Everything is all set and ready to go.
Your dress, whether custom-fitted or purchased overnight on Amazon like mine, is hanging up, ready to be slipped on just before you stroll down that aisle. Luckily, your family has flown in with no problems to speak of, and your officiant showed up on-time, prepared, and ready to marry you.
By all accounts, your wedding day should be nothing short of perfect. In fact, traditional logic states it should be the happiest day of your life.
But what if it isn't? What if all that love and affection doesn't put a permanent smile on your face? Is that a bad sign for the future? Is the marriage destined for failure?
According to Anita A. Chlipala, LMFT and marriage expert, there's no need to panic.
"A wedding is one day in your life," says Chlipala. "It's more hopeful to think of the future as having many possibilities where a couple can create happy memories and best days. If the wedding is the happiest day, what does a couple have to look forward to? Love should get stronger and deeper with time. Relationships should get better with time."
Just a few weeks after re-connecting with a boy I knew from high school, we became husband and wife on the beach with less than 15 guests present. I wore the aforementioned cheap Amazon dress that I tie-dyed myself, while he sported linen pants and rainbow Converse that he had tie-dyed himself.
As little girls, we're constantly exposed to "perfect" ideas of what a wedding day should look like. All the elements, like an expensive white dress, huge guest list, massive cake, and perfect man are meant to come together and bring you complete bliss. You're supposed to be happy.
But should it be the happiest? And more importantly, if you're wedding day isn't the happiest day of your life, that's not to say your marriage is doomed from the start.
As a recently married 30-something who acted like an anti-bride (and whose husband did all the planning), I firmly believe that if your wedding day is the happiest day of your life, you're setting yourself up for disappointment.
Elite Daily spoke with a few experts who believe it to be fine if your wedding isn't the the happiest day of your life because your marriage is what's more important.
Below, you'll find some other justifications as to why your wedding doesn't have to be the happiest day of your life.
Getting married is just the beginning for a couple.
Too often, people in relationships try to follow a set timeline for their lives.
After the boy meets the girl, they fall in love, get engaged, and then get married. That's the end... right?
The wedding should instead be seen as a new beginning. Your marriage is the beginning of a chapter you've yet to experience. It's all still so new. It shouldn't be set up as the happiest day ever.
Instead, it should be set up as the beginning of many happy days to come.
Your attention is probably elsewhere.
At its core, your wedding is about you, your husband, and your love for each other.
In reality, most weddings are about so much more than that: They're about putting together a giant spectacle for the enjoyment of others.
You're going to be distracted, mingling with guests, and making sure the day stays perfect for just about everyone present.
"I think that these days, a lot of couples have had weddings that were really more about pleasing others than about themselves," says marriage therapist, Nicole Richardson. "Anytime we put aside what we want to make others happy, we are in danger of becoming resentful and frustrated with ourselves and others."
Why put so much pressure on a day that isn't really even about just you and your new spouse?
Most weddings focus more on consumerism than love.
If weddings were only about celebrating love, there wouldn't be so much emphasis put on the dress, the shoes, the cake, the venue, and the decorations.
A day filled with so many material things shouldn't stand out as the happiest one in your life.
"There is a 'wedding industry' when really there should be a 'marriage industry,'" says Chlipala. "People spend so much time planning that one day, give all this attention to detail and making sure the day goes perfectly, but don't focus as much on the marriage part."
It's important not to lose sight of what comes after you leave the venue and open up all those gifts.
Weddings are just plain exhausting.
The plans leading up to a wedding can feel very stressful.
The day itself, though fun, is also rife with way too many things to do and people to see. It's natural to feel overwhelmed and stressed out, despite embarking on this wonderful new journey in life.
Weddings are many things, but healthy, well-rested events they aren't.
This exhausted period in your life shouldn't be the benchmark by which you measure everything else to come.
It's just a big party, and not all parties are amazing.
I know, I know: Your wedding is probably the biggest party you'll ever throw or perhaps even be a part of.
But it's just a party.
Yes, it's a very expensive and carefully curated party, but it's still just a party. And unfortunately, sometimes parties aren't as exciting as glamorous as we'd hope them to be.
Your marriage is not doomed if you don't have THE MOST FUN EVER at your wedding.
There's plenty more to look forward to.
I firmly believe that your happiest day should never be behind you.
If you've built up a day so much so that in your own head it was the "happiest" day of your life, what could you possibly have to look forward to after that?
You should always be striving to make the next day happier than the last.
It's important to remember that you're planning a marriage with someone, not just a one-day event.
"For me, weddings are not nearly as important as marriage," says Richardson.
When a couple focuses on the foundation of their relationship and they work at healthy communication, it won't matter what happens on the wedding day. The world could topple around them on the wedding day and if they are solid, they can get through anything together.
So yes, celebrate your wedding, your love, and the new chapter in your life. But don't rely on it to be the happiest day ever.
Instead, think of it as a day that will be happily stored away in your memory forever and used as a basis for many happy days to come.