There is a phenomenon that I heard about from my friends who were planning their weddings long before I was even thinking about being engaged to Shaun – wedding nightmares. But sure enough, right around the end of February or the beginning of March (I can’t exactly remember which), the Weddingmares began! I was so surprised to start having Weddingmares so early on in my engagement, but they were extremely vivid. Enough so that I can still detail all of the specific Weddingmares that I’ve had for you. Some are ridiculous, some accurately reflect things that I was worrying about at the time. Come on, you know you want to hear (erm…read) about them!
Weddingmare #1: No chairs?!?
In the first Weddingmare I ever had, I was just about to walk down the aisle when my mother came rushing into the room screaming, “you forgot to rent chairs!” I quickly ran outside and, sure enough, there was the bare lawn and guests starting to arrive…with no chairs for them to sit in. In dream world, of course, this cued a complete and utter meltdown. That was basically the entire dream.
As you may recall, our ceremony is being held outside a small chapel at the gazebo (weather permitting). While the property is quaint and has exactly the feel we’re going for with our ceremony, there are a few stipulations – including that we have to rent chairs for our guests to sit in. In the dream, that didn’t happen.
I’m not quite sure why this of all things was the first Weddingmare that I had. It was very early in the planning stage…we had only just picked a date and a venue! I think it might have something to do with the fact that early on, I gave Shaun 3 wedding related jobs: limo, DJ and chairs. Since we had such a difficult time nailing down a venue, I’d be willing to bet that this was my Type-A brain freaking out just a bit at the thought of relinquishing control…in that it might lead to a disaster like no chairs. Luckily, I didn’t stay in this crazy, irrational stage for long. And, for the record, I trust Shaun to find our guests chairs to sit in during the ceremony.
Weddingmare #2: The dress fiasco
The next Weddingmare was definitely the strangest of all that I’ve had. It was after the first few times I had gone dress shopping (first with Bridesmaid C and Personal Attendant J, then with my mom), but well before I would find “the dress” a few months later. Dresses were on my mind. In the dream, I arrived at the salon for my first fitting – excited and a little nervous. The owner of the salon went into the storage room to get my dress…but the one she brought back out was definitely not mine! I don’t remember exactly what was wrong with it in the dream, but everyone – including the owner – knew right away that the dress was wrong. Unfortunately, in the dream we didn’t have enough time to send the dress back to the company to be fixed because the wedding was starting in…half an hour. Cue bridal meltdown. Thankfully, my friends were a bit more resourceful in this dream. They pulled out a UW Marching Band uniform overlay (see the photo above), paired it with a puffy ballgown skirt and sent me down the aisle like that. Crisis averted?
When I told Bridesmaid C about this dream, she laughed and told me that I had to promise not to buy a dress that required a band overlay – I really wish you all could appreciate this mental picture to fully realize how ridiculous this dream was. At this time in wedding planning, I was still extremely nervous about whether I would ever find a dress that I loved and whether I would be able to feel beautiful on my wedding day. Thankfully, I found a dress that does just that!
On a deeper level, this dream may have had something to do with my underlying anxiety about so many transitions occurring in my life. The end of band. The end of college. The start of law school. The end of single life. The start of married life. That’s a lot of changes! Maybe a little part of me didn’t want to let go of that ugly overlay (and everything it represented) quite so soon.
Weddingmare #3: The photographer hates us
I think this was the most frustrating of the Weddingmares I’ve had so far. After the ceremony, we plan to go to a nearby park and take photos of the bridal party as well as our couple portraits. In the dream, though, when we got to the park, the photographer only wanted to take pictures of the bridesmaids! Try as I might to get photos of Shaun and I, the bridesmaids were the center of attention. Cue bridal meltdown.
Now, I should note that I don’t think that this dream in any way reflects on my bridesmaids or their personalities. I had this Weddingmare this past summer, just before we met our photographer for the first time. We booked our photographer early on in our engagement based on her online portfolio and the positive e-communications that I had with her. I know that this isn’t the ideal way to go about making such a big decision, but in a small town, it can be hard to find quality vendors for a decent price, and sometimes you have to act fast! Before I met Tricia for the first time, then, I was a little nervous – had I made the right choice? Thankfully, I got to meet her when she took my little brother’s senior photos this year and she was absolutely amazing! I knew right away that I had definitely done the right thing by booking her. Still, I think this dream was probably a manifestation of my initial anxiety regarding that first meeting…especially since the deposit had already been paid.
Weddingmare #4: Ceremony fails
Finally, the granddaddy of them all – my most recent Weddingmare. This one occurred not too long after the photographer Weddingmare, so I must have been particularly stressed out about wedding planning at that point. This one was so effed-up that I don’t even know where to start. First of all, it was the day of the wedding and I was transported to a large cathedral. (Remember when I said we’re planning an outdoor ceremony at a small chapel? Yeah…) There, I watched as an endless line of bridesmaids paraded down the aisle before me. I stood up at the front of the church and got married via a full Catholic mass. And now comes the real kicker – after the ceremony and during our photo-taking time, Shaun turned to me (the first real appearance he made in a Weddingmare!) and said “I think we made a mistake. I don’t want to be married.” Yikes. Then he took off his shoes and walked away. Cue bridal meltdown. Of the worst kind.
First of all, a few disclaimers: I have absolutely nothing against cathedrals, large bridal parties or Catholic masses. If I was marrying a different man, it’s entirely likely that that’s what my wedding day would entail. I love traditional Catholic ceremonies. I was raised Catholic so I have an appreciation for all of these things, I swear. However, in planning our big day, what Shaun and I have come to envision is a more intimate, personal feeling ceremony – despite the large-ish guest list.
So what did this freaking dream mean? I have no idea. I think all of the Catholic references were my subconscious making me feel bad for not having the kind of ceremony that I feel my parents and grandparents wanted me to have – whether or not they actually feel this way. If that makes any sense at all, which it probably doesn’t. And then there’s that whole issue of my groom calling off the whole shebang…after it’s already been done. Wowza. This, too has an explanation, I think. If I remember correctly, this dream occurred when things were still pretty up in the air about our living situation during law school – we weren’t sure if we were going to continue doing long distance when I started law school and/or if Shaun was ever going to commit to moving to Madison. Luckily, that’s a hurdle that we worked through together and it made us stronger as a couple. But for a time there, I think the whole frustrating situation was making me feel a little abandoned…hence the dream. I’m glad that I know he’d never do that in real life!
Thankfully, it’s been quite some time since I experienced a Weddingmare…probably because a) I’ve become much more relaxed about the whole wedding process over time and b) my “sleep” time is now more akin to a too-much-reading coma induced by endless piles of law school homework. That, and on the nights that I do dream, my Weddingmares have been replaced by Law School-mares…but that’s another post entirely.
Did you ever experience nightmares about your wedding or another big event that was coming up? Did they correlate to issues you were trying to work through?