6/30 Real Bride Elissa: Moving Past Post-Wedding Blues

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Real Bride Elissa: Moving Past Post-Wedding Blues

And now to quote the immortal words of Soul II Soul: “Back to life, back to reality, back to the here and now.”  Nick and my’s wedding was so amazing, and our honeymoon to the Pacific Northwest was absolutely perfect.

That’s what made it that much harder to come back this past Sunday to our everyday lives. We ordered a pizza for dinner and cracked open a leftover bottle of wedding wine, and tried to enjoy the last official hours of our honeymoon before we had to tackle piles of wedding décor, dishes, laundry, bills and everything else we’d been putting out of our heads for one blissful week.

Not to start off this post as a Debbie Downer, but no one really warns you about the post-wedding blues! You have just come off months — sometimes years — of planning, then the most intense, fun and love-filled week or two of your life, and now … it’s done. Your family and friends have gone home, and mounds of paperwork await you. And to be completely honest with you, I’m trying really hard to not feel guilt over spending money and accepting gifts. Our loved ones were also very generous with their time and energy, too, and I have no idea how to express the depth of my gratitude. Needless to say, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed right now. Luckily I now have the support of a real, live HUSBAND, whom I am a little more grateful for each day.

It really is true what they say about your wedding day: it goes by in a blur, and you have to make an effort to be present. Even though I was conscious of this, it still flew by. I told my Dad as we were about to walk down the aisle together how bizarre it felt that this was a moment that I’d been thinking about pretty much my entire life, and now it was here. And now that it’s done, I’m having a hard time figuring out where to start for even a simple recap!

Before we go any further though, I feel like I need to give a shout-out to my incredible wedding party: my four bridesmaids, my friend who acted as my day-of coordinator, the groomsmen and the friends who showed up early and stayed late to help. I don’t know why I even considered not having a wedding party – my girls saved my sanity time and time again. From being a sounding board for ideas and stresses, to planning an incredible bachelorette party, putting together the most EPIC day-of emergency kit I’ve ever seen (you name it, it was in there, including a tiny bottle of Fireball), taking charge of vendors and calming me during my ridiculous panic attack over a silly detail an hour before the ceremony, giving beautiful readings, and just overall being awesome, these girls did it all.

Real Bride Elissa: Moving Past Post-Wedding Blues

Since I’m still having a hard time synthesizing it all, and in an effort to let go of any remaining stress, here is a short list of …

Things That I Stressed Out About That I Shouldn’t Have:

Were people going to have fun? Was there food? Was there alcohol? Was there great music? Was it a wedding where lots of old friends and family are reunited? Are all of these things rhetorical questions?

People. I was really concerned about the size of our guest list, so I intentionally kept it small to accommodate our large families. But it turns out a lot more people than I expected couldn’t make it, or flaked, or dropped off the planet entirely, and I so wish I had given invitations to more people whom I wanted to be there, with the knowledge now that everything kind of works itself out. We had people travel from across the U.S. to be with us, and I’m so appreciative of that, especially now.

The weather. The week of the wedding, Los Angeles was in the midst of its first real heatwave of 2015, with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees. Just the week before it had been cool and drizzly, and now here I was about to give my guests heatstroke at my 100% outdoor wedding. When I got to the venue on the day of the rehearsal (at the exact same time as the ceremony) I just about cried with joy to see that our ceremony site was totally shaded by the tall pine trees surrounding it. Even though it was still pretty darn hot, it was bearable, and once the sun went down the temperature was perfect.

Losing weight/getting in shape. For the most part I’m pretty content with my body, but I did stress about looking “perfect” on my wedding day. I did try and work out, but rather than looking better I just ended up being able to run further without getting winded. I definitely ate better, though not necessarily less; putting myself through a horribly strict wedding diet sounded like the worst idea in the world, especially for a girl who loves to eat. I did end up losing a few pounds just by eating less salt and sugar, and I think I looked better because I FELT better. I wish I hadn’t spent so much time worrying about how flabby my arms were going to look in pictures because I had that extra glass of wine, since it turns out when you stand up straight and have fun no one notices things like that (and there were times I really needed that extra glass of wine).

The schedule. I made a super-detailed timeline of events, knowing full well that we wouldn’t end up following it. But I didn’t listen to myself and got stressed out when we got pretty significantly off schedule, especially right before the ceremony. In the end what mattered was that everyone got to the ceremony on time, not what time the groomsmen got in the shower. Everything else just has to happen as it happens!

Obama. Just Google “Obama” and “L.A.” and all of the search results will be about how miserable traffic conditions will be in the city – a.k.a., “Obamageddon.” Well, unbeknownst to me until the night before, the president came to down for a fundraiser the day of my rehearsal, and his motorcade closed main thoroughfares in the two parts of town that mattered to my guests. Luckily, after a few panicked text message exchanges, we realized all we had to do was sit down and plan alternate routes. We also had fun tweeting at the White House, because … why not?

Overall most of these things I worried about were things totally outside of my control. Everything else turned out perfectly – from the backdrop that Nick built out of fence posts and an old stained glass door, to the centerpiece boxes he and my Dad made, to the DIY burlap table runners that my neighbor asked me for after the wedding, our hastily-assembled “selfie booth,” and my dress and veil and of course our beautiful ceremony that people of all beliefs said made them feel welcome. I got such a great complement from a friend today, too, that makes me feel like it was all worthwhile: “You renewed my hope in ever having a wedding that is reasonable and beautiful.”

Real Bride Elissa: Moving Past Post-Wedding Blues

Real Bride Elissa: Moving Past Post-Wedding Blues

Real Bride Elissa: Moving Past Post-Wedding Blues

Having written this I now feel a lot better about these post-wedding blues. Before the wedding I made a conscious decision to choose joy and positivity, and I’m realizing that’s not a bad idea moving forward. The laundry will get done, the bills will get paid, but we have beautiful memories in our past and an exciting future to look forward to as husband and wife.

Real Bride Elissa: Moving Past Post-Wedding Blues

Photo teaser from the always amazing A Sight of Love Photography at the historic Gamble House.
Elissa Stooker
Elissa is currently trying to figure out what possessed her to go back to grad school, all while working full-time as a college advisor and planning her totally awesome garden wedding. Blogging for The Broke-Ass Bride is her much-needed break from writing papers about communication theory! A Southern transplant to the West Coast, her favorite things in life include Mexican food, useless trivia, and her snaggle-toothed rescue dog, Pickles. If you like pictures of flowers and puppies, follow her on Instagram at @socalliss, and on Pinterest at socalliss for all things wedding.