Saturday, March 24, 2012

After the Wedding Mother of the Bride Blues

This may be a disorder that I am the first to discover but that does not mean that it is not real.  It is something that I may very well be currently experiencing.  After the Wedding Mother of the Bride Blues is not hormonely based like Post-Patum Depression, but it seems real enough to me.  My symptoms include nightmares about all the little things that went wrong during the wedding, a sense of loss of my life's purpose and major tiredness. 

Although no one seemed to notice all the little things that went wrong but me, that doesn't mean that they didn't happen.  The pergola flowers weren't right, Jenna forgot to carry her bouquet during the ceremony. we lost the stuff for the sand ceremony and I had 30 minutes to get ready.  I think that these things are laying heavy on my mind because I put so much of myself and my love into the planning that I wanted everything to be perfect for my "little" girl. Don't misunderstand, everything about the wedding was beautiful.  Perfect weather for a beach wedding, my daughter was so beautiful and looked so happy, and everyone seemed to have a wonderful time including me, the food was great, decorations looked great.  So why am I focusing on the little things?  I seriously believe it is a disorder.

I am having a difficulty time getting back into my "normal", pre-wedding planning routine.  Maybe it wouldn't be quite so hard if I had a 9 to 5 job, but since my current job consists of writing a parenting book I am finding it very difficult. 

Anybody have any advice or cures for what is ailing me?  No, I don't have another daughter to marry off, and I have no aspirations to become a wedding/party planner (too much stress associated with that job).  Currently my only ideas are to find a part time counseling position and to just dive head first into my writing again.  The writing may not be my best work but that is what the editing phase is for, cleaning up what was written in the forst go round.

So ends my series on planning a wedding.

29 comments:

  1. This is Kathy's daughter posting so that everyone knows I think the wedding was perfect. I am so lucky to have such an amazing mom/wedding planner. Thank you for everything mom. I love you.

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  2. nicely done kathy's daughter! i hope that my daughter feels the same way in 48 hours!

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  3. My beautiful daughter was married last weekend in a lovely beach wedding. Everything went well and it seems all enjoyed the day.
    Kathy I am suffering the same symptoms you described. I keep dwelling on issues that no one else would even have been aware of. I cannot get back into my normal routine; I have a SERIOUS sense of loss of my life purpose to the point of depression; and I am so tired I cannot even tackle my housework.
    I was so excited prior to the wedding, not just about the wedding but about other upcoming events in my life, and the weekend went beautifully so why am I so depressed???
    Let me know how you got through this. I am so confused by my reactions here.

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  4. My daughter's wedding went perfectly. The weather was gorgeous, she looked lovely, the reception was fun and I can't think of a thing that went wrong. The next day I was so tired I spent most of the day in bed, and what really surprised me was that I couldn't stop crying! My armchair thoughts are that there was a lot of angst planning the wedding, my daughter was often short with me, and I felt unappreciated because both my husband and myself worked really hard to make it the terrific day it was, and she wasn't as gracious to us -as in a toast to us at the reception telling us what spectacular parents we are! I know she had a great time, as did everyone involved. I did too, at the time, but then later all the negative stuff between us made me feel bad. And discouraged at what I consider rather immature. At least I know I'm not alone.

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  5. Ladies, you're not alone!
    I'm the mother of the bridegroom. The wedding last Saturday was lovely. We all had a fabulous day, SO enjoyable. But ever since we got home I've felt flat and deflated, even weepy on occasion.
    I was warned by others that this would probably happen and advised to have a holiday immediately after but, sadly, we didn't get around to booking anything. I suppose its inevitable, after all the preparation and expectation, that there would have to be a come-down. The best solution for me would be to be able to do it all again tomorrow, but obviously that's not going to happen!

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  6. I am relieved to see that others are feeling what I am feeling. We had a large wedding that was quite expensive and I did most of the preparations and planning. I, too, am focusing on what went wrong. Even though the caterers and florists have told me that it was one of the best they have seen, I am still troubled by things that no one else seemed to notice.

    Gender roles at weddings are also problematic and I wasn't prepared for that. I spent a year planning, working on details, making items, making reservations, orchestrating hair and make-up, welcome bags, even buying the bridesmaid gifts, then packing the car for the destination -- making certain everything was in place, but it was my husband who walked her down the aisle, rode in the vintage car to the church, gave the speech, first dance, received compliments and thank yous....And in saying this, I don't want to sound spoiled, however, it is difficult to be treated like a work horse, have 30 minutes to get ready, and then realize there are hardly any photos of bride and mother to mark the occasion. Public recognition is not necessary, but inclusion would have been nice.

    My daughter was happy, radiant, beautiful, and that is what counts. I just wasn't expecting to feel the way that I feel now.

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    1. Wow. I guess we are all in the same boat! SO glad to know what I'm feeling is normal. My daughter was married 7 days ago and while most things went right, a couple of things that were very important to me went wrong. I can't seem to stop thinking about them. I feel sad that after all that work it wasn't perfect (as if anything ever is), even though I determined that I wouldn't fall into the trap of trying to impress or please everybody. I feel sad that it's all over and we spent so much money (even though this was planned too) and for what? I feel such a sense of loss and exhaustion. Praying really really helps! Thanks so much to all of you for sharing your feelings. I will pray for you too!

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    2. Your words are in my head!! Out of 1000 photographs, there is not one good one of my daughter and me. Even though I was well organized, I had several things to take care of while the girls were doing hair and makeup. By the time I joined them, they were done. I did make the pics for putting on her dress, but you only see my back and fat arms!! The wedding was 5 months ago and people are still commenting about how meaningful it was and the reception was a blast.....but I have such left over feelings and wish we could do it all over again. A dear friends says that weddings are like taking your children to Disneyworld....you just can't do it all. It helps me to stay busy of course and writing thank you notes has been cathartic. Interestingly, my most down time has been several months after the wedding....almost a delayed depression. I had so much energy prior to the wedding....planning, making favors, etc. Now, I don't have much interest in work...and little energy. I need to create new interests and spend time on myself. It sure helps to read similar experiences. Any suggestions?

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  7. I am so glad to hear that I am not alone feeling this way. I am the bride's mother- the wedding was Saturday. My husband was out of town working during the entire planning period, my daughter was finishing school, and I worked full time. I pretty much did it all.
    I lost count at how many things went wrong at the wedding- the piano player forgot the unity candle music, the groom came in too early, the bride and her father came down the aisle too early and to the wrong song, the veil got snagged on a chair and was yanked off of the brides head, the groomsmen forgot to return to escort the moms... but everyone got a good laugh out of everything and the reception turned out GREAT. We all had a good time.
    I did my very best in getting it all done. Since the wedding, all I have heard from the brides father is what I could have done to make it better and prevent the problems from occurring, nothing about what went right. My self esteem is shot. I'm exhausted and I just want to cry.
    When will this feeling pass?

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  8. My daughter also was married this past saturday. She has been out of our house since she moved away for undergrad and just finished her first year of medical school 11 hours away from home. So why am I so weepy and lethargic? I am an avid exerciser and can never sleep past 5:15 am. I am exhausted and lazy and can hardly motivate myself to do anything!!!! She was the happiest, appreciative bride and other than the monsoon 90 minute rain before her outdoor wedding which was squished into the reception venue the entire day was perfect. SHE IS SO HAPPY! Why am I not? We have 3 more children to see graduate from college and get married........I want to get thru this funk. How long will it last?? Any tips on beatin the bridal blues?

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  9. I am soooo glad I'm not the only one feeling the let-down after my daughter's wedding this weekend. Everything went really well, she was beautiful, and ecstatically happy! You are right about the Father of the Bride getting to walk her down the aisle, make the toast, and have the dance - even though we Moms did the majority of the work.They are on their honeymoon right now, and I am feeling sad, lonely, and lost - even though she hasn't lived at home for a few years.
    I can't talk about how I feel to any of my friends for fear of their opinion of me.
    I am so thankful for finding this sight. Now I know I'm not alone, and I am not out of my mind for feeling this way.
    Thank you so much, Ladies,for helping me to sleep in peace tonight. I hope some energy and a sense of purpose and drive return soon. I've been helping to plan the wedding for so long, and now it feels like there isn't much to look forward to.
    I wish someone would have let me know about this before now - it would have helped with the feelings of guilt and confusion over feeling this way. :)

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    1. Thank you for sharing. I have many of the same feelings, but with some added twists. It's not that we lack a sense of purpose...our daughter hasn't lived at home for years either and I am very busy with lots of other things. I have two other daughters too. I too feel guilty for feeling this way.

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  10. Oh wow.. same same ladies. My youngest daughter got married on 22nd June and is moving interstate (over 2,500 kms away. Despite being winter, it was a beautiful sunshiney day and the day went smoothly in every sense of the word. I'm so happy for her and my amazing new son-in-law - they are a great match and will be very happy. She has lived at home for her 19 years (yes, only 19!) and now is married and moving so far away.
    My heart is aching at the separation after we have been so close for so long. Added to that I guess is that our 2 older children have already left home and so she's the last one to leave home. I figured I'd be a little sad, but not quite this much (tears flowing!). A bit relieved to read that many others have the same emotions and I'm sure things will settle down at some stage. Just nice to know we're not alone. :)

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    1. I think that's part of my problem, too. My daughter was the last one at home and we were very close, made each other laugh so often. She's only moving about 200 miles away but it's still away. She and her husband are just made for each other, the vows that he wrote and read at the ceremony just made everyone, including his bride, tear up because they were so sincere and tender. I am happy for her, but sad for me. Hoping it passes quickly. :(

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  11. I should've also mentioned that the ceremony/reception made me feel quite included.. I actually drove the bridesmaids to the church so followed by husband & the bride-to-be to the church. My daughter had me do a reading at the ceremony and she organised for a father & mother of the bride speech at the reception so we both spoke.. I felt very much loved and part of the day.. Guess this is another season of life to navigate - remember ladies the day you brought your first baby home and life was turned upside down, thinking you'd never get a full night's sleep again, etc.. Perhaps its time to re-kindle what it was like for each of us when we first got married!!!

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  12. Glad I found this site when I googled Post-wedding blues for mother of the bride! My only daughter and last child at home was married 2 days ago. She and I did all of the planning and I was heavily involved over the past 9 months. I am so happy for my daughter and new sil and the wedding was gorgeous. A few things went wrong (plates and glasses that we bought didn't make it to the reception, had to send son & dil out to get some, etc.)but few people knew it and all told us how great everything was. But I just keep going over and over what I should have done differently. And then last night and today I just keep crying at the littlest things. I go back to work tomorrow, hoping getting back into my routine will help, but this was just totally unexpected and has thrown me for a loop! Why have I never heard anyone discuss this? Maybe because I feel embarrassed and others do too?

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  13. Kathy's story said it all. Yesterday I cried at every place I worked on the decorations, her room etc. I think it will take awhile to get over. The remains will take awhile to clean up. How long and how did you get over it?

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  14. My daughter got married last weekend. I have felt depressed since that day. I was very involved in the preparation, with a great deal of help from the groom's mother. We are blessed with an amazing new son-in-law and an amazing new family to add to our own. I deliberately did not drink more than two glasses of champaign, I wanted to be very alert and in the moment. Take everything in. But, I find that I can't remember much of the night. I know the wedding was beautiful and have full memory of the ceremony. However, I have huge blanks on the reception. The night was a blur. I had plans of visiting every table and greeting people, that did not happen. And I feel guilty for that. I realize I could not greet 200 people, but I feel disappointed in myself. I did dance a lot and I know I had a great time. But, I have this odd sense of having missed a lot of the wedding. Sensory overload? I can't seem to shake it. We had a few minor things go wrong, but everything really went perfectly. Everyone said it was the most amazing wedding they'd been to. Why do I feel so sad?

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    1. I am with you. The 3 hour reception may as well have been 15 minutes. Watching the video and looking at pictures helps, but I wish we could do it all over again. I feel guilty, grieving as if this were a death. It sure helps to read that others at at the same place. Interestingly, my sadness is somewhat delayed. My daughter's wedding was June 1, and I am at my most down period. I need to plan something to look forward to.

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  15. My only child/daughter is getting married in three weeks and is "only" 19. She has a wonderful fiance. She goes to jr. college and works part-time. He is in the military.
    I am very happy for them, but wish they had met later when both were more mature. They have been together since 9th grade, so the concept of them as a couple is something I am already comfortable with. But with her in school and working in another town, I have handled all the details of the wedding planning. Tonight, as I start the last round of "wedding crafts"--making the programs, I began to wonder if I will feel a let down after the wedding, similar to post-partum depression. Glad to have found this page-may be returning soon!

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  16. I feel the same way-only later. My daughter married about 6 weeks ago. It was so wonderful!!! The week after was afterglow, then so tired, a little trip for rest, and then lots of gift exchange/returns. They are happy little lovebirds, which I am so thankful for! I am now just at a loss personally. I have things to do, but I am feeling empty. You spend so many years engaged in your child's care-your world revolves around them, and then they are gone. I am just kind of lost. I am going to pray, work at my Bible study, and give this all to Him-and be patient while He works. His time is not my time, and maybe this is just something I need to go through and not around!

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  17. wow I thought I was the only one feeling this way . I started planning my daughters wedding about a year ago and pretty much has been a daily job of doing it all, I really did enjoy it . She was married last Saturday. The planning was one thing after another and got real intense the last week just making sure everything was in order. Then you have dinner rehearsal then the wedding and then reception then it was done. Did not expect to be so sad and crying about 5 times a day because I forgot to have someone video the wedding and I cant change that but it makes me so sad, I always videoed everything she seems to have done since she was born but not this. That is part of my sadness but she is also my last child and only daughter. The wedding was perfect except for that. I hope I snap out of this soon.


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  18. It is nice to know I am not crazy or selfish. Thank you to everyone who has posted.
    My daughter's wedding was lovely and she was a beautiful bride. I too, however, feel deflated and weepy from time to time now though. She was married on a Saturday and I even took Monday off from work to take care of finishing odds and ends with my husband and to recuperate. Yet, I still cannot forget the minor details that no one else noticed (or said they didn't notice). The photographer didn't get a picture of just me and my daughter right before or even after the wedding. I would have really liked that and I don't think my daughter even realizes it yet because she is still on her honeymoon. The florist forgot to put the mother's corsages in the pickup order, but we improvised with extra roses and ribbon so that wasn't a horrible thing. We will be reimbursed for the expense too. More than anything I feel upset that someone made the day about themselves instead of letting the day be about my daughter and her intended's wedding vows. I feel a bit robbed too in a small way, but I feel pretty certain I can get through my feelings in time. I was standing in the foyer with my daughter's future mother-in-law when she asked me what the seating arrangements were. This was something that I had specifically told my daughter she and her fiance' should discuss with his mother before the wedding so that she would be prepared. She was asking now so I explained to the groom's mother exactly how the seating was going to work because she was obviously getting concerned about it. I tried to reassure her that she would not be sitting next to her son's step-mother. She has made it clear that she does not like her at all. I also told her that there would be two people between them. Her daughter and her ex-husband. Well, she was ushered down the isle and her daughter went in first and sat down next to her father. The next thing we see is her telling her daughter to get up and move to the front row. They both sat on the front row for the entire ceremony. Her son was upset, but quickly showed that he was a better man than I was a mother of the bride. Now, this is something I am trying very very hard to move past.
    That incident literally took my attention away in such a major way that it took me what seemed like 15 minutes (probably more like 5, but it is all a blur to me now) to get my head back in to the wedding ~ my daughter's special day. I just feel that it was an incredibly selfish thing for her to do. I don't know what it is like to have my husband cheat on me with another woman so I am really trying to understand, but it was over 13 years ago and I would like to think that had that same thing happened to me I would be able to somehow move onward and upward. To add insult to injury...I found out after the wedding that she lied to her son and told him that she did not know what the seating arrangements were suppose to be. I abhor people who deliberately lie. I wish I would have never heard that she told this lie.
    My head tells me that the incident says more about her than anyone else, but my heart is still so upset about it.
    Then, I think...she is still holding on to her hurt feelings about her ex and living in a self made prison. I don't want to do the same thing over this issue at all. It feels wonderful just to type it all out actually. We live in a small tight nit community and I really don't have anyone I feel "safe" to talk to about it. Thank you for letting me share and for all of you sharing your similar experiences. I am hoping to snap out of this before my precious daughter returns from her honeymoon.

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  19. My daughters wedding was this past weekend, and I have felt sad ever since the wedding! I was very involved with the wedding planning and feel a complete sense of loss, now that it is over. I totally resent the fact that I did not seek my daughter out at the wedding for a picture of the two of us together! This has bothered me immensely, and I feel helpless as nothing can ever change this. (I'm hoping the one picture the photographer took turns out!) I never thought that I would feel so sad. I know my daughter is happy and I'm truly happy for her. I know the wedding is not about me, however, I feel like I have been completely forgotten and this is hurtful to me. I question whether I was ever a very good mother. I hope these feelings go away soon, so I may begin a new chapter in my book of life. I know I'm blessed to have two beautiful daughters that are very happily married and I know in my heart that I did raise my daughters with lots of love and affection. It is very comforting to know that there are other mothers out there feeling the same way, thank you for allowing us mothers of the bride an outlet to vent our feelings without be judged. Stilling feeling blue.

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    1. Your post gave me an idea! I also did not get a picture with my daughter. I worked on planning the wedding for her that she had this past weekend for almost a year with all the smallest details, and the photographer took hundreds of pictures, but it never occurred to us to have that special pic taken at the wedding. I was already feeling very sad and then found this site to see others were feeling bad also. I first felt worse when I realized I had missed out on the picture too, but then had a revelation: I am going to ask my daughter to put on her wedding dress again, and I will put on the dress I wore, and we can take a picture with the remote on her camera. Our hair may not be the same, so maybe it will resemble more of a getting ready for the wedding shot. It will be yet another special mother-daughter secret in which we can recreate a moment in time from that wonderful day. After all, she tried on the gown many times before as I did my dress, so it will be a continuous flow of before, during, and after with no guilt. Maybe you can do this also? Amid all the people and goings-on and new husband, it can feel like we have been so terribly neglected. I also began to question if I was the mother I should I have been. But I know I was. Since your daughter was happy and you raised your girls with love and affection, I believe you surely were and still are an amazing mom!

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    2. Thank you for the idea..... I have grieved over not having a pic of just us!!! Over 1000 pics and not one of the two of us.

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  20. Already feeling better in knowing I am not alone in my post wedding blues. My husband and I returned from the location of our oldest daughter's wedding yesterday. She was married this past weekend. Only two hours away fortunately but I am feeling depressed and disappointed also. My daughter has not lived at home for awhile so thankfully we do not have that part of it to deal with.Nonetheless all I can do is think about a small number of things that did not go well instead of the big picture-lovely day, our daughter was beautiful and we love our son- in-law.Our daughter was engaged a year ago at this time so thankfully had time to plan and did an awesome job. She did involve me in the process but did not have to spend the kind of time that many of you did. They are not going on their honeymoon until a later date and so just taking some time off before getting back to work and "real life". I think she is also experiencing a little let down. Would recommend that the couple maybe go away for a day or two rather than do this, as there is the feeling that it was a two day event (including rehearsal dinner ) and then it is over after so much work. We received lots of compliments about the ceremony and reception so the feedback is good to hear.I am trying to think in terms of what is next for them which will be exciting: they can relax ,reflect on good memories enjoy life now,may be a house in the near future etc. These feelings of sadness are foreign to my husband. He is only happy, which I am too but... Going to stay busy, get some much needed rest and probably jump into a project which is usually helpful. Also holidays ahead! Will let you know if this helps.

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  21. I am so glad I found this site. My daughter got married this past weekend, and I too did much of the planning, and as many have said, I too am feeling very depressed. The wedding went beautifully and i was so happy to see my husband walking her down the isle, make the toast etc. But as many have posted above, i too found myself feeling unimportant during the day (and i feel bad saying that because i know it was not about me). Also, I had to ASK the photographer to take a picture of just me and my daughter. If i hadn't thought of it after the ceremony there would not be one picture of just she and I. I saw that many others have had this same experience of no mother-daughter pictures---what is with that??????? Thank you to all who have shared. I feel better knowing that I am not alone in being depressed at this time.

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  22. LOL... I'll have to remember this, though I'll be the groom's mother planning for extra family (I have sons).
    I know hurricanes, so I'll be prepared. ;)

    Wedding outfits | Mother

    of the bride

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