You’ve said “I do” in your white dress, church wedding. You’ve strolled barefoot down a makeshift, sandy aisle toward the person of your dreams.
You’ve eaten the cake, sipped the champagne, put on the ring, or plodded off in your horse-drawn carriage. Maybe you’ve said the words in your backyard, on the courthouse steps, or in a grocery store.
No matter how you marked the occasion, you’re married. You’ve found “the one” and promised your life to the person who makes you happy. You’ve sealed your love, promised to walk through this crazy thing called life hand-in-hand. Now it’s just time for wedded bliss. You see a life of morning kisses, flirtatious conversations, and romantic getaways in your future.
The first year of marriage is marked by magical moments and blissful images. It’s a time of discovery, of connection, and of the fuzzy feelings of new love.
Still, the first year is also often filled with hurdles and challenges unique to those first twelve months.
Here are ten tips to keep the champagne feelings from wearing off before you’ve dug your fork into the frozen wedding cake on the first anniversary. Not married yet? Even better—these are things you can work on before saying “I do” to make the first year of marriage stronger yet.
1. Create Your Own Traditions:
From holiday traditions to weekly routines, you probably come from families with slight differences. Melding together two sets of traditions can be challenging and fight-inducing. Our first Christmas created upheavals because we were both used to two diverse sets of holiday traditions.
Realize that as a married couple, you now have to create your own traditions. These can certainly be modeled after pieces from each family. However, agreeing to create traditions unique to your marriage and family can alleviate the pressures that come from the tug-of-war that can ensue in year one.
2. Take Photographs of Every First:
The first year will set the tone for your marriage and will give you resolve to weather the tough moments that are up ahead. These are the moments you will reminisce about, will talk about, will laugh about. Document everything. Take pictures of your first pumpkin carving, your first dinner you host, your first grocery store trip together, everything. Document the big moments, but take pictures of the small moments too. We created a scrapbook of our first year and will sometimes get it out to reflect on that first year. Having the pictures from the blissful first year can spark some of the magical feelings later.