Recently, I was talking to a co-worker of mine who got married last month. I asked her how she was doing. And she replied that she felt “odd” now that her big day was over. Finally not in constant “wedding planning mode”. Not unhappy, but almost a feeling of “now what?”
I know that some people fell right into wedding bliss and were so-freakin’-glad to have all of the wedding planning behind him. But I think for many of us it’s natural to feel a little let down after all the hours, money, and passion you’d put into planning your wedding.
My co-worker got me thinking about the “post-wedding blues” and the ways that I beat them.
Therefore, I now present to you, dear readers, 10 Ways To Beat the Post-Wedding Blues
1. Get organized
Through the magic of a wedding registry, you now have two sets of china, a Panini maker, guest linens, and more kitchen spoons than you know what to do with. Now is the time to get that house or apartment organized! Use some of you wedding cash and head to the Container Store, Bed Bath & Beyond, or Target to buy some organizing gear. Think about adding shelving in your living room, kitchen, and spare rooms. Buy kitchen cabinet organizers, closet organizers, under the bed boxes, and bathroom organizers. Trust me, a little bit of organization early on goes a long when you’re adding a deluge of new stuff to your newlywed home.
2. Write thank you notes!
In this technological era, a hand-written note is so meaningful, so be sure to write those thank you notes. Set aside a fun night to bake some treats and have some wine with the hubby while writing thank you notes. Use the time to reminise about the sweet things family members said to you at the wedding or how funny his fraterity brothers danced at the wedding. I ordered some really cool photo-collage thank you cards and through the magic of wine and cookies we finished writing almost all of them in one night!
3. Create Wedding a Wedding Shadow Box and Mementos Box
After your wedding you end up with a lot of wedding memorabilia left sitting around or stored in your house/apartment. And if you’re like me, you may have worked really hard on some Wedding DIY Projects, so you don’t want to just toss all of the stuff or shove it in your Mom’s attic. So display your favorite wedding memories in a Shadow Box. Such as the invitation, program, ribbons, a favor, and some pictures.
Then save some other key mementos (like place cards, RSVPs, some flowers, or some of your favorite cards in a beautiful box) Then toss the rest. I’m talking about business cards from vendors you never use, scribbled notes of ideas, or the 50 leftover programs you might have. Yes, it’s painful, but remember, you’re saving the stuff you care about most.
4. Share the Love
As a former bride, you’re in a unique position to share your wisdom and experience with others. Have a wedding planning binder? Have a wedding “workplan” in excel like I did? Have really cool word doc templates for programs or placecards? Package it all up and give it to the next bride-to-be you know. I “scrubbed” all of the documents that I used to plan our wedding – like our budget template, guest list template, day-of agenda, wedding workplan, and program template and put it all in a .zip file. I now have sent the package to at least 10 brides-to-be who are friends, or friends-of-friends. It’s a cool feeling to know that your hard work lives on!
5. Get Your Wedding Pictures in Order
Plan out your wedding album and order it (I’ll admit, I have not yet done this! Yikes!). Get some great 5×7 and 8×10 wedding pictures made and frame them. The longer you wait, the harder it is, so just get it done. Also get pictures framed for your family and friends who were in the wedding as part of your order. They make great birthday or Christmas gifts.
6. Throw a Party!
You have great newly-acquired party planning skills and I’m betting that you have all kinds of new serving platters and pitchers to hostess with. Throw a fun theme party or you could invite family and close friends who were at your wedding and use this opportunity to share your wedding video and/or pictures.
7. Join a group
While you’re planning your wedding, you’re part of solid community of vendors, bridal party, family, and guests. Plus if you chat on Wedding Bee, Style Me Pretty, or the Knot then you’re part of a “bride-to-be club” After you’re married, you could end up feeling like you’ve lost that exclusive community.
Start a Newlywed blog and/or chat with other newlywed women on The Nest, Elizabeth Anne Designs Living, She Just Got Married, or another online community. Also look for opportunities to connect with other newlyweds in your community through church or philanthropy. If you can’t find other newlyweds to connect with, then join a young women’s book club, cooking class, alumnae organization, or running group. You’ll feel part of “the club” again in no time.
8. Do the Name Change (if you’re changing it)
(Ok, on this one, I’m definitely giving “do as I say, not as I do” advice since it took me a looong time to change my time and I still have credit cars and frequent flier accounts with my maiden name. Regardless…)
List out all the places where you need to change your name and begin the arduous process of changing it. Hint: Start at Social Security and the DMV and branch out from there.
9. Get your Finances in Order
Money is major cause of marital discontent. So set a realistic budget with your husband and start managing your money wisely. Don’t worry if you don’t do well the first few months; it can take a while to get adjusted to the budget. Tips: Join Mint.com and/or manage your budget in Excel (I have a great template). Some fun advice can be found on Lean with Green. To make it more fun to save, set some fun savings goals like “Europe Trip” or “New Flatscreen TV” and watch the money grow!
10. Find some Décor Inspiration and do some Nesting
We’ll all admit it, one of my favorite things about planning a wedding was the “Wedding Porn” – you know, beautiful photography of garden ceremony sites, rows upon rows of escort cards, lavish table settings, 6-tier cakes. Spend an hour at Style Me Pretty and you’ll know what I mean. I still swoon looking at this stuff. Why not add some entertaining and home décor blogs to your internet “ohhing and ahhing” and start capturing ideas for your current or future home?
Some home décor blogs/websites that I love are: Apartment Therapy, Elizabeth Anne Designs, Young House Love, Hostess with the Mostess, Urban Nest, Decor8 Design Sponge, Brooklyn Limestone, Rate my Space
Apply your wedding planning skills – like budgeting, theming, shopping for your engagement ring, and prioritizing – to nesting. You can do a lot of fun decorating with a not-so-big budget!
I’m sure there are many many other great ways to beat the post-wedding blues, and I’d love to hear those from you! Leave a comment to let me know how you beat the post-wedding blues.