman!

What I learned from the short time it was my turn to be a bride, is that when planning a wedding we tend to think about everyone else's experience before our own. It is only in the last few weeks before the big day arrives, when all of the thoughts and emotions that have not been worked through begin to come out in their own way. We all know the term "bridezilla", or hear stories when brides and grooms may have unhinged thoughts (cold feet), or even mild panic attacks / get sick the night before!

I believe brides and grooms may not feel as comfortable voicing their anxieties because they don’t want to sound ‘nervous’ or with doubt. This can result in the feeling of loneliness going through this massive transition and not knowing how to channel the nervous energy and excitement that comes up.

Having these tools and practices that allow you to stay with yourself during this transition and honor this time allows you to enjoy the up leveling that happens when you cross that threshold into marriage.

This monumental transition is one of the most incredibly profound experiences I have ever had in my life.

Marrying Shane has felt so divinely planned and meant to be, and I could never have envisioned this new beginning better myself. I am not someone who ever thought about their wedding day or really felt marriage was for them, and to be on the other side of it all with a man beyond my wildest imagination, still makes me feel like I'm dreaming.

By showing up for myself every step of the way in this transition, I allowed myself to feel supported and cared for - for I will always be my own partner first.

"I am mine before I am anyone else's."

- Nayyirah Waheed

And that was the most beautiful take away of all.

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