As a wedding planner, I am in the business of love stories. Learning about how a couple met, how he proposed, where they’re going on their honeymoon-- it’s all a part of the process we go through when getting to know each of our couples.
While we so often talk about how stressful planning a wedding can be, I think that something that oftentimes gets pushed aside is the subject of the first year of marriage, and some of the unexpected trials that are bound to arise.
For traditional couples, they are moving in together either right before or right after the wedding. Although this may seem like a super fun and exciting time, believe me when I say, that it can also be incredibly stressful and overwhelming. If you’re a neat freak and your husband is somewhat messy, this can be uncharted territory, if you’ve always been used to having your own space to go home to at the end of the night.
There’s also this heightened pressure of the holidays, and a whole other family you now have to accommodate. Some couples combat the battle of the holidays before marriage, while others choose to spend Christmases and Thanksgivings with their own families before marriage, and just assume that they will figure things out once they are married. Although never a perfect science, it’s important to remember that you and your spouse are now your own family, and it doesn’t need to be an “us vs. them” battle every year when it comes to spending time with family over the holidays. Take the time to sit down with your spouse well in advance about what they want to do for the holidays, so you can be on the same page about your plans the first time the subject arises.
When Lee and I got married, I was convinced that we wouldn’t need an adjustment period when it came to living together or navigating our families, because we had lived together for over a year before we got married. (Excuse me while I laugh at how ridiculously wrong I was). I’m not sure why there is an unspoken change that occurs, but there is. Suddenly, small fights can seem huge and devastating-- presumably because there is now this unspoken pressure to have it all figured out.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that the wedding is not the finish line, but truly the beginning. So while it can be a relief to have the stress of wedding planning behind you, the fun is truly just beginning. Although there are bound to be challenges along the way, it’s important to remember that one bad day doesn’t mean you have a bad marriage-- give your spouse some grace and remember that tomorrow is a new day.