Seriously? PWD?

TThe other night I was happily reading through this month’s issue of “Brides” magazine when I came across a horrible article. Something that should never have been in a happy, non-depressing, and joyous publication. Kid you not, apparently there is such a thing as post-wedding depression (PWD). At first glance I thought, it was kind of funny, it couldn’t be real. But as I read on I learned that PWD is actually a term used by therapists. Seriously?

I guess the good news is that PWD isn’t caused by a change in hormones (like postpartum depression). The bad news? It happens just because your wedding is over. I mean, I know the feeling of a let-down after a wonderful vacation or something I have been looking forward to for a long time. But the possibility of actually being depressed after my wedding is pretty scary stuff. It’s the stuff real nightmares are made of. Mine may change from walking down the aisle in an oversized, ratty t-shirt (funny) to crying alone in a dark room (terrifying).

Is there a solution you may ask? According to the article*, there are a few precautions you can take:

  1. Don’t completely lose yourself in the wedding planning – that means keep up with your hobbies, continue to hang out with your friends, do non-related wedding stuff. Although there probably is a desire for a lot of brides to become full time wedding planners after planning their own wedding, it probably isn’t the reality for the majority of them.
  2. Don’t ignore your anxiety about marriage – if you have some, talk about it with friends or a counselor. Get it hashed out before your big day.
  3. Don’t plan it all yourself – instead of leaving your fiancé out, make sure you include him/her in as much of the decision making process as you feel comfortable with.
  4. Think ahead to married life – It is really easy to have wedding tunnel vision (I am guilty as charged). Remember to think about the little things that may change once you are married and discuss them with your fiancé.
  5. Have fun after the wedding – life doesn’t end after your honeymoon. Plan some fun things for when you get back into town and remember to keep yourself busy.

Here is my additional advice: keep all the above in mind and work them into your wedding planning scope statement (I probably need to go back and amend the parts I have completed already).

To complete (finally) the wedding planning statement I need to address the constraints and assumptions of the wedding. Every wedding and project for that matter will have some group of constraints. They will most likely be related to budget and time but undoubtedly I am sure there are more out of the box constraints than that. Like not being allowed to hold your reception at any venues in the area because you are a Gypsy – yes, I saw that on “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding”. Or one of your bridesmaids only agreeing to be in the wedding if she likes the dress you pick for her – yes, I saw that on “Say Yes to the Dress – Bridesmaids”.

You can’t possibly predict every scenario that could occur during your wedding planning process or what variables may change. That is why we, as brides and wedding planners will have to make some assumptions; unless someone out there has fortune telling powers. The assumptions you will be making while planning your wedding should exist in place of missing information. The important thing here is that if you make assumptions they get documented and agreed upon by the bridal and groomal contributors. Here is my list of wedding constraints and assumptions.

We are getting closer and closer to the fabulous and fun wedding breakdown structure – when the actually doing will begin. There are just a couple more pre-doing items to get through now that the wedding planning scope statement is complete. Here are some links for your viewing and planning enjoyment:

Now, about that PWD. I would like to throw a whip cream pie right in the noggin of the therapist who came up with the term.

* Scher, Hagar. “The Party’s Over.” Brides July 2011: 198-201.


  1. Mom
    Jul 25, 2011

    Really, I think there is probably Post Partum for everything (although it’s a confusing term which has been hijacked from after delivery of baby). Excluding hormones anything wonderful that is anticipated can lead to Post Partum Blues. Case in point, returning home following a cruise and no longer having 37 cousins to play with, not having all meals made for you, and not having someone to make your bed everyday. I had PPB at 11 when I spent a entire day making a lemon mirangue pie from scratch only to have it eaten in 1 minute.
    No matter how long a wedding is – it’s sad when it’s over. Protection against the Blues recommendations: 1. Go on honeymoon 1-2 weeks later so you can enjoy any remaining company, you can open presents and write thank you notes, you can look at your wedding pictures, and you can anticipate the honeymoon. 2. Plan a next day brunch with a close circle of friends/relatives.

    • lcagan
      Jul 25, 2011

      Very wise advice from my psychiatrist Mom.

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