Planning a wedding and preparing to get married can be an incredibly special and exciting time in an individual's and a couple's life. And if you're engaged and you pay attention to social media, Pinterest, wedding blogs, etc. (as it's hard not to), then it might look like everyone else who has ever been engaged or planned a wedding had an incredible time, the perfect celebration and loads of support. And perhaps some people really do have that experience for the most part.
The truth is, though, that planning a wedding and getting married is a time of major transition, and can easily highlight relationship difficulties, body image problems, family disappointments, and financial stresses. Navigating some of those issues would be difficult enough in and of themselves, but they greatly intensify when one or more of those things gets triggered while you're trying to plan and pay for a wedding, look and feel your best, please the important people around you, maintain the integrity of the relationship you have with your partner and perhaps even plan a honeymoon. Not to mention, sometimes the people you expect to support you are not able to give you what you need, creating a sense of disappointment and loss during a very important time. I often hear people say, "this was supposed to be the most exciting time in my life" or "I just thought I would be a lot happier." It's not unusual to have that experience, even if you are beyond excited to marry your partner.
In therapy, we talk about how to obtain support, how to set boundaries, prioritizing what's most important to you, and processing the many complicated feelings that one experiences during this important life transition. We might also look for ways to find joy and meaning throughout this wonderful, intense, emotional process.
Written by Lauren Harb, Psy.D.