Rhode Island Wedding Guide

Wedding Planning

3 to 6 Months Before the Wedding

By Allison Moir-Smith, MA, Emotionally Engaged

THREE TO SIX MONTHS before the wedding can be a strange and emotionally challenging time for many brides. The planning is basically done, but it's not time yet to address invitations or make seating arrangements.

In this empty space, difficult feelings of anger, sadness, and fear often come up. And unfortunately, since there's nothing that urgently needs doing, you can't really distract yourself. You have to just feel the feelings.

Many brides are surprised when this happens. "This is supposed to be the happiest time of my life!" they think to themselves. "Why do I feel so bad sometimes?"


Photo credit: Colleen Elizabeth Makeup

Yes, happiness is a major part of being engaged -- you've found your life partner, and you're getting married! But so are fear, anger, and sadness.

These difficult feelings are normal as you make this transition from single to married, from fiance to wife. Experiencing and understanding these difficult feelings prepares you for this change.

Every bride reacts to these big emotions differently. Some brides fight with their fiance, friends, and parents. Others withdraw into themselves, confused and depressed. Many obsess about details so much that they are panicky and irritable. All of these reactions are normal during a major life transition such as getting married. But it's a lot for one person to handle - especially with the added stress of planning a wedding!

I help brides sort through these emotions. I help them go within themselves, go inside to figure out what feelings they are feeling -- what feelings they're trying so hard to avoid by fighting, withdrawing, or being obsessed with details. Is she feeling afraid of separating from her family? Angry at her fiance because she gave him an ultimatum? Sad about her parents' divorce 10 years ago? Scared about losing "the girls"?

Getting to the core feelings of anger, fear, or sadness - looking beyond the hysteria surrounding bridesmaids dresses or flower arrangements - is what separates brides who are merely engaged from those who are emotionally engaged and willing to learn and deepen into themselves during their engagements.

I support brides as they explore and experience these feelings, difficult as it is. Because a feeling, once it is deeply felt, passes through and subsides. And then the bride is left to experience a fuller spectrum of feelings -- especially the joy, magic and love of this profound time of life.

About the Author Allison Moir-Smith, MA is a psychotherapist, bridal counselor and author of Emotionally Engaged: A Bride's Guide to Surviving the "Happiest" Time of Her Life. She's been featured on Today and Good Morning America and in Cosmopolitan and Elle. She offers individual bridal counseling and supportive group workshops. For more info: www.emotionallyengaged.com

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