With the announcement of Knot & Pop Wedding Well-Being, we thought best to give you an insight into the life of our partner, Nova Reid, qualified life & well-being coach and renowned award-winning wedding blogger.
The new service focusses on two sessions. One with Knot & Pop to map out tools and considerations to save you stress and problems in the long run. The other session is with Nova who will chat through any challenges you may be experiencing around the emotional aspects of planning your wedding. For example managing confidence, concerns, or difficult dynamics with friends and/or family.
Here we hand over to Nova to tell you a little more about her background and insights into keeping a calm head through the complexity of wedding planning.
Step us through your career to date?
It’s very eclectic are you ready?
I started my journey as an NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) practitioner in 2011 and qualified a year later and worked extensively in mental health with charities such as Mind and continued my training throughout.
I founded Nu Bride during my own wedding planning in 2012, primarily to document my planning and it quickly grew to be a platform to encourage the UK industry to be more inclusive with the way it markets, represents and showcases bridal beauty.
Before all of this I worked in the wonderful world of professional theatre.
What is it that led you to focus on life coaching and mindfulness? And now bring that focus to weddings?
Two years after I graduated from theatre school, I knew I wanted to have another skill under my belt to help me during down time, so trained as a therapist alongside performance contracts. The desire to keep learning and to have financial stability took over so I retrained as an NLP practitioner and discovered mindfulness in 2013.
I have always had a desire to help people. My Dad reminded me of this in his father of the bride speech on my husband and I’s wedding in 2012. Apparently, I was always helping others from as little as four years old (I had no memory of this!)
I adore helping people, from helping clients with low confidence to helping people who are struggling with their wellbeing or simply with motivation; To helping people improve relationships, overcome unhelpful behaviours, to realising their potential. It is a real joy watching people go through an authentic journey to discover their purpose.
It’s one of the reasons I enjoy mentoring at The Women of The World Festival for International Women’s Day each year. I facilitate empowerment. All of us have the ability to realise our potential. What prevents most of us from living the lives we want is fear. I help unblock that for people.
Many of us feel guilty about taking time out from our working day for respite. Often associating being busy as being successful. So much so, we get distracted from being in the present moment, with thoughts of what’s next to do on the to do list. Mindfulness allows us to be present to gain control of our thoughts and feelings so we are better able to manage them. It’s a brilliant tool to reduce stress and anxiety and is also used more recently in progressive schools with children, wildly in the NHS, even for pain management.
The wedding industry is filled with some very talented and passionate people, always keen to go the extra mile it can also make them vulnerable and susceptible to stress and burnout.
For wedding couples, there are ridiculously high expectations to have a certain type of wedding, whilst navigating unexpected family politics and managing people. That and taking on the task of planning alongside a day job also adds to that pressure and can manifest in many weird and wonderful ways. Not to mention trying to navigate how to take on a new identity and role and learn to live “happily ever after”
So to me, it made sense to bring emotional wellbeing into the wedding industry. We should treat our mental health in the same way we look after our physical health. Without our health we have nothing.
Why do you think wedding planning can be a stressful experience for many?
From peer pressure, right through to societal and family expectations.
Also the fact that planning a wedding is no easy feat; a lot of us think we can juggle it alongside our own lives, family, and work. It’s an undertaking and planning a wedding can bring out the best in some people and the worst in others. Not knowing how to manage that can be stressful, even for the best of us.
Tell us a little about the different areas where wedding stress can manifest.
What we need to remember is that we are all coming from different backgrounds with different values, social systems, cultures and family dynamics to contend with. A stressful situation for one person may not be an issue for another.
To generalise, conflict of any kind is a common trigger. ESPECIALLY when dealing with family and people you care about. We generally find it difficult to be honest with one another through fear of hurting the others feelings and instead we sit on something that bothers us and it bubbles.
Dealing with family politics and the psychology of guest lists and money is a close second!
There is a lot of pressure for couples to be ‘people pleasers’ during their planning, usually at the expense of themselves and at some point, something has got to give.
Do you think the industry does enough to help reduce stress for couples?
Not currently, no.
I think the mainstream industry also plays a part (subconsciously) in contributing to the pressure that some couples feel when planning.
From feeling like you need to keep up with the latest trends, to the pressure to lose weight. To feeling like they should look a certain way, or that it should cost a certain amount , right through to the aesthetic of the day itself; to be magazine or blog worthy. Sometimes we get caught up in the pretty and forget the true meaning behind why we are doing this. To dedicate our lives to our soul mate. Sometimes just giving yourself that reminder can be an instant stress reliever. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the wedding pretty, but it’s the icing on the cake and the cherry on top, not the foundation.
Stress will always be a fact of life. Life happens. We can’t avoid it, but, without taking control of how we deal with it, it can manifest, at worse, into mental ill health. So it’s important to try and take a proactive approach to learning to manage it and taking better care of ourselves.
Tell us a simple but effective technique to apply in moments of stress?
Breathe . Count to 10. and go and do some exercise. Immediately.
Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it, but by changing your state you instantly change how you feel. Stress is a build up of unwanted hormones, which our body produces when we are under pressure (in auto-response to fight of flight) because it thinks we are under attack (even when we aren’t!). The best way to relieve these unwanted hormones is to get rid of them. Otherwise, it can remain in our body for unhealthy extended periods of time, (especially if you’re constantly under stress) and comes out in various symptoms, such as anxiety, irritability, difficulty with concentrating, sleeping or eating, etc….
Have a play around with – it’s a great little mindfulness and meditation app and reminds you when to take a break in the day and dedicate some time to yourself.
Or try this colour therapy book from !
What do you do to relax when times are busy?
If I am starting to feel an unhelpful build up of tension I do “something else”. Something that I enjoy. From a short burst of cardio, singing, yoga sun salutations, going for a walk, calling a friend or colleague to ‘let go’ of letting whatever is bothering me off my chest and I always turn to mindfulness.
Time management is key. I always schedule time within my working week for respite, so I can go and enjoy a two-hour yoga class without worrying about the inbox piling up. The emails will always be there!
I also try and incorporate taking spa breaks several times a year.
What mantra do you live by?
Don’t let your mood dictate your manners is a big one for me AND Be inspired to be better.
Where is your happy place?
Anywhere where I am with my husband and close to my immediate family and I am at peace. (The Caribbean sun helps too,though. Haha!)