Our dreams can offer us a glimpse into our subconscious and provide clues into our deepest truths—once we decode them, that is. If you've been dreaming about weddings and want to know what it could mean, we asked dream experts for their take. Here's what they had to say, including what to do if you keep dreaming about saying "I do."
While researchers haven't figured out exactly why we dream, one theory is that dreams help us process memories and emotions and rehearse potential scenarios that could happen in the future. How you interpret your own dreams, then, will depend on your own personal associations with the content of your dreams.
According to both professional dream analyst, Lauri Loewenberg, and spiritual guide, psychologist, and author of The Alchemy of Your Dreams, Athena Laz, the emotions a dream brings up for you can often be one of your biggest clues.
"No dream symbol can offer the same meaning to every person because the dream as a whole story (not singular symbols) is what relays the guidance and message to the dreamer," Laz explains to mbg.
With that said, here are some potential interpretations for a handful of common wedding-related dreams, according to Laz and Loewenberg.
When you’re the one getting married in the dream.
If you’re in a relationship:
If you're in a relationship and dream of marrying your partner, especially if taking that next step in your relationship has been on your mind, this can be a more literal dream. It's a dress rehearsal of sorts, as Loewenberg calls it.
"Your subconscious is putting you through a dress rehearsal with this person so you can determine if this feels right to you or not," she explains.
And as Laz notes, how it made you feel is exactly what you want to reflect on. "Were you happy or sad, relieved, in love, or terrified? The union, in this case, could be speaking to the way you feel about your relationship, or how you generally feel about intimacy," she tells mbg.
If you’re single:
If you're single and dream of getting married, this dream could represent a type of union within yourself. If you can recall whom you were marrying in the dream, that figure might hold a clue about a side of yourself you're just starting to get to know better.
When you're marrying someone you can't see.
According to Loewenberg, dreaming that you're marrying someone you can't see (i.e. their face is blurry, or you're at the altar but can't look in their eyes) is the most common dream she's heard about from clients. In this case, she says, your betrothed may also represent a part of yourself that's unknown, so get a feel for the energy they're exuding.
"When you get this dream, it's because your subconscious wants you to commit to some side of yourself. It's some kind of commitment you need to make in real life," she adds.
When you’re attending someone else’s wedding or in their wedding party.
To attend someone else's wedding in a dream suggests you feel compelled to support them in your waking life. Loewenberg notes, of course, if you actually have a friend who is engaged, dreaming about that can be more literal. But if not, "your subconscious is encouraging you to play a supportive role in this person's life with whatever it is they're trying to commit to," she says.
When you’re marrying someone you don’t like.
If you're marrying someone you don't like in your dream, Laz says, the qualities you don't like in this person could very well be within you. This dream can be "a call to reflect on the disavowed aspects of yourself, or of the collective you live in," she says.
After a dream like this, she recommends asking yourself what it is about this person you don't like, and then, if those things are present in you.
"Fierce honesty is required here because dreams like this come to alert one to behaviors, relationships, or patterns that they are often unwilling to own," Laz says.
But, she adds, the fact this marriage is taking place in your dream is a positive sign. "It shows the dreamer that they are finally coming into contact—and perhaps even joining—previously unlikable qualities within themselves," Laz says.
When you’re marrying someone who's not your partner.
In some cases, dreaming of marrying someone other than your partner can indicate you’re discovering a quality within yourself that you are “married to,” Laz tells mbg.
According to Loewenberg, it can also mean this person has some quality or qualities that you find admirable, and that you want to commit to. And of course, she adds, if you're actually interested in this person in real life, "again, it's your subconscious testing the waters there."
When a wedding dress appears in your dream.
Maybe your dreams don't involve the actual event of a wedding, but rather, a wedding dress. In this case, Loewenberg explains, your subconscious could be suggesting that there's something you need to commit to, whether it's a new job, a new healthy habit, or perhaps even a person.
Laz notes that in general, wedding dresses in dreams symbolize a union, as well as life cycles and stages of initiation. "It shows us that a union, a marriage, an initiation is occurring for the dreamer," she says.
If you’re wearing the dress, for example, Laz says that shows you that you’re in the initiation. "If you're about to put on the dress, you’re embarking on the initiation, or say someone rips your wedding dress—that shows the initiation has been damaged in some sense," she adds.
What to do about wedding-related dreams.
Whether you've been dreaming about a wedding dress, or a mystery groom at the altar, the most important thing you can do is figure out where the emotions that were present in the dream are present in your waking life.
Laz suggests, for example, asking questions like, "Who (or what) was I marrying in the dream and how did it make me feel?" or, "Am I finally able to reconcile two seemingly opposite or conflicting aspects of myself or my behavior?"
She adds that from a psychological point of view, recurring dreams invite us to look at repetitive patterns, beliefs, emotions, or relationships that we are replaying in our waking lives.
And according to Loewenberg, these dreams can also give us clues about what we need to commit to. "More than anything, wedding dreams are about the need to commit to something and stick to it in real life," she says.
Oh and just as an FYI, if you're currently engaged and keep dreaming about your wedding, Loewenberg says it's extremely normal and no cause for alarm. "Don't let the dreams freak you out. Focus on what's important right now as you plan that wedding journey," she says.
The bottom line.
So many common dream symbols and themes aren't always meant to be taken literally, and wedding dreams are no exception. Only you can uncover what a specific dream means to you, and tapping into the imagery, emotion, and symbolism of your dreams will get you one step closer to decoding their messages.
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