Wedding dreams and nightmares: Anxiety creeps in

I’m a pretty vivid dreamer.

Sometimes I can’t distinguish between a dream and an actual memory of my childhood. I’ll dream about places that seem real but when I mention them to my mother she will give me a blank face and tell me we never visited anywhere like I am describing. Do dream styles run in the family? Because my one sister also has some vivid dreams, and my mother has quite a few as well.

My fiancé thinks my dreams are (mostly) amusing and entertaining. Me describing them to him in the mornings — or sometimes in the middle of the night — has become somewhat of a tradition for us. But with vivid dreams also come vivid nightmares, which are most of the time not fun to experience, describe, or listen to.

Some of these nightmares I experience come from my regular battles with anxiety — teeth falling out, driving but not being able to see, driving but not being able to stop, getting lost somewhere without help.

The other night I experienced a dream that could only be attributed to my anxiety about the wedding. It was our wedding day. The venue looked beautiful — except that it was raining and the roof was leaking all over the beautiful table settings.

The people in charge moved us into another room but the décor didn’t match my theme and the room was too small for all of the people we had invited. We tried to make it work but when I walked in, it was all wrong. The photo display was full of ugly old photos, some of which were upside down, my dress was soaked from the rain, all the food was wrong and the worst part of all — I didn’t see one face I recognized in the entire crowd.

I woke up in somewhat of a panic, thinking about all the things that could potentially go wrong. After all, I am a planner, I love to throw parties, and so many things have gone wrong at the parties I’ve thrown, why wouldn’t something go wrong at the biggest one of all? When I wrote the dream down and showed it to my bridal party, they mostly just thought it was funny.

My mom said, “Uh-oh, anxiety’s kicking in already!” while my sister said “Hopefully all that stuff doesn’t happen” and my other sister just wrote back “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA”.

But it was one of my oldest and best friends who reminded me of what this wedding is really all about. She wrote back, “Don’t worry, your wedding won’t be perfect, but it will be great. It’s the start of your new life with Awesome. Don’t get so wrapped up in the details that you forget that.”

And that is so true. I think I’ve been pretty good as a bride so far. I’m not very demanding, I’m able to compromise, and I haven’t been spending past the budget we agreed on. But if I allow the idea that everything has to be perfect or everything will be ruined to take over, then I’m going to be in trouble. It’s at times like that when I need to take a step back and remember that the small stuff doesn’t really matter that much.

Of course, then she finished her email with, “Anyway, by the time you get to the day of the wedding, you’ll be in ‘let’s get this shit over with’ mode,” which made me laugh and forget about the dream and all the anxiety entirely. And I’m pretty sure that was the point in the first place.