Or: “Mary goes through it so you don't have to!”
Or: “Married life is way less thrilling than I was anticipating so I'm going to write a post as if I'm giving someone else advice about the situation I happen to find myself in.”
Obviously this post won't apply to everyone, but hey, maybe it will help someone in addition to helping me.
The feeling of loneliness is probably the most gnawing. When most people get married, they are in some fashion surrounded by the people who love them and who they love. For me, this tsunami of love started slow as the engagement began and continued to build until it finally crested on the wedding day. I was so overwhelmed by the love shown to my husband and I that it brought me to tears and made me speechless (both unusual situations for me). For a shining evening my entire tribe of people I love was in the same geographic area. And now the party is over and everyone has gone home. And now we're married and things are back to the status quo. But what even is the status quo anymore?
It's like on a milestone birthday, you don't necessarily feel any different but something is definitely changing. People treat you differently, they have different expectations for you and what you should be doing and how your relationships should work. Getting married is a rite of passage, and while you and your partner don't feel any different, other people may see you differently. They may want to give you and your partner time to adjust, which invariably distances you from them. Try to schedule time to hang out with the people who matter to you: your husband, your best friend, your mom, your cat, etc. Now is the time to start “dating” all your friends again, now that the frenzy of wedding planning is over.
Speaking of the frenzy of wedding planning being over, people will probably ask you in the nicest way possible what you plan to do with yourself now that you are done planning a wedding.
If you are like me, the answer is probably something like, “Uh…”
I have no idea what to do with myself now. On top of using most of my energy over the last five months to plan the biggest nerdiest party I've ever been to, I've been battling with my depression over the winter, so I'm not even exactly sure what sorts of things I enjoy doing. Now that I have nothing to do, I'm feeling anxious and antsy and stuck and maybe even a little trapped. (Yes, trapped. Hell, I just said vows swearing to share the rest of my life with someone, I'd be surprised if that didn't make nearly everyone feel a little trapped).
So, in trying to behave as unlike an animal with its foot caught in a trap as possible, I've taken up gardening. And trying new recipes. And finally cleaning my apartment. Now if I could just do a little more taking care of myself I'd probably be feeling a lot better.
Now with all your newly freed up time, you have plenty of time to dwell on all the things you might have done differently or decisions you would have changed.
Stop right now.
You can't change the events of the past, and dwelling on them will only increase your suffering.
Instead, try and learn something from each grey spot and think about how you might apply it to a future situation. If there was a communication breakdown, think about how you can stand up for or better explain yourself in the future. If a particular party element didn't work out, try something else the next time you throw a party. If someone said or did something hurtful, try to address it as quickly as possible, or at least try to accept that it happened.
I seriously slept 16 hours each day for the first three days following my wedding. I was shocked by how utterly exhausted I was now that everything was over. I was lucky that we had planned a short honeymoon to give my brain and my body a chance to recover. This exhaustion may or may not have been because I was apparently fighting off the plague, but lord almighty was I tired.
Hey, it ain't all bad, right?
Deleting my wedding Pinterest boards, and getting rid of all of my planning spreadsheets and lists, and handing out all the favors that we collected, and getting rid of all the centerpieces, and oh my god finally being done felt SO GOOD. I think I got a buzz every time I was able to get rid of or put away something wedding related. Just let yourself ride it out, folks, and enjoy the good feelings, because HEY! You just got married! HOLY SHIT and CONGRATULATIONS and OMG! You looked so damn attractive and everybody loved it and it was a wonderful celebration.
Have compassion for yourself and for what you and/or your partner might be going through. This is probably going to be a weird transitional period of time, but just be patient while you let things happen. If the troublesome feelings persist more than a month or two you might want to think about talking to someone in a more professional capacity about it, but after talking this through with my married friends I'm pretty sure that these feelings usually level off — if not go away entirely — in a few months.
Getting married is just another life transition, and it comes with all the normal feelings that usually accompany something like that. You and your partner will be just fine.
Transitioning out of wedding planning? Come join us on our sister site, Offbeat Home & Life!