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Classic APW – Post Wedding Freedom


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

This post ran as we flew out on our honeymoon last year. It only seemed right to run it again today, as David and I will be boarding a plane for our one year anniversary trip at dawn tomorrow. When we got back from our honeymoon last year, I said to my friends that I was so sad that the honeymoon was over. Forget the wedding being the best day of my life, the honeymoon was two of the most blissful weeks of my life. And being wise friends, they reminded me that while you can never re-live your wedding, you can have many many honeymoons. So, in a way, we’re off to our second one tomorrow. It’s been a long, stressful, wonderful year, better and richer than I ever would have dreamed. I’ll write more about it on the other side, but for now I leave you with this. A tiny post that proved to be so, so, true.

The evening of our wedding day we were browsing in a used bookstore (this is not surprising to you, is it? Of course not). I was looking through the magazine section and I stumbled upon a wedding magazine, a wedding magazine that I *like* at that. And I had this dull feeling in the pit of my stomach.

And suddenly I realized, “It’s not my problem anymore!” And I felt terribly terribly free.

You hear a lot about post-wedding depression. You hear about how when you wake up the morning after your wedding you will feel happy, but also a little empty… sad that the party is over. Maybe. Maybe this will happen to you, I don’t know. But what I can offer you is a ray of hope – it did not happen to us. Our wedding was wonderful. Our wedding was absurdly joyous. Our wedding was one amazing party. But it was exactly the right length, and when it was over I ran out of that door, making long strides in my silver heels as I dashed to the car.

Our wedding was just right. But we are both so happy to move on. We’ll have it in our memories for ever, and now we have a wide open vista ahead of us, with new adventures to be had…

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

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  • ddayporter

    ahhh I remember reading this post, wondering how it would be for me/us when ours was done. I couldn’t picture myself feeling that emptiness, but it’s so often talked about as What Happens so I wasn’t sure. But Yeah. it did not happen to us either. we both think our wedding was amazing and sometimes share a moment of wonder over how great that day was for us, but I haven’t ever once been sad it’s over. I wish I could gather all those people together again, it’s sad that we probably won’t ever have them all in the same room ever again in our lifetime, but being married, having that wedding business done with? aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

    • ddayporter

      OH and, happy one year anniversary trip! hope you have a wonderful time. :)

    • Rachel

      AMEN to that! I can’t lie, I think I still like dreaming about weddings (a weird side effect from wedding planning, which I had a love-hate relationship for my own, but had positively no desire to do before getting engaged myself), but I also love that now I can sit back without the PRESSURE and have it all just be okay.

  • http://www.runrgurl10.blogspot.com Runrgurl10

    Happy Anniversary to you both!!! Love this blog and I keep reading it, even tho my own wedding has come and gone!

  • Lisa

    I have felt this every single day since the end of my wedding! Unmarried ladies- it’s awesome on the other side! You just get to have fun with your husband and your friends and not WORRY about stuff anymore! It’s been an awesome summer for us so far, involving camping, sailing, biking, reading, cooking, Battlestar Gallactica watching, beer drinking and fire making. I feel so light.

    Enjoy your trip Meg! Live it up!

    • http://christytylerphotography.blogspot.com Christy

      Lisa –

      That sounds AMAZING!!! :) It is pretty frickin’ sweet not having a million wedding things in your brain & to be able to focus your energies elsewhere. Like on just doing nothing…. or all the sweet stuff you listed above! :)

      I have felt the same way since our wedding over a year ago. Now I can just enjoy being a guest at weddings and not doing “research” while attending them (i.e. crazily comparing all things to how I was planning to do them and/or changing my mind about some detail or something). I’m especially excited to be heading your way next week Meg! We’ll be in San Fran (for the first time) for my cousin’s wedding & staying for 5 days after to enjoy the city. I can’t wait! :)

      • ddayporter

        ha! I definitely could never stop myself from “researching” at weddings before ours. through them all I would always be going “oh halllllll no” or “ooohh hmmmmm” and now I just get to say “man all this is lovely.” ….OK OK full disclosure, of course I still do it a little bit, like “hmm we did this a little differently” or “wow glad we didn’t choose this song” or some silly thing like that. but it’s mostly judgment-free observations while I’m just enjoying the event rather than taking notes!

    • http://onecatperperson.blogspot.com Angie

      Christy & Lisa- I hope to feel every little bit of what you two describe in two short weeks. Wifeness and kickassness, here I come!

      • Lisa

        Lisa – I too am a Lisa and I feel EXACTLY the same way! Post-wedding bliss is so liberating. And DDAY Porter, I know what you mean too – now that I’ve been through the process, my judgemental streak has melted away completely. It’s a much nicer way to live.

  • http://www.katiejaneparker.com Katie Jane Parker

    I cannot wait for that feeling. With two months to go, wedding planning is getting sort of more exhausting than ever, and frankly… I kind of just want a normal life back, where we don’t have to think about things like flowers and oh, I better lay off the coffee ice cream so my dress fits at my next appointment. (Because I can’t afford anymore alterations. haha.) I am so excited, and I think it’s going to be amazing, but I am really kind of looking forward to that moment my new husband and I are sitting in our hotel room after all is said and done, and we realize… we don’t ever have to do this again. A year and a half of planning is over. I can’t imagine feeling sad; I can only see myself feeling completely light and free.

    • Jennifer

      Ha, I am so with you on the dress piece — for these six weeks only, I am watching the scale like a hawk to make sure I neither lose nor gain more than a pound or two, because I am not about to have to deal with more alterations on top of everything else.

      I met with the functions person at our venue yesterday to hammer out some of the little details like the table layout and cocktail hour/meal/cake timeline, and I’m now back in panic mode after a few days of semi-zen. I’m feeling so desperate to get to the other side. My stomach has that same feeling it does right before I leave on a big vacation, where I’m sure there’s some important thing I’m not getting done, and I can’t quite believe I’m actually going to be on a plane in a few short days (or, married in a few short weeks).

  • http://onecatperperson.blogspot.com Angie

    Enjoy your second honeymoon, Meg!

  • http://missfancypantsthebride.blogspot.com/ miss fancy pants

    Happy Anniversary! Hope your trip goes swimmingly.

    And this is an awesome post to run again. I’d always feared the post-wedding blues. I’d heard so much about them and I figured that since my life was so consumed by the wedding for a solid year that I would experience some form of sadness. But I didn’t. Not even a bit. I loved our wedding and I’m happy it happened but I can say with absolute honesty that I was happy when it was done. Ah, the relief.

  • MN Bride

    We’re nearly 3 weeks past our wedding day and I’ve ben surprised at how I haven’t felt the let-down at all. By the end of planning, I just wanted to DO IT, GET IT DONE! After the wedding, I just wanted to rest and snuggle with my husband. And now, we have so much more time and money since we’re not planning and paying for a wedding. It’s totally radical!

    As I wondered about the absence of let-down when we were honeymooning in the cabin in the woods, I started thinking of it as another milestone, like graduating from school, that you just get to experience once and when you’ve done it, it’s over and you move on to bigger and better things. Sure, college was fun and lead up to and day of graduation were exciting, but I did it my one time and moved on. Nothing to be sad about, especially because it opens the doors to new adventures. The wedding was fun and nice but the marriage, now that is really exciting!

  • http://gabbyandjoe.blogspot.com Gabby

    This is the part I’m looking forward to. The wedding, yes. But really, just being married, I can’t wait. Thanks for the view from the other side :)

  • http://irisira.wordpress.com irisira

    I’m going to feel it. I know I am. Because I feel it after everything I perceive as a Big Event. I am a Type A Adrenaline Junkie. Not a Oride Tower of Terror 3@ times” kind (or even once!), but a “Go crazy and put my heart and soul and hopes and dreams into a Culminating Event” kind. It’s more disappointing to have to return to Reality (and all of it’s boring everyday-ness) than anything else. It generally passes, and I’ve come to expect it. It often results in major revelations about long term hopes and dreams, which often get me recharged and reenergized pretty quickly. :)

    • ka

      Me too!! I feel it after every vacation, every Christmas/New Years, I felt it after the proposal(s) (I proposed to him, he proposed back to me a few months later). I’ll be braced for the worst after the wedding because it’s one of the “Once in a Lifetime” “Big Events”… which is why I’m trying to drag it all out as much as I possibly can–minimoon, honeymoon later sort of thing…

    • http://happysighs.blogspot.com liz

      i’m that way, too. i enjoy planning things and building up and expectation and impatiently waiting. my favorite part of christmas is christmas eve. the last minute wrapping and the waiting and the hardly-sleeping.

      but i’ll be honest. i didn’t feel the letdown after. i’m not trying to sugarcoat things- there just honestly wasn’t one.

      because although you have nothing to “plan” (in the listing, buying, researching sense) you DO have lots to look forward to. suddenly, there’s so much opportunity available- i looked forward to every single day of it. the wedding day was just the first domino.

      it’s like when you go on a week long vacation. and that first day is packed to the gills with fun times. and at the end of the day, you’re exhausted and happy and you realize, “wait. i have 6 more days of this left!”

      that’s what the wedding was like for me. it was huge and amazing and exciting, and worth all the build-up. but i laid in my bed and thought, “wow. it’s just the beginning of all the rest of the fun.”

  • http://starryknit.blogspot.com Jessica

    We’re getting married tomorrow. Thank you Meg, for finding the best post for me to read before I shut my laptop for the day.

    • ddayporter

      aaahhhh congrats!! I love hearing when fellow readers are getting married.

    • Sarah

      Congratulations, Jessica!

    • Allison

      AH!! ME TOO!!
      I’ll be thinking of all of those in Team Practical that have come before me as I hang decorations and put out tablecloths tomorrow morning!

  • Carbon Girl

    For those of you girls who did feel or will feel the post wedding blues . . . don’t fell bad that you did. I definitely did. In fact when the last of our guests drove away from the inn the morning after I burst into tears. It had all been so wonderful and I was so sad it was over. I would periodically cry over the next two days of our mini moon. My husband was wonderfully supportive. My sadness was partly due to lack of sleep and partly from coming down off the tidal wave of emotion and partly from missing that feeling of anticipation. I certainly did not miss the planning–except perhaps how it made my mom and I closer. I was not surprised I was sad at all because I am a very sentimental person. When I was little I would get sad for several days after my birthday party had ended. Within a week though I was fully back to myself.

  • http://emilytakesphotos.com Emily

    I’m so glad you posted this. It’s quite different reading it again after my wedding, and it just feels…good. Enjoy the trip, and be safe!

  • Tricia

    One more week. I cannot wait for this feeling and like all you ladies said, get on to bigger & even better things!! (and I really miss carbs…no time left for further alterations!)

  • http://www.bearandhoney.net juliana

    Happy Anniversary and Second Honeymoon! Congratulations.

  • http://happysighs.blogspot.com liz

    happy happy anniversary!

  • Moz

    Happy anniversary Meg and David! xx

  • http://redheadreports.blogspot.com Ali @ Redhead Reports

    Happy Anniversary – I hope your trip is wonderful :)

  • Alyssa

    Happy Anniversary! So excited for you for your trip!

  • Melissa

    I just got married on the 10th and I’m so happy you posted this. I remember reading this the first time around and wondering how I would feel. Now? I feel the same way. Our wedding was amazing. But I am so glad we can move on and enjoy being married. It’s an amazing feeling.

    Have a great trip and happy anniversary!

  • Elizabeth

    I was so looking forward to getting the wedding and wedding planning “over with” (wished we had eloped many times during the planning process) and was shocked as hell at how sad I was for it to be over! OK, planning the wedding had its share of stress I wouldn’t care to repeat, but the day itself did fly by way more quickly than I expected and was way more fun and amazing than I expected (I don’t usually love parties or being the center of attention, but this was so much better than a party and since it was just close friends and family it was more like a big love-fest than anything else, which I for some reason didn’t fully anticipate)…I actually found myself about to cry in the middle of the thing just because I knew it was going to be over soon. That said, I am SO glad to not be thinking about weddings 24-7, and to be reading APW purely for fun and reclaiming wife–good riddance to the BIC and WIC! Yes, it is good on this side. Happy one year!

  • http://www.nearlyweds.com Rachael from Nearlyweds

    Before my wedding I wasn’t stressed at all. I remember thinking that I wanted things to go smoothly, but I knew they would. I went into the big day knowing that no wedding is perfect, so I’d just role with the punches if something came up. Because I wasn’t stressed I was able to really enjoy it and feel like it was perfect for me. But that perfect-to-me night was so amazing that afterward I was really sad it was over. I found myself missing the attention that you really only will get once in your life (yes I’m an only child, yes I love attention haha). Being married is great, but I wish I could have a wedding every year.

  • http://thebluestmuse.blogspot.com/ Shawna

    Yes, yes, yes! We just got home from a three week hopscotch honeymoon and our post-wedding debrief included so much relief that The Wedding was over. We had an absolute blast but after so much anticipation and planning, having “The Big Day” behind us felt/feels really good. I’m laughing because as we unwrap gifts and do honeymoon laundry, I’ve been going through the house and tossing most planning stuff–magazines, check-lists, to-dos. Hello catharsis!

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