Open Thread: Wedding Nightmares


Just what, exactly, is your subconscious working out?

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Open Thread: Wedding Nightmares | A Practical Wedding

I still remember my worst wedding nightmare. It was shortly after Obama’s 2008 election, and I dreamed that it was my wedding day, and he was there. Thus far, this doesn’t have the markings of a nightmare, does it? Well. Obama had showed up to my wedding, and at the same moment I realized we didn’t have a seating chart. Not only did we not have a seating chart, but we’d never even figured out how many tables we needed to fit our guests and if they would fit in the space. They didn’t fit into the space. “Please, just get something set up, and put him in front,” I remember pleading, “I know he’s not the president yet, but he’s very important.”

We somehow got tables arranged badly, and the tablecloths were floral. I still get a knot in my stomach when I remember the dream.

Wedding dreams come in as many forms as you cam imagine. Except you don’t imagine until you start having them, because wedding planning is fun, right? Then the dreams start and you didn’t buy a dress, or you’re not sure you should be getting married in the first place, or your partner cheated on you, or the confetti push pops all explode, or the doves turn into monsters (and why are there doves at the wedding anyway?). And then you jolt upright in a cold sweat yelling, “But we have to do a seating chart, NOW!” and wondering what the hell your subconscious is trying to work out, exactly.

A few weeks ago, some readers requested a wedding nightmares open thread, on the basis that it would be amusing to swap tales. After spending some time vividly remembering my wedding nightmares, I’m not totally convinced there is anything amusing about it, but I do think we all probably want to get the stories out.

Let’s share. (And to hell with it, pregnancy nightmare tales also accepted. That’s the only other time they get quite so strange.)

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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  • sara g

    I dreamed that one bridesmaid came to the wedding in a see-through dress and the caterers only served jello.

    I think the bridesmaid part of the dream stemmed from the fact that I’m having my bridesmaids pick their own dresses (in a certain color/length) and I was anxious that they would never pick anything. No idea on the jello though.

    • JSwen

      Uh, you win best dream, in my book!

  • anonpsu

    haha! I’ve had one wedding nightmare that my dress was horrible and red and something I would never pick out. My most recent one was that my partner cheated on me and I had to cancel the wedding like 2 weeks before it was about to happen. My fiance had a nightmare that the car broke down on the way with a flat tire, and he had to fix the flat and got covered with oil. And then he forgot his suit and was wearing jeans at the wedding.

    • Annie

      My husband really DID forget his suit for the wedding… But real life is less exciting and his parents just went and picked it up from our apartment and brought it to him.

    • JDrives

      I also had a red wedding dress dream! But this one was a gorgeous long-sleeve dress with a plunging neckline. I woke up and was like “Where can I find that dress?!”

  • Jeanine

    Our wedding was last October…and I am still having wedding dress-search nightmares. WHY?!?!?! Almost every night in my dreams, I am stuck in a room filled with dresses, trying to find the perfect one. Good God. And by the way, I loved my dress! So what the heck is going on here?

    • Jessica

      My mom had a dream about 7 months after my wedding where she hadn’t found a Mother of the Bride dress yet and ended up wearing a 1980s brown and yellow nightmare of a dress and was so worried I would be mad at her. It shook her up for a week.

    • Trinity

      I still have dreams sometimes that I have to plan our wedding all over again, and I’m just like “WHY?! WHY wasn’t the first one good enough?!” (And we got married last October, too.)

    • laurasmash

      Not wedding-related, but it took me 2 years after graduation to stop having thesis nightmares!

  • Moe

    My wedding nightmare was just the same anxiety dream I always have but with a wedding theme. I could not find my dress, shoes and had no make-up on.

    • Moe

      I also had a newlywed nightmare, my mother and sisters came to live with us uninvited of course and began to knit-pick every piece of furniture and my housekeeping skills.

  • Jessica

    I had a dream shortly after finding out J was being deployed a month after the wedding that one the wedding day I was wearing the PERFECT dress (after buying a back up dress because the bridal store was so incompetent) but all my teeth shattered just before I was going to walk down the aisle and they cut up my mouth before standing before all our loved ones.
    Turns out teeth related dreams are a sign that change that stresses you out is coming.

    • Karen

      Actually, teeth crumbling/shattering is supposed to represent impotence/powerlessness (but I can see how that would relate to stress.)

  • Christina McPants

    The big wedding nightmare I had was that I was late for the wedding, in my dress and none of my friends or relatives would help me get there. I remember yelling at them for help but not getting anything.

    At 26 weeks, I’ve had a few pregnancy nightmares – usually involving breastfeeding and only chalk coming out. The latest was one where I went to the hospital to get a blood test to determine whether or not I was in labor. They slammed down a big package of letters to mail – I found mine, opened it and it just said ‘Nah. Maybe next week.’ (Birthing class talked about Braxton-Hicks the week before, so, you know, it made sense)

    • Christina McPants

      UGH, I JUST HAD THE WORST PREGNANCY NIGHTMARE LAST NIGHT. It was creepy rather than funny. I was in bed with all of my office mates (sleeping, not sexy times, you pervs), but I’d just woken up and couldn’t recognize them. I kept asking them who they were until finally one of them was like ‘CHRISTINA, STOP.’ And then my boss said ‘it’s getting closer’ but I didn’t know what it was (though I could see what he was looking at). So, since I was on the end of the bed, I turned on the bedside. I went over to whatever it was and picked it up and said ‘it’s a blankie’ (because it was, in fact, a baby blanket). My boss started to run out of bed towards me and I somehow knew that it was *his* childhood blankie and hadn’t been there before. I turned around and everything had gone dark except for a small pool of light behind me.

      And then I woke up so freaked out that I woke up my wife to make her give me a cuddle (to prove there were no monsters behind me) and turn on the light to prove they weren’t in the room. (They weren’t. And nor were there any childhood blankies)

  • pumpkinpicker

    Hey, my first wedding nightmare was just this Sunday! Wheeeee!

    Cue me wearing something decidedly not my wedding dress in black and gold, putting on my makeup sitting on the floor alone in a closet in a place bearing no resemblance to my venue. My hair is suddenly waist length and I’m trying to put it into a french twist (???) on my own to get it out of the way until my hairdresser arrives (who has nightmares that their hair is too long??? honestly!) and realizing in horror that we had never gotten around to setting up the music. It’s already past the time I was supposed to walk and FH hasn’t even arrived, but when FH does arrive it’s my asshole ex BF wearing something best described as a marching band uniform.
    Wha?

    Needless to say I was VERY glad to wake up next to The Mansauce with four months to go and an (admittedly somewhat longer than I prefer) pixie cut!

  • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

    The year of the wedding (which was in June), through the entire month of March, I dreamed that we were at the venue and all our guests were there, but none of the supplies/attire/stuff was anywhere to be found. And everyone was panicking, asking me why I wasn’t dressed yet, and why there weren’t any decorations, etc etc etc, and running around all crazy trying to set up this wedding. Meanwhile, I’m just standing in the same spot, dumbfounded, yelling at people, “but it’s only March! IT’S ONLY MARCH.”

    Same dream, almost every night, for a month. And then I didn’t have a single one after that. So weird.

    • Meg Keene

      It turns out this thread is the funniest thing I’ve ever read. Previous opinion revised.

      • http://batman-news.com Sonora Webster

        Seconded! And I usually hate hearing about people’s dreams. These are hilarious!

      • Amy A.

        Thirded! I am dying laughing :-D Thanks to all who shared!

  • Ashley

    I just dreamt the other night that I had a huge rubber snake that I was going to wear hanging down from my neck. But I was suddenly uncertain about it, staring in the mirror thinking, “Do I really want to wear this snake to the wedding?” Maybe inspired by the doubts I had about my shoes?

    Then, of course, the typical nightmares: we forgot our rings, no one shows up, everyone leaves early, we forgot to plan the wedding entirely… Good times.

    • MC

      Ha! “Do I really want to wear this snake to the wedding?” gave me a good mid-day laugh.

      • Alison O

        a reasonable question, really.

    • Ragnhild

      This made me laugh so much!

    • Kara E

      Snake, why not?

      For what it’s worth, friends of mine forgot the rings in the safety deposit box at the (closed) bank. They were married with 2 loaner rings (one from a friend’s jewelry store and I think my friend’s grandma’s ring). No one was the wiser and they’re still happily married 15 years later.

      • KW

        My brother and his wife had a courthouse wedding half hour away from home. He forgot the rings. Fortunately, we were all there a bit early and he had enough time to get them and get back. We started late but the judge still married them. :)

    • vegankitchendiaries
      • vegankitchendiaries

        PS. NOT VEGAN! ;)

  • Laura C

    My worst wedding-specific one was a classic anxiety dream — on my way to the rehearsal dinner and realized I was wearing flannel (I rarely wear flannel and the wedding is in August) when I was supposed to be wearing a sari that I didn’t know how to help put on, and also we hadn’t planned the menu or seating assignments for the wedding. Really an all-purpose one, hitting clothes, food, and social arrangements, now that I think about it.

    Last night I had one that I think was wedding rolled up in moving. Before I went to bed, I’d been talking to my parents about the furniture we still need to get for the new apartment, and how some of the furniture we do have came from my FMIL’s basement, where she’s kept it since she moved from the larger house my fiance grew up in, a move that took place a couple years after her husband, my fiance’s totally idolized father, died. And I had this dream about my parents’ couch, the frame of which my father made right around the time I was born. In my dream, in trying to get furniture that fit this apartment, I had somehow allowed delivery men to take away the couch that my father made and when I tried to get it back they brought me a loveseat that looked just the same but, you know, wasn’t the couch my father made himself. So it wasn’t wedding-specific on the surface, but it was so much about our families and emotional connections to the places we grew up, and I woke up pretty much gasping for air.

    • Weepy Pregnant Lady

      That second one actually made me cry. Pregnancy hormones, FTW!

  • Hannah B

    The most frequent one is that I cannot find my shoes and everyone is waiting for me to walk down the aisle. Which I have wakingly resolved to do while barefoot, if I end up shoeless in real life. Perhaps it is because I have not yet bought my shoes and my wedding is a month away?

  • Newman

    I often have zombie nightmares, and I was starting to have wedding nightmares, so it was only a matter of time before the inevitable zombie-wedding nightmare! The wedding was going on during the zombie apocalypse and, as such, of course nothing was ready! Luckily, I woke up before anyone had their brains eaten.

  • http://gardenvarietycomics.com Dani

    Oh man. For about a month before our wedding, I was having this dream about three or four times a week where I was getting married to someone else (and it was a different person each time!) and he just stood there on the side of the ceremony with the biggest puppy-dog-eye’d face and stared right into my soul. It hurt so badly. I would wake up and be so pleasantly relieved to see him laying there next to me. Poor thing would be immediately woken up, told the same dream with a different person, and answer a plea for him to tell me how much he loved me and are you sure you wanna do this and omgodness I don’t even like that person and aaaaahhhhhh!

    • anon

      I had this as well, only the “someone else” was a particularly cruel, damaged ex-boyfriend :( the phrase that kept repeating in my head in the dream was “but I just wanna marry [fiance]!” Oh man, I would wake up so sad/relieved from those dreams.

      • Joy

        Had that dream too except I was always marrying the guys who bullied me in high-school. Ugh awful.

        • Karen

          Okay so I also have dreams where I’m with someone else that kind of sucks, and in the dream, I vaguely remember that there is someone better for me… but I can’t QUITE remember my actual fiancé. It’s a weird dream.

  • JSwen

    Yay! I had general wedding nightmares up until we had all of the vendors booked. Then they died off until about a month before the wedding. Now it’s just general anxiety but before, everything went wrong. No forks! No dress! No underwear! No one showed up! Ex boyfriends showed up! Now I’m having honeymoon nightmares about missing flights and boarding the dogs (whom we aren’t boarding…).

    I usually have waking life dreams that are odd. I just took these dreams to focus on remedying whatever anxiety I’d had. As more details are finished, I’m having far less of them. Thankfully, they are only centered around the *event* and not the fact that I’m bout to be a wifey in 18 days. Woop!

  • Erin

    One month before our wedding, I dreamed we went sky-diving, but when it was my turn to jump out of the plane I decided I wasn’t comfortable with the situation and instead needed to go grocery shopping. Instantly we were in the produce section of the grocery store checking tomatoes. Somehow just handling the produce made everything okay and I was ready to jump out of the plane.

  • enfp

    My most vivid wedding nightmare involved me and partner forgetting to plan our ceremony. We stood up in front of all our guests and decided to ad lib a ceremony, and it was going horribly. We were rambling on and on, and our guests were getting visibly bored, shifting in their seats, wondering what was going on. I was panicking, thinking I’m bombing my own wedding! But I couldn’t seem to stop talking. That one was a pretty obvious attempt by my subconscious to kickstart my planning process. Even in the dream, I was thinking how disappointed I was in myself for letting my procrastination tendencies ruin my wedding. Happy to report that although the ceremony was not really finalized until the week before, we worked really hard on it and it turned out amazing.

    • MC

      Oh yes, in almost all my wedding nightmares we have forgotten to plan the ceremony. As a write that’s the thing I’m most preoccupied with, and a few very awkward nightmares have really pushed us into actually working on it ahead of time! So, good job on that one, subconscious.

    • Megan

      I had this one too. It was midnight before the wedding and we still hadn’t done it yet! I’m probably a little nervous because our officiant is our friend (who we trust very much) but it’s his first time doing it and something we’ll all work on together. (Fingers crossed his pregnant wife due 3 weeks after our wedding doesn’t go into early labor…that could be a real life nightmare for us/happy time for him!)

      I’ve also dreamt that I woke up bald on our wedding day. That was the week I did a hair trial.

  • MirandaVanZ

    I had a nightmare last week that the reception was moved to the basement of my venue (it doesn’t have one IRL). The space had no windows, was decorated with a really bad tropical theme and was full of strangers. The strangers convinced us to just get married there instead of at the church, we weren’t even dressed up.

    The same night my fiance dreamed that we got married in his parents yard and he left me standing around at the alter for two hours because there were no flowers anywhere and he wanted me to have a bouquet.

    A few months ago I had a nightmare that we decided to get married in Edmonton because my uncle lives there, even though no one else in our families do. No one from my fiances side of the family could make it and only about 10 from my side could. I was wearing this red and black shirt I owned in high school and during the reception we had a sweet heart table but it was actually just a nightstand and we couldn’t fit our knees underneath.

  • bsc

    I had a series of dreams regarding what my dress looked like when I picked it up from the shop. It was blue, it was short, it was a nightgown. But my favorite was about a week before the wedding. I dreamt I went to do my final fitting and of course my dress looked nothing like it was supposed to and I was really unhappy that there wasn’t a belt. Luckily, there was a huge, ornate, Native American Indian headress in the corner and I thought it would make the perfect belt! So they tied it around my waist and I was good to go! Thankfully, the dreams have stopped, post-wedding!

  • Carrie

    I just started having these last week, and it’s been almost every night since. I’m in Kansas and the wedding is in Michigan, and we only have just enough vacation time to drive up there and do the thing and drive back, so I’m having dreams that we’re up there already (2 months out) and it’s too soon and we can’t waste the vacation time now! In another one I was trying to park all the guests’ cars, by myself, and running late. And in ANOTHER one, my mom put an ad out trying to find a renter to live in our basement (not her basement, OURS) and she ended up renting my spare room to 2 of my exes without my permission… which led to a whole laundry list of horrible dream things from my ring losing all its stones (from my punching an ex in the face,) to my cat being terribly injured, to the wedding being almost called off because my ex-boyfriends were living with us. Stress dreams about my cat are common enough, but all that other stuff was new and weird and I’m just hoping my subconscious sorts itself out soon.

  • ART

    I stopped having wedding-themed nightmares (which were usually about bundles of plastic flatware and napkins and other bbq-type stuff, either not being ready, or just being icky, etc) and just went to full-on nightmares. Like, I could hear people screaming horribly in my dreams. Murderers in the BART station, etc. Horrible. So far they’ve stopped since the wedding (week and a half ago…)

    • ART

      I also once had a waaaay early wedding zen dream – as usual the bbq-esque tablecloths and napkin/utensil bundles were not set up and people were like “what’s going on, are we eating dinner or not?” and I was a little embarrassed.

      BUT. The rest of the dream was about me wearing the super soft, floaty, long-sleeved, chartreuse dress and running and leaping on the bright green, open hillocks at the wedding venue, which in my dream was like some sort of estate/castle surrounded by open space as far as you could see. It was like moon gravity, I was leaping so far. I loved that dream!

      • JDrives

        I want that dream! Get on it, subconscious!

        • ART

          yeah! I wanted that DRESS!

  • Jessica

    I had a dream that it was my wedding day and there was no one professional to do my hair and make-up, and none of my friends or family members would help me. I felt so alone and scared — even though I know I am perfectly capable of beautifying myself! My friend told me she thought that dream meant that I was feeling a lack of support from those around me, and in some ways, that was true. Luckily, on the real day, my hair and make-up girls were right on time. :)

  • MC

    This is timely, because last night I definitely had the most everything-has-gone to-shit wedding nightmare so far – and I’ve been engaged for over a year and always dream VIVIDLY. Last night’s dream involved a late photographer, a missing officiant, nuns escaping from a convent that was suddenly across the street from our mountain lodge venue, and church officials with guns that were shooting at the nuns to try to scare them into returning.

    I also had a dream that my fiance was distantly related to Prince William and Kate Middleton and they showed up at the wedding right after I took all my clothes off to change into my dress, so they were introducing themselves to me and I was running around frantically trying to find a robe or something. And of course Kate was totally lovely, assuring me it was fine that I was naked and asking if she could help at all. I live in the US and have devoted very little of my waking thoughts to the British royal family, so that was especially weird…

    • Alyssa M

      That nun thing is so random… like they’re escaped prisoners… or zoo animals. I can’t stop giggling at “the nuns have escaped!” That’s often the kind of dream I have…

      • MC

        I think the nuns thing may have come from watching the nun episode of OITNB recently and then talking to my mom about her Catholic school experiences. But still very weird in a wedding dream for sure!

  • Heh

    I have the miraculous shape-shifting dress dream a lot. I’ll go to put on my dress and it’s completely changed colour and shape, but it’s too late to find a replacement. So I’m stuck walking down the aisle in a dress that looks like it was made from that nineteen seventies shiny bedspread material. Or bright magenta stretch-lace. I’m also always late. And without fail, there’s never enough time to properly do my hair and makeup.
    The worst dream by far though, was the dream where we were getting hitched at the courthouse and I had to get ready in the subway bathroom for some reason. And I was late, of course. And then I didn’t realize that my entire family had been queued up in the wrong part of the building, and they totally missed it and were furious.

  • River

    I had a dream, and in this dream… (sorry that was a freshman year Acting class flashback – we literally created theatre pieces out of our dreams)

    Anyway, in this dream I got completely ready, hair and make up done to the nines… and somehow walked down the aisle NEKKID. And then got mad at Z for failing to cry happy tears at the sight of me. It was only when we went to do our first dance that I became aghast at my own nudity and pulled down the drapes of the venue to Maria von Trapp them into a gown. While I was sewing, I was weeping over how much $$ I’d spent on the dress I forgot to wear.

    My heart-rate is skyrocketing as I type this, even though I guess dream me handled that pretty well?

  • Amanda

    We had some time between the ceremony and reception so we could take pictures. I dreamt a few weeks before the wedding that my dad told everyone to go to the hotel in between for an informal cocktail hour. When I called him to say that we were almost to the reception he said no one wanted to leave the hotel and everyone was just going to stay there.

  • http://simply--a.blogspot.com/ Alison Toback

    I think my “favorite” wedding dream/nightmare was the one where my mother made me wear a gigantic, poofy, electric blue gown, and I had to get dressed in a gigantic bathroom that had a huge tub in it filled with koi.

    I have no idea what that means.

    • Caitlin_DD

      That sounds amazing actually.

  • CJ

    The first wedding “nightmare I had,” I was so nonchalant through the whole thing. My flowers were wrong, my bridesmaids were missing, at one point I had to put on my wedding dress and the thought “I never got it altered!” crossed my mind until I logically realized, “It’s my wedding day, of COURSE I got it altered.” It was very ho hum. I had to pee in the dream, so I decided to go to the bathroom before putting on the dress, then woke up because I had to pee in real life. Very boring.

    So my subconscious decided to really screw with me since I wasn’t having any of its games.

    The wedding was coming up soon, and tragedy struck. I don’t know how, but my fiance died–funeral and everything. And I was completely heart-broken because there was no way I could go on without him…but everyone told me I still had to go through with the wedding because it was what he “would have wanted.” So I still had to plan and do things and find a new fiance and all I wanted was my actual fiance.

    Worst. Nightmare. Ever.

  • mcbark

    100 days from our wedding, our venue called to say they’d double booked us and we were without a place to get married. Cue the bizarre nightmares: the most common one was peeing my pants which I attribute to a loss of control. I also had nightmares of people calling me to yell at me for ruining their plans. Then, I had a dream where we were doing the rehearsal dinner and my ex-boyfriend from five years ago showed up and professed his love and begged me not to marry someone else and I laughed at him. And then my fiance got mad at me for being rude. Isn’t it weird what stress does to you??

  • Laura

    My wedding is this Saturday, and every night for at least the past week I have had a very vivid, realistic stress dream. Like last night, I dreamed that I was about to get an impulsive, radical short haircut, and the scissors were poised to chop my long tresses before I remembered the wedding and yelled “WAAAAIT!” I definitely woke up in a panic/cold sweat, which is strange because I’m not actually that concerned with my hair in real life. Also, the night before that I dreamed that my boss/PI dropped dead, but I think that’s more related to dissertation stress than wedding stress.

  • Outside Bride

    For whatever reason we were getting ready in one of those narrow multi-floor historic houses like you get in southern coastal cities. I had sent everyone but my spouse out to the venue, since we only had a couple of things left, and then my spouse starts to dither, complicated by the fact that I am chasing him around the various floors. By the time I get us out the door we are running to our venue, which turns out to be a very chic, modern metal and glass bar, located in a dilapidated strip mall. As we get there, some of our guests are leaving. They see us and we beg them to stay, but they tell us things are late enough that they just have to go.

    Also one involving trying to get our guests safely to the venue via washed out roads in Afghanistan, but that was kind of a combo work/wedding nightmare.

  • Jenni

    I dreamed that I was going to go to jail for four months, and thus would have to miss our wedding! (I was more upset over that part than the going-to-jail part.) I’m sure I’ll have more weird ones as we get closer.

    Not technically pregnancy related, but last week I had a dream that my best friend let me watch her daughter overnight, and when Dream Me got up in the morning I somehow forgot about her and left her alone until the afternoon. When I woke up I texted my bff to apologize.

  • Eh

    I didn’t have many dreams or nightmares about our wedding but the one that I did have a few times was that all of the wedding planning was a dream. A few weeks before our wedding I was dreaming that we hadn’t booked the venues or the officiant or the photographer and that I hadn’t bought a dress.

    I am glad that was the worst of it since the real life family drama was enough to deal with.

  • ElisabethJoanne

    I had one after the wedding. I was at my wedding reception, which was kind of the opposite of my real wedding reception. The real one was formal in a nice hall. The dream one was in my parents’ backyard and there were Jeeps involved. My real dress was white and structured with sleeves, and my dream dress was ivory and slinky and sleeveless (totally not me). In my dream, I had vague thoughts, “What is this? I’m already married” but also some thought that I wasn’t supposed to bring it up or think about it. Then, I’m cuddling with my new husband in the evening by a pool, like a key scene in “High Society.” It starts to crystallize that I must have deeply hurt my real husband by marrying someone else – and doesn’t this guy also have a real wife?! I think I insisted on calling my real/ex-husband, and then I woke up.

  • Sara

    I tend to have stress dreams after the fact. I had one after a large scale conference that I planned for work where we had left one of my customers at Navy Pier. I woke up in a cold sweat, panicked. I am not looking forward to the stress dreams when I actually plan a wedding.

  • Katie

    Mine is always that it’s the day of the wedding and I forget to my dress altered. I’m marching down the isle with my tits hanging out.

  • Kayjayoh

    Running late. Runny very, very late. That was the one wedding-related stress dream that I had. Running ridiculously late to even start getting dressed for the ceremony. Then remembering that we still had to go get flowers and getting caught in construction traffic.

  • Mary Jo TC

    I got married almost 4 years ago, but I still remember this nightmare. I showed up the morning of our wedding at our reception site, and it was an empty room, and not a very big one. No furniture, nothing on the walls, about 15 x15. I started to get upset, and one of my aunts started yelling at me, calling me an ungrateful brat. I think that was the worst part, the idea that if I reacted rationally to an extreme disappointment like that by expressing emotion, then that would make me the B word that rhymes with a Tokyo-destroying monster.

  • del

    I’m not even “officially” engaged yet and I’ve had a wedding-related nightmare. In my dream people kept telling me that it was time for me to get married and hurrying me into my dress and off to the church, and I kept saying I wasn’t ready to get married just yet, and I hadn’t planned anything yet. Then my parents were telling me it was time to walk down the aisle, and I didn’t even have shoes.
    At which point, my very good friend got all of the women attending to take off their shoes, to try to Cinderella me into a pair that might fit.

  • Rora

    In one of several wedding stress dreams I’ve now had, I forgot to bring my dress to the venue and all I had to wear was a white one-piece pant suit. I put the pant suit on, looked at myself in the mirror, and thought “I’m not opposed to wearing a wedding pant suits, but I don’t really want to get married in *this* wedding pant suit.” I have no doubt that my daily reading of APW was responsible for this dream.

  • Weddash

    My big nightmare was that something (it wasn’t specified in the nightmare) happened to the dress…flash forward and I’m standing at the end of the aisle in a dress clearly too large for me & fashioned to look like multi-colored cotton candy – puffy and all.

    Weird man.

  • Mary

    I had a dream that I went wedding dress shopping and all of the dresses were made out of men’s striped dress shirt material. So bizarre!

  • Anon for now

    I just found out that I’m pregnant (JUST – as in, four days ago!), but the day before I found out I had a crazy dream that my doctor laughed at me, sort of violated me during an exam and said “you’re getting your period tomorrow” very cruelly. Then after I’d found out, I had a crazy dream that my husband found me in bed with a high school boyfriend, but I was hugely pregnant and couldn’t remember what happened, and we all were living in the same giant apartment building/warehouse thing, and everyone was being weird. I swear Scrooge McDuck was there, too… I think I’m going mad.

    Also, I love this thread.

    • Definitely Anonymous

      I just found out (recently), too!!! :-D

      My first crazy pregnancy dream is almost unprintable. I dreamed that in order to induce labor (I was overdue), I had to move my big baby belly to the side and perform oral sex on myself. I awoke just as my dream-orgasm/labor was beginning…..to discover my partner staring at me. Apparently I was moaning in my sleep (enough to wake him up!) and he thought I was having a nightmare. I could hardly stop laughing long enough to explain to him what was happening.

      After that dream, all of the other completely bizarre preggo dreams have seemed a bit boring.

      • Caitlyn

        Oh man, just laughed loudly at work when I got to the part about you waking up to your partner staring at you. Hahaha! Oh man, that’s the best!

      • Emilie

        I am crying laughing. Congratulations on expecting, and being so flexible!

  • Sarah Harshman

    I’m getting married in September and a few weeks ago I dreamed that I forgot to invite anyone! I showed up to my parents’ house (not our actual venue) and thought, “Oh yeah! I knew I forgot something. I wonder how many people would come over for a wedding this afternoon if I started calling around?” Basically, the epitome of Type B bride behavior. Then, of course, I had no dress, had to wear my new Marimekko maxi dress (actually, would be a cool dress, but…), fiance decided he’d “just wear what he had on, thanks”, and nothing was set up at all. I also couldn’t manage to get inside the house. Every time I tried to go in through a door or the garage or a window, either someone would start talking to me and I’d get distracted or it was locked or blocked or something! Very odd. I think my fh thinks I’m bonkers…

  • Elizabeth

    I had a dream someone was like “Change of plans. You’re marrying your roommate Frank instead.” At first I was like, “Oh. Ok I guess” and then I was like, “Wait. NO! Where’s Jesse?!”

    I found him as he was about to marry Frank’s girlfriend. They were both really sad about it and so I said “Don’t worry guys. It doesn’t have to be this way” and we all married the people we really love.

    When I saw Frank the next morning I to fight the urge to tell him about it. It was too weird to keep to myself.

  • Kat Robertson

    I dreamed that Fiance’s ex held us at gunpoint in the changing rooms and wouldn’t let us go out to the ceremony, but that our officiant just sort of… Went on without us? No one even noticed we were gone. She let us out to go dance for the reception at least. :-)

    I should add that I’ve never met this woman and she sounds like a perfectly nice person. I don’t have any idea where that came from!

  • Mallory2

    I had months of wedding nightmares but, thankfully, don’t remember the content of them anymore (married 2 yrs now). What I DO remember is waking up pressing the wall above my head every morning so hard I started getting wrist pain. I think I was literally trying to hold it all together by bracing myself and staving off the wedding insanity!

    Love this thread! The subconscious is a twisted, twisted foe.

  • Mrs. Peterbot

    A few months before our wedding, I dreamed that the reception got moved to someone’s homey, but unattractive (and very small!) 1970s-era living room. The guests all packed in, sitting on armrests, floors, poufs, etc. and then sat in silence staring at me, waiting to be entertained. Eventually I said, “Well, should we…um…watch a movie or something?” I guess I was pretty concerned that all our guests would be bored. They were not.

  • Joy

    I kept dreaming I’d cheated. Vivid. Like I’d wake up nearly certain that I’d slept with someone. One of those dreams that feel more like memories than dreams

  • Meigh McPants

    I remember having lots of dreams of being super late and unprepared, and nobody would help me get to the wedding or set things up (DIY stress, fo sho.) When we were trying to get the wifeperson knocked up, I kept having dreams that we had the baby and it came out normal but would shrink over the course of the dream until it disappeared. Also, sometimes it shrank and became small animals, like kittens or hamsters, that I had to protect from something awful. Having a baby is just like having a kitten, right? Right?

    • Rachelle

      I’ve definitely had dreams with a teeny tiny baby that I lose. SO stressful!

    • Alyssa M

      Not even having kids for a few years, but for some reason I have these recurring dreams where we have a tiny amphibious baby and I keep trying to find warm places to hide it. Like, in a thermos of hot chocolate or in a hot bath tucked under water beside my partner, whose very unhappy because he’s too big for the bathtub and hates baths.

    • Heh

      I have kittens all the time! I guess my subconscious takes the crazy-cat-lady mentality pretty seriously.

  • ktmarie

    Starting about 8 months out I probably had a wedding dream/nightmare at least once a month – always a variation on the same theme of ‘this is not what we planned!’. One time all of my ex-boyfriends showed up, another time the band was not the one we picked and we were getting married in a forest somewhere that nobody could find and I was like – this isn’t right?!

    The worst one was that we showed up to the reception and I couldn’t remember the ceremony at all and I was so panicked that I didn’t remember getting married so how could I celebrate? (I think that one was triggered by reading some posts about being ‘mentally present’ during the ceremony and I was telling my fiance about it).

    Once we got married, all of them stopped :)

    • accidental_diva

      I was a bridesmaid and I had the “the bride’s ex (in our case fiance) shows up” nightmare (though in mine it was the brides and every bridesmaids exes and I dreamed that I got to punch my ex-bf & the bride’s ex fiance in the face which was at least semi-cathartic).

  • Amanda Lane

    My worst one was that the invites hadn’t gone out (they were more than a month late getting to us) and I was freaking out because we had a $3500 food and beverage minimum. My fiancé was trying to calm me down by telling me that we’d have TONS of leftovers!!!!

    Then he shows up to the wedding in a full on peach satin 80′s bridesmaid dress. It had ruching, lace, a dropped waist, sweetheart neckline, poof sleeves, etc. When I asked why he wasn’t in his suit he told me that he wanted to wear something that made him feel special!

    He wears jeans to work and does get really excited about opportunities to dress up. We mostly had a good laugh about the dress I dreamed up for him. And the invite stress/frustration was complicated by the fact that my MIL was doing them. I chose to graciously hound her for them and clearly was processing the stress in my dream.

  • Rachelle

    I had pretty constant dreams that I had forgotten to plan something huge (food, dress, flowers, music) and it was the morning of the wedding and I was always, always running late. I would wake up panicked and immediately make these crazy iPhone notes of all the things I forgot and needed to add to my to-do list. Then I would lie in bed visualizing the list and never fall back to sleep – ugh!
    There was also a recurring dream that has stopped since we got married where my husband would cheat on me with a different random woman each time (always people he hates in real life) and nonchalantly tell me he wanted to be with that person and felt no remorse and didn’t love me. The feeling of waking up from that one was much worse since I would usually be full-on crying and shaking by the time I woke up. It’s not easy to convince yourself it didn’t really happen when your body is having a physical reaction!

  • http://innercupcake.blogspot.com innercupcake

    The first nightmare I had was that everything was in disarray and everyone was there but not helpful, we didn’t have any food taken care of, and I was running around last minute, not ready at all, asks them had to go wait for the pizza that was coming last minute(no one else was willing to go get it from the delivery guy) and it’s this pizza that I hate, that makes me sick to my stomach (that my old boss ordered for our lab almost every Friday for the past five years). Urgh.

    The worst nightmare is that the wedding happened and it was fine, but I can’t remember any of it. So more of the existential dread type feeling. And fiance was doing a terrible job of trying to describe it to me and n couldn’t remember what our first dance song was. So now I’m worried that I’m accidentally going to get fuzzy drunk at the wedding (I’d behave fine, but id hate to not an remember things) since it turns out my tolerance is much, much lower when I haven’t eaten enough (found that out at my besties bachelorette party)

  • Heather

    I can’t remember the dreams (It was only 3 months ago!!) BUT I kept waking up to a new bruise on my inner left arm. I was pinching and twisting it in the night, and I had never done that before. I finally had to wrap up my arm with a bandage before bed so the bruise would heal before the wedding! It stopped as soon as the wedding was over. Phew!

  • Gen

    I had a dream that my fiance and I completely missed our wedding. We were out running errands, we went for a walk, and all of a sudden it was nighttime. When my dream self realized what time it was, I called my mother, who said all our 150+ guests had left. I insisted we could do it the next day, but everyone had to fly home, so we wouldn’t be having a wedding after all. It was absolutely gutting: a combination of screwing up, not realizing until it was too late, and letting everyone down. Good job, brain.

  • ypi

    Oh man, my subconscious was born for this thread. Let’s see- I dreamt my makeup lady showed up with a goat (which under normal circumstances, I’d be so happy- I’ve longed to have a pet goat. Unfortunately a non-starter in Brooklyn). I tried to exclaim to my sister that now’s not the time for goats, but she thought I was overreacting.

    Then there’s the: wait, where’s my dress? It’s 2 hours past ceremony time, why am I just waking up? Fiance’s decided maybe it’s better to not get married/cheated/fled the country to play video games professionally (??). So. Many. Weird. Dreams.

  • SChaLA

    I dream (and have been dreaming this for the past few years, not just since I’ve been engaged) that with the wedding approaching, I am so excited to get married, that I just do it. Too soon. Sometimes it’s just superficial things (no decorations, half the guests have not arrived, I forgot my dress). Other times, I marry someone who is not my fiance and have to beg off at the last second because I remember,”Wait, I don’t want to marry YOU!” I always wake up right before things resolve.

  • MEM

    I had a dream that over 100 people showed up for our 20-person wedding (most of them late). we then had to scramble to find food to feed them all and had to move the reception to a pavilion at a park. As everyone was complaining about the food, the pavilion began to fall down and we had to find another location and move everyone and all the food. in the middle of this, I realized that the wedding had been so rushed that we hadn’t actually said our vows and so weren’t actually even married.

  • Karen

    This really hot boy I went to high school with was like “I think we should hook up. On a regular basis.” And I was like “yes!” and then I was like “wait, is this going to involve sex? Because if it does, my fiancé is not going to be happy about it. I don’t want to be disqualified.”

    I also had a dream that people had wedding-color Sixlets in their shoes. I had no idea specifically-colored Sixlets were a thing… until I went to Party City. And I’ve always loved Sixlets.

  • LC

    I dreamed that crocodiles ate all the children at our wedding. It was horrible.

  • http://www.lateralmovements.com/ Lauren Fitzpatrick

    I had my first wedding nightmare two nights ago – I thought it was Monday but it was actually Wednesday, the wedding day, and I had two minutes before I was supposed to walk down the aisle. All I remember is crying “But I haven’t even confirmed with the caterer!” as all of my guests walked past me and my unwashed hair to their seats. I was devastated because I’d spent all this time planning but in the end, we were just going to have to wing it.

    And here I was thinking I was emotionally good to go.

  • KT

    i dreamt my fiancé went shopping with my best friend (and bridesmaid). they both tried on and bought wedding dresses which they then wore (on top of their regular clothes) to go to the pub for a pint, which is where i met them. nope. don’t want to know what that might mean!

  • Emily

    The wedding is only three months away, but I’ve really only had one truly memorable nightmare.

    It was the night before the wedding, and I was unexpectedly alone. I spent the evening at the local diner trying to eavesdrop on people. Finally I overheard some girls who looked to be about my sister’s age (19 or 20) gossiping about people I had gone to school with. I was so desperate for company I bribed them with gossip and a free meal to hang out with me.

    Then it was the following morning — the day of the wedding — and we were setting up chairs at the outdoor ceremony site. I was surprised no one had showed up yet to help us out, but I was trying really hard to retain my wedding zen and be happy with the day. Then I realized that in all our stressing about the reception, we had COMPLETELY forgotten to put any thought into the ceremony. Like, no officiant, no readings, no planning whatsoever. We had just forgotten about the whole *getting married* part of having a wedding.

    Later that day I was rummaging through a closet and found a box full of our beautiful letterpressed invitations, lovingly placed in unaddressed envelopes. I hadn’t invited anyone!!

    Mostly I think this was all about my social anxieties — the only friends I have from my time in this city post-college are my coworkers (been here for 4 years… making friends as a grown-up is hard, you guys), and it would be too awkward to invite them. So there’s going to be a very limited friend presence on my side of the aisle.

    As for the unplanned ceremony part? No clue.

  • HD

    First post! I have had many wedding nightmares since getting engaged last year, but this is especially timely as I had one last night. It was the first one I’ve had in a while and it definitely was making up for lost time.
    Basically everything I had planned was different and it was like my mom had planned everything instead, pretty standard wedding nightmare. We were in a church, the bridesmaids were wearing purple, I had a veil, the music was different, a bunch of people were there we didn’t invite, etc. But when the actual wedding was over (we spent the whole ceremony telling the priest “we would have done this differently”), someone had left the back doors open and some wild animals got into the church. There were birds, squirrels, racoons and, at some point, a monkey. And they started pooping everywhere.
    So yea, I don’t know what it means.

  • STM

    2 nights ago I dreamt that our officiant and all our bridesmaids and groomsmen had to drop out at the last second. We ended up with some stoned guy officiating the wedding who opened with a long rambling rant about how gas station food really isn’t that bad if you give it a chance, man. Some of his stoned friends got up and garbled our readings, then kicked me and my fiance off the stage so that they could perform (read:slaughter) some of their new songs from their garage band. Then they got up and left. All of our guests are booing and yelling “Worst wedding ever!” and I was screaming “WE DIDN’T EVEN DO OUR VOWS.”
    I woke up in a cold sweat but then when I remembered the gas station food speech I started laughing so bad.

  • Hannah B

    had another wedding dream last night, in that it was the day after the wedding and we had had to move our reception venue to some entirely tiled over space that flooded every morning (?) and apparently we forgot to have our first dance and my fiance LOVES dancing so I was very upset. Then we also got chased by some people on horses; the horses then proceeded to swim underwater (with us as riders) and hide in the roots of this giant tree…weird weird weird. I woke up and was very relieved to remember that we are NOT yet married and thought maybe I should go ahead and make that wedding day timeline..

  • emmyward

    My fiance is in the navy and he was home on two weeks leave so we could do some major wedding planning for our september wedding. So for the past two weeks my mind had been completely consumed by every aspect of our wedding, more so than usual. Well one night he woke me up because apparently I was yelling out in my sleep and crying saying “we missed it, we missed it” I don’t remember him waking me up, but the next morning I remember exactly what had happened in my nightmare. We missed our own wedding!! I was taking so long to get ready that by the time I was all prettied up it was already 7:30pm and our ceremony was supposed to start at 4. So we weren’t married and we couldn’t just show up late to our reception if we weren’t even married. Basically a year of planning went out the window because we missed our own wedding. I think my subconscious needs to chill the eff out.

  • Amanda L

    I don’t remember having wedding nightmares, but I had several engagement nightmares. In each of them, my now-husband proposed with a hideous piece of jewelry. Two of them were huge ornate rings that ANYONE would have thought were ugly. The third was an ugly necklace. In all of them, I spent the rest of the dream trying desparately to act like I thought they were the most beautiful pieces ever made.

    Do you think I was worried about what my e-ring would look like??

    • ediblesprysky

      I know I’m late to this party, but I’VE HAD THAT DREAM. Multiple times. Usually after browsing many many Pinterest boards full of gorgeous rings we could never ever afford. It’s always so baffling.

      • LP

        Very late to this, but I had the same dream. My soon-to-be-fiancé has a family heirloom ring (which I love) and is buying an enhancer (some reason one ring isn’t enough to him??) The enhancer is unnecessary, and surely going to be expensive, and I constantly dream I’ll hate it. In one, it was a giant, crocheted rose.

  • disqus_h7n9Kjgo4H

    Lots of the ‘we forgot to plan the wedding’ or ‘I forgot to get my dress dry cleaned’

  • KH

    A little background: my family works in the wedding industry, which is both a blessing and a curse for planning my own wedding (we get the best vendors! but oh, the pressure to have the BEST WEDDING EVER!). Just this week I had a dream that my mom found out that our wedding florist (also a professional friend of my mom’s) was spying on my mom’s business and stealing her customer database, and instead of being upset about the professional betrayal on my mom’s behalf, my first reaction was “HOW AM I GOING TO FIND ANOTHER FLORIST 3 MONTHS BEFORE MY WEDDING?!” I think my dream life is trying to tell me that the family/work/wedding collision is stressing me out a little :D

  • JessPeebs

    I had a dream about two months ago that my wedding was in 1 hour and I didn’t have a dress yet and I couldn’t find anything in my size. My mother was yelling at me to just pick a dress, and I had tried on everything in the mall.

    I’ve been married for two years now… and I’m still having wedding stress dreams!

  • spinning2heads

    I had a LOT of nightmares, but they all revolved around somehow having no guests. My primary worry (apparently) was that no one would come to the party we were throwing, and by extension, that no one loved me enough to show up. And yes, I had these dreams long after the wedding was over.

    Rest assured though, it was a full party and a wonderful day full of love!

  • meeliebee

    I had them throughout our engagement – it was the day of the wedding, nothing was done, couldn’t find anyone, etc. But the WORST one was when I dreamt that I walked in on my fiance cheating on me with not one, but two women. I screamed and cried in my dream, threw my ring at him, asked him why he would do such a thing a month before our wedding. I actually started bawling when I told him about it the next day. The emotions were so real it was hard to shake off. Thankfully that was the last one before the wedding!

  • Kae

    I managed to avoid having wedding stress dreams til pretty close to the wedding; two of my bridesmaids had them before I did! And both hair-related, haha.
    Mine were about missing everything, being late for the wedding events, not getting pictures of anything…the usual. They were pretty vivid, but all of my dreams are. I remember waking up and being VERY upset that we’d have no wedding pictures though!

  • nikki kovach

    Is there an ATP about people who constantly complain about the wedding when it hasn’t even happened yet? Complaining about the day I chose, the venue I chose, the bachelorette party I chose, the registry items I chose, etc. It makes me feel SO miserable when guests are so stressed about it, but why can’t they just accept that there’s little to nothing I can do (or, you know, WANT to do) to change some of these things. Why can’t they just go with the flow?

  • Sarah

    My fiance dreamt last week that he was being forced to marry his cousin to save the world. He then woke up and realized he was marrying me and breathed a sigh of relief.

  • elcee

    Had a dream last night where I slammed my left hand into the wall until all the stones in my ring shattered. Then I ate them. And then continued to wear just the metal “carcass” of the setting. When the fiance saw and asked, horrified, wtf happened to my ring, I replied simply “it must’ve broke.” Ugh.

  • Manda

    My wedding is 11 months away and I’ve already had several. In the most recent one, I didn’t have the right dress, my hair and makeup wasn’t done, and I forgot to make decorations and write my vows. Then instead of having a reception we went to someone’s house and baked cookies. The last part was just strange, but the beginning was plain horrifying. I woke up incredibly relieved remembering I still had a year to manage all of those things. Ha. Mostly the dreams consist of things not being like I want them and not having any control over it. I HOPE it will get better as I start seeing things falling into place. Crossing my fingers.

  • Myranda

    My most memorable wedding nightmare was that we were getting married at this beautiful hotel, with a buffet dinner included. Well, we went to taste the food at the hotel and the restaurant was Korean. We tasted a few things, it was all great. The chef asked if we wanted the entire buffet available at the wedding, since it was all included in the price. We said of course! – without reading the menu-. We then promptly printed the menu up on our invitations and sent them out. Well. The calls from our guests came POURING in, asking if we were really serving DOG at our wedding or if it was a typo. I told them no, no it was definitely a typo. Then I called the chef. And you know what he said? Yes, he was preparing them now! And was I really sure I didn’t want them? They were golden retriever puppies. It was awful. I woke up crying.

  • Allison

    This thread made my day. About a week ago I had my first wedding nightmare that involved me not having a single thing done (we have a very small wedding and honestly, a very small to-do list) – including having nothing to wear under my dress, and my mother and one of my closest friends arranging flowers at the last minute in the garage of the chapel (because clearly the chapel in the botanical garden has a garage…?), neither of us having vows prepared, and the reception being music-less. I woke up terribly confused and a bit panicked (wait, don’t we have MONTHS left?!), but what makes me laugh still is that even then, in apparently the worst possible scenario, it all ended up fine. Way to go, subconscious, you clearly know best.

  • ediblesprysky

    Not necessarily wedding-day-related, but the other night I dreamt that I took my partner’s last name and was therefore only allowed to order hard cider in bars–no beer allowed for bad feminists, I guess? I was so embarrassed to be ordering cider and the bartender kept asking me to say it again… So. Weird.

  • Guest

    OH, my boyfriend actually just had a CLASSIC one of these. We’ve been talking about getting engaged as soon as he gets a more lucrative job (hopefully in the next few months!), and apparently it’s on his mind. So the other day, he wakes up and tells me he dreamt that we were getting married but they couldn’t find me, so they just decided he should marry his sister instead. His sister (who in real life is married with two kids and, you know, his sister) seemed really excited, so he went along with it. Then later, he found me and woke up just as he was trying to explain the whole thing to me. Apparently, I was pretty unhappy with their solution :D

  • Courtney Housel

    I’ve been engaged for nearly 8 months now and will be married in 98 days (oh god…). I’ve only JUST started experiencing wedding nightmares. The most recent one was that, I was already late to walk down the aisle, when I noticed that my dress was covered in tufts of cat hair (which is a very real thing in my household, having two long haired black and grey cats). I managed to successfully pick off all of the fur, when I realized there was a giant, thick, black Sharpie streak running down the entire length of my dress’ train… Then, I woke up.