For brides- and grooms-to-be, dreaming about your wedding day is pretty much inevitable, especially if you're stressed about it. What if the caterer doesn't show up? What if your mother-in-law wears white? What if you sleep through your alarm and sprint all the way to the wedding venue only to realize you're still wearing your pajamas and slippers? However, it's also possible to dream about your nuptials when they're not even in the near future. When you aren't engaged (or even dating someone), the meaning of wedding dreams is a little more complicated, and they have more significance than you may think.
"Some of the most pleasant dreams are about anticipating happy events, such as getting engaged or married," Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, nationally recognized psychotherapist and author of Training Your Love Intuition, tells Elite Daily. "But dreams can also be your brain's way of working out current issues or warning you about potential problems." Good dreams about weddings can simply be about finding the right person or having the perfect celebration. While those fantasies are worth investigating, it's those wedding nightmares you should pay attention to. If your left ring finger is bare but you hear wedding bells in your dreams, here's what that could mean.
Why Do People Dream About Weddings?
Whether you're engaged or not, unconscious projections about your nuptials are typically about wish fulfillment. When you want something, that yearning often slips into your dreams, and that can be the case with wedding dreams. "Our conscious desires or wishes to marry can be so strong that they will carry over into our unconscious sleep state," clinical psychologist Dr. John Mayer says. "Such dreams can also be fantasy dreams that indicate how we want our wedding plans to be carried out. These are positive dreams."
It's also possible your wedding dreams have nothing to do with actually getting married. Instead, dreaming about your future wedding day may represent a desire for a new beginning or excitement about the recent change. Those desires don't even have to be romantic. As Karen Frazier, author of The Dream Interpretation Handbook, explains, "Wedding dreams may indicate various types of partnerships — anything ranging from business partnerships to romantic relationships." After all, weddings are all about solidifying a union and creating a new life together, so your dreams may be more symbolic than literal.
What Do Wedding Dreams Mean When You're In A Relationship?
If you're currently in a relationship and dreaming about tying the knot with your partner, that can often be a good sign. But before you make a wedding Pinterest board, ask yourself this: Do you want to be married to your SO, or do you simply want to be married? "Change your focus off you and your current partner, and get a bird's-eye view of you and your past," says Dr. Wish. "Challenge your assumptions, mindset, your feelings, and life situations." Though wedding dreams could mean you're ready to take the next step with your boo, Dr. Wish suggests you consider these questions:
- Are you worried about getting older and ending up alone?
- Are you the only one in your family or friend group who is not engaged or married?
- How happy are you with your current partner and how well do you know each other?
If you're eager to walk down the aisle, really consider whether marrying your current SO is an end goal or just a means to an end.
What Do Wedding Dreams Mean When You're Single?
It makes sense that someone in a committed relationship would think about making the ultimate commitment. But what do wedding dreams mean when you're single as a Pringle? "If you're not currently in a relationship, your dream about getting married could mean you are now ready for a commitment to a healthy relationship," Dr. Wish says. These dreams may be your mind's way of telling you you're ready to settle down or — if you're not currently looking — to put yourself out there.
But that's not the only explanation. For single folks, a wedding dream could also indicate a desire to find a person to date, rather than the person. "This dream could also signal that you feel a need to get married to just about anyone who is 'decent-enough,'" Dr. Wish adds. "Take your emotional temperature: Why do you think that you are thinking about marriage at this time in your life?" Just like people in relationships who dream about marriage, single peeps can feel pressured to get hitched even before they find the right person.
Is It A Bad Sign If Those Dreams Are Actually Nightmares?
Not to oversimplify matters, but typically, good dreams = good omens, and bad dreams = bad news. If you wake up feeling sad, scared, or stressed from a wedding dream, don't dismiss those feelings. For people in relationships, nightmares about nuptials can act as a warning sign. "If your wedding dream is a nightmare, it may be indicating anxiety about a partnership," Frazier explains. Dr. Mayer agrees, adding, "There can be negative reasons [for wedding dreams] that release one's fears and apprehensions, hidden from yourself (a form of denial) and from your potential partner."
Wedding nightmares don't necessarily have to do with the person you're marrying in the dream. For both single people and people in relationships, nightmares about weddings could mean you're not prepared to take that walk down the aisle with anyone. "[Wedding dreams] can be warning signs for dangers you secretly fear about weddings and marriage," Dr. Mayer points out. According to Dr. Wish, these sorts of dreams necessitate some introspection. "If you are having nightmares about marrying your partner — or of getting married at all — then you need to take an emotional inventory of your present life," she says.
Of course, dreams aren't psychic, so don't go shopping for engagement rings or break up with your SO just yet. As Dr. Mayer says, "The events or scenes of a dream are based on fears or fantasies that we harbor in our conscious thoughts but may be suppressing for many reasons." No matter what, dreams about weddings say more about you than they do anyone else, so take some time to think about what you really want (or don't want) for your future. Planning a wedding is stressful enough — there's no need to start before you're actually ready.
Dr. John Mayer, clinical psychologist