Congratulations to all the young and not-so-young brides-to-be out there. This beautiful day is one of the most important in your life so you will want to look your best and feel fantastic.

Ask a seasoned, well-respected hairdresser to recommend what type of haircut and style will look best. If you trust this person, go for it—you will be pleasantly surprised.

Same thing for your body shape: A short girl might look taller in a lace sheath with cap sleeves or no sleeves, just not strapless as it will cut you in two and make you appear shorter. A ruffled halter top might help a less-endowed bride. All women are not a size 2, and to think you can get there before your wedding is unrealistic, and probably unhealthy.

Eat well and keep your calorie count to less than 1,500 a day. Also watch your alcohol and prescription medicine intake. All these things can affect your mood. The pre-wedding time is a precious, fleeting second—don’t waste it with moody actions or comments.

Treat yourself lovingly in the months leading up to the wedding. Don’t take on any big, stressful work projects. Get regular facials and pedicures. An occasional massage is an extra-special treat that can relax your mind and body, and refresh your soul.

This pre-marriage time is a great opportunity for you to have some loving talks with your parents, siblings, grandparents and even good friends. Your marriage will put you in a different situation and you will be so glad that you spent time with these special people.

If you start getting anxious, concentrate on love. It sounds so corny, but it really works. If thinking of your soon-to-be husband makes you anxious, you’re not a freak. This is a big change in your life. Think of your love for your parents or a sibling, and pretty soon, those thoughts will calm you and lead you to thoughts of your beloved.

Touch your partner. With all the hubbub of the pre-marital events, it’s easy to lose sight (as well as touch) of each other. Stroke his face, rub his arm, hold his hand, and of course, kiss him constantly. This releases so much serotonin (feel-good chemicals) and eases tension—and really binds you as partners.

If you feel tension mounting with siblings, parents or friends, excuse yourself. Go a rest room or private place, and shake your arms and legs to release tension. Tell yourself this is what you’re doing, and soon, you will believe it. This is strange, but true.

Try to maintain eye contact with everyone you deal with. This makes them appreciate you and want to give you their best. Also, make others feel good by complimenting them. Nothing is better than making someone feel better about themselves, too.

Always think of yourself in the best possible light: You’re beautiful, smart and confident. This exercise is an easy way to boost self-esteem.

Practice your joyful, confident voice. No mousy I don’t know from you. Speak up, be cheerful and soon you’ll contaminate an entire group with loving confidence.

Finally, remind yourself that you have found someone to walk life’s highways and byways with you. Nothing could make you feel any more confident and beautiful than knowing you’re about to become a team of two.

Become the best person you can be, then you’ll be part of the best marriage you could ever have. Cheers!

John Sullivan has a fine arts degree from Kansas City Art Institute. He has partnered with Ken Miesner for the past 25 years at Ken Miesner’s Flowers at Plaza Frontenac, where they have done flowers for more than 1,000 weddings!