She’s at it again! Divine Polka Dot Wedding bride Racquela has an absolute way with words (and you can read more of her wonderful words here, here, here AND here!), and she’s back with an instalment of wedding wisdom to share with you, dear readers. “A Helpful Guide For The Post-Wedding Blues” is all about battling those low feelings that can come from having planned a beautiful wedding day, lived & loved it, and being hit with the realisation that is now over!

Weddings are wildly stressful and it is the one thing you need to do only once to become a total expert. Your heart and soul go into planning your day and you can recount all the steps you did to make it perfect. But, what happens after the party is over? You can’t just toss your feelings like a bouquet or cut your thoughts like a three-tiered cake, so, here is my guide for the post-wedding bride.

Something old, something new but what about the post-wedding blues?

You’ve planned for months or years on perfecting your day and within what seems like a quick camera flash, the day has finished and you’re walking down that sparkler exit to start married life. You almost wish, for that one day in particular, that time would just totally stop so you have an opportunity to enjoy all the special moments, just that little bit longer. You want to relive your partner seeing you for the first time and getting back that warm fuzzy feeling again, watching your wedding squad cheer you on with their big bright smiles and above all, have all your most loved people together in one room again because in reality, when will that happen again? When people say time flies when you’re having fun, they really aren’t lying. How is it that weddings take years to plan but it feels like they last only seconds to experience? Now hang on, shouldn’t I feel on top of the world with this married life? Why do I feel sadness, regret, frustration, anger or confusion? You have married your perfect person, so why is this happening?  You’re entering the world of post-wedding blues, my married friends, and oh boy is this real.

I’ve decided to break down the “why” of wedding blues into a few categories because there isn’t one specific reason someone might feel deflated after their day. Rest assured it is normal but obviously if it’s a little too much, it is best to seek some extra guidance to navigate your post-wedding journey.

The ‘That Wasn’t What We Planned”

It rained, like torrential rain. COVID-19 wiped out our guest list. My aunt got way too drunk. I stumbled on my vows. Our celebrant was late. My shoe broke. My flowers weren’t right. I arrived really late. My make-up wasn’t what I thought. My hair was flat. The cake didn’t get delivered on time. I had a fight with my sibling. The best man’s speech was too much. It was hot, like 40C hot.

Whatever the weather, incident or event, you’re going – ‘that was definitely NOT planned’. You feel silly for dwelling on it, you’re constantly feeling your thoughts are consumed by the event and you don’t feel like you got your perfect day. You’ve entered the ‘not planned blues phase’ and unfortunately – welcome! Because this feeling is SO hard to grapple with. The natural response from friends or family is something like, “but you got your day so it is okay” or “it was still beautiful though” – and of course, they are right. However, please know if you take anything from this article it is okay to be deflated. Your feelings are so incredibly valid but one thing can help and that is shifting focus onto something that you loved on the day. The weather sucked BUT how good did your dress look? Your decor was wrong BUT how nice was your ceremony?

Understandably it is hard because as humans we look to pick flaws, particularly on our wedding day, but eventually, you’ll come to terms with the idea you can’t go back in time, as much as we wish we could, so looking for the things you loved instead will boost the feelings of adoration and appreciation for your day. I know it is easier said than done but look at your photos and find six things you loved about your day and share this with your partner. You will get to relive those happy moments together and in the process highlight the positive aspects of your day. Happy scrolling lovers.

The “Can We Do It Again”?

So, your day was perfect! You loved all elements of your day. Your day was the best day you could have ever imagined. Your friends had the best time, the drinks were flowing and the dance floor was busier than a shopping centre during the Christmas trade. You wouldn’t change a thing about your day and now you’re really sad it is totally over. Completely and utterly over! I’m not saying post-wedding blues is necessarily positive, but if you find yourself feeling a bit gloomy because you want to relive your day again, you’re in the best category because this means your day was that great and you’re grieving you won’t get to enjoy it again in real-time.

I am going to hit you with some hard truths on this one because the reality is, you can enjoy it again. I can’t give you a DeLorean time machine like in “Back to the Future” but I can give you something to reflect on instead. If the parts of your day you enjoyed the most included dancing with friends, why do you need a wedding for this? I am not discrediting the feeling of being a couple getting married (let’s face it, you do feel special AF) but what I am suggesting is really think back on what made your night and relive it in the present day, in just a different way. If it was the company, why can’t you have a birthday dinner or a non-calendar event with your nearest and dearest just because? Share stories of your wedding, watch videos or see photos of the day together and have a laugh about your favourite moments.

Weddings are often special because everyone comes together and sometimes we take for granted how good company truly makes us feel. Reflect on how amazing your day was and don’t be shy to continue to talk about your day to your friends, family and partner because you have all the right to feel happy that your day was just so wonderful. As much as you’d love to have your wedding every year, that would take away the special part of it. The day is amazing because it happened once. Remember how perfect your one day was and on your anniversary, you get to celebrate it again with your favourite person. Relive your day, talk about it and continue to always celebrate your wedding.

The “Now What”?

Wait, you’re telling me the engagement party is done, the hens and bucks are done, the bridal shower is done and now, the wedding is done? What the heck do I do now? If you’re like me and children aren’t in the immediate picture (or at all), you often feel in a pickle about what you do now. Your brain has been in planner mode for what feels like since you were an embryo and now you’re wondering, what next? The truth is, what is next for me is different for you but the process is still the same.

Wedding planning makes us, to a certain extent, more organised, financially savvy and logistical. The skills learnt in wedding planning are most definitely transferable to other milestones in our lives and sometimes, this is what is next. Offer to help plan birthday parties, or better yet, plan your own! The events don’t have to be on a calendar, you can plan nights out with your partner or friends. Plan a small holiday (although let’s face it, weddings leave your bank account pretty minimal) – the point is, plan something to keep you stimulated. A lot of the time people get married and naturally fall into society’s line of having children and we mere folk who choose to not follow that path often question what we do we do now. There shouldn’t be a need for a new adventure or step but if you feel that way inclined, occupy yourself with less demanding events or occasions and let your inner organiser take over without the pressure of a wedding.

Focus on your home, career or pets. Planning or organising doesn’t have to be about events, it can be planning to redecorate, start a new hobby or spend the time you normally would researching 2022 wedding trends into quality time with friends, family, pets or your lover.  But better yet, take time to relish in the fact you don’t have to do absolutely anything. Grab a tea, biscuit and some corny movie and have a guilt-free evening, because hey, now what?

The “Over Thinker”

You find yourself looking back at pictures of your day, wishing you added something else, changed something, questioning your venue or dress, reconsidering your decor or wishing you invited or uninvited particular guests. You find yourself on Pinterest seeking new trends and wondering why you didn’t see them sooner. You relentlessly pick flaws that don’t actually exist in your day. You text your friends, reasking if they had fun. The ‘over thinker’ (guilty, this is certainly me) is someone who reflects on their day and wonders not necessarily if it could be improved per se but question if all those elements of the day were truly what you expected it to be. You spend so much time and mental energy meticulously planning such a perfect day, how can you not be somewhat critical?

The important thing is if the only thing you are not picking apart is your newly married partner, then that is the most important decision at the end of the day. Unlike seasonal flowers or spring versus winter colour schemes, the reality is your relationship won’t become a faded trend on Pinterest. The online world has us so connected so we see new inspiration on every platform – Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Facebook – you name it. Take a moment to remember the elements of your day and why you picked them. Yes, some glamourous Pinterest weddings in Italy might make you question why you didn’t do a destination wedding but remember why you chose your venue in the first place. Was it so your family could be near? Did your partner pick it for sentimental reasons? Does the venue hold some significance to you?

Every element of your wedding makes it SO special because it was yours and you chose it, so when you’re in a rabbit hole of new ideas post-wedding, reflect on your day and think how it was special because it was yours. No one can replicate your feelings, thoughts or love about your own wedding and your partner. But they can replicate a staged wedding shoot on Pinterest – keep that in mind.

Post-wedding blues are real and probably not something openly talked about because the assumption is after the wedding there is that ‘honeymoon’ period and for some, that is what happens and for others those feelings do not feel quite like you expected them to. Your feelings are totally valid but what is important is confiding in your partner and if you were to remove all the details of your day (flowers, decor and venue etc) at the core, it is to legally wed your person. And besides, who said you can’t have an OTT vow renewal one day? Maybe I’ll look into this and start a new trend, post-wed wedding – it has a new kind of ring to it. Stay tuned!!