and already have acquired years worth of marriage advice
and do not have a wealth of advice on marriage.
However, I have a few thoughts, some things that made an impression on me, that I’d like to record.
To remember for me, and to remember for later years when I am better capable of giving sage advice.
And with that…
Wedding Week and Married Life Tips
1) Don’t let the stress of planning a wedding overbear the love that you have for each other, don’t ignore major red flags in certain situations, but don’t let small arguments about the wedding hurt the anticipation for the marriage ahead.
This advice point is one that my brother’s new wife and my new sister, Ryan, thoroughly agree on.
Planning a wedding is stressful. Justin and I planned ours in less than 4 months and during a school semester. And even though our wedding was thoroughly petite in size, it still contained enough pieces to make me exceptionally overwhelmed now and again.
There are three points, of the many, that I would say are vitally important to remember :
–> The stress and worry of planning a wedding, apart from certain exceptions, does NOT need to escalate to the questioning of the occurrence of the entire wedding itself. That is giving too much weight to the stress and it in no way deserves to be catered to like that. Keep your discussions/disagreements focused and resolve problems as they arise, keeping the conflict in its place and then moving past it.
–> Stay in prayer, as a couple and as an individual, with so much else happening and changing around you, make sure you maintain relationship with the One who never changes.
–> Remember that your entire lives will not be the same as the months before the wedding . The time right before a wedding contains a unique type of stress that does not continue past the wedding.
2) Work hard to make time for you (and your fiance) to rest during your wedding week.
–> Work as least as possible. This may sound selfish and perhaps even foolish, but for the girl, at least, this could be a life saver in the end. For me, going to work my wedding week was hard. My attention was split, I had so many things on my mind and errands to run for the wedding that my hours at work were stressful and the entire time I was just waiting to leave so I could tackle the long wedding to-do list. Near the end of the week I wished many a time that I had taken off that week and possibly been able to cut my stress in half by doing so.
—> Get SLEEP. Don’t underestimate the gift of sleep and try to go to bed by midnight each night at the LATEST. The rest will keep your body and mind refreshed and ready for each new day full of wedding responsibilities. Though you may still feel physically and mentally weary by default from the requirements of the wedding week, it will be nothing compared to the taxing pressure and exhaustion of a wedding week without enough rest.
–> Enjoy every ‘NOW’. Don’t keep your focus so fixed on the final ‘I Do’ that you forget the momentous and memorable occasions that each day of the wedding week can bring! Take a deep breath, remember your goal, but also remember to fully experience those last few days and hours leading up to the big day! Enjoy each step of the wedding week. Enjoy the last few days of engagement. Enjoy the craft days. Enjoy family coming in to town. Enjoy the bachelor/bachelorette parties. Enjoy the rehearsal dinner. And enjoy the wedding day.
3) GO on a honeymoon
And go RIGHT after the wedding.
Even if it’s just 2 or 3 nights, even if it’s just an hour away from your home, even if it’s just to a simple hotel, GO AWAY, so that you have time to process getting married and so that being married actually has time to sink in and become more of a reality before REAL reality must be experienced!
Justin and I had a small taste of what it would have been like to not go on a honeymoon and it was by no means an easy circumstance to cope with.
A honeymoon is not just a vacation, it’s a processing opportunity, a unique break from real life, and something that I would say should be top priority for every nearly/newly married couple.
4) Expect to be Overwhelmed (sometimes)
It may be a little, it may be a lot, but a wedding, honeymoon and married life are all major changes and adjustments, physically, emotionally, and mentally. That isn’t to say that the early times aren’t SO good, because they are! But that much new and that much change doesn’t come without the feeling of being overwhelmed. Recognize it, appreciate it, take a deep breath, relax and enjoy!!
5) Don’t be shocked that the ‘new’ lasts past the honeymoon.
This is something that I did not specifically give much thought to before the wedding, nor did it ever specifically come up in conversations of advice.
I feel that it is important to understand and remember going into a marriage, that a couple doesn’t just feel married immediately after the wedding, but that it’s a feeling and understanding that starts at the wedding and continues to grow from that point on.
The process of building routines, the process of understanding another persons habits, the process of learning how to care for another person and the process of living with and mutually providing for another person are all new for more than just a week. Be aware that you will continually be experiencing the new and learning how to build routines for, well, the rest of your lives really, but for much longer than just the honeymoon!!
There is a reason why we are called NEWlyweds!
Don’t be surprised or disappointed that you don’t just immediately understand one another, or fall perfectly into routine with one another after the honeymoon,
give it time,
and embrace the newness of just being married!
You won’t make the memories and routines you are making now with your spouse ever again!!
Enjoy each other and all of the newness!!
Because as much as it may feel like it does, it won’t last forever!!
6) Relax your Routine
The leading up to a wedding and the honeymoon involves so much planning. So many lists, so many to-do’s and lots of preparation. And I didn’t realize how much I had drifted into a pattern of intense routine until after we got back from the honeymoon and all I could think about was organizing, laundry, dishes, meal preparation, meal cleanup, making the bed, etc… I had been conditioned by wedding planning (and perhaps just my innate tendencies) to always feel like a deadline was approaching. I couldn’t even leave a glass out on the counter overnight because then that would mean the house was out of order and that just wouldn’t do!
It wasn’t until the other night, when, for the first time, Justin and I talked about our day together, lying in bed, before going to sleep and we didn’t say goodnight until around 11 instead of 10, that I realized how much I was depending on routine and consequently restricting our relationship in certain ways.
I was so focused on making sure we were doing everything practically right.
That we were sleeping enough (10pm in bed. 7am awake)
That we were eating enough vegetables (is tomato, cucumber, peppers and carrots too much for just one meal?)
That our home was always well organized (Bed Made. Laundry Done. Dishes Clean. Always.)
that I was obsessing over it all.
And living for the routine.
I couldn’t even sit with Justin on the couch for 10 minutes without feeling anxious about everything that HAD to get done right away!
And the other night, as we lay in bed talking,
I consciously let my intense need for us to stay on exact routine slip out of my mind
I felt myself relax and my mind ease into an understanding that it will all be done,
and that it was okay.
From that point I’ve been embracing our routine, as well as its exceptions
and enjoying every bit of it!!!!
that’s all I’ve got.
I’m off to officially change my last name!!
(And run another errand, that may or may not surface on this blog in the next few days!)
It’s about time for me to go down from an 11 letter last name to a 5 letter last name.