Lace on Wedding Dress

Post Wedding Blues: Why It’s Okay to Have Them

Last week I shared a post about my wedding to mark our fourth anniversary. While it absolutely, 100% was the best day of my life, I wanted to create a separate post on what happened post-wedding, as I feel this isn’t really something that’s talked about all that much. After my wedding, I’ll freely admit that I was not okay. With one in ten women reporting depression in the first year of marriage, post wedding blues is actually pretty common – so why don’t we talk about it enough?

Post Wedding Blues Graphic

What Causes Post-Wedding Depression? 

According to a study of newly married women, it was found that 12% experienced depression after their wedding. The difference between these women and those that didn’t was that the ‘happy brides’ saw the wedding as a new chapter in their lives, while the ‘blue brides’ saw the wedding as an end goal. Of course your wedding is an event that takes up so much time and effort, so it’s natural that once it’s over, there’s a feeling of disappointment. Reasons behind feeling down after your wedding can include:

  • The return to everyday life
  • The loss of looking forward to the event
  • The reduction of attention
  • The pressure and uncertainty of your role as a new spouse

For me, it was most certainly three out four of these. Combined with my classic negative thought patterns and OCD, the post wedding blues soon became the post wedding roast. I basically criticised the shit out of my own wedding a mere few weeks after it. So for today’s post I wanted to talk a little about how my mind worked during the months following my wedding. It’s for any newlyweds out there who are having a tough time post-wedding.

One Week On

The first week after the wedding in hindsight wasn’t too bad. While those initial few days afterwards felt a bit flat, it was just that same feeling you’d get every year on Boxing Day, or each year the day after your birthday. The day after we of course had presents and cards to open, and over the next few days we were able to look at photos that family members had taken of the day, which kept the excitement going. Not only that, at the end of the week we had our ‘mini moon’ to look forward to. We stayed at Barnsley House, which was the most gorgeous hotel in the Cotswolds. Our room (or rather, suite) was stunning. It was like a little flat! It was so pretty, and the bathroom was genuinely bigger than my living room. We had probably what was the best meal of my life, along with a free glass of champagne where my husband had dropped the marriage bomb. It was amazing. 

Two Weeks On

This was where things started to get a little more negative. I suddenly started thinking about how I would never look that good again, and how we would never have all of our loved ones together like that ever again. Generally, the overall thought was that I would never feel as happy as I did that day, and it genuinely broke me. 

In addition to this was the fact that it was time to go back to work. By this point I was very unhappy in my job anyway, so returning to it after two weeks off was very difficult. I had to endure the constant “how was the wedding?” questions from pretty much every person I encountered and it felt like torture. Why would I want to talk about it when I was so upset that it was over? Of course people were just being polite, and it wasn’t exactly acceptable to tell them I didn’t want to talk about it. The other thing that didn’t help was that I was the first in a number of staff that was getting married – so it meant there was a lot of wedding talk for months to come. I hated that the other girls I worked with got to enjoy the excitement I once had. They were my friends, but at the same time, hearing them talk about their wedding plans was excruciating.

Six Weeks On

When we finally got our photos back, I was so happy. I remember looking through them and feeling so happy – I looked amazing and it brought back all the memories of the day. Unfortunately, that feeling didn’t last long.

A week later, my love of my wedding photos disappeared. The more I looked through them, the more upset I got. The photos of me looked awful. My dress looked like it didn’t fit. There weren’t enough photos of me and Liam. You name it, I thought it. 

Of course none of this was true, but there was no way of getting those thoughts out of my mind. I hated how I looked. I was a fuck ugly bride. Not only was I heartbroken, but I was angry. Every bride deserves to look beautiful on her wedding day, so why did I look like shit? The one day where I was entitled to look my best and feel happy with how I looked, and yet I still looked awful. I spent so many hours crying my eyes out because of it. I’d like to say I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. 

Six Months On

I’d like to say the post wedding blues disappeared as time moved on, but that was wishful thinking. The cruellest thing my mind did was compare it to literally every single wedding I witnessed. Whether it was looking at pictures on Facebook or weddings I actually attended, that bitch in my brain would remind me that the bride looked better than I did and that this wedding was so much better than mine. I would berate myself for any detail I liked that I didn’t have at my wedding, and I’d look at the bride’s dress and think maybe I should have gone for that sort of style instead. It got to the point where if I knew someone was getting married I dreaded looking at their photos or going to the wedding reception because I knew my mind was just going to torture me. 

I feel pathetic saying that I would often burst into tears when I saw my friends’ wedding photos on Facebook. I felt as though I was the ugliest bride that lived and that I was stupid for even thinking I looked good on the day. At the same time, I also felt like the biggest bitch in the world because I couldn’t just be happy for my friends. I feel guilty admitting that even now.

And Now…

I’d like to say this post wedding depression has left me, but there are unfortunately occasions where it creeps back in. I feel pathetic for saying that, because it’s been four years on now. Like girl, get a fucking grip. However, to sit here and tell you that I’ve made my peace with it and I’m okay now would be a total lie. For the most part, I can look through my wedding photos and feel happy. I feel as though I was pretty and there are some of them that I genuinely love. However, if I look at one of them in the wrong state of mind, that doubt will creep back in and it takes a long time to shift it.

I still make comparisons against other people’s weddings, and I still look at other brides’ wedding photos and hate myself for not picking a dress like theirs. While I haven’t made peace with the post wedding blues, in most cases, I’ve made peace with the fact I know why I’m doing it. I feel as though my OCD plays a huge part in – let’s face it – shitting on my wedding. One of my worst traits is nitpicking when it comes to anything involving myself. Currently with my rational head on, I know that it’s all in my head. I know that I could have been wearing the most beautiful dress in the world, and had my hair and make-up done by a stylist to the stars, and I still would have drawn the conclusion that I looked like shit. It’s one of the most cruel traits of the anxious brain.

However, what I’ve learned from this is that it’s normal to feel down after your wedding. And it’s okay. This event has taken up so much time and energy, and all of a sudden, it’s over. It’s okay to be sad about that. Planning the day took up pretty much every one of my days off for a good year, and suddenly having nothing to do felt really strange. Almost empty.

I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t spoken about this whole thing properly until now. Why? I’ve been ashamed. I’ve told my husband of course, and when I’ve subtly said something negative about my wedding to anyone it’s been immediately brushed off. But the truth is I’ve been ashamed to say that I was so hurt and upset listening to my friends’ wedding plans, and that I spent a vast portion of their wedding days hating myself because they looked a million times better than I did. I feel so selfish admitting that. Of course, there are going to be brides out there who look better than me. And there’ll be brides out there that look better than them, and so on. You can’t win them all.

Why is it so important? Well, as someone who has constantly hated how they’ve looked, I feel the one thing I was entitled to was to be beautiful on my wedding day, and to look back at my wedding photos and be sure of it. Every bride deserves that. It’s just cruel that anxiety takes that away from you.

How to Get Over Post Wedding Blues: Advice for New Brides

The first thing I’ll say is that it’s totally fine to feel depressed after your wedding. It’s normal, and in most cases (with the exception of my stupid brain), it will pass. But I’ve learnt a few tips that will help to make things easier:

  • Remember how you felt on the day – On the actual day, I felt happy and beautiful. The anxious mind will be desperate to take that away from you, but focus on how you felt on the day itself and all of the wonderful comments from your guests. 
  • Focus on your favourite photos – Despite the fact that my brain decided to rip the shit out of a good 70% of my photos, I still have my favourites, so I try to look at these more often than the ones I’m doubtful over. 
  • If you suffer with mental health difficulties, take your criticism with a pinch of salt. I try to consider the fact that if I didn’t have OCD and anxiety, the chances are I wouldn’t have been anywhere near as critical. 
  • Plan things to look forward to with your new husband – even if they’re just little things. It’ll give you something to focus on and recreate those feelings of excitement.
  • Remember it’s normal to experience those post wedding blues, and while I’m apparently an exception, they will eventually pass! They’re definitely less frequent now – so you know, maybe I’ll be okay by our tenth anniversary.

I’m sorry that this has turned out to be quite a long post. In all honesty this has been something I’ve stewed over for years, so it was actually quite cathartic to get it all out! I’d like to say that this is no reflection on any of the suppliers that had a part in getting me ready for the wedding – they did an amazing job, and rational me was thrilled with the outcome. I’m fully aware that the criticisms of the day were down to my mental health difficulties, combined with the general feelings of post wedding depression. But what I will say is that it’s okay to talk about it. There should be more out there when it comes to support in terms of post wedding depression, but for now, I hope this post has raised a little awareness.

Liam and I on Our Wedding Day

Featured image by Tom Pumford on Unsplash.

26 thoughts on “Post Wedding Blues: Why It’s Okay to Have Them

  1. Nyxinked says:

    Very good read. I haven’t been married and never will be, but I can get where you’re coming from in a post-vacation-blues sort of way. Or the way you feel after a concert you’ve been planning to go see for a year.

    I’m taking some of your tips and I’m going to remind myself of them whenever I feel post-anything-blues.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. laura says:

    Such an interesting read – I’m sure very few people take the idea of post-wedding blues into consideration when planning their big day. I’m not married but I can only imagine the lows you must go through after spending so much time and effort on a single day for it all to be over so quickly.

    Your tips are great though, definitely focus more on how you felt during the day as that is the most important part. And my main method of coping with life in general is to always have something to look forward to ha, it just stops me feeling down day-to-day.

    Also – you look beautiful in that photo and more importantly, you look truly happy! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • amymayj says:

      I think with the amount of stuff out there on weddings there really should be more attention on taking care of yourself post-wedding. Thank you so much for reading and for your lovely comment 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hilary Tan says:

    Tbh I felt the same way about my photos. I feel like I messed up 90% of them in my mind… I focussed so much on my flaws so that’s what I see in my photos. I try not to dig up my photos and I refuse to look at the engagement pics. As for post-wedding depression, I think it’s normal to feel this way.

    A lot of people only have their wedding to lean back on as their main highlight in their lives, so I get why they cling to their wedding memories so much. Life is only just beginning and you are not stuck where your wedding ends. Some people keep themselves stuck and this observation is often seen on Facebook.

    Liked by 1 person

    • amymayj says:

      I’m glad it wasn’t just me – my mind totally ruined my wedding photos for me and even now if I look at them in the wrong frame of mind it never ends well! I definitely think it’s all in the mindset when it comes to looking back on your wedding. Thank you so much for reading 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hilary Tan says:

        I didn’t smile in most of my photos so I look angry. It was after my mom said something rude which completely wrecked my day. *sigh*

        Yeah, I don’t like photos of myself so it’s hard for me to find anything half-decent. It might help to print some of your photos and frame them so that you have something that you can look at everyday, like a little reminder that everything will be okay. Have a good day! 😊💕

        Like

  4. NunziaDreams says:

    Wow, this post was so relatable! Thank you SO much for opening up about all of this. You don’t really read or hear a lot about post-wedding blues — I wish more people talked openly about this topic! I’m not married, but I just got engaged in February and I honestly felt similarly even post engagement wise. Sometimes, it feels like there’s so much pressure, you know? We were on vacation and as soon as we got back, people were already talking about the wedding day, asking me about a date, talking about planning, etc. It’s hard to just enjoy the moment at times. :/ I’m glad that I read your post & understand that the post wedding blues are totally normal and happen to a lot of people. I’m going to keep this in mind for the future. Your tips are fantastic & super helpful. I think it’s important to try & find exciting aspects in all areas of life. There will be many AMAZING days after a wedding. In fact, I find that the little moments in life can be just as memorable. 😊Side note, aww I love that photo of you & your hubby — so adorable! Girl you looked absolutely gorgeous on your wedding & y’all make such a cute couple!! x

    Liked by 1 person

    • amymayj says:

      Bless you thank you so much for your lovely words 🙂 People are so quick to jump to the next thing after a big event – not long after we got married it was “when are you having a baby then?” Um, none of your business! I’m so glad you found this post helpful, the fact you don’t read much about it is the main reason I wanted to do a post on it. It affected my mental health so much after my wedding and I felt as though I couldn’t talk to anyone for fear of seeming ungrateful. Absolutely agree, there will be so many more good times to come after the wedding and the little moments can be just as lovely. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your lovely comment 🙂 xx

      Like

  5. With Love, Haydee. says:

    I’m young and in a long term relationship, I’ve been with my man for almost 5 years. We plan on getting married in a year or two and this was such an eye-opener. People have to remind themselves that even some of the best things in life aren’t all rainbows and butterflies, and that’s totally normal and okay! Thank you so much for posting this, and you were a stunning bride. Wish you the best of luck x

    Liked by 1 person

    • amymayj says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment 🙂 Absolutely it’s okay to feel down after your wedding, I think brides definitely should talk about it more! Wishing you all the best for your wedding and thank you for stopping by 🙂 x

      Like

    • amymayj says:

      Thank you so much 🙂 I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who felt that way – out of my friends that got married after they didn’t seem to experience it (or if they did they kept it to themselves!) so I felt I wanted to address it and the fact it’s okay to feel bad afterwards! x

      Like

  6. Seeking Wonderful says:

    I am not married (yet?) but I kind of understand what you mean. Last year after Christmas and all these wonderful holidays were over I felt so bad, I was crying through most of January and felt awful in my skin. This year I was prepared and took action to prevent that from happening by planning some little things in January to look forward to. And it helped a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • amymayj says:

      It definitely is a big help to have stuff to look forward to! It’s quite scary how just the feeling of something being over can have such power over your mood! Thank you for stopping by 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hunida says:

    Wow! I’ve actually never thought about post-wedding depression but, it makes total sense. I don’t blame you for feeling it at all especially since you worked on everything for a whole year, it’s hard not to have something big to look forward to anymore. You looked absolutely BEAUTIFUL on your wedding day– never let your head tell you otherwise. 💗 Thanks for raising awareness on something no one really talks about. It was so interesting to read & learn about. I hope you will be completely over it before your 10th anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

    • amymayj says:

      Thank you Hunida 🙂 It takes up so much time for so long so it’s no surprise you feel so down at the end of it all, it’s definitely getting easier as time goes on thankfully. Thanks for stopping by xx

      Liked by 1 person

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