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After all those weeks, months, often years planning the biggest day of your life, what does it feel like after the vows are said, the dancing and celebrating is history, and the rest of your life is beginning? Here, three brides tell their stories.
It was all a blur.
Belah, 27, says, "We spent much of our first night as husband and wife giggling, reliving those wonderful moments, and honestly doing a lot of sleeping. We needed to recharge after the stressful, thrilling adrenaline rush called our wedding." She laughs, "I can't really remember if we made love!"
What surprised Belah about the morning after the wedding was the "intense sense of normalcy that set in." She shares,"Suddenly after the excitement, this man I had anticipated marrying for so long was suddenly mine, forever."
Reality set in.
Valerie and her husband were together 11 years before tying the knot when Valerie was 27. And directly after the wedding and that entire night she felt exactly the same as any other night spent with her guy: "The idea hadn't hit me yet."
The next morning it hit her hard but in a "very good way." "I felt complete. We'd been together for so long yet in a matter of minutes saying the vows had solidified our relationship, bringing it full circle."
It was all a dream.
An immediate post-wedding emotion for both Tiffany and her groom "was extreme nervousness." "I wasn't a virgin but my husband was. We decided not to have sex until after we were married. At the hotel we didn't know what to do — 'Should we make love? Should we eat first? Do we shower first?' These thoughts and questions came up. Nonetheless it was a beautiful night."
The next morning she woke up wondering if it was all a dream: "Am I really waking up next to my husband? Am I really spending the rest of my life with this person I love so much?" She finishes, "I was amazed and so very happy."
Sherry Amatenstein is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.