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This book is a must read for all soon-to-be brides! While everyone's asking you about the dress, the plans, the decorations, they forget to ask you how you're feeling, how you're handling this emotionally, if you have any worries, or doubts, etc. (Which is NORMAL!!) Even if they did ask you, society has trained us (women) to smile and say "Great!! I'm so happy!" This book helps get you to think about your true inner feelings before getting married so that when it comes to the actual day, you're stress & worry free! A great, easy to read book...a must!! (I bought 4 have have given them to the engaged women in my life...they love it! It's a great engagement gift!
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Unarticulated anxiety disappeared after reading this book!
Since becoming engaged, I've had terrible dreams and lots of wedding anxiety. Some of it I can rationalize but sometimes I can't. All told, I've had a very smooth wedding planning ride: my family has handled many of the details, I've been able to save enough money, and most of all, he's going to be my husband, which I've wanted for almost seven years. I've questioned myself and journaled and meditated and prayed to figure out why I've been so grumpy and moody about all of it: it can't just be that it's not the exact ceremony I had in mind, or that it will be hard without my dad and his mom, or that it's costing a fortune, etc. I have absolutely no doubts about wanting to be married - this was about me, not us. So why the anxiety?
I've read The Conscious Bride three times in the last few days and have a sense of calm and peace about the wedding that I haven't experienced before. The book deals with the cultural, emotional and spiritual implications of women who get married, many of which people don't talk about. It's not just "there's a lot of pressure to make the day perfect" (although there is that!), but it's everything: the wedding is an initiation, other relationships can change, even the most well adjusted person can have identity questions, and no matter how much you love what you're gaining, there is still some loss associated with getting married. The book is beautiful, easy to read, and thorough. It helps you understand some of the emotions that might come up that people just don't talk about.
Only parts of the book applied to me, which is probably true for most women: for instance, there's a really interesting chapter about how your relationship with your mother can be strained, and that's not an issue for me - mine is strengthened. There's a part about feeling like you're losing yourself that doesn't apply to me. But most of the first half of the book does apply to me, and I the first time I read through it, I literally cried with relief that someone understood, and that I could finally articulate what I was feeling. That night and every night since, I've slept like a baby and have not had a single wedding nightmare.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to every woman even considering marriage, engaged, or already married. Of the thousands of dollars I've already spent on the wedding, this is by far the best $14 I've spent. (The cover and title are a little misleading.)