Wedding-Related Dreams Explained

Experts reveal what you really could be worrying about when you're in a deep sleep

Many brides have puzzling or mysterious wedding dreams before the big day—so we decided to get to the bottom of this natural nighttime occurrence. We asked eight brides to share their wedding dreams with us, which we then had analyzed by two top experts: Gayle Delaney, Ph.D., Mill Valley, CA–based bestselling author of In Your Dreams, and Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, Tampa-based author of Cracking the Dream Code and founder of Here’s what the pros we consulted had to say. (Their insights will surprise you!)

Fast and Furious
Jane Mason (name has been changed), Cleveland

“At least once a week, I have a dream in which my wedding is tomorrow, but I haven’t picked up my dress, made hair appointments for the bridesmaids, ordered flowers, selected clothes for the groomsmen, or had a rehearsal of the ceremony—everything is in absolute chaos. I end up searching through my closet for a dress while my mom attempts to do my hair. When I show up at the ceremony, I’m completely overwhelmed by the huge number of people there, because I hadn’t even sent out invitations. Most of the guests end up leaving the reception early, bored out of their minds. At the end of the wedding I’m sitting there guilt-ridden, thinking about how awful it all turned out. My fiancé agrees and blames me! I usually wake up in a panic.”
Expert Opinion: “Many brides-to-be have this type of dream in response to their wish for the perfect wedding in spite of limited time, money and organizational skills,” Dr. Delaney notes. “Interestingly, this bride seems not to have let the stress of the wedding pollute her relationship with her mom; but her groom’s blaming her suggests that the wedding chaos may be stressing that relationship. Yes, dreams do exaggerate to get your attention, but they always spring from real stressors in life. My sense is that the event plans may have become too complicated for Jane to handle, causing her to lose some joy in the wedding.”

Tulle Time
Amanda Lazaro, Boston

“I’ve been having a recurring dream in which I’m in a bridal salon trying on dresses. I can’t find anything that fits me, so a sales associate brings out a tutu. My mother and sister are all about the dress, so I end up purchasing it, even though I don’t love it. When I walk down the aisle, everyone is laughing at me. Once I even cried in the dream! The thing is, I love the dress I’m actually getting married in.”
Expert Opinion: “Amanda should think about the feelings toward her mother and sister that she has in the dream, and whether they remind her of any she’s been having in real life. Does she frequently give in to family members?” asks Dr. Delaney. “Agreeing to wear a tutu for her wedding suggests she would do well to establish firmer boundaries in these relationships. Also, the fact that the dream is recurring says that the issue continues to bother her and remains unresolved. Since she loves the actual wedding dress she has bought, the dress in her dream is essentially a metaphor to help her understand her conflict.” reason to think her parents have not entirely changed their feelings toward her choice of a spouse,” Dr. Delaney says. “I wonder how they’d respond if she were to tell them about this dream. My guess is that at the time of the dream, they had not yet transformed their feelings about her choice of a partner but were trying to be agreeable, and Simone sensed this. The stress she felt in the dream showed her concern over her parents’ level of acceptance of José.”

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