weddings 101

Post-Wedding Disorder (Yes, It’s A Thing)

My wedding, the happiest day of my life, passed away on June 23. Since it’s passing, I’ve had trouble accepting that it’s gone. My husband, Shaun, calls this sadness post-wedding disorder, or PWD.

And as much as I like to tell him he’s wrong about most things, he’s definitely on to something here.

I loved being engaged. Shaun and I had been dating for almost 10 years when he proposed, and I had wanted to marry him for all of those thousands of days that led up to him giving me a Kinder Surprise egg with a ring inside on Christmas Eve. From the moment I cried yes, I pictured myself as a bride. I loved telling people that I was engaged. I loved trying on my wedding band and going to the dress shop to look at my gown.

My wedding day was everything I wanted. I got the perfect guy and I married him on our perfect day and for that I will be forever grateful. So why do I feel an emptiness afterward? I planned each and every tiny detail of my long-awaited day, and it went flawlessly. So where did I go wrong?

Now that several seasons have passed since my perfect day, I realize that it wasn’t the dream of the wedding that I loved so much; it was being engaged. Although I knew that getting married would bring amazing new things into my life, what escaped my centerpiece-filled consciousness was that it would eliminate the one thing that meant more to me than roses and peonies: being almost married. When I look back at the evidence, it seems so obvious now. I wanted to be a wife, yes, but I was far more focused on being an almost wife.

Since our marriage, each morning I do a little dance in my head when I wake up to the fact that there are no more wedding to-do lists to stress about. But this relief lasts only moments before the realization kicks in that I will never again plan or participate in my wedding. It’s then that I feel a sadness come over me that I never experienced in all my years as a Miss.

For 18 months, I had only one task: to plan the perfect wedding. With my dream fulfilled, what now? The average Canadian engagement lasts about a year, so is it really all that surprising that an event that swallows a woman’s life for so long would leave a bruise once the clock strikes midnight?

My sister tells me not to worry, that Shaun and I can renew our vows for our 10th anniversary. It’s tempting. But then another bout of PWD? I think I’ll pass.

Image(s): Julia Breckenreid

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