You're marrying the man of your dreams, yet suddenly instead of being joyous, you are depressed. Here, real brides share the real-life reasons they felt tired of planning their weddings—and some solutions.
"There was catastrophic flooding two months before the wedding and we had to find a new venue and completely start over. Our invitations had just gone out to all of our guests. Devastated, I wept and told my fiancé this was a sign we should just stop spending this fortune and elope, but he was set on having his friends and family all there. We re-planned, but my heart largely wasn't in it. What got me back on track was the realization that it didn't really matter where it was or who else was there. Then I didn't care what else happened or who showed up. We bonded in a special way by going through that together. —Chelsea
"Going to the bridal stores felt demeaning. I often felt like I should hide my size 14, 5'9 body in something 'flattering' for about half the price of our wedding budget. I found the perfect dress off the rack and felt like a happy, beautiful bride." —Ann
"My mother was diagnosed with cancer five months before the wedding, which was going to be a huge event with hundreds of people. Suddenly my happiness and excitement were gone. Mom wouldn't live to see her grandchildren. She might not even make it to the wedding day itself. My fiancé and I regrouped, canceled the extravaganza, and had a small party with the minister, our parents, and closest friends. Mom was healthy enough to enjoy it, though started declining soon after, and I look back now on the wedding day as such a special memory because we were still all there." —Helen
"Starting the wedding planning process was overwhelming. There were so many decisions to make, and I'm not the most organized person. And my entire family kept chiming in with their opinions. I started getting depressed and dreading each appointment. Hiring a wedding planner took the pressure off, and I again enjoyed being an engaged woman on the brink of married life." —Beth
"Five months into the wedding planning process, I sunk into gloom. I didn't even enjoy being with my fiancé. I realized it was because our lives together had been taken over by the big day. We made some rules—no wedding talk allowed three nights a week and we reinstituted date night, a ritual we'd let slide shortly after our engagement. Allowing time to decompress and remind ourselves that we were the important element in what was going on helped me center myself and regroup. It ultimately wasn't important if Aunt Mabel wasn't thrilled with the seating arrangement! The wedding day was beautiful, but our subsequent life together is what is truly enriching." —Ruth
Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.