I had heard the term before, but couldn’t possibly work out what “Bridal Blues” meant. How could it be that one would sink into unhappiness after marrying the man of ones dreams, celebrated the epic day together with friends and family, and seen the fruit of all the hard labour finally fall in to place?
Yes, those things are all true, but there is a darker reality too – which we will explore and try to get a grip on here.
It is the most magical and surreal feeling to experience that the day – which you have waited so long for – finally has materialized.
Absorbing the love surrounding you and your Groom, seeing how handsome and loving he is today, and the indescribable joy of seeing his face at the altar.
You feel like royalty in your hair and dress. Everyone is smiling, you are stunning, and the party is all about YOU.
You have the blast of a lifetime, you check in to an amazing wedding night hotel, and although hungover, you wake up feeling the happiest you have ever been.
Then you are whisked off to the most romantic and luxurious holiday in your life.
So why does this blues happen? Aren’t you supposed to be elated that everything went so well, that you are not stressing out about your wedding anymore, and that you are now finally beginning your happily ever after?
That handsome man is yours to keep forever, now you will get serious about buying that house – and soon be making those babies too.
This is the very definition of happiness, right?
What might happen though, is that you feel a vacuum after the wedding has come and gone.
For a year, the wedding has consumed every day of your life, and now suddenly it is in the past. It is almost inevitable to feel like something is missing.
There will still be congratulations and talks about the wedding for the next few weeks and months, but then this fades in to the distance. That does feel a bit sad and empty -where has all the glory gone? Is that it?
Maybe you are relieved the commotion it over, but you possibly miss the novelty of being a Bride – it does make you feel like Barbie in space or some other cute princess, and you pretty much gain celeb status amongst your family and friends.
Everyone is happy for you, asking about the wedding plans, how did he propose, how is your diet going, did you find a dress, look how beautiful your ring is, wow – isn’t it all just amazing?
After the wedding suddenly you are your normal self again, and ordinary life commences. It can feel somewhat flat and dull after the Bridal stardom.
Getting back to work, sorting the laundry out, taking out the rubbish, may seem a bit gloomy after having worn the rose tinted wedding specs for a year or so.
This can be a harsh reality check!
Exhausted or depressed?
For the 2-3 months before the wedding, you probably experienced that your adrenaline levels spiked to astronomical levels. Guess what – that adrenaline tends to deplete your dopamine levels – those little guys that we need to feel chilled, content and peppy. When our dopamine levels are low, the blues is there like a letter in the mailbox.
Another reason that you might feel low-energy and low-motivation after the wedding, is that you are probably feeling the after effects of having physically worked your butt off for months – both at the gym and going dress shopping.
When you are feeling exhausted you might also feel dismal. This is called the Bridal comedown, which is precisely what it is. Gradually return to normality in stages, and let your body recoup from the fatigue.
Allow yourself some time to recover, both your body and head. As soon as you get your energy levels back, your positive attitude will return.
How can I protect my self from the Bridal Blues before the wedding?
How well you deal with wedding planning turmoil has a lot to do with your resistance to stress. If you are confident, organized and know what you want, you might be at lower risk of the pre wedding Bridal blues. But it could happen to any Bride, at any point.
Avoiding the Bridal blues is best achieved by preventing it. You can do so by practicing a strong self-care routine, and keeping a healthy mindset.
This will bring your wedding stress levels under control, preventing your nerves from being fried and depleted, which protects you from any catatonic after reactions.
One big factor of stress before and after weddings is budget. Never spend more than you can! Your wedding is one day, and your married life is forever. Don’t start your happily ever after in debt.
Make memories as you go along. Video clips, voice notes, photos and instagram posts will create snapshots of time that you will treasure afterwards. Why not start an Insta account just for wedding prepping purposes? Or Youtube clips that can form a part of your wedding video?
This way your friends and family can follow your engagement story even from a distance, and you can relive it whenever you want to.
If you can afford it, made a good videographer a part of your wedding day.
Make plans for your new life as husband and wife already before the wedding. What is the next step? Buying a puppy or renovating your flat? Set goals and decide projects to get started with as soon as you have recovered.
When you are planning the wedding, you probably find that you have zero time for other things. Make a list of everything you want to do (but don’t have the possibility to right now) as you think of them. Books you want to read, restaurants to try, joining your mother on a spa-weekend. When the wedding is done and dusted, you’ll have a nice list of ideas of what to get on with.
This will stop you from slipping into that empty post wedding feeling!
What can I do about Post-wedding blues?
It is normal to feel a bit disinterested in other things, when the party of your life is no longer ahead of us. The key is to keep busy. This way you will deflect from the sense of void that may arise afterwards.
Plan nice things to do. A trip to the countryside, discover a new market, start a book club with your bridesmaids.
Maybe now is a great time to dust off that old violin that you hid in the cupboard to make space for your wedding DIY crafts. Or try something new that you have always been keen to try – how about ceramics? Or badminton? Blogging?
Nurturing yourself is a great prevention of blues and depression.
During your preparations of becoming a Bride, you probably pampered and looked after yourself much more attentively than usual. Keep it up!
Stick to your exercise routine and healthy eating plan, and you will keep your Bridal beauty and confidence going forever.
Continue to have beauty treatments and spoiling yourself to something special every now and again. A bunch of flowers, a nice handbag or a weekend away. Practicing a strong self-care routine after the wedding is as important as before.
By all means, enjoy having time to relax in front of the telly with a bottle of Chardonnay. But don’t get stuck there – keep as active and engaged with the world as you were when planning the wedding.
Many Brides push the limits in terms of diet and exercise in order to get slimmer for the wedding – which most likely is unsustainable in the long run.
You might have ran yourself into the ground trying to eat perfectly and exercise 7 times a week, which could mean that after the wedding you feel like you can’t keep up anymore, and start to fall back into old habits.
Prevent this by not pushing yourself too hard in the first place. It is great feeling to get fit, but you also need to think about durability – all great things in life are made steadily.
Have a balanced mindset when it comes to exercise and diet, and you won’t crash and burn afterwards. This way you can easily keep the sensible habits after the wedding too.
If you are feeling disappointed….
It is not uncommon to feel disappointment over a wedding day related issue afterwards, if something didn’t work out exactly as you planned.
Protect yourself from this already before the wedding by developing a healthy understanding that things can happen that are beyond your control – but usually it works out in the end anyway. And even if it didn’t – it is ok! Have a realistic attitude about it, and don’t create enormous expectations. Don’t be angry – life is life.
Learning to cope with disappointments is a life skill which is hard to teach oneself, but by keeping perspective and realizing that no matter how hard one tries, it is not a guarantee that everything goes perfectly.
In most cases, only you would be the one who noticed that something wasn’t 100% perfect – it is an achievement to manage 25%!
Weddings are massive productions, and unless you are a festival director, sports event planner or producer of a movie or some kind of musical, this is the first and possibly only time you would have put on a show of these proportions.
Cut yourself some slack, pat yourself on the shoulder and forgive yourself if the rose gold cutlery was left behind.
If nobody was harmed on your wedding day – it was a perfect success.
Ok- uncle Leonard might have forgotten the confetti at home, but just look around and see how much everyone is enjoying catching up and killing that magnificent wedding cake.
That you turned up, walked down the aisle and said I DO is the most important thing!
Get some perspective and try not to dwell – it is unnecessary and it will cloud over your happy wedding memories.
Second guessing your own wedding will never make it better, only distort your thinking and possibly drive you crazy.
Tune back in to the happiness you felt on the day, try to enjoy all the other hundred great things that worked out. Count your wedding blessings!
Never compare your wedding with others you see in magazines and online.
People share only the best moments online, therefore it seems like “everyone else” had such a perfect wedding. A wedding that seems like it has it all, might not – so don’t let a picture make you feel inferior as a photograph is not always a reflection of the whole reality. Remember: a wedding is not a competition in fabulousness, even though a quick glance at Pinterest it might seem so! Every wedding is unique and perfect in its own way.
It is solely about you and your husband, your future together, having a ball with loved ones – and if you manage to achieve it in your personal style, then you have achieved everything which is worth aspiring to.
Talk to other wifes about their wedding days. Sharing with others is a great way of unloading and find similarities and funny anecdotes in other Bridal experiences.
Get your feelings off your chest, and by listening to other wedding stories, you’ll get perspective and learn something about your own. You will probably find that this helps to put things into a sensible perspective.
If you think you are depressed…
Unexplained or overwhelming sadness can be a symptom of post wedding depression. If you think you have it, the advice to follow is the same as all mental wellbeing advice:
Keep active and dont isolate yourself.
Seek help if you don’t feel better in 4 weeks.
Talk to your husband and/ or an understanding friend about you feel.
Make sure you stick to your regular routine of working, cooking, relaxing and looking after yourself.
If you find that you suddenly don’t want to see your friends, leave the house or brush your hair, it is time to find a professional to help you come right again.
Perhaps you are mostly just feeling empty and bored in the absence of planning?
You learned what it is like to have a gazillions thing on the go at the same time, so use that skill to make other ambitions happen.
Take a course, start a project, volunteer, do something that you always enjoyed that you forgot about, or explore a brand new thing. Photography? Ice-skating? How about carrying on with the dance classes you took to master the First dance?
By creating a new hobby or past time you can fill up the void
You possibly got so into wedding preparations that you discovered something new about yourself. Maybe you realized that you are a talented favour DIYer, stationery maker or cake decorator.
Why not start a small business, or keep it at hobby level – you could sell those cast concrete succulent favours on markets, or the pretty bridesmaids necklaces on Etsy.
(If you are missing the actual planning of a wedding – there is always the possibility to become a wedding planner yourself, and help other Brides to plan theirs!)
A great way to re live your wedding is by scrap booking. Gather your memories in writing, objects and your favorite photos and create a beautiful “My Wedding Day” folder that you can cherish for the rest of your and your husbands lives.
Include (or make a separate book) engagement photos and wedding planning memories, photos from your wedding dress shopping trips, bachelorette and bridal shower where you describe your bridal journey and all the activities around it.
This will be a treasured keepsake for the future, where you process your memories and make sure all positive moments are remembered and enjoyed again and again.
PS. You will be a Bride inside for as long as you want to – and isn’t it soon time to start planning your vow renewal, anyway? 😉