Post Wedding Emotions

Just before getting married, I wrote an entry about life after the wedding. I wasn’t sure where I would be emotionally after the wedding was over. The idea is that you spend weeks, months, sometimes even years preparing for an event that is over in a single day. Emotionally, it places a lot of pressure on the bride and groom. I felt that I was highly susceptible to experiencing post-wedding depression for a number of reasons, but namely because the wedding was a distraction from my stressful job, an excuse to stay in touch with long-distance friends and family, and a great creative motivator. As of May 26th, all of the crafting, socializing, and planning has come to a screeching halt.

I won’t lie, the day after our wedding was pretty rough. Not only did we watch as all of our out-of-town family and friends left, but we also returned to our apartment to find the sad remnants of our special day. After the wedding my family was tasked with clearing all of our belongings out of the venue. Everything was loaded up and dropped off at our apartment while Mr. C and I were at a hotel in downtown Athens. There were boxes of milk glass, a trash bag full of our beautiful centerpiece flowers, unopened wedding gifts and cards, a bag of uneaten macarons. There was barely any space to move around our living room! So we sat down and started to clear it out. We broke down boxes, we tossed out the flowers, we boxed up the milk glass that I spent over a year collecting. It was hard and there were definitely tears from both of us. The worst part is when we opened our photo guestbook for the first time. There were so many great photos and sweet messages. Seeing the photos of guests who only hours earlier had been in our presence totally opened the floodgates. We were both a total mess for most of the day. You see, the major bulk of both of our families lives hours away from us. It was such a treat to have our family all together for the weekend, to watch our family interact with our coworkers and friends. It was hard to see them go and watch life return to normalcy.

Photography by Christopher Helm

This is where I am so very glad that we decided to leave for our honeymoon the day after the wedding. I definitely recommend this if you think you might suffer from post-wedding depression. We had enough time the day after the wedding to see some of our family off, to clean up our apartment, pack a few last minute items, and then make it to the airport just in time for our flight to Paris. But I cried the entire car ride to the airport. In fact, Mr. C had to stop for gas and I had to go into the gas station to buy tissues. I was a hot mess! My head was reeling with so many emotions: the vows, spending time with my dad, seeing my mom and dad chatting together for the first time in 15 years, the total outpouring of love we experienced. But as soon as we were on the plane, it all melted away. We were about to go on a great adventure and see Paris and Malta!

Instagram photo by my stepsister.

By the time we returned home from the honeymoon, the post-wedding letdown had run its course. I felt just fine, no post-wedding depression in sight. Even so, there was definitely a feeling of “loss” —I kept thinking that there was something I should be doing, some wedding task waiting to be completed. Nearly a month later I still feel the same sense of loss, as if something is missing. But that might also come from the fact I’m a teacher on summer vacation and usually I do have a million things (lessons to plan, copies to make, essays to grade, grades to enter, etc.) that I should be doing. But you know what? I’m glad it’s over. I’m glad the wedding stress is gone. I’m glad I don’t have to check The Knot’s wedding checklist anymore (and subsequently freak out over the dozens of tasks waiting to be completed). I’m glad the wedding nightmares have ended. I’m glad a portion of my paycheck is no longer being signed away to wedding day details. The wedding was fun, it was amazing, but it’s done and I’m ready to move on. Honestly, this response has really surprised me as I thought I would be an emotional wreck. If we hadn’t left straight for the honeymoon after the wedding, I think things would have been much different.

Some post-wedding emotions have surprised me though. I’ve felt some strange pangs of guilt. Guilt about some family and friends I barely spoke to at the reception. Guilt about all the trouble and expense my brother went through to DJ at the wedding reception (even though people tell me he had the time of his life). Guilt about barely being by Mr. C’s side during the rehearsal dinner. Guilt about the time and money some of my friends spent to be a part of our wedding. I realize that people do these things because they want to, but I can’t help feeling a little guilty. I even felt guilty opening wedding gifts—what did we do to deserve them? I also feel bummed out by some things that did not go as planned, which I realize is normal. We didn’t get to have a sparkler exit (because I was stupid and misplaced the sparklers). I wish our reception had been even one hour longer or we had started the ceremony earlier. There are some photos we just didn’t have time to take. But c‘est la vie. What can you do but take the good with the bad in stride and keep moving forward?

Some people have asked me if I feel different now that I am married, or if my relationship with Mr. C has changed. Not so much. But there is that feeling of, “Wow, this person has chosen to stick by me for this rest of his life?” That’s a powerful and humbling notion. I can’t believe someone loves enough to make that commitment, someone who has seen me at my absolute best and my rock-bottom worst. It’s empowering, comforting, and strange all at the same time. But I’m so happy and so lucky to call Mr. C my husband.

Overall, I’m very content with life right now. I can finally rest, relax, and recharge. I’m so glad to be married to Mr. C and we are still enjoying our newly-wedded bliss. Plus we now we have our professional photos (as you may have noticed above) and we absolutely love them. I can’t wait to start my wedding recaps!

What about you? How did you feel when your wedding was over? Were you distressed or relieved? A mix of the two? Did your relationship with your partner change after your marriage?


Mrs. Camel

Athens, GA
Wedding Date:
May 2013
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  1. Member
    papercrafter 399 posts, Helper bee @ 5:33 am

    thank you for writing this post :) I’m anticipating feeling a bit down too, but were leaving for 3 wks at 9am the next day so hopefully that will overshadow it. I can’t wait to see your recaps!! :)

  2. Member
    emma20130601 341 posts, Helper bee @ 5:44 am

    I love this post! I can realte to so many of the feelings that you just wrote about, especially the guilt!!
    I felt so lucky to have all these people come and celebrate with us and all of the help we received but then during the wedding, you get pulled in so many directions that you don’t get to talk to everyone as much as you would like too!
    I cried the other night about our pictures. I love them, our photographer did a fantastic job, but I wish I would have gotten certain pictures with certain people. Like you said, c’est la vie! :)

  3. Member
    mu_t 2063 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:54 am

    i’m soooo worried about this. i’m an emotional wreck on my best day… and i am pouring my everything into our wedding. i guess i’ll just have to start TTC immediately following the wedding so i have something to occupy my thoughts : )
    that picture of you and your husband is BREATHTAKING!!!!

  4. Member
    msllamaface 198 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:24 am

    This post came at the perfect time. We’re 2 weeks away, I’m winding down all my lists and tasks and now I’m starting to focus on the day itself and the days after. Thank you for sharing this honest take and your experience. It made me cry (but 2 weeks away, what doesn’t, really?).

  5. Member
    Magnolia-May 14 posts, Newbee @ 6:33 am

    Mrs. Camel, we are date twins! I am having the same emotions. We left for our honeymoon on the Monday after our wedding, taking Sunday to clean up our venue and open gifts – we both felt the same way you and Mr. Camel did whilst opening them. Little things that were such big things to us in the 13 months of planning were hard to get over. Overall, very happy with the way everything turned out, and also relieved to know that I’m not the only one. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

  6. mswallaby Member
    mswallaby 2070 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:35 am

    I love this post – it captures almost exactly what I experienced after our wedding, too. I am SO GLAD that we left for our honeymoon the day after our wedding – it helped me cast aside all of the wedding-weekend emotions, and it gave Mr. W and I some very-much-needed alone time to rest and bask in our newlywed bliss. To fill the void after our wedding, I’ve been putting all of my energy into our house and garden – it’s always nice to have a project to work on!

  7. mswallaby Member
    mswallaby 2070 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:38 am

    Also: I am positively swooning over your portrait under the tree- stunning. Can’t wait for your recaps.

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Jenny, Guest @ 6:51 am

    Mrs. Camel, props to you for eloquently expressing what SO many of us newleyweds feel! (And a very belated congratulations to you and Mr. Camel!) I was nodding my head in agreement at everything you wrote- the sadness, the loss, the overwhelming emotions, the head-spinning, and especially the guilt. And the what-ifs. We had family and friends fly in from all over the country, and I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time with any of them. I thought I would have all the time in the world to introduce friends to each other, and family to one another- and it just never happened! It went by too quickly for me to do that! We also had a mishap at the end of our reception, where the DJ told everyone to light their sparklers, but we were on the beach taking pictures with our photographer… so we missed our sparkler exit. I regret that, but what can you do except shrug it off? Not much. We left for our honeymoon the day after the wedding, and while I was feeling totally overwhelmed at the time- I look back and I’m very thankful we left when we did. The honeymoon was nothing but peaceful and happy! You can’t not come back from one feeling refreshed and recharged. :)

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    Claire, Guest @ 7:21 am

    I have heard guilt is pretty normal after a wedding! My sister said she felt really guilty for not talking to everyone but honestly, people don’t really EXPECT to talk to the bride and groom, you feel lucky if you get to! So just try and remember people had a good time!

  10. Member
    x0jlynn03 3257 posts, Sugar bee @ 7:41 am

    I share your feeling of guilt about not spending more time with people at the reception. If I could do one thing over it would be to NOT be on the dance floor so much and to mingle and chat with people. I felt like I spent the whole night on the dance floor — my mom said every time she saw me I was having a blast dancing, which I guess is the point of the reception, to have fun.. but I wish I would of talked to more our guests. I also feel like when I was out dancing I was just hanging with my girlfriends that I normally hang out with, not with everyone else.

  11. mspalmtree Member
    Mrs. Palm Tree 1122 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:46 am

    You so perfectly wrote what I, too, experienced. It seems like many brides have felt this way post-wedding. I definitely understand the guilt. I read somewhere that nobody attends a wedding hoping for QT with the bride and groom, but I still cringe a little thinking about certain people whom I love dearly that I barely saw – even more so when I think about how far they traveled, their generosity, etc.

    Moving on to the positives: THAT PICTURE! AHHHHHHH! Recaps recaps recaps! :)

  12. genie Member
    genie 723 posts, Busy bee @ 10:17 am

    I TOTALLY feel you, Camel. After over a year, I still feel bouts of guilt and regret over different parts of both weddings. Even though, the days were perfect, it’s easy to think of what wasn’t.

  13. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 6:22 pm

    I still feel guilty every time I think about how much money we spent, knowing how we could have used the money. The memories are priceless though, so I get over it :)

  14. Member
    kat2822 23 posts, Newbee @ 4:48 am

    Guilt, I felt so much guilt. Thanks for putting this out there. It makes me feel a little more normal.

  15. Member
    nokiirat 54 posts, Worker bee @ 10:53 am

    I’ve been putting all of my energy into our house and garden – it’s always nice to have a project to work on!

  16. graywolf Member
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 6:25 am

    well put!

  17. Member
    softm 51 posts, Worker bee @ 5:02 am

    I love this post! I can realte to so many of the feelings that you just wrote about, especially the guilt!!

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    spicybee, Guest @ 6:52 am

    I totally totally relate. Having gotten married 2 months ago, i left the reception feeling a little overwhelmed. The next day, i just couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. We left for the honeymoon 3 days after our wedding and i’m glad we did. The time away really helped me get over all my feelings of loss(id miss my family so much and my usual daily routine) and anxiety about the new phase we are just beginning. I’m not usually the fastest person to adjust to new things and new situations so i’m just trying really hard get used to my new life esp since I and DH would be making another huge change soon (we are moving to another country entirely) phew!! Seeing the wedding pictures too just sometimes sets me off on a *i wish journey*. I wish i had taken more pictures in my dress, i wish my hair was styled differently than what i had, i wish i could redo our first entrance as a couple and i also wish i’d just stop all these ranting and move on!*smiles*

  19. Member
    cosmo_gmr 488 posts, Helper bee @ 11:57 am

    As always, loved your post.
    We spent 3 days in a hotel relaxing and then went to a resort a couple hours outside our city.

    Then the guilt came… exactly like you describe.

  20. Member
    Mint2Bee 351 posts, Helper bee @ 2:44 pm

    I love this post – it captures so many of the emotions that i felt at my wedding!!

  21. Member
    Mint2Bee 351 posts, Helper bee @ 2:45 pm

    *after my wedding

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Sam Baye, Guest @ 1:41 am

    I’ve just returned home from my brothers wedding. Am so down just want to cry the whole time. He is a highly successful captain on a Super yacht. He has travelled the world over and has seen and done every imaginable glamorous activity. Private jets, I can’t even begin to list all the fantastic experiences he has had and will have. He has heaps of friends, numerous properties all over the world and has married a beautiful lady from NZ who is the chef on the yacht. I feel such an enormous failure, I’ve no friends, am heavily overweight and can see no way out. But the absolute worse thing is I feel he doesn’t love me. I see how he adores his new wife and wish I could have had just a little of that love. Am very low.

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