Over on the sister site I talk about weddings all day long, planning weddings, what suppliers to choose, making your wedding reflect you and your personality, but what happens once the wedding is over?
In this regular feature I will be asking past brides to come and join me to discuss what marriage means to them. We discuss the wedding and what it meant to them and how their lives have changed now they are actually married.
First off we have regular contributor to the blog Laura. I asked her if marriage has changed her relationship, is it everything she wanted it to be and was the wedding everything she dreamed of?
I’ll pas the Blog over to Laura……………..
When Kelly asked me to write about my ‘newly-wed’ thoughts on marriage, I was a bit stumped. It’s just being married isn’t it? Like being engaged but with two rings and a (potentially) different surname?
Well actually, when you think about it, what I imagined marriage to be (or not to be) and what actually happens can sometimes be two very different things.
Today, the way I best feel able to discuss this is to talk through my very personal feelings both before, and after we got married. I’d love to hear your thoughts please, has marriage changed anything for you?
That engaged bubble
When I was engaged, people would ask me how I felt about getting married and what would change. ‘Oh nothing’, I would reply dismissively, ‘I do get to share his last name though!’
I imagined getting married to be the ‘next step’ in our relationship, like walking through a door into the next part of our lives. Whilst I felt like it was such a huge thing to do, deep down I expected nothing to change. You can buy a house together being married, or not. You can have children together being married, or not. So why get married? Our lives would carry on regardless without being married.
At first, it is very easy to just see The Wedding. That day (or few days) where you announce your commitment and have one hell of a party. I think it is very easy to not see the wood for the trees, so to speak. You can get so wrapped up with worrying about the dress or the food, what colour flowers or which first dance, and I’m sure many of us had a few heated discussions with our other halves coming to a decision. But how many of us have a similar discussion about The Other Side?
I think it’s great that now there are many offerings of pre-marriage counselling, guidance and group projects. It doesn’t have to be religious and many of my friends have expressed their gratefulness of having the opportunity to learn together how they best handle certain situations. Do you know how you would manage with your husband if one of you lost your jobs? How do you best argue? Is there one way you appreciate getting criticism or help more than others? Your partner isn’t a mind reader and I think it’s important you know how the other deals with different situations; they might be very different than you.
We had some conversations along this thread, though admittedly nothing structured or guided such as with the courses I’ve described. I can’t tell you if I regret that as, thankfully, we’ve not come across a situation where I wish we’d talked about it first yet.
What I did expect out of being married however, was some feeling of security. We’ve always described ourselves as ‘Team Parker’ because we know we work better together, we bring out the best in each other and make each other feel stronger, more able and better people. Getting married was officially ‘launching’ our partnership – if you’ll accept my business analogy. We’d spent the last 6 years in Beta mode, the wedding was the launch party.
At the wedding
I remember at my wedding reception a friend asking me how it felt to be married.
‘The same really’ I shrugged, to which he exclaimed ‘you’re not selling it to me!’
I thought for a couple of seconds and then said ‘the same, but so exciting’. You see, what I meant was that immediately, we are the same people. We are the same couple, albeit in fancy clothes. The exciting bit, was knowing that whatever came our way from now on, we’d tackle together. There was something very comforting looking across the room and knowing that the man in the grey suit with three ‘Team Groom’ badges on would be by my side from now on.
I loved exclaiming quite loudly on occasion ‘Has anyone seen my HUSBAND?!’ throughout the reception, which obviously spurred raucous cheers, but to see him beam at me from across the room when I said that was brilliant.
10 months on
So, ten months later, what does being married mean to me now?
Honestly, it still means all of the above. He is my team mate and we work best when we are together.
We’ve bought a house, and have a dog, and things are feeling rather grown-up at the moment. We fend off the ‘baby’ questions from family and every opportunity, and for now we are happy being our own little unit. It’s been a tough ten months as Chris spent the first four months of marriage away, however it feels good to have put down some permanent roots and I know that when it comes to job hunting or similar we will be doing what’s best for the two of us.
Changing my name on everything has been a right pain, and I STILL haven’t finished. The list of things is actually never ending. Thankfully I’ve done the important bits so the rest will happen when it happens.
They’ve always said ‘no man is an island’ (actually, it was John Donne) and it is true. It feels comforting to make decisions for us and not me. Okay, there are bound to be disagreements, notably at the moment about how to decorate the new house, but really that’s all trivial. We are a Team and it feels like that every day. He can back me up from miles away, and I know I can make decisions which he will support me in.
One day I’m sure we’ll disagree but we’ve worked out the best way to argue, set ground rules and so far so good!
(All pictures in this post taken by Matt and Andy of Greyeye Photography)
So I’d love to hear your thoughts, has marriage changed anything for you? have your expectations of marriage been met now you are married and not engaged. Please feel free to leave a comment below.
Also if you are married and would like to take part in this feature then please email me [email protected]ife.com
Lots of Boho Love