Are You Secretly Freaking Out About Getting Married? You're Not Alone...
Updated: Feb 26
So you're engaged. People are so excited for you and say things like "You should be so happy" and "This is the most exciting time in your life!" But you don't feel that way. You're stressed, not only about planning a wedding, but because this is a HUGE life transition. You're worried about making the wrong decision, wanting to make certain you're not making a mistake.
Cue the wedding anxiety.
Wedding anxiety is not something a lot of brides talk about. There is a stigma where if you have the slightest doubt about getting married, you should run for the hills. But the thing is...for a lot of women it's not that black and white.
Yes you love your partner. You may have even had the perfect love story all your friends are jealous of. He proposed, but from that moment on you've been questioning if he is your soul mate, if this is the 'right' decision, and why his terribly loud chewing has never bothered you quite like now.
You're scared you're feeling this way and are tempted to call the whole thing off. Worse, you tell a friend and they tell you that if you have any doubts, to call it off too. Now, you feel alone and more anxious than ever.
Girl, you are NOT alone.
Just because you are feeling anxious, it does not mean that your relationship is not going to work out.
Wedding anxiety goes far beyond your partner and...
This is more normal than you'd think...
Not only am I seeing wedding anxiety recently with brides and my friends, I've gone through it myself.
I was an anxious bride.
On the outside everything looked perfect, but on the inside I was freaking out.
Questions ran through my head like:
How do I know I'm not making a mistake by marrying him?
What if it doesn't work out?
Do I love him? Do I know what love is?
The thing is, when I started to work with a therapist and dig down deep, LITERALLY NONE of my anxieties had to do with him. They all had to do with me going through a life transition.
What is Relationship Anxiety?
Relationship Anxiety is tricky to define, but basically "refers to those feelings of worry, insecurity, and doubt that can pop up in a relationship, even if everything is going relatively well." (Healthline.com)
It usually has nothing to do with your actual relationship with your partner, but rather your relationship with yourself.
Perhaps getting married is bringing up your fear of 'growing up' or 'being an adult'. Maybe you have difficulty trusting your decisions. Even if you are living with your soon to be spouse, the fear of what marriage will change about your relationship can spark anxiety too.
Sheryl Paul is a renowned mental health therapist who specializes in wedding anxiety. I honestly don't know where I would be without her.
Her courses and books on wedding anxiety make you dig down deep to find the root cause of why you are suddenly paralyzed with doubt or questioning your decision every day.
Her resources can be found here: www.conscious-transitions.com/conscious-weddings-e-course/
(I do not receive compensation, this is my honest recommendation because she has helped me so much)
If this wedding season has brought you more stress than joy...
know that it's going to be okay. This is actually pretty normal and it means that you will be more prepared for marriage because you are turning inward to know yourself better. Remember, to love another, you must first love yourself.
And if you find yourself scrolling on Pinterest for hours on end or on the 27th page of wedding toppers on Etsy (been there), completely obsessing over every little detail of your wedding day, know that this too can be a normal escape mechanism for anxiety. I recommend checking out Sheryl's website and really tuning into your feelings during this time. Once you do, I can assure you your doubts will dissolve and you will have the most amazing wedding day...I can attest to that too.
How to help a friend going through this...
Of course you want to support your friends as they make this big decision, but if someone is showing signs of relationship anxiety, try and understand the big picture. If they have been complaining to you it's easy for you to say 'run.' However, there may be deeper issues. The only time you should tell someone to reconsider their relationship is when there are red flag issues such as alcoholism, mental or physical abuse, cheating or control issues.
If your friend is complaining that their partner never puts his clothes in the right hamper or they are repeatedly asking you if this is the person they should marry, these are signs that it might be relationship anxiety. Try not to judge if they are questioning their commitment. Even if you had ZERO qualms about marrying your partner, that doesn't mean everyone has that luxury. For some this is the first decision they are making on their own and their anxiety is projecting onto their partner. Listen and try to get to the root of the problem before you say for them to leave the relationship.
I'm here for you...
If you want someone by your side on your wedding day who has gone through this and knows how to keep you calm, please consider me as your wedding photographer. I'm there for you more so to just capture your day, but to guide you through it, keep your present, and be with you every step of the way.
To see more information about Gina Co. Weddings and engagement photo sessions, please click here.
P.S. Want to connect or request more information about weddings or engagement photos? Contact me here