That’s it. It’s done. No more planning. No more stressing. No more phone calls, lists, meetings, scheduled tastings, fittings. The party is over. The food has been eaten, the booze drunk. Your dress is hanging in a bag in the closet, never to be worn again, your bouquet hangs next to it, drying. The wedding is over and it’s pretty depressing.
If you’re a newlywed and you’ve had these feelings of depression and loss after the wedding, you’re not alone. Brides (and grooms) spend a great deal of time and energy planning and prepping for that one day, and when it’s all said and done, it’s not uncommon to feel a loss. When each day is filled with something wedding-related for however many months before the wedding day, to suddenly have that taken away is a bit shocking and depressing all at once.
Why wouldn’t brides and grooms feel relief at no longer having to plan and prep? It’s true, weddings can be stressful, time-consuming events to plan, but they are also an expression of the bride and groom and something they can take pride in. Like planning and building a new home, every detail is the couple’s choice. And while it might be a bit chaotic throughout the planning process, the end result is something that is truly theirs and something they can take great pride in and enjoy to the fullest – but in the case of a wedding, that enjoyment only lasts for a few hours.
Weddings are so short that the length of time needed to prepare and get ready is horrendously disproportionate to the time spent enjoying the event. Consider having a child: You prepare and plan for 9 months until the baby is born, but it doesn’t end there. A child continues to give for years and years, while a wedding is only for a day.
That might seem like a silly analogy, but if you’ve ever spoken to a bride soon after her wedding, you’ll surely see a bit of sadness in her eyes at not having to plan her own wedding day any longer. As little girls, we spent our time daydreaming of our big day and when it’s all over and done, it’s hard to let go.
So, how do you combat the post-wedding blues? While it’s definitely not as serious as post-partum depression and will rarely require a trip to the doctor, you should consider a change of pace. As newlyweds, the world is your oyster, and as you start your life together consider starting a class together or taking up a hobby (snowboarding, fixing antiques, playing a sport). The thing with post-wedding blues is that you’re left with all this free time all of a sudden.
Brides and grooms often feel depressed after the wedding because they have nothing else to do but think about the loss. Planning a wedding takes up a ginormous amount of time each day, from phone calls to taste-testing to dress fittings and favour-buying; there are a ton of things that need to be done. And even after the decisions are made and the location, meal, dress, transportation, etc. are chosen, there’s still the order of events, researching for photo poses, and songs for the reception to figure out. It seems to never end. And that’s why brides and grooms feel such a void when the big day is done: They no longer have to think about any of that.
Fill the void with something else. Don’t go out and buy a puppy if you aren’t ready for one, but take up a hobby or start planning your next big trip. If you’ve got the means and the vacation time, plan a backpacking holiday across Europe. Look at all the details involved (hotels, restaurants, sites, rentals) and you’ll find your time is once again filled with something to focus all your attention on as a couple.
Post-wedding blues don’t happen to every bride and groom. Or at least, not all of them will admit to it. And even if it only lasts for a few hours or a few days instead of a few months, don’t be ashamed. It’s completely normal to feel sad about the day being over. We all remember what it was like waiting for Christmas to come as children then, poof, like that it was over. And yet, we were left with the gifts and memories to remind us of the great day it was.
Help yourself remember the way your big day felt by printing photos as soon as possible and hanging them around your home. Make albums and look at the photos often to remember the day and everything you worked so hard to create.
You might not be able to enjoy another wedding day like the one you had, but consider this: In 10, 20 years’ time you can consider a renewal of vows and get your planning hat out all over again. Here’s hoping.