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Exclusive: Vikings star Maude Hirst discusses 5-minute meditation tips for brides amid 'rollercoaster' wedding plans

The Tudors star said meditation has "saved us a lot of money" with wedding planning

Maude Hirst shares her mindfulness tips for brides
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
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With so many decisions to make – whether it be your venue, your wedding dress or your caterers – it's easy to get bogged down with stress. Actress and wellness expert Maude Hirst is one of many brides-to-be planning her big day, and she knows first-hand how the pressure of creating your perfect wedding can weigh on you mentally and physically. Despite her favourite wedding venue going into administration, Maude, 35, has harnessed meditation and mindfulness techniques to help her avoid "spontaneous emotional decisions" which has "saved us a lot of money too."

Bride sitting on the bed with her head in her hands and her flowers on the floor© iStock
Meditation and mindfulness can help reduce stress

The Vikings actress, famed for playing Helga, decided she needed a career change after finishing the historical drama and going through a "traumatic breakup." Speaking about how she came to set up her own business EnergyRise, she told HELLO!: "I first got into the wellness world around 6 years ago. I was approaching my 30s, had recently finished filming Vikings and went through a traumatic breakup that left me questioning a lot of things in my life.I started practicing meditation and yoga for my own mental health which led me on an extraordinary journey of healing and self-discovery. Seeing how powerful these practices could be inspired me to train in both meditation and yoga so that I could share them with the world."

Keep scrolling to see more details about Maude's wedding and her top tips to help fellow brides-to-be remain calm in the months, days and hours before their big day…

Maude's wedding plans

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The Tudors star got engaged to her fiancé Toby at a digital detox cabin in the woods called Unplugged, and she described the proposal as "magical." She told us: "We had been on a lovely country walk and I was sat in a beautiful old temple and he appeared with my beautiful ring and a bottle of champagne. A day I’ll never forget."

Despite the very serene engagement, the wedding planning has been anything but! Regardless, she said she is "beyond excited to get married" and has harnessed the tools of meditation to help her through the "rollercoaster ride". See how you can follow her lead…

How brides can harness meditation and mindfulness

wedding planning savings
Maude revealed wellness techniques may have helped her save money

Sharing her own experience, Maude said: "One of the tools that has been most helpful is knowing to take time to pause before making decisions and meditating on them. It has saved me from making spontaneous emotional decisions and possibly saved us a lot of money too. Also knowing that I can use different breathing techniques to calm myself down has definitely come in handy through this process."

While she has been in the industry for around six years, she insisted: "You don’t need to become an expert at meditation to be able to feel the huge benefits of these practices." To prove her point, she revealed two easy techniques you can follow to reduce stress and boost confidence – and they can take as little as 5 minutes.

1. Slow down your breathing 

"Breathe in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 6 (all through the nose). Repeat for 5 minutes and you will feel your entire body calming," she said.

2. Use your words

"For a confidence boost remember the power of your words – it’s helpful to write down or even say out loud a positive sentence about the wedding such as: 'I choose to make this process fun and I am feeling confident and ready.' Words can make a huge impact on how you feel," Maude added.

Last-minute mindfulness techniques

Maude Hirst meditating in a black outfit© Dave Benett
Maude said there is no set timescale for starting mindful techniques before your wedding

While some may have already followed mindfulness techniques in everyday life that they'll take through their wedding planning journey, others will only be furiously searching for answers on how to stay calm after experiencing several meltdowns. Fear not if you fall into the second category, as the wellness expert said: "Start whenever you can," adding: "There is no correct timescale."

The good news is, this applies even if you've only thought about it the night before your big day! We've all heard the classic recommendations to get an early night's sleep, but it's not always easy when your mind (and your heart) are racing. 

A bride and groom holding hands showing their wedding rings
Do mindful breathing or message your partner on the morning of your wedding day

Aside from breath awareness, which is her number one hack, she added: "Also, another amazing practice to do the morning of the wedding is to put your favourite song on and dance around like no one is watching. This will release any nervous energy and fill you with a feeling of joy for the day."

Better yet, get your partner involved. Either do your breathwork with them or send them a special note if you're upholding the tradition of spending the morning apart. Maude says she and her fiancé say this to one another in stressful situations: "You’re powerful and you’ve got this." 

She said: "Either steal ours or find an encouraging saying that resonates for you both and perhaps text it to each other or write a little note the morning of the wedding." How thoughtful!

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