It’s not the end, it’s only the beginning!
When the last bottle of leftover Champagne has been popped, the final guests have returned home, and you’ve found a home and written a thank you card for each of your thoughtful wedding gifts, it’s common for sadness to set in.
To begin with, you are SO not alone. Post-wedding blues are a real thing, with brides and grooms frequently feeling deflated, and even mildly “depressed” after the wedding.
For many newlywed couples, the change of pace (and excitement) from a year or more of wedding planning can be a significant one. After all the planning and anticipation, it all suddenly stops. Even if the day lived up to every dream you ever had, there seems a lot less to ‘look forward’ to. This can lead to disappointment and stress, and conflict can arise even where there isn’t really anything to fight over – you’re just a bit bored.
The good news is, it’s not marriage, or your new spouse that’s boring, you just need to get some excitement back into your lives. First, understand why you’re feeling like this…
What are the Post-Wedding Blues?
Why do so many brides feel empty and sad after the wedding is over?
There are a few main reasons for the post-wedding blues. The first, and hardest, is where couples don’t feel as though their expectations were met. Being let down by guests, vendors or the day itself is less common, but it does happen.
If your expectations weren’t met
First, discuss your experience with your husband. Do you both feel the same? Has a vendor disappointed you, and if so, is there possible recourse in your contract? If the disappointment came from family or other guests, ask yourselves if the issue is big enough to warrant a discussion with them?
If the wedding wasn’t “perfect”
However, if the wedding just doesn’t feel like it went “perfectly” you may want to consider if you’re setting yourself up to feel like this. We have a cultural obsession with being perfect – the perfect body, perfect job, the perfect man, the perfect wedding, but perfect doesn’t truly exist in any of those things.
Instead of remembering on what didn’t go perfectly, shift your focus to recall all the best parts of the wedding – what made you really happy on the day, your favourite moments, the tears and the laughter. It may even help to write about your day. Take a notebook, your journal or begin I still do where there’s an entire chapter on your wedding memories. Write about what was good, what was beautiful, and the moments most memorable – for all the right reasons. By affirming positivity around those, you can effectively shift the focus away from the let-downs. Acknowledge them, and then let them go.
You’ve feel as though you have nothing to look forward to
The build up and anticipation of your wedding day isn’t only months or a year in the making – you may have been dreaming of this day since you were a little girl (or boy). So when it’s over, that dream, however it worked out, is gone, and you no longer have such a momentous occasion to look forward to. It may seem counterintuitive to be sad after the best day ever, but it’s also understandable – if that was ‘the best’ day then what is next?
If you think you may feel like this after your wedding (and you’re reading this in advance) consider booking your honeymoon a short time after, creating a buffer zone between the two, and a secondary occasion to look forward to.
Quite simply? You need a plan. Whether it’s a holiday in a year, a hot date next Friday, or the fitness/dancing/yoga/arts/theatre programme you’ve been wanting to enrol in, you need to get yourself back into something structured. You need to have something to look forward to, both week to week, and in the long term. Plan catch-ups with your guests and go over your wedding photos and their memories of the day too, and relive your favourite moments over and over again.
Talk to your husband – no, really talk. Talk about the future. What do you look forward to most – whether 5, 10, 15 or 50 years from now, where do you see your lives heading? Focus on the good, and the future – you’re likely to have more of your income to yourselves now too, enjoy that!
Real life is boring
You had SO MUCH TO DO. Parties, Budgetting, Planning, DIY, Dance lessons and more – every moment over the last few months was FULL, and now you’re sitting around with a cup of tea in the evenings and no wedding to plan. Believe me, I get it. Maybe you loved the attention that being engaged and planning a wedding entices, or maybe you were putting off a big life decision or stressful investment until after the wedding, and nothing else seems quite as fun any more.
You need to get yourself out of this rut – it’s not marriage that’s boring you, it’s lethargy and absence of excitement.
You need to bring the excitement back into the everyday. Make dinner at home special, or plan a weekend FULL of activities together, down to the hour if you have to: walk to cafe for coffee; drive to local vege markets and shop and eat til lunch; grab a sandwich and sit on the beach or a park for an hour; head to K Mart (!!); unpack all your fresh veges and make meal plans for the week; go to the movies/netflix & chill!… whatever it takes, just Get Busy!
Get Some Perspective
Even when you’re busy, have something to look forward to, and can look back on your wedding with total satisfaction, the reality is that marriage is different to wedding planning, but your marriage is much more important. Start talking about what’s happening next, what married life means to you and what your next life transitions might be. Focusing on what happens after the big day, and getting excited about your next steps will help significantly diminish any depressive or deflated feelings.
If your feelings continue, don’t be afraid to seek counselling.
Remember and Relive your Wedding Day
To be honest, I didn’t feel too deflated after our wedding. While the anticipation was the most exciting thing I’d ever been through, it was nothing compared to the warmth, security and happiness I felt at having accomplished a beautiful wedding, and marrying the person I loved most.
A wedding is a single day, a beautiful and exciting one, and one to look back on with love, but there is so much more beyond it. Write down your feelings, reflect on your photos, but remember why you couldn’t wait to marry your special person too – to spend the rest of your lives together.
Feelings like these inspired me to create I still do, the perfect life and marriage planner to take you from “I do” well into the future, while reflecting on your Big Day.