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10 Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Newlywed

I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by, but I can now say I’m nearly six months into marriage and the blissful phase of being a newlywed.

Our wedding was truly the best day of my life and we had the BEST TIME EVER on our mini moon. That said, I think the most incredible feeling ever was coming back home to NYC and settling into our daily routines again. Marriage has brought a feeling of calm and peacefulness that is truly unmatched. I just love it. But even better than that, I no longer have to plan a wedding!!! Truly something worth celebrating. They say the first year of marriage can be the hardest, so here are 10 things I’ve learned since becoming a newlywed.

  1. You really do marry a family. I’ve heard this one before, and while I have always been close with Dave’s parents and brothers, what has really surprised me is how Dave’s extended family has treated me since our wedding. There has been a very noticeable shift. When my grandma passed away in October, I was blown away when several members of his extended family showed up at my parent’s house in New Jersey for shiva. It wasn’t even a question in their minds that they would be there to support me, and I was completely shocked by this. I truly didn’t expect to see them there (they live almost 2 hours away and made the trip on a weeknight). I 1000% married a family and couldn’t be happier about that.
  2. People including, but not limited to: your family, friends, acquaintances, business partners and even complete strangers, will immediately start to ask you when you’re having kids. Our wedding was in June. By July, the interrogation had begun.
  3. If you’re planning to be added to your partner’s health insurance plan, you have 30 days after the wedding to do it. Learned this one the hard way 🙁
  4. You have to figure out how to style your wedding ring. Same hand? Different hand? I opted to move my engagement ring over to my right hand and wear my wedding band on my ring finger.
  5. The whole “name” decision is controversial. Some people assume you’ll take your husband’s name and immediately start referring to you that way. On the flip side, other people give not-so-subtle judgey vibes when they ask what your plan is, as if by taking his name you are setting women back 100 years. For me, I knew immediately that I wanted us to share a name. To me, it just signifies we are family and is a small everyday reminder of the commitment we’ve made to each other. I landed on moving my maiden name to my middle name, and adding his last name.
  6. You have to let go of your pride, even just a tad. Dave has always been a gentlemen and pretty traditional… opening doors for me…helping me with my coat at a restaurant…etc… thank you to his parents for raising him with manners! And while I love these small gestures, there are certain scenarios where I can be stubborn in my own way and like to do things myself. Since our wedding, I’ve given into some of these habits. It may sound strange, but just as an example, I never used to let Dave carry my suitcase up our stairs, even though he would offer to every single time. I wanted to be able to do it myself, so stubborn! Since our wedding, I’ve gladly asked for help when I need it and let go of some of that unnecessary pride. If marriage means I don’t have to carry my suitcase up the stairs, I’m here for it.
  7. You should do your thank you notes as quickly as possible, because time gets away from you. I did not take this advice. I got through ~50% within the first month of our wedding and then took a break. Upon Googling, different sources say you should write your thank you notes within 3-months or 6-months of receiving a gift. I have a few days before I hit that 6-month mark, so if you need me, you know what I’ll be cranking out the next few days.
  8. You do not own the rights to any of the content that vendors take of your wedding. This was so shocking to me! I negotiate usage rights for Arielle and Something Navy with our brand partners regularly, so this really surprised me. I believe that everyone owns the rights to their own likeness (no matter if you have a million followers or ten followers). It’s crazy to me that as a bride you pay these vendors thousands of dollars, and then they use photos of you and plaster your likeness all over the internet to market their services. Yes, they did the work to capture that content, but weddings are so personal! For some people, this factor isn’t a concern, but if you are more private or in any way sensitive to photos of your wedding being used by your vendors for eternity, be sure to outline this in your contract!
  9. You have to discuss your finances. Hopefully you discuss finances openly with your partner before getting engaged in the first place, but once you are married, you have that conversation over and over again. For example, we opened up a new joint bank account in both of our names a couple of months before our wedding, and ended up depositing all the gifts we received into that joint account. We’ve had so many discussions in the months since around what we should do with that money and how we should invest it. It feels “special” to us, since it came from everyone we love to help start our new life together, and we feel a certain pressure to do something smart with it. Figuring out your new financial plans once you officially become married isn’t easy (taxes, woof) but it’s important to have that conversation regularly.
  10. You have to get used to introducing a “husband” and being introduced as “wife”. WHOA. I don’t feel old enough to be a wife, but here I am, a wife!

By Dana Aidekman

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