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Managing the Post-Wedding Blues

By Tesni Rowlands, Clinical Psychologist

The dream wedding you have been planning for months has finally happened. While you thought you’d feel on top of the world after the anticipated ‘best day of your life’, you feel sad, flat, and confused. If you’re feeling this way, you may be experiencing a phenomenon called the ‘post-wedding blues’. Typically the post-wedding blues can also feel like apathy, grief, emptiness, low mood, a lack of purpose, regret, and disappointment. Many brides and grooms have reported feeling this way, with a 2018 study finding 12% of couples reporting a clinical increase in depressive symptoms after their wedding. If you find yourself in this position, know that you are not alone and there are many ways you can help yourself.  

Creating a new focus 

Many couples pour hours upon hours into planning their wedding and feel lost once it’s all over. If you’re feeling as if you put your heart and soul into your wedding and now feel as if you have a lack of purpose, it may be time to think about creating new goals and things to look forward to. You may feel like organising a big trip, creating a side hustle, investing in a DIY project, doing further study, or setting a personal goal. Think about anything you feel like you didn’t have enough time for before. The process of planning and setting a new goal should leave you feeling excited and energised in no time.   

Enjoy the small moments 

Have you noticed that the big and exciting events in your life never quite live up to your expectations? You feel as if they should be life-changing, yet leave you feeling disappointed? This sensation has been called the ‘Perfect Moment Syndrome’ by author Sarah Wilson in First, We Make The Beast Beautiful. This common occurrence happens when we have high expectations on how big life events are supposed to make us feel. We are led to believe that the wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of our life, so it’s hard to adjust our own expectations that it might not be. If your wedding day did not meet your expectations, find comfort in knowing many other couples feel the same. An antidote to this feeling is savouring and enjoy the small and seemingly insignificant moments in the days following your wedding - a delicious coffee, laughing with friends, or catching a beautiful sunset. Any small moment with no expectations can bring us deep joy if we stop and take notice.  

Try to unpack why you feel this way  

Post-wedding blues can happen for many different reasons, so before you focus on how to move through these feelings it can help to understand the cause. Common reasons couples report include: feeling disappointed with aspects of their wedding, not enjoying their wedding day, having regrets about wedding choices, worrying about wedding debt, family or partner conflict, losing a sense of purpose once the wedding is over, and questioning the idea of marriage now it has become a reality. All of this is completely normal. If you’re not sure why you have the post wedding blues, it can help to journal your thoughts or talk to someone you trust such as your partner. Once you understand why you feel this way, it will help bring clarity to how you feel, know how to action anything you may need and allow you to process these feelings.  

Seek Support  

No one expects to feel this way after their wedding and many couples hide how they feel for fear of judgement or stigma from others. However, if your post wedding blues are persisting, it is important you seek some support. If you have tried speaking to your friends and family and still feel your struggling with your mental health, your doctor or a mental health professional can help you to find a solution and help you to a path of recovery.   

If you require immediate support for your mental health, you can call:  

Lifeline: 13 11 14 

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 

MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78 

13 Yarn: 13 92 76 

QLife: 1800 184 527 

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