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A Bad Case of ‘Bride Brain’

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Have you ever heard of “bride brain?” It is much like “baby brain,” where a pregnant woman kind of loses all brain capability—memory is shot, can’t focus, mistakenly puts the dirty laundry in the fridge and the milk in the washer. Get the picture? Bride brain is the same—minus the baby in the belly.



I used to pride myself on my incredible memory; tell me something once and I’d remember it, no problem. Once I got engaged and the wedding planning was at full force, my brain turned to mush. I couldn’t remember anything unless I wrote it down—and prayed that I didn’t lose that paper. That’s right, I write things down. I don’t like the whole technology thing.

I’ve always been a big to-do list maker, but my to-do lists took on a whole new level when I became a bride. At one point I had ten different to-do lists, not including the shopping lists I had strewn about. Lists were EVERYWHERE. And I made a new one every single day. EVERY DAY, PEOPLE. Planning a wedding made me a tree killer.

When I wasn’t furiously writing things down on any paper I could find—if I had mistakenly left my can’t-live-without-my-notebook notebook somewhere—then I was running into glass doors that I assumed were automatic. That’s right. I walked straight into MANUAL doors because, in my hurriedness, I had made the assumption that JOANN-FREAKING-FABRICS had caught up with the rest of the world and automatically opened their doors when my feet graced their presence. I had no focus—not even to open a door.

Or what about the time that I made a caffeine run to the local gas station, backed out of my parking spot, and HIT A BEER DELIVERY MAN. Okay, so I actually hit the cart he was pushing that was full of Sierra Nevada, but you get my drift. Beer went everywhere, I was mortally embarrassed, but the delivery guy just laughed at me. I had hit a new low. My bride brain almost caused a serious injury. For those Sierra Nevada diehard fans, I know you feel a little wounded. To you, I apologize.

When I wasn’t randomly walking into closed doors, I was walking into places and would totally forget why I came there. Better yet, I would be in midsentence and would completely forget what I was talking about. My brain would go blank. Being a bride made me feel dumb. Oh so dumb. For example, I started saying things like “totes cool.” TOTES COOL. I don’t even know where that came from or how it managed to escape my mouth.



Bride brain is a serious thing. It targets your intelligence, makes you forgetful to the point where you need a pen and paper at all times, has you walking into inanimate objects as if they will move of their own accord, hinders your ability to maneuver an automobile, and makes you say things like “totes cool” in a conversation without a hint of sarcasm. It’s an illness. Now that I’m married, I’m slowly getting back to my normal self, but the period of my time as a frazzled bride will forever be ingrained in my brain. In my slightly mushy, fried brain.

So if you see a woman with an engagement ring running around with a bunch of lists, frantically searching for the perfect ribbon, who may not be speaking in coherent sentences, just know that that’s not who she truly is—she’s just suffering from a case of bride brain. It too shall pass.

Be nice to a bride today.


Riley McDaniel is an aspiring writer with a love for children, writing, music, and movies. She has her BFA degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment from Full Sail University and hopes to use her work to instill a love of reading and writing in others. Though she has a passion for writing, her passion for chocolate is almost just as strong.