Our first wedding anniversary came and went without a lot of fanfare. (It might have been more of an event, but I was super pregnant at the time.) We had a delicious dinner at J. Gilberts, shared a (non-alcoholic!) toast and reflected on the year that had passed. After some discussion, we agreed that getting married was nothing like we’d imagined.
“Things will never be the same!”
“You’ll never have time to yourself again!”
“You’ll act totally differently!”
“You’ll fight more since you won’t have to be on your best behavior anymore!”
That was the advice we’d get from people with even the best of intentions. It’s all really weird advice to give an engaged couple, when you think about it. And as it turns out – none of it has been true for us. Things are almost exactly the same as they were before our nuptials, except now I have a new last name, and we get to call each other husband and wife. Here are 8 things people didn’t tell us about getting married that are totally true:
1. You probably won’t feel any different
Literally exactly the same the next day. Granted we already owned a house together, but we woke up in our bedroom of our house and did the same things we always do on a Sunday, except we had WAY too much leftover food in the fridge. I may or may not have had cake for breakfast – I guess that was different?
2. Who you pick to participate in the planning and the big day really, really matters
Your wedding party, your cake decorator, even the officiant – they all matter a lot when it comes to making sure your day goes off without a hitch. I’d like to think I was more like a bride-chill-a even when things went wrong (see below), but you have a better chance of that highly sought after perfect day if you choose wisely and do your vendor research.
3. Pick an officiant you know and trust
We had a lovely small wedding at a local inn, and our officiant came with the ‘wedding package’ we purchased. Despite having written the ceremony and having delivered the speech to her nearly three weeks in advance – even after being corrected once – our JP got my husbands first name wrong three times during the ceremony. We all laugh about it now, and it doesn’t make our ceremony any less important or our marriage any less official, but oh man do I wish we had been able to choose the person who was going to marry us.
4. A lot of it is a total scam… that you have to take part in
Take anything you might buy and tack on the word “wedding” and it very well may double in price. There are some things you may not be able to avoid this with – say a wedding dress for example – but here’s a tip: whenever possible, don’t tell them it’s a wedding. We had a reception for my family up in Maine, and we told the place we rented we were having a family reunion. Technically that wasn’t a lie, and I’m sure it saved us a bundle on the price.
5. It’s as complicated and as expensive as you make it
A lot of people do DIY when it comes to weddings – favors, decorations, even bridesmaid dresses. I chose to take the less hands-on approach, and I don’t regret it for a second. Neither did my stress level (or lack-there-of) that day. I didn’t do favors, I didn’t make decorations (thank you Oriental Trading!), and I told my maid of honor to find a dress in one of two colors that she felt comfortable in and buy it. And you know what? Nobody remembers that there weren’t any favors or a lot of decorations. What they do remember is the insane amount of delicious food, and the goat. As they should.
6. If you do it right, you’ll wish you could do it all over again tomorrow
We had an amazing wedding day that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives. Our guests probably will, too. I was nearly stress-free, I felt like a princess, and I married a kind, handsome fellow. Every day since then, I can safely say all the pre-wedding advice we got has been misguided. Getting married – and the rest of your life – is exactly what you make of it.