Being Carly, MDW

Did You Have a Hard Time Letting Go of Your Wedding?

This is the first of what will likely be a handful of posts about what happens after you come home from the honeymoon. I think that the whole “life-after-wedding” idea is something that people are focusing more on these days because we’re hearing a lot more from people (especially brides) who struggled after their wedding was over. From what I’ve seen, these are the three most common complaints:


  1. Sadness because the engagement, wedding, and honeymoon was a lot of fun, but now it seems like all of that fun is over.
  2. Disappointment because after all the work, planning, and money, it doesn’t seem like it was worth it in the end.
  3. Emptiness because the wedding occupied so much of the bride’s time in the months (and perhaps years) leading up the wedding.

I don’t think that every bride goes through negative emotions when the wedding is over, but I do believe that it’s more common than you might think. In fact, “postnuptial depression” is now a common condition that apparently affects a ton of women. There’s a whole lot of build-up and emotions built into a wedding, especially when it’s a big destination affair (like a Disney wedding) that has eaten up a ton of the bride’s focus and energy for a long time. If it’s a great day, it makes sense that the bride could experience a sense of loss because the day has passed, and if it’s not a great day, it makes sense that the bride would experience frustration at having stressed out so much only to be disappointed. Plus, is it really that strange to think that a bride might experience all three of the problems mentioned above as she comes down from that frenzied wedding high?

If you’re one of the brides who never had a negative thought after the wedding was over, you may be very lucky. I didn’t experience too much “wedding detox”, but then again our wedding was a massive four-month marathon thanks to the fact that we had three receptions. By the time our events were officially over, I was so burnt out on our wedding and weddings in general that it was a long time before I even wanted to look through the photos. Plus, it’s not like I ever got that far away from our wedding after my burnt-out days had ended. I mean…you know…I blog about this stuff all day. We’ll be married two years this January, but my wedding planning days are still going strong. So, I’m probably not the best example of a post-wedding bride.

What about you? Are you a bride who was surprised at some of the feelings that came up after the wedding? Or maybe you haven’t gotten married yet, so you’re not sure what to expect when the event has come and gone. Either way, I’ll be doing a few more articles on this over the next couple of days and I’m interested to hear if you guys know what I’m talking about or if you think that brides just need to get over it already.

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  • Reply Melissa

    I most definitely know exactly what you're talking about! I felt a combination of sadness and disappointment. I was sad all the fun was over and we had to go back to "normal" but even more than that I was a little disappointed because of certain sacrifices we had to make for the wedding. I wanted a Disney wedding…wanted one since I was a kid, before they even did Disney weddings, and I didn't get it. We did a "at home" Disney wedding, which don't get me wrong, was wonderful and beautiful, but so many things and ideas I had always wanted didn't come to fruition. Mostly the reason was money. My mom was wonderful enough that she paid for 99.7% of the wedding and so we had to go a lot with things that were "in the budget." I still watch a lot of wedding shows even though we've been married over a year now and I'm "planning" our Disney vow renewal we'll either do at our 5 (hopefully) or 10 year anniversary. We're going to pay for that completely so there will be no compromises.

    September 20, 2010 at 2:11 pm
  • Reply Anonymous

    I can see why someone would feel depressed after their wedding, that is why I am making a point of not letting mine run any parts of my life.

    I try really hard not to obsess on every single minute detail, I don't subscribe to bridal magazines, if I find an article in one that I really like, I will buy it, otherwise I just go online and look for inspiration.

    I don't talk wedding stuff constantly to anybody, maybe I will make annotations on what I need to finish and when, but it is more of a working order type of thing. I need to know what I have done, bought and finished and what I still have left to complete.

    I keep in mind that my day won't be specifically what I have in mind and I keep a very broad view of what it will turn out to be so I won't be disappointed and will be pleasantly surprised.

    Also I have already planned other adventures with my SO away from wedding planning in the future that will be taking my attention once the fairy dust has settled and we are back in the real world.

    Hopefully it will all work on my favor and come the week after our wedding I will be an incredibly happy person with wonderful new memories and new horizons to explore ahead of us.

    September 20, 2010 at 2:52 pm
  • Reply Hope

    Definitely 1 and 3 for me sprinkled with the other sense of loss from what happened days before the wedding. It sucks. There's nothing to look forward to or plan now and the 10 year VR seems so far away. I still read the forums and watch my wedding shows so although I'm not planning ours anymore, I can still live vicariously through other couples.

    September 20, 2010 at 3:01 pm
  • Reply Anonymous

    I am not a "Disney bride" but wanted to comment anyway.

    I guess I was one of the "lucky" ones because I didn't have any feelings like that. I loved our wedding, reception, and honeymoon. Everything was a blast! But once it was done, I wasn't sad or disappointed at all. I just went about my normal life.

    However, while planning the wedding, maybe I wasn't a typical bride. The planning didn't consume my day to day life. My husband and I did a lot of the planning together, on weekends. And that was pretty much it. I didn't join any wedding message boards or anything like that. I didn't constantly talk about the plans with friends and family.

    Our marriage was the most important thing but the whole wedding aspect of it just wasn't that big of a deal to us, I guess. I looked at it for what it was – a party with our friends and family to celebrate our future together as a married couple.

    I had no desire to be a "princess for the day" and I was never one of those "this is MY day" kind of people. I actually didn't like being the center of attention at all so I was happy when the ceremony was over.

    I honestly didn't realize so many people went over the top with planning until I joined a disney message board.

    September 20, 2010 at 3:29 pm
  • Reply

    I have to admit that I miss my wedding day. It was such a great day even if it didn't go as planned due to the weather but it was still amazing. It was just a great day marrying my husband and spending time with our families and giving them a great celebration and vacation. I do miss it still. It is something that most girls think of when they are young and then you get married and its over but it really isn't about the wedding it is the marriage and now I am looking forward to starting our family someday soon.

    September 20, 2010 at 5:02 pm
  • Reply Princess Christy

    I became the non-bride after so much of the planning was done. I threw myself into planning for my best friend, and now offering to help with another wedding. That was how I dealt!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:46 pm
  • Reply Karen

    I loved my wedding so much, and loved planning it, and with no friends getting married in the immediate future, I really, really miss the planning part of it. I'm not a very creative person, but I found myself getting really creative with all the options that DFTW has, so I really miss being able to plan different elements of something that reflect myself and my husbands personality. I'm not sure if I would want to do it again though..the amazing memory I have from my wedding is good enough 🙂

    September 20, 2010 at 6:47 pm
  • Reply Lauren

    I LOVED my wedding and there are so many amazing memories… but I def. miss it. It was just SO. MUCH. FUN. Everyone being together in Florida, dancing, drinking, etc. I definitely miss it, but am so thankful for the amazing memories and our wedding video and pictures to re-live it all!

    September 20, 2010 at 8:18 pm
  • Reply -J.Darling

    I love planning events and looking forward to things.

    In fact, if there is one thing that is constant about my personality, it's having something to look forward to, day dream about, plan, etc.

    After my wedding (which was a fairly small family affair) and my honeymoon (which was an 8 day Disneyworld Trip), I didn't experience any depression. I was too busy too!

    I attribute my lack of depression to all the changes that went on. Unlike many couples, we didn't live together before we got married (no, the fact that we didn't live together didn't contribute to our "un-married" status years later). So it was fun and exciting to wake up to my husband every morning, and to develop our own life together. (Granted, we saw each other a LOT before – worked together every day, went to the gym together, had dinner together, etc, but there is something different to really creating a life together.)

    We always planned something to look forward to. Wether it was catching a new movie together, a date night every Wednesday, a vacation, etc. Everything was a new adventure as a married couple.

    September 20, 2010 at 9:55 pm
  • Reply AmyKB

    My void spanned several different areas. I wasn't sad that it was "all over" and there were really no compromises, so there was no disappointment, either. While wedding planning did take up a large amount of time for me (non-Disney semi-destination wedding), I had another year of graduate school to go, so I didn't "suddenly have extra time," either. What did happen was that I felt like I was disconnected. The boards I was on for a couple years were wedding-specific, so I lost that community. I stopped getting my 3 or 4 wedding magazine subscriptions, but I wasn't at a place to start subscribing to Parenting magazines, either (although, admittedly, I've been getting them for over a year now and we're still at least a year out from TTC). I was suddenly invited to fewer events with my colleagues, and since my husband and I didn't live together for the first year, finding couples friends was pointless. Now, I know these are all abnormal circumstances, but little things like talking to all my bridesmaids a few times each month went away, too. It was a very surreal time.

    September 20, 2010 at 11:34 pm
  • Reply Gayle

    I definitely went through this. So much of my life centered around the wedding organisation that afterwards I felt lost and inconsequential. I felt lost in my wedding forums and lacked direction in where to put my energies next.

    Funnily enough, I am a wedding invitation stylist now… LOL!

    September 21, 2010 at 6:39 am
  • Reply Kate

    I haven't gotten married yet so I can't say I totally know what I'm talking about. BUT it makes sense to me that the key to avoiding or coping with the "post nuptual blues" would be to never stop planning and dreaming an exciting life for yourself. My FH and I have talked a lot about what we want to do post wedding, including traveling, moving to Japan, going to a World Cup game, and working for Disney at some point in our lives. I'm sure we won't end up doing everything we talk about but I think it's so important to really think and talk about what your future looks like beyond the wedding. After all, that's the beginning of your story, not the end! And if worse comes to worst, there's always the trip report on Disboards that lets you relive every moment of your wonderful wedding! 🙂

    September 21, 2010 at 6:56 am
  • Reply Becky

    I was expecting to feel a little sad afterwords, but that never happened. The day went better than any of us expected and sifting through all the pictures and making an album was really fun as well. We didn't go on our honeymoon until 2 months after the wedding so we had that to look forward to. Now we are buying a house. There are so many other great things going on that there is no reason to feel sad about the wedding being over. We have lots of gorgeous photos to display in our new home and memories to last a lifetime. Now we are looking forward to the rest of our lives together.

    September 21, 2010 at 7:30 am
  • Reply Brandy

    I still like reading about Disney weddings, but all other wedding related things quickly became rather dull. There was no wedding related let down or depression on my part. Of course, I was in school and working while planning our wedding, so I wasn't really all that involved as a bride anyway.

    There are a few things I would have saved the money on had I known, such as my MK photos, which were a pretty big let down. But overall, I'm happy with what we spent and how it turned out. 🙂

    One thing I've never been big on is vow renewals, so I doubt we'll ever plan another wedding-type event. I can't say I'm sad over this. My wedding was a happy day, but if you really think of your wedding day as "the happiest day of your life," that's a pretty sad commentary on the rest of your life…

    September 21, 2010 at 7:58 am
  • Reply Sam

    My wedding is almost a month away and for a while I feared I would be one of those having a hard time letting go of it. But throughout the summer, life was so busy: we moved in, renovating/fixed up our hosue, spent 3 months dealing with a sick kitten (my wedding present to DF), putting him down, and then eventually adopting 2 new kittens, changing jobs, that I actually fell behind on the wedding planning. My invites just went out 2 weeks ago, I had to rush the BM dresses even though I picked them out months in advance, etc… I almost just want my wedding to come so life will calm down. I'm very stressed about getting everything done.

    Before this summer, I went to the disboards everyday and posted in my planning journal, which is now collecting dust. Ever since my planning session, to which DF couldn't come because the kitten's illness appeared days beforehand, the wedding has been overcome by life and all this stress and drama. I'm looking forward to my happy day and the trip, and everything but I'm definitely not obsessed with it anymore. I know I'll eventually miss the planning, when life has settled down, and I'm sure I'll be sad as we have no trips coming up in the near future post wedding. But I'm excited to be married to my guy, and I enjoy living together, although a house is much work! I do feel as if our wedding has been overshadowed by drama and stress and I regret that already. But the positive of it, is that when the wedding is over, I won't feel as lost or empty (at least I'm hoping).

    September 21, 2010 at 8:00 am
  • Reply Charlene

    About 3 or 4 days after our wedding, I started a new job at a spa (sidenote: I have about 3 jobs). I'm an esthetician, so with our job, sometimes conversation comes into play since clients are always asking about their skin, and then it leads into more casual talk. Every time my new marriage came up, I couldn't stop GUSHING about our Disney wedding! Soon after, I started to really miss the planning… I was never depressed per se… but I started heavily watching more and more wedding shows again, and I bombarded newly engaged friends with questions of dresses, decor, color themes, etc.!

    Six months after my wedding, I signed up for an online program to get a certificate in wedding consulting. I'm even starting to brainstorm on wedding project ideas with my Storybook with Charm Heritage Makers business (guest books, bridal day planners, place cards). Obsessed? …maybe… 0:D

    September 21, 2010 at 11:58 am
  • Reply Shippedtosea

    I have to say that I am definitely one of those brides that had issues after my wedding was over. 2 years of planning, while the day was magical and so much of it was perfect, we did have a good amount of rough patches. So after the wedding (still now a little, 3 months later) I feel jealous and edgy looking at other weddings (especially Disney ones) and how beautiful everything was and how many amazing photos they have (our photos were the huge bad thing that went wrong) I found myself regretting and wishing things had happened differently (though it was not mine or my husband's fault for the things that went wrong) I'm glad I am not alone in feeling this way, like something is missing because I'm not planning anymore. Though….because of the problems we retook photos in our wedding gear. (last weekend in fact) and I have talked my husband into a vow renewal on our 10 year anniversary in Disney World! I guess I have become obsessed with weddings as well.

    September 23, 2010 at 11:45 am
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