Why am I noticing Grief as I Plan for my Wedding Day?

This article is based on scientific evidence and clinical experience, written by a licensed professional and fact-checked by experts.

Posted: April 16, 2024

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

When your face hurts from smiling as you think about your special day and your countdown gets smaller and smaller you start to notice something new come up inside of you… sadness. Wait what?? Sadness?? NO!! Why am I sad?! This “should” be the happiest day of my life? My wedding day! As fear starts to creep into your mind and you notice this new feeling emerge, you wonder: “Is this normal…?”

I am here to answer that for you… YES!!! It is normal!

Let me take you on a journey to understand what grief is at its core, why you might be noticing this, and what to do about it.

What is grief?

Grief is a feeling of sadness. It can feel so heavy in our bodies and make it hard to be motivated to do things. It can affect our sleep and our eating habits. Many people cope with grief in different ways depending on what was modeled for them at a young age. Sadness/grief can be known as a negative emotion that a lot of people try to avoid feeling at all. You might notice avoiding this feeling of grief because it seems like you “should” not be feeling this way. By avoiding the feeling we actually make it louder and louder and can create more panic and worry. It is much healthier when we can openly talk about our feelings with a safe friend, our fiancé or a mentor. By naming and sharing these feelings we are able to care for ourselves and ask for our needs to be met. Which is also a great skill to have as you enter into marriage! BONUS!


Cheese and Crackers! Why am I noticing sadness as I prepare for this special special day!?!?!

Getting married is a major transition in life. Many people go from living with their parents or roommates to moving into a new place with their new spouse. SO much NEW! This is a huge transition. Not only may we be moving but now holidays and special events like birthdays and vacations may be different. Major life changing stuff! SO of course you might be noticing this grief or even some fear as you walk into this new unknown.

“‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”” Matthew 19:5

Marriage is a time of great connection and possibly lifelong dreams coming true, but it is also when we leave our mother and father and are united to our spouse forever. It can be sad to know that you are leaving your family of origin to start a new family with your fiancé. When we “unite – and become one flesh,” this affects everything in our life, including the ways and times we connected with our family and friends. It makes sense that we would feel sadness as we hold that things will not be the same as they once were. We might miss events (for example holidays or other traditions we regularly engaged in) that we used to be part of because we take on new responsibilities as a spouse. We might need to make some healthy boundaries now as a spouse with our parents so that our marriage can flourish. Our priorities shift (as they should) when we become a spouse, but change is not always easy.

Holding both.

Excitement – Pure Joy – Sadness – Grief – Worry.

How can one person feel all of the things at once? When we learn about emotions (if we even do) it is usually as a kid and we get to choose one emotion from a list or picture chart. This creates an illusion that we “should” only feel one thing at a time. That simply is not true. We are much more complex than that. Give God some more credit! Haha! It is totally normal to notice two or more different emotions come up at once during transitions in life. The phrase ‘bitter-sweet” is often used to explain this tension that we might be experiencing. It is so important to make space for both of these feelings as they both make sense and have a purpose. One way to do that is to spend time creating language to help better understand the uniqueness of the two or more emotions. By naming the feeling you are more likely to ‘tame it’ so it does not feel so out of control.

Saying goodbye well (what to do).

Along with naming the emotions that we are feeling and sharing those with a safe person, it is also important to name the things that we are leaving behind and the things that are changing. These things could be moving, your name, priorities, day to day schedule, chores around the house, caring and being cared for by your spouse… etc. All of these things and more could be things that we notice right after our wedding or things that might take time to notice. No matter when we notice them it is important to slow down and name the things that are changing for us. We have to name it to tame it. This would be a great thing to name with your safe person or to write down in a journal. Slowing down and taking time to notice what we are giving up even in this new and exciting transition is important. Take time to Grieve. No matter what we are grieving in life, it is important to grieve well. Take the time to acknowledge your feelings; let yourself notice and feel the sadness that surrounds the changes that are occurring along with the excitement that is part of it too. Remember that your fiancé is going through this with you, too, and even if they are not changing in the exact same ways, they are hopefully with you openly sharing what they’re experiencing and also making time and space for you as you share what you’re experiencing around all the changes that come with this BIG transition in life.

Enjoy the Ride and Grieve well together!


“Blessed Are Those Who Mourn, for They Will be Comforted” (Matthew 5:4)


Message from the Author:

I wrote this article because I searched and searched for something like this before my special day, so I am writing this to my younger self who did not have this insight, hoping that by doing so it will also help a friend walking in this journey. Blessings!

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