What Do Wedding Dreams Mean?

7 Min Read | By Nicholas Barber

Last Modified 22 February 2024   First Added 15 July 2022

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

The Meaning Behind Wedding Dreams

To have and to hold, ‘til death do us part. Wedding dreams can be common at any stage of your life, whether or not you’re actively planning your big day. If you do have a wedding date approaching, it’s likely going to take over your life for the coming months so it’s only natural your waking thoughts will manifest in wedding-related dreams.

For many people, experiencing their wedding day would really be a dream come true. For others getting married would be a living nightmare!

Let’s delve into what it means to have a wedding dream.

The Dream:

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something…you? Yes, it’s your big day! Overcome with pure joy, you burst into a smile as the Bridal Chorus by Richard Wagner, commonly known as ‘Here Comes the Bride’, strikes up.

You look up to meet the gaze of your beloved. How you’ve both longed for this moment. You’re deeply in love and ready to pledge yourself to this person for the rest of your life.

Then you wake up with a start.

Your dream wedding was just that – only a dream. Will it ever come true?

Meaning(s) of the dream:

This dream will have very different meanings depending on whether you’re planning your own wedding day or if you have no intention of getting married.

In fact, dreams about weddings are commonly nothing to do with your romantic situation and instead symbolic of growth in the different aspects of your life, including career, business, or personal development.

According to Layne Dalfen, A.K.A. The Dream Analyst, “When someone is getting married and they’re having anxiety dreams, I open up the door to say that this is not always literal. Dreams are metaphoric. Sometimes, it might have wedding imagery, but it could be about something else in your life that has to do with making a vow to yourself.”

Dalfen says other elements may be causing you stress or pressure which then manifests in wedding dream symbols. “Any dream about a wedding is related to a certain level of pressure. We have anticipation and expectation of perfection for a wedding, so this is an overall theme for any wedding dream,” she explains.

Common meanings behind wedding dreams

There’s a huge variety of dreams about weddings. From taking part in your own wedding, to watching another couple’s big day, to attending a traditional church wedding, or a more unusual outdoor event. Many people have even dreamed of attending a royal wedding with all their pomp and ceremony. Here we explore the meanings of each of these variations.

Dreaming of getting married

If you dream about a wedding, it can symbolise a period of great happiness, especially in your love life, according to Millers Guild. If you’ve always wanted to enjoy your dream wedding and marry the love of your life, this dream will certainly be a welcome one.

Dreams about getting married unsurprisingly represent commitment and unity. Less obviously perhaps, they’re also said to mean new opportunities, or a new partner are knocking on your door. However, if you’ve dreamed of getting married while already having a wedding ring on your finger, there’s a possibility you’re unhappy with your current spouse, according to The Pleasant Dream. Their advice? Try to discover what you both lack as partners. Only once you’ve figured out why you’re feeling so low about your relationship status should you go ahead and resolve the matter.

Dreaming about getting married to a stranger

Perhaps the most unsettling and uncomfortable wedding dream is where you marry someone you don’t even know: a complete stranger. As such, according to My Dreams Meaning, regularly dreaming about getting married to a stranger means you may be experiencing uncomfortable thoughts. “It may feel like you are being pushed against your will and made to face situations you would rather not be in.”

And did you know about 50 percent of the people we dream about are strangers? Or rather, people completely unfamiliar to us. A Psychology Today study found that these strangers tend to be male. Neuroscientist Patrick McNamara sums up the study, “In short, male strangers occur very often in dreams and they invariably signal physical aggression.” He adds: “…Male strangers appear to be a ‘code’ for aggressive impulses that are being processed in memory.”

Dreaming about a royal wedding

According to dream experts dreams about royal weddings can highlight growing self-confidence. They can also be a good omen for celebration, joy and youth, especially if there are children playing inside the dream.

Dreams Directory says of royal wedding dreams, “You are looking at things from a spiritual viewpoint. You feel that all eyes are on you. Your dream is a premonition for important information that you are about to receive. Your dream points to intuition, loyalty, generosity, protection, and fidelity.”

Dreaming about a wedding dress

In a dream, trying on a wedding dress personifies an urgent issue, says Check My Dream. This highly symbolic action has many allegorical meanings. You may succeed in rising to a new level professionally, ace an exam, or move closer towards achieving your goal. This dream can also result from important new events transforming your life, such as meeting new people or starting a new job.

Answering the dream:

We’ve seen that wedding dreams are often nothing to do with your current romantic situation. But when they are, they can often be related to growing anxiety as the big day approaches.

So what can you do if you’re experiencing wedding nightmares, perhaps of some unpreventable disaster spoiling the big day? These are even more troubling if they start reoccurring. The experts at Bride and Groom say that wedding nightmares are triggered by stress and anxiety. These dreams are your sleeping brain’s way of expressing your underlying fears and worries.

“To stop having wedding stress dreams, you need to tackle your anxiety, learn how to relax, and solve any wedding-planning problems you’re having. Your wedding dreams likely don’t have a deep, mystical meaning – your brain is just overworked, and your night-time visions are a symptom of that.”

Notable appearances in popular culture:

It’s that cliché of all clichés, but it still persists. The notion that all little girls dream of one day being married to a handsome prince in a fairy-tale wedding, before living happily ever after. The importance attached to the institution of marriage in our culture for so long is why ‘the wedding’ is such a popular subject for television shows, films and pop songs.

Take the classic Brit comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral which made the little-known Hugh Grant into a global star in 1994. It was the highest-grossing British film in history at the time, with worldwide box office total of $245.7 million, receiving Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Its story about a group of close-knit friends developing maturity towards commitment in relationships connected to the hearts of a huge global audience.

In pop music, a whole category of songs exists about weddings, appealing to the romantic in all of us. They include Marry You by Bruno Mars, Love and Marriage by Frank Sinatra, (Today I Met) the Boy I’m Gonna Marry by Darlene Love, White Wedding by Billy Idol, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do by Abba and, of course, Chapel of Love by The Dixie Cups.

And on television, some of the most popular shows of recent times have been based on the wedding experience, such as Married at First Sight, Love is Blind, The Wedding Coach, How I Met Your Mother, and Say Yes to the Dress. Clearly there’s life in the old institution yet.

Find out more about dreams that evoke strong emotions by reading our articles on being chased in your dreamwhy your teeth fall out in your dream and what it means to be late in your dream.

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