Weddings are beautiful events that happen after a lot of stressful planning has taken place. Even if you’ve hired the best wedding planner around, there is always stress in the process for the bride. It can revolve around a miscommunication of ideas between you and the florist, or even when handling people rudely inviting themselves to your wedding when invitations have already gone out to those on your guest list. Since meditation is a powerful tool to help refocus your thoughts, and diminish your stress level, it seems pretty obvious that you should try to practice it as much as you can through the planning process, right?

What if you could also enhance the experience of your big day by adding an additional step to your meditation practice?

Visualization paired with meditation can have profound effect on a person’s participation of what usually is a stressful experience. Let’s apply it to the most important part of the wedding planning process: getting through your wedding day. By the time you have reached that blessed day, you’ve laughed over hideous bridesmaid dress options, you’ve cried at the touching toasts your girlies gave in your honor at your bachelorette party, and you’ve dealt with unruly soon-to-be in-laws. All that’s left is making it down the aisle to stand next to your wonderful fiancé to make it official.

The preparation of your mind begins days beforehand when you sit for your morning meditation. Utilize the first minute of your meditation to clear your mind for the work you are about to do for yourself. This can be a challenge for some to quiet the “monkey mind” (aka the random surfacing thoughts), but it’s worth the effort. Once you are clear, focus on one specific part of your wedding day. Let’s use the walking down the aisle part of the ceremony as an example. Visualize in your mind you getting ready before the wedding march. See yourself in a calm state taking your time getting ready as if you had all of the time in the world. Picture yourself smiling throughout the entire time as you enjoy each moment. See how you would interact with your bridesmaids, your mother, and your father before it’s time to go. Clearly visualize their warm smiles, their feelings of happiness for you, and most importantly, how you feel.

Where this process works is rooted in your own feelings of these scenarios you choose to see. Don’t simply expect to be happy in certain moments in order to speed-through the exercise. Instead, take the time to visualize the scene until you allow your feelings to match the feelings of happiness you want to feel when the real moment occurs. Think about the moment when your fiancé first sees you in your wedding dress, how his smile spreads wide across his face, and notice the tears in his eyes because he thinks you are so beautiful. How do you feel in that moment? Concentrate on those details as you move through the exercise, which will train your mind to focus on the details that mean the most to you when your wedding day takes place. After you have finished visualizing a part of your wedding, picture accepting what you created in your mind as your truth with a deep breath in, and let it go. This is a good place to continue your practice with your normal meditation, or as a good place to end. Whatever you choose, take your time before you open your eyes to come back to center.

This is a “two birds, one stone” process. As you prepare for your wedding day by using visualization during your meditation practice, you are also making the last leg of the wedding planning process more bearable because you are meditating at the beginning of the day. No matter if you need to check on floral arrangements or tux rentals, your mind is already rooted in a positive space because you took the time to picture the happy finish line. You have trained your mind to focus on what matters most, which is how you feel, thereby setting yourself up for a peaceful mind that is open to receive happiness on your wedding day.