Should I Call Off the Wedding or Is It Just Cold Feet?

Your wedding is one of the best experiences in your life—but it can also be the most stressful. In fact, it’s not uncommon for future brides (or grooms) to feel so exhausted, anxious and emotional that they begin to question whether they should get married.

“Do I really need to get married?” “Am I doing the right thing?” You’re not the first bride-to-be to ask themselves this question.

It’s completely normal to get “cold feet”, especially if you’re put under a lot of pressure when planning your wedding. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong with your relationship, or that you shouldn’t get married. It may just be nerves, which will pass the moment you tie the knot.
But if you are feeling doubtful about your upcoming nuptials, you should take your concerns seriously. Is it just cold feet, or should you call off your wedding? Let’s find out.

What Is “Cold Feet”?

So, what exactly is “cold feet?” Also called pre-wedding jitters, cold feet syndrome is defined as a feeling of uncertainty to move forward with the wedding. You might start to doubt yourself months, weeks, or even days before your big day.

It could be down to nerves – for example, a fear of something going wrong, or making a fool of yourself. Cold feet can also be triggered by doubting the relationship itself. Marriage is a huge decision, and many people become suddenly worried that they aren’t ready for it.
A lot of upcoming brides and grooms experience the jitters, especially when they’re under a lot of pressure to make their wedding as perfect as possible. Here are some of the most common signs that you’re experiencing cold feet.

You’re More Irritable than Usual

It’s normal to lose your nerve sometimes, especially when you’re in the middle of planning a huge event. When you’re trying to choose the perfect flowers, working on a tight budget or dealing with wedding-related stress, you might feel yourself becoming snappy and easily annoyed.

If you’re finding yourself becoming more and more irritable, this could lead to arguments with your significant other. Some relationship coaches see couples fighting a lot while planning their wedding, and it can take a toll on the relationship if not addressed right away.
Instead of bickering over who’s doing more for your wedding or who should make the right decisions, try to work together as a team. See the situation as “you and your partner vs. the problem”, rather than “you vs. your partner”.

The key here is to communicate properly. Only have big, important conversations when you’re both feeling calm, and always try to see things from the other’s perspective. It’s actually a good dry run for what your partnership would be like as a married couple.

You Begin to Feel Attracted to Others

You’ve already found the love of your life and you’re planning the wedding of your dreams. So, why is it that you start finding other people attractive?
According to experts, this is a sign of cold feet. You’re beginning to realise that you’re stepping into a lifelong commitment that you can’t just back away from any time you want. Noticing the men or women that you can’t date anymore is perfectly normal.

As long as you know your boundaries, you’ll get through the jitters and get your mind back on marrying the love of your life. Your ‘crushes’ should pass quickly and uneventfully if you put all your energy into your relationship. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t meant to be together!

You’re Wondering If You’re Marrying Too Soon

While most of your family and friends were happy that you got engaged, there are still some who think that you’re heading for that altar way too fast.
You can’t expect everyone to be happy for you. But sometimes, others’ opinions (especially those belonging to close family members) could make you begin to question your decision.
But you need to remember that only you and your partner know your relationship inside out. There’s no exact timeframe that determines whether your marriage will be a success or failure.

So, instead of focusing on what others have to say about your decision to get married, focus on the reasons you said yes in the first place. Keep in mind that you and your husband- or wife-to-be will be living your married life together, not your family or friends. Only you can decide when you’re ready.

You’re Having Nightmares About Your Wedding

When we’re anxious and stressed about something, we begin to experience nightmares about it. Pre-wedding “stress dreams” are extremely common, especially when you’re not getting enough sleep because of planning duties.

According to experts, stress dreams revolving around wedding planning could be the result of your brain processing the information related to these decisions. They could also be due to underlying worries about the big day. For example, if you’re worried that your dress won’t fit, you might have a nightmare about it bursting open as you’re walking down the aisle.
Getting married is a huge stage in your life and you might have a lot of thoughts and nerves about it causing you to experience nightmares. But don’t worry because they’re just dreams, and they’re perfectly normal. They’re not necessarily a sign that you shouldn’t get married.

Should I Call Off the Wedding?

Now, it’s one thing to have cold feet and another to actually see red flags that should make you re-think your decision to get married. The question is: what exactly are the signs that you need to call off your wedding?

Your Gut is Telling You to Cancel

Here’s the truth: your gut feeling is rarely wrong. While cold feet could make you question your decision to get married sometimes, if it’s happening too often, this may be a red flag. If you’re unable to see any positives about your upcoming wedding, and you’re finding more and more reasons not to push through, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your decision.

Before moving forward with the wedding planning, take a step back and see if you just need some rest, or if you really need to re-think this huge step in your life. Perhaps take a few weeks away from wedding planning, where you don’t think about, talk about or look at anything wedding-related. Then see how you feel with a fresh mind.

You Feel Alone in Planning the Wedding

In most cases (and we are generalising here), the bride does more of the wedding planning than the groom. This is simply because men tend not to care about the little details, like the colour of the flowers, or what the place cards look like.

That being said, you should at least feel supported in your wedding planning efforts. You should feel that you’re a team, and your partner should at least provide input on the bigger decisions, such as the date of the wedding and the guest list.
Your partner should also be willing to help with the logistics side of things, such as attending appointments and telephoning wedding suppliers. You should not have to shoulder the burden entirely on your own.

If you feel like your partner is not interested in anything related to your wedding, and you don’t feel supported at all, then do they really want to marry you? Or have they only proposed because it’s the “done thing”?
Remember that a wedding should be a collaboration between you and your partner. If you’re the only one who’s excited about it, it might not be the right decision after all.

You Have a Constant Feeling of Uncertainty

We all feel uncertain about our lives from time to time, and having the odd “wobble” while wedding planning is normal. But when it’s such an important life decision as getting married, experiencing a constant, unyielding feeling of uncertainty could be a sign that now is not the right time to make that commitment.

If you think that your partner is not committed, or real relationships problems start to appear now that you’re planning your wedding, that could be an indicator of the kind of marriage that you’ll be having once all the festivities are done. Don’t get married if you’re not 100% sure it’s the right decision.

You’re Dreading the Marriage as Well as the Wedding

Cold feet typically revolves around anxiety pertaining to the wedding itself. But how do you feel when you think past your wedding day, and look to the future? Does it fill you with relief to imagine the day after your wedding, when all the stress and chaos is over? Or do you still feel a sense of unease, dread, or guilt?
If you are doubting the marriage, as well as the wedding, this may be a bad sign. It might suggest that there’s something about your relationship that you’re unhappy with, and you’re doubting whether your marriage will work.

How to Overcome Cold Feet

The “cold feet” feeling typically goes away on its own. You’ll come to a feeling of peace and calm soon before the wedding, and afterwards, you’ll look back and laugh about how nervous you were.
In the meantime, spending quality time with your fiancé(e) can help. Remember to take regular breaks away from wedding planning, and focus on talking about other things than the wedding.
But if you’ve noticed any signs of real relationship problems, and not just pre-wedding jitters, it’s time to have a serious talk with your partner. Bring it up in a non-confrontational, calm way, and explain the doubts you’re having.

Pre-marriage counselling can be an incredibly helpful tool. A counsellor or therapist can help you work through any feelings of doubt or cold feet, figure out what’s driving them, and how they can be resolved. Remember, you can always postpone the wedding while you figure things out.
Wedding planning is definitely a stressful event and experiencing cold feet is nothing but a normal part of the process. But as long as you don’t let it get to you, and keep your mind focused on your goals, you can enjoy the wedding planning process without losing your minds—and relationship—while you’re at it.

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