I will speak on behalf of my peers in saying that there seems to be a countless number of people either freshly engaged or getting ready to tie the knot in this new year. My husband was recently involved in two different proposals within one week. It’s truly an exciting time to be a millennial. And then there’s me, watching it all happen and approaching my 4 year wedding anniversary in May. Sometimes it does feel weird to think that all the excitement that these people my age and even older are experiencing is something I have already lived through, especially when my wedding day is now such a blurry memory. I wouldn’t change my decision to get married young and in college for the world, but I do feel that I am in an interesting position to give my peers advice for their big day and getting adjusted to married life. Thus, I am going to to give what I feel are the most important tips for each step in a budding marriage: The Road to the Big Day, The Day You Say “I Do”, and the Happy Ever After.
The Road to the Big Day: I can’t stress enough to not stress too much. Having the most beautiful flowers, cake, or venue does not make you any more married than if you had none. Make sure you are planning for you and not to simply impress the guests. After all, it is not their special day. The union of two people that love each other should be the star of the show, and a display of respect should be the cornerstone throughout the planning process and forevermore. That being said, details and decorations can be fun to coordinate, and I’ll admit that they do play a role in what makes weddings as romantic as they are.
- Don’t underestimate the power of a well spoken DJ and/or announcer at the reception.
- Plan to take most all of the pictures before the ceremony and have a first look. When you are done with the wedding, you just want to get away and not smile for endless pictures.
- Buy Christmas lights when they are on sale after Christmas.
- If money is of concern, get married at an hour in which a meal is not expected at the reception. We made sure that the reception clearly fell between lunch and dinner, and we only offered light snacks along with cupcakes. In my opinion, meals are always uncomfortable at weddings anyways. As soon as Noah and I left the reception, we checked in at the hotel and ran to Bob Evans in the rain, and that has become such a fond memory for us.
- Choose a bridal party that brings you joy and not drama.
- Accept helping hands. People get excited, so let them be excited and help.
- If people aren’t excited for you, ignore them.
- Don’t forget about ceremony programs until the day before. If you do, they can be done quickly at a UPS store.
The Day You Say “I Do”: I know your wedding day is supposed to be the one of the best days of your life, but mine honestly wasn’t. I don’t really remember most of it. Let’s face it, weddings are weird. There is an odd mix of friends and family that are all there to see you. On any other day, people would probably see this as their worst nightmare. I found the whole extravaganza overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, there were moments that I remember experiencing true joy and love, but most of the day was a blur. Luckily, I have pictures to jog my memories and fill in some of the gaps.
- Eat. Drink. Sleep. No one wants to be tired, hungry, and dehydrated on a normal day, let alone their wedding day.
- Arrive and leave the reception as soon as possible.
- Pack makeup remover.
- Breathe and take it all in. I wish that I did this more.
- Allow yourself to cry.
- Love on your parents and new in-laws. It is a stressful day for them too. Ladies, give your dad the biggest hug.
- Take your own pictures even if you have a photographer.
- Don’t go on a honeymoon that is overly stressful. Leaving for vacation can be stressful even without coming right out of a wedding. We arrived to Las Vegas and slept for like 12 hours as soon as we got there.
The Happy Ever After: You are still the same two people that you were the day before you were married, so don’t expect magic to appear overnight. Everything and nothing changes all at the same time. Legally, life transforms in an instant, but otherwise, marriages are slowly built each day.
- I think the advice I gave in one of my early posts is still crucial to a fulfilling marriage. To this day, we continue to ask about each other’s favorite part of the day each night before we go to sleep. We make sure to be honest about our thoughts and state of mind so that no grudges or hard feelings are brought into the next morning. Besides the unfortunate nights where Noah’s allergies sentence him to an upright slumber on the recliner in the corner, we have never chosen to sleep alone. When grudges and resentment build, they manifest into something uglier, and tend to point back to insecurities in the person who is upset. I don’t think it is healthy to lay next to someone while wondering if you are on the same page. As I said before, “always fall asleep with a smile.”
- Accept all bodily functions as facts of life.
- Laugh together as much as possible. Don’t take yourselves too seriously.
- Mean what you say and say what you mean.
- Meals don’t have to be extravagant. We “every man” it most of the time so that we are both eating what we want, but we eat our food together regardless.
- Money is not more important than your spouse.
- Treat routine outings like dates. Sometimes there is nothing more exciting than the grocery store.
- Be each other’s best friendo.
I realize that this is one of my longer posts, but marriage is something that I am immensely passionate about. I want everyone to experience the blessing that is marriage in the way that I do. I know that each wedding, relationship, and circumstance is unique, but I hope that you are able to take at least one thing away from this. May 2019 be a year full of love, wedding bells, and tears of joy.