Wedding Worries: Are 'Cold Feet' A Bad Sign?

22 August 2017

In the midst of the chaos of planning a wedding, the last thing that most brides need is constant references to ‘cold feet’. You’ll hear them, though, people constantly feeling it’s okay to ask you what amounts to: “hey, are you sure you want to marry this guy?”

They mean well. It’s meant to be funny, a little aside that you laugh off. However, for some brides, they find themselves unable to smile. Those cute little comments that are meant to be dismissed with a wave of a hand and a laugh, actually seem to be hitting a little bit too close to home.

What Does It Mean To Get “Cold Feet”?

Some people will try and split the difference, saying that ‘cold feet’ are very different from ‘wedding jitters’. To be frank, that’s not helpful. It’s one thing to be feeling nervous, but it’s even worse to then have to try and categorise the type of nerves you have.

To try and avoid that, we’ll use ‘cold feet’ as a catch-all to describe any feeling of nerves or trepidation that a bride experiences in the run up to their wedding.

Why Does It Happen?

While weddings are so often about romance and beauty, at their heart they’re a solid commitment to another human being. That’s pretty terrifying, even if you are absolutely sure that person is ‘the one’. You’re basically saying that this person is enough for you for the rest of your life.

Very rarely do we make decisions that are going to stick with us forever. So contemplating eternity is a tough thing to do, and can result in feelings of worry, fear, or just general nerves.

Does Every Bride Get Cold Feet?

To an extent, yes - but whether they will admit to it is another thing.

It’s entirely natural to be somewhat worried about the commitment that you’re making. Add into this basic fact the money and time spent on planning a wedding, and it’s no wonder brides find themselves feeling panicked in the lead up to their big day. That’s not necessarily a sign that the relationship is fundamentally flawed; it’s a sign that you’ve got a lot going on.

How Can Cold Feet Be Eased?

It’s important to talk to someone if you are feeling more nervous than excited about your wedding. It doesn’t have to be your significant other, especially as they may take your natural concerns as something more worrying. Talk to a friend or family member ideally, but if you want complete privacy, then a therapist will give you the space to work through what’s bothering you.

What If Brides Start To Feel Legitimately Concerned About Their Partner?

Firstly, this isn’t uncommon. A relationship has to withstand a lot in the move towards becoming a married couple. It can throw into light relief the fact that maybe things aren’t as good as you could hope.

That’s why it’s important to remember that you always have the option of backing out. Don’t ever feel you have to marry someone just because you’ve arranged to do so; wedding insurance can help cover the money spent, and you can give yourself some time to breathe.

However, for most brides, their feelings of fear and trepidation are just a sign of the stress that they’re under - not a reveal of a fundamental problem in their relationship.

Can You Prevent Cold Feet?

No, but also, why would you want to? It’s important to listen to your emotions. If you’re feeling excessively nervous, then you need to figure out why rather than just trying to erase the feeling. It might mean you need to scale back your wedding plans or do things differently - the nerves could be your body’s way of telling you you can’t handle what you’re planning. So in a way, cold feet can be useful; they help guide you towards the wedding you really want and ensure you won’t make any big decisions you later come to regret.

So if you find yourself feeling worried about the prospect of getting married, then try not to worry. It’s entirely reasonable that you’re hesitant about making such a big commitment. In fact, it might be more worrying if you’re not - it suggests that you’re not fully appreciating what you’re about to enter into.

Talk to your support network, your potential wedding guests who will be by your side on the big day, and ensure they’re in the loop about how you’re feeling. The feeling will most likely pass and you can enjoy a happy future, the cold feet you experienced slowly becoming a distant memory.

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