The last week has been the first test of our vows — our ability to look beyond our own sphere of stress and lighten the burden for the other. The wedding took up so much of our life for over a year, and after our honeymoon, we had to figure out what to do with our spare time and how to fill in the newly empty gaps. Exactly a month after the wedding, we found ourselves adopting a second dog. A dog that wasn’t trained; she has taken up every single minute of time and ounce of patience we both have. She’s already a fantastic little girl (and is fast asleep at my feet as I write), but the first few days were pretty touch-and-go. The dog we adopted together before the wedding was a little older, and already pretty much trained, so he took significantly less work. It’s been so interesting to take a step back and observe our differing parenting styles, and learn from the other person’s strengths and mistakes. It’s also been really nice to have those vows to reflect on, when things get a little insane.
So what does this really have to do with weddings, you ask? Well, my advice is to make some solid plans for yourself, once it’s all over. The post-wedding blues were REAL. It took me at least two weeks to feel back to my normal self, but I still haven’t fully relaxed into every day life. If you take a honeymoon right after (or even if you don’t), try to take an extra day or two to just be at home together before you have to go back to work. I think that would have helped center us before we had to dive back into real life. But after that, you gotta get right back on that horse.
My biggest regret so far is thinking that I could take some time off from my exercise routine. I was so excited to not have to worry about my dress that I gained back the few pounds I lost right away, and I lost my progress in my endurance and strength-training. My parents also asked me last weekend what my hobbies are now that I’m done with the wedding, and I honestly didn’t have an answer for them. Granted, between working full-time and grad school part-time, friends, pets and blogging, there’s not much actual free time left over, but I wish I’d not let wedding planning become my hobby. I definitely feel a little adrift, on top of not feeling physically on top of my game anymore.
Instead of rediscovering the little things that made me happy and whole, I dove right back in to a big project — the dog. While I’m so thrilled about her, and her training progress in the last week, I just wish I’d thought a little more about my post-wedding plans, and actually scheduled some things to look forward to upon our return to everyday life. Maybe then I wouldn’t have felt as big of a gap? I haven’t even seen but one of my bridesmaids since we got back from our honeymoon! So a few weeks before your wedding, take some time out and think about what you love to do. Buy tickets for a show, plan a girls’ weekend, schedule guitar lessons or dance classes — something to get you back to feeling like YOU, instead of just BRIDE. You’re Bride You for a very short period of time, compared to the rest of your life. And if you do decide to get that pet, adopt, don’t shop!
Our first family portrait, courtesy of the continuous self-timer on our camera.
For those married BABs out there, did you find yourselves in a similar spot? How did you cope? Tell us in the comments below!