Don’t Worry, Be Happy

My wedding day was not the happiest day of my life.

I’ve talked before about the pressure to have the right feelings. A bride is supposed to be blissfully happy on her wedding day, and declare it the best day of her life. The wedding dress is supposed to be the best thing she’s ever worn, and she’s supposed to look the most beautiful she’s ever looked. Everything comes with a superlative attached to it, according to the WIC.

Some people may feel “the most” or “the best” all day long, but I was not one of those people. Sure, my wedding day was filled with moments of joy—sometimes even transcendent joy—but it was filled with a lot of other feelings, too, some of which were unhappy feelings. I felt a lot of anxiety. Looking back, it was unfounded anxiety, but that doesn’t change the fact that I felt it. And I feel a little bad about feeling that way, which is ridiculous. I’m a human being, not a robot. I can’t control my emotions on cue, especially on a day that’s supposed to be emotional.

But the WIC tells brides that they should feel a certain way, so when I didn’t feel that way, I felt like I was doing it wrong. It was a vicious cycle that went something like this: feel anxious –> feel bad about feeling anxious –> try to calm down –> not be able to calm down –> get mad that I can’t calm down –> increase level of anxiety because now I’m anxious about being anxious.

It’s not that I wasn’t happy on our wedding day; it’s that I feel bad that I wasn’t happier. I can’t go back and make our wedding day perfect for me, and that makes me sad. I only got one shot at it, and I feel like I failed. I love Mr. T, and I love our marriage, but I didn’t big puffy hearts love our wedding every moment of the day. That’s not a feeling that’s discussed, so it makes me feel like a failure because I didn’t experience transcendent joy all day long.

So I share this post with you so that you know it’s OK to feel however you feel. If you feel transcendent joy and think your wedding day was the best day of your life, you’re not doing it wrong. If you feel panicky and nauseous, you’re not doing it wrong. If you actually vomit, well, join the club.

BLOGGER

Mrs. Treasure

Location:
Chicago
Wedding Date:
September 2012

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  1. Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:12 pm

    I hate the pressure of it being the best day of your life. I expect it to be a fabulous, joyous day, but not THE best, that’s way too much of an expectation.
    As you pointed, it’ll just leave you a bad taste in your mouth if it indeed doesn’t turn out to be the BEST day of your life. It is ridiculous.

  2. Member
    sword 1029 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:23 pm

    so glad you posted this Mrs T!

  3. Member
    HobbyLobbyist 398 posts, Helper bee @ 9:15 pm

    Thank you for this post!

  4. Member
    Red Poppy 18 posts, Newbee @ 10:19 am

    Thank you for your honesty. I felt a little stressed on my wedding day as much as I tried to soak in the moments and enjoy. My husband and I never expected it to be the happiest day of our lives… It is just one day, after all. The wedding world is big on putting a lot of pressure on having a perfect fairy tale day.

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    replica watches, Guest @ 1:02 am

    thanks for share!

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Kayley, Guest @ 6:38 am

    Wonderful post! There is so much hype about your wedding day being THE best day of your life. In reality, I found it overwhelming. What turned out ot be the best day was the day AFTER my wedding. It hit me that I was married the man I had crushed on for so long, whom I loved more than I thought possible. We met up with our closest family and friends at my parents’ home in the country for brunch. There was no rush, no expectations, just perfect wedded bliss.

  7. Member
    juniebug48 41 posts, Newbee @ 11:04 am

    Thank you for posting this. It adds huge importance to setting expectations. I just started planning and I can only imagine what this journey is going to be like. I’m not saying this is a downer AT ALL. I love it because it makes me feel closer to the real world and to stay chilled out about everything as much as possible. When I get wigged, I am going to think about this (and all the other gracious comments) to bring myself back to Earth. Nothing is ever ever perfect and stay in the moment. Thank you so much.

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    EllaTrickchair, Guest @ 12:07 pm

    The book “The Concious Bride” explains all the bad feelings that come with the good. When I tried to open up about the loss I felt of my single life via the Bee boards, I got a little shut down. Thankfully this book explains that you feel some loss in order to make room for your husband to become your new family.

    It also explains that brides become bridezillas when they focus their energy on the details as a way of ignoring the emotions they may be feeling. It is often easier to feel anger than sadness.

    It is a very good book detailing the rite of passage that revolves around getting married and how it is different for the bride and the groom.

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    weddingphotog, Guest @ 5:06 pm

    As a wedding photographer, I have been with many brides as they navigate their feelings on their wedding day, and there are lots of emotions! There’s usually a lot going on and many brides get stressed out, especially early in the day.

    I always tell them to try to let go of the last minute things that can’t be changed and focus on the most awesome thing about a wedding- you get to marry your favorite person AND have all of your dear friends and family with you for one day in your life. When else do you have everyone you love in one place? Maybe your funeral… sorry that’s morbid but true! You should try to just absorb it and spend time with the people you love and delegate tasks to others.

    It’s really important to plan ahead. I can’t really stress that enough. Plan it all out! Most importantly, appoint someone to deal with the last minute things that pop up! There are more than you think, and it’s important to have some people you count on to deal with them. Hiring a good day of coordinator isn’t a bad idea if you are worried about getting everything done or if you aren’t into planning logistical details.

    Here are some tips to avoid wedding day stress for you soon to be brides:
    1. Plan everything out.
    2. Make a timeline and share it with your wedding party.
    3. Stick to the timeline.
    4. Appoint people to help with last minute details.
    5. Live in the moment and try to stay relaxed.
    6. Accept that some things will not go according to plan and make the most of them.
    7. Focus on having fun with the people you love!

    That being said, I am getting married in May and am worried I am going to be anxious bride trying to make sure everyone is happy! haha I like to be the one behind the camera, and having so much attention will be weird.

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    Tamasi1, Guest @ 11:07 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! I got married last year and our wedding was by all counts wonderful. Great weather, super fun reception, and lots of family and friends to share the day with. Countless people told us it was one of the best weddings they had been to. That said, I still struggle with feeling disappointed with the day. I think the fact that nothing horrible happened makes this disappointment seem even more irrational and just adds to the guilt. I had put so much time into the day to make it “perfect” that I took every little imperfection personally and thought it was a failure on my part or somehow reflected poorly on me. The planning had made me miserable and put significant stress on my relationship with my husband. Did I look pretty on my wedding day? Sure. Do I feel that I looked the prettiest I’ve ever looked? Not really. Does that bother me? Yes. I think my dress was pretty, but I wasn’t in love with it and my hair was a bit of a dud. Were the photos nice? Sure. But that doesn’t stop me from picking them apart and wondering why no one told me to un-bussle my dress for some photos. I put so much into planning our wedding to try to make it perfect, it’s hard not to feel critical or look back and pick the day (and myself) apart. I’ve spent (read: wasted) a lot of time trying to convince myself that it was the best day of my life (I mean isn’t what we are told?) But I’ve come to realize and accept (for the most part) that I’ll probably never feel that way. And it’s ok. I married my best friend. And at the end of the day, our wedding was one day. I now get to spend the rest of my life with a wonderful man, which really is the whole point. And hopefully, I never have to plan another wedding again!

  11. Member
    royalpurplebride 511 posts, Busy bee @ 2:11 pm

    I have felt this way sometimes too. I was in a terrible mood at our rehearsal. I was sad that our parents were not sitting with us. And upset when my sweetie’s best friend wouldnt get up to talk without being nudged. It was an awful, unorganized day, we were both late for the rehearsal as well. I cried all night before my wedding.
    With that out the way, I went to sleep early that night, cleared my mind and woke up feeling more refreashed. The one thing that made me sad on my wedding day was lack of support from my bridesmaids. Its like I was forcing them all to be there. They were pretty much all unhappy most of the day. And the pics I got from getting ready, my sister still has. And doesnt care to download for me. We also didnt get some other pics I wanted. And our ceremony was extremely unorganized.
    The funny thing is that, through all the craziness, lack of support from our friends and disorganization and lack of a wedding coordinator, it all worked out. When I locked eyes with my groom through the night, all the drama melted away. And when I walked through those doors at the church, and met eyes with him, I knew my heart at that moment felt truly complete. And that feeling of happiness is what the “perfect day” is truly about in my eyes.
    Thanks for sharing your honest story.

  12. Member
    call_me_ktb 106 posts, Blushing bee @ 1:54 pm

    wow, i am so with you on this. i’m late to reading this post partially because i’ve felt like this, too and therefore somewhat distanced myself from all weddingy things after the big day was over.

    i think @Miss Fairy: really said it perfectly ” I wish I got to enjoy the day more instead of being the coordinator of everyone. I wish I could have danced at certain songs when I was talking to older family friends…” I am also a relatively anxious person in everyday life. I also am very organized and somewhat controlling. I had a hand (if not THE hand) in every aspect of planning our day so what made me think I’d be able to shake it all off and totally experience a carefree day disconnected from the outcome of all my planning? not so. how could it be? of course i wanted to be sure all was well and everyone was enjoying all the details we had spent lots of time preparing! it’s almost counter intuitive if you think about it – the fact that we expect so much of ourselves leading up to the wedding day – diy and all of that – and then we’re also expected to be all like “whatevvvssss” on the day of? haha it’s nuts!

    my husband and I definitely wished we were able to let loose a little more and not worry so much about talking to every single person or coordinating anything but in reality, that’s not who we are as people. we still had a wonderful day – everyone else did, too! and i really do look back on it as one of the best days.. but not THE best.

    you are certainly not alone in your post-wedding sentiment though, fret not.

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