I was married recently and although I was the first of my friends and family and therefore had never been to a wedding before, I knew fairly well what to expect because everyone around was telling me, whether I asked or not. Despite this, there are certain things that no one tells you about getting married. These are those things.
You will instantly feel old. This one took me by the most surprise; I did not know that simply becoming a married woman would make me feel like an old married woman. It didn’t happen overnight, but the transition was complete within the first month. Once you are married, you will no longer been seen as young, naïve, pure, innocent and virginal because everyone knows that you are not. You are no longer a Miss, you are now a Madam.
You will morn the loss of your maiden name and identity. I was excited to take my husband’s name but at the same time I was sad to see my old name go. I had come to love it over the years, it identified me as a member of my family and reflected the ethnicity of my heritage; I felt like I would be losing a little bit of myself when I gave it up. On top of that, even though I had never really embraced the young and single lifestyle, I felt sad that I could never have that identity if I ever wanted it. It takes time to get used to being your husband’s wife.
Guests will come to your wedding dressed inappropriately. You picture all of your friends and family in sleek suits and sweet dresses but your vision is dashed when some show up in jeans and over exposing cocktail dresses, sticking out like mutated peacocks in a flock of doves. My wedding was small so the incidence of this anomaly was contained to one or two people but, combined with the two larger weddings I have attended since, I saw everything from suits from the 70’s, to rejected prom dresses, to, God forbid, beach wear and a little more cleavage than I like to see from family at a formal dinner.
You don’t get to spend much time with your new husband that day. You don’t really even get to talk to him about the day’s events until the next day. You don’t see him during the morning or afternoon while you are getting ready. You don’t get to confide in him, like you usually do when you are apprehensive, before you walk down the isle because he’s standing at the end of it. You get to sit beside each other at dinner but everyone wants to interact with you by making you kiss, taking your picture and congratulating you. You also have a tight schedule with many commitments to meet. You need to talk to every single guest, have your first dance, have your father-daughter dance and cut the cake, you can’t just disappear to absorb, comprehend and process the big day you’ve just had together.
You will be physically and emotionally exhausted by your wedding night. Chances are you won’t get to sleep past 6 AM on the day of your wedding. You will also probably be up late the night before trying to get things done and most likely won’t sleep well due to all of the stress and excitement of the next day. These factors, on top of the scheduled stresses, pressures and demands you have to endure, all of the new emotions you will experience and staying up late yet again will leave you exhausted at the end of the day. Some couples don’t even get to the consummating until the next day because they are so drained that they fall asleep as soon at they get to their hotel room.
There will be many unflattering pictures of you from your wedding day posted on Facebook. Unlike when your parents got married, hired a photographer and sorted through the pictures and chose only the best to order and show their friends, when you get married everyone will bring their own (low quality) cameras, take terrible pictures of you and dump every single one on Facebook the next day for everyone to see. Even if you are a freak of nature and do not possess a single insecurity about the way you look and love having your picture taken, odds are, when a hundred people are taking your picture, many with their cell phones, no less, at least one of them is going to catch you at a bazaar angle, in bad light or in the midst of a sneeze. These people will indiscriminately upload the entire contents of their memory cards to Facebook the next day – and they will tag you in every single one of them.
You will have to come down the next day when no one you interact with knows or thinks you are special anymore. This happened to my husband and I when we went out for breakfast the next morning. The night before, I had bridesmaids constantly making sure my hair, make up and dress were perfect, everyone was looking at us, taking pictures of us and strangers were yelling “woo” at us. The next morning, however, nobody cared about us, nobody knew we were newlyweds, the hotel screwed up our bill, the waiter wouldn’t bring us more tea no matter how many times he promised he would and nobody felt that they had ruined anyone’s special day.
You come home to a trashed house. The person who brought your wedding gifts to your apartment put them where ever they wanted, regardless of the instructions you gave them. You were too stressed and busy to keep your place tidy the week leading up to your wedding. People were dropping in unexpected on the morning of your wedding, adding to the chaos. Your husband and his groomsmen hung out and got ready for the wedding at your house. Then the person who came to feed your cat dumped the food all over the place and called it a day.
Now that you know the secrets that no one talks about, you can better prepare yourself for your wedding and minimize the let down that comes when your high, and unknowingly unrealistic, expectations are not met. It may not be romantic but it’s the truth, and it happens to everyone so just relax, have fun and enjoy the day.