This month I explore a topic rarely covered… the wedding blues. With the help of a few special brides, I hope by the end of this post we all realize these are natural emotions that accompany the journey from a bride to wife.
After my clients get married, I give them a little time and then reach out to see how their wedding day was. Often I ask them, “Was your wedding day everything you dreamed of?” Sometimes I sense a hint of sadness in their response. Other times they tell me they feel blue.
I remember sitting on the stoop of my parent’s house at the end of my wedding night on June 19th, 1982, in the wedding gown that took me five months to design. I put so much into our wedding day. I married my best friend, and in just six hours my dad was going to pick us up and take us to the airport for our honeymoon to Hawaii. I should have been filled with happiness. But was I?
Brielle’S Bit of BLues
Wedding Photography by Allison Kuhn
Brielle woke up before her alarm on her wedding day. She was really excited to be with her sister, best friends…and me.
The moment when you are ready, and it is time to leave for the ceremony is exhilarating! Perhaps this is the first moment of your wedding day that you wished could be frozen in time.
There were so many thoughts and emotions during this short trolley ride to the chapel. I remembered wondering how Brielle was feeling. I was so happy with the pace of the day so far. The time we spent together in the bridal suite was serene, tranquil, and happy.
Wedding day moments and events create a variety of emotions unique to every bride.
I asked Brielle to share how she felt the day after her wedding…
…and how she felt the days and weeks after the wedding.
I have often wondered if the honeymoon departure date hurts or helps the wedding blues. I remember the exhaustion leaving for Hawaii the morning after our wedding, but that is how we did things in the eighties. Many brides today choose to take a little time (or even a few months) to relax, settle into married life, and focus on something really exciting to look forward to after their wedding day.
Brielle’s advice for the bride-to-be: Do NOT look at wedding accounts or vendors on Instagram after your wedding! Unfollow all of them! (Except @headpiececom)
Marissa’s Wedding WIthdrawals
Wedding Photography by James Kapinos
Marissa’s wedding day exceeded her expectations. Her visions came to life with pure perfection, but her wedding day flew by, leaving her with some unexpected lasting impressions. I knew I could count on her spunky nature to contribute to this blog.
Marissa told me her day flew by and that she wished she could do it over and over again—for four days straight! Then she shared how she really felt after the wedding.
Many of you may recognize Marissa. I wrote last month’s blog on her. You may also know her from her appearances on Cake Boss, or from her Instagram with almost 70k followers. Marissa came up with a funny and creative way to help her deal with her wedding blues. She started another Instagram called @weddingwithdrawals.
Marissa created @weddingwithdrawals in the hopes that other brides going through similar emotional times, feel that they can do whatever they want in their wedding gown and accessories. She said it is a comical relief to the sadness you may feel.
Marissa’s advice for the bride-to-be: The emotions that follow your wedding day come without warning. The next day it is back to ordinary life just now with a husband. Stay focused on the love of not only the man you married for life but also the love of family and friends. All of your time, money and planning is done. Take the memories with you that makes you happiest!
Jessica’s Wedding Wisdom
I met Jessica shortly after her appearance on the March premiere of Say Yes To The Dress in 2016. She came to Headpiece.com looking for a custom design from someone who would understand her style and personality. In this month’s blog, I wanted to include some advice from a professional, and I remembered that Jessica had a master’s degree in applied psychology. Jessica was a perfect fit!
Jessica had an outdoor ceremony at Onteora Mountain House in upstate New York, with the Catskills as the backdrop.
Photography by Tonhya Kae Photography
As a bride, changing your name is also a big step. For me, I remember thinking that I was so happy that my name change was the same amount of letters—four, from Marie Coda to Marie Hunt. I loved Jeff’s family and their name. I was excited about the change, but there was also a sense of sadness that I was leaving my family name behind.
Jessica’s advice for the bride-to-be: One of the best pieces of advice I ever received came from a friend and bridesmaid, Keegan, who said, “ remember that you’re not just planning a wedding, you’re planning a marriage.” Fix your attention on what will endure, long after the flowers have dried, and the dress has been preserved. Your wedding day is a commemoration of the love you already share. There is no requirement for you to make it the best or most important day of your life. Every day of your life is important.
Jessica Huddy has received an M.S. of applied psychology and is working toward her LPC and an additional master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is Chief Learning Officer at Cognition Builders and is a co-author of the book, Say This, Not That (To Your Teenage Daughter). I asked Jessica if she could answer a few questions to help us understand the after wedding blues.
Can you explain the emotions behind the wedding blues?
On your wedding day, all of the people in your life conspire to be with you to celebrate your joy. Work and other obligations step aside to make way for the occasion. I remember feeling protective of that single day because it would be the only time when everyone I loved was in the same place, when everything that was not love or joy faded in the background. You’re in this intricate dance, swinging between the desire to indulge in every sweetness and to hold yourself back from growing too accustomed. There are years and months of planning for a faraway event, that seems, at times, as though it will never actually arrive. Then it does, and within 24 hours (depending on if and when you have your honeymoon), it is over. Your routines resume and life proceeds in very much the same way it did before you married. The primary difficulty with the wedding blues is a swift and stark dip in positive emotion, in addition to mismanaged expectations. A lot of people face an adjustment issue, as they struggle to return to a life that isn’t dictated or enlivened by wedding planning.
How can brides prepare themselves in mind and spirit to get the most out of their wedding day and avoid the wedding blues?
Expectation management is a fundamental: in wedding planning and in marriage. Your wedding day might be one of the best days of your life, but it is still one day in life. Don’t fall prey to the arrival fallacy: If I just get this photographer, then I’ll be satisfied. If I can just try on that dress, I’ll be happy. If my wedding day runs smoothly, I’ll be totally content. No matter how perfect your wedding day, there are many things it just won’t give you; long-term happiness and marital satisfaction, for starters. But if you design your life with the same tenacity and focus that you did your wedding, you will have a life that’s deeply satisfying. What do you most enjoy doing with your husband? Carve out time on Saturday or Sunday to do that. What important, but nonurgent goals have you ignored in favor of wedding planning? Revisit them. Continue your planning and pursuit of creativity, but redirect your energy.
Do you have any additional tips or advice to offer?
Someone once told me, “perfect is the enemy of good.” It’s the truth. No matter how much you fuss with your dress, or how carefully you pick your flowers, if you look for something that could be improved, you’ll find it. Remember that your wedding is not a performance or presentation; it’s a celebration. Give yourself permission to stop perfecting, to enjoy yourself, and to love your wedding day, exactly as it unfolds. If your only expectation is to marry the love of your life, then your wedding day will really be perfect!
Photography by Allison Kuhn
Wedding Anesthesia is a state of temporary loss of sensation or awareness as a result of planning and taking part in your daughter’s wedding day.
What about mom? Post wedding day feelings are a bit different for a mom. I planned Brielle’s wedding side-by-side with excitement until exhaustion ensued. I watched her beam with happiness along the way. Then the moment came when she was ready to walk down the aisle and journey to a family of her own. This flash of time was beautiful to witness and incredibly emotional. Just yesterday she was my little girl, and suddenly it seemed, she became Alex’s’ beautiful wife.
Brielle and I created the unthinkable. We met every deadline. We traveled from NJ to Virginia and vice versa. We had fun—real fun getting ready for the wedding!
It is interesting as I look back on Brielle’s wedding day. Some of my most treasured memories were with her and her bridal party in her bridal suite. This is something I didn’t anticipate. I expected it to be busy, rushed, and chaotic. It was the only time on this day that I felt time was in slow motion. I tried to stay in the background and let her enjoy her friends, but she drew me in as though I was one of them.
A moment I thought of with great anticipation was having my son, Schuyler, escort me down the aisle. I remember asking him to take it slow. I wanted to enjoy being arm and arm with him. He is my only son, and this walk meant so much to me.
I made one promise to myself. I was going to have fun at Brielle and Alex’s wedding. I remember my wedding day in 1982 going by quickly, and I spent the majority of it with the formalities of walking from table to table to greet every guest. I had a half of a glass of champagne, one dance with my groom, and hardly anything to eat. Not today. Not on October 14th, 2017. This was a day to celebrate and dance!
Much like a bride, I wanted this night go on forever. We designed so much by hand. It was like we decorated our home for the most special celebration with our family and friends, and at the end of the night, we all had to leave, never to return.
Now, I often share my experience as a wedding mom with the mothers of my clients. I tell them about wedding anesthesia. It usually lasts about two weeks. During recovery, you will experience fatigue, exhaustion, crazy stories, blue moments, along with so many happy memories. You will be excited to hear about the honeymoon and begin making plans for the first official family holidays and get-togethers. The most important thing to know is you will come out of wedding anesthesia!
Marie’s advice for the mother of the bride: Slow down your wedding morning in your mind and breath. It is there that you will find so many special moments that will remain in your heart forever. Let the wedding day imperfections go. Every moment you fret is a moment lost. And most importantly read my blog:
For those who are new followers to our blog, I began this blog writing about designing for my daughter’s wedding. I named it “Fourteenth” because she was getting married on October 14th. I also wanted my followers to know the Fourteenth of every month was the day to experience unique stories about the wedding world. Today, my daughter is celebrating her one year anniversary. The “Fourteenth” blog has grown and has some fascinating topics ahead collaborating with some of the best in their field. Thank you for being a part of our blog.
A perfect ending to our blog on this October 14th, 2018 is to wish Brielle and Alex a very happy one year anniversary.
Next month on the Fourteenth:
Designing for Audrey Hepburn