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Post-Wedding Blues: Navigating Depression After the Big Day

10 Ways to Avoid the Post Wedding Blues

While most of our posts are focused on all aspects of planning your wedding, today I want to talk a bit about what happens after the wedding, the post wedding blues.

If you aren’t familiar, the post wedding blues refers to the weeks or months just after the wedding, where it’s almost inevitable to feel sad, anxious, and even a bit disappointed that the wedding excitement is over. It makes sense, right? Most couples spend at least a year engaged, where the wedding and activities leading up to it are a HUGE focus of your time. The dopamine levels will be at an all time high, which is why everyone says it just flies by and is over before you even know it.

It can be a real shock to your system when those levels drop and you no longer have the wedding details to keep you busy. It can lead you to feeling sad, lonely, depressed, and anxious, which can feel super out of place after such a happy moment. Unfortunately, some connect this with feeling unhappy with the marriage, but it’s important to keep the two things separate as you start your married lives together.

Let’s get into the 10 ways to help avoid the post wedding blues:

  1. Do your best to soak in the day! Everyone talks about how quickly the day goes by. Make sure to have several moments throughout the day to take a deep breath, and just be in the moment. While it won’t slow the time down any, it will help you to remember the happiness and love you’re feeling on the wedding day.

  2. Don’t let yourself get hung up on little things that might go off plan. It’s inevitable that something will go wrong, though it will likely not be anything that is a big deal. By letting go of these tiny mishaps in the moment, they won’t be the things you look back on with regret after the wedding.

  3. In the rare chance that something more significant does go wrong on your wedding day, do your best to embrace the change. Just a couple of weeks ago we had to fully evacuate the tent because of a tornado warning. Certainly not ideal, and definitely not what the bride and groom wanted to happen at their reception. However, they recognized it was simply something we had no control over, and took the opportunity have some time to themselves to finish dinner, while we kept the guests entertained with dancing inside. As soon as we were given the all clear, we brought the party back out to the dance floor and kept the dancing going. Again, not ideal, but if they had let the unexpected change in plans ruin their night, that would have likely been the only thing they remembered when they thought about their wedding day.

  4. This next tip is probably the best way to avoid the post wedding blues, and that’s to delay taking your honeymoon. To me, the best case scenario would be that you and your new spouse can take a quick “mini-moon” somewhere close by, or even in the same town, in the days right after the wedding, but save the bigger trip or honeymoon for a few months to a year after the wedding. Not only will this strategy help offset the wedding blues because you’ll have the honeymoon to look forward to once the wedding is done, but it will also give you more time to plan and save up for your trip. You’ll likely also enjoy it more, since the stress of the wedding details won’t distract you from the planning and packing.

  5. One of the biggest frustrations for couples right after the wedding is the length of time it takes to get your professional photos back. While photographers are constantly working on faster turn around times, social media has trained us for instant gratification when it comes to this. And not having pictures to look back on after the wedding can only make the post wedding blues harder to deal with. At the wedding, you can encourage your guests to share the photos they take, so you can have those to help relive the day while you’re waiting for the professional pics. You can put a sign up by the bar with a QR code linked to a google folder, drop box, or iCloud account to share the photos to. You can also use a photo collection app like to help make the process easier!

  6. Create new routines, like date nights, since you’ll have free time and money now! After the wedding is the perfect time to start that class you’ve been thinking about, join a rec team together, or even start exploring your city more with planned date nights. Take advantage of your newly freed up schedule to try something new!

  7. Along the same lines, maybe now is the perfect time to sign up for a big project or event that you’ve always wanted to do. Maybe running a marathon (or 5k) has been on your bucket list, and you’ve been putting it off. Or perhaps it’s hosting a fundraiser, volunteering, or go back to school. If you can plan a wedding, you’ll have proven that you’re fully capable of doing amazing things, so why not continue to add to that list!

  8. If you’ve been a part of planning groups on Facebook or Reddit, don’t bail on them now that you’re married! Use your wedding day experience to help other brides plan. And if you REALLY loved the wedding planning process, you can reach out to wedding planners in your area to see if they need any help. Maybe you’ve unlocked a new career path!

  9. Work through it together - don’t hide it from your new spouse. It might feel silly to explain the post wedding blues to your friends, family, and even your new spouse, but it’s a totally valid feeling, and talking about it will help you get through it. Even if they aren’t experiencing the same feelings, sharing how you’re feeling is an important step in moving on.

  10. If you have a history of anxiety or depression, get ahead of it. Talk to your therapist about your worries BEFORE the wedding, so you can proactively work on minimizing the blues. If you don’t have a therapist, now is a great time to start looking into it. Having an established relationship with a therapist before you feel like you’re in an anxious or depressive state, will make the process much easier. And don’t shy away from couples counseling. Even if you’re not both experiencing the same struggles, having therapy sessions together will only help you support each other in the best way during difficult times.

There you have it, my tips for helping you avoid the post wedding blues! Is this something you’ve been worried about? Head over to the Wedding Planning Collective Facebook Group and share what tips you’re going to focus on to help you get through it. And if you haven’t grabbed one of our free wedding planning resources yet, check out our FREE GUIDES tab here :)

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