Your wedding’s over. Here’s what you can focus on next
My wife and I spent ten months planning our wedding (a little shorter than the average engagement length of 13.6 months in the United States). It felt like forever, especially in the last four months before the wedding. So once the wedding was over and we’d returned to our apartment, we were left wondering: What do we do next?
If you haven’t yet, plan your honeymoon or celebratory trip.
We didn’t go on a honeymoon right after our wedding, so that allowed us to move onto focusing on honeymoon planning once it was over. We’d always planned on going in 2020 and we got married in September 2019, so it wasn’t a huge rush but gave us something less stressful to plan together after the fact. If you and your partner(s) are planning on taking a honeymoon later than right after the wedding, you may or may not have it all planned—whatever details are left can be the perfect thing to get excited about now that wedding planning is over. If you aren’t going on a big honeymoon, this might be the time to talk about whether you and your partner(s) want to plan a smaller, more inexpensive trip; a long weekend trip or something within the same state or country where you live.
Focus on your relationship in everyday moments.
It can be hard to go right from the chaos (and often stress) of wedding planning into normal life again, but this is the perfect time to refocus on your marriage. My wife and I used the fall after our wedding to talk about our future goals as individuals and as a couple and to just enjoy spending time together. After so many parties and people around, it can be really refreshing to just eat cheese together while watching Superstore on Hulu (which is exactly what we’ve done). Choose some activities or projects closer to home that you’ve always wanted to do and get them on the books—take a cooking class together, go on your first date as a married couple, plan a game night with friends.
Work on some new projects together.
Maybe you were putting something off because of the wedding, like moving or repainting your kitchen. My wife and I now have a bunch of new home supplies for our apartment thanks to our generous wedding guests, so one of our projects is reconfiguring our kitchen space and finding places for it all. We also had a good conversation about how we can’t buy a home just yet, but we’d like to try and stay in our current apartment while we save for one so we don’t spend unnecessary money on moving to a larger apartment. These are the types of conversations and projects you now have a lot more time for in your relationship! What have you been putting off that you’d like to tackle now?
Get started on post-wedding logistics.
You and your partner(s) may be changing your last names, moving or joining various accounts together. Whatever newlywed logistics need tackling, now’s the time to start. After we got married, I changed my last name to my wife’s, so my first project after the wedding was getting my new social security card, driver’s license, passport and more. Don’t forget to intersperse these tasks with some lighthearted fun and quality time as a couple; planning a wedding is stressful enough and you don’t want to overdo it.
Consider starting couples’ therapy.
Not everyone who goes to couples’ therapy is unhappy or on the rocks; therapy can be a great way to start off your marriage with a foundation of trust and mutual understanding. It’s you and your partner(s) choice whether it’s the route for you but if you’re interested then this could be a good time to start. It’s always easier to get into healthy mental health and relationship habits early on and when things are going well instead of waiting until you’re both stressed and really struggling with an external challenge.
Alaina Leary Lavoie
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