Your first year of forever has just begun and there is so much that lies ahead for you both, but before you cast your eyes to a future where you are old and grey, let’s focus on the first 12 months after you say, ‘I do’.
This is the time where you are finding your feet as a married couple and is the prime time for establishing new traditions, exploring one another’s values with more depth, and building the foundations for a long and happy marriage.
While this all sounds a bit daunting – it’s actually going to be a lot of fun! Let’s take a look at the 15 things to do in the first year of marriage:
Start a hobby
Now that you have the rest of your lives together, you can start to find more things you have in common. If you have both always wanted to try something, like skiing, dancing, or playing golf, why not learn how to do it together?
You don’t have to zero in on sporting pursuits, there are many musical and craft pursuits that might take your fancy as well. This is a way you can learn a new skill and have a lot of fun together along the way.
Go on a trip
Even though you may have had the honeymoon of a lifetime, that doesn’t mean you can’t take sneaky weekenders or short road trips with a much looser itinerary.
In fact, it is something you should do! It helps to give you quality time away from daily life and you aren’t officially a married couple until you are arguing over directions in some random one-horse town!
Start your savings together
Now that the wedding budgeting is over, you can turn your attention to what you’d like to accomplish in the future.
Whether it is another awesome holiday, a new car, or saving to start a family down the track, if you start talking about what your priorities in the financial realm are now, you can move forward as a unit with a clear plan in mind and prevent arguments surrounding money.
Go on date nights
Just because you are no longer technically dating, doesn’t mean you can’t head out on dates. You can schedule in regular date nights every fortnight or once a month, or you can take turns planning something special for you both to enjoy keeping the element of surprise alive.
Date nights don’t have to involve five-star restaurants. It can be cooking a meal at home, or walking along the beach and enjoying a cheeky wine at a bar afterwards. It’s all about taking time out together to connect.
Change your name (if you are going to…)
This can be done anytime after you tie the knot, but if you are going to change your surname, you can turn it into a team effort and work through everything together.
There is no doubt that this can be a lengthy process, so have some fun with it and see how quickly you can knock it all over to start your life with your “new identity”.
Sign up for a cooking class
It is a fact of life that you will always have to eat, so why not eat well?
Going to a cooking class together will gear you up for some home Master Chef goodness and will ensure you can pull out a surprise when you host a dinner party with friends or family in the future.
This is also another great bonding activity you can do together.
Start a weekly tradition
It could be having brunch every Sunday, starting a Netflix series and watching the latest instalment on Tuesday nights, or breaking up the mid-week hump day with a drink or two after work.
The possibilities are endless and as long as they make you happy – make a tradition out of them and it will give you something to look forward to.
Work on compromise
Unless you are a cardboard box, you will have an argument or two during your first year of marriage. What will get you through and make you a stronger unit, is learning how to listen to one another and perfecting the art of compromise.
Once you have mastered this, you can work through differences through discussions and avoid it getting to the shouting-over-one-another stage.
Routine can be a necessary part of life, but try to mix things up a bit from time to time. Meet your partner at the office before they finish work and whisk them away for Happy Hour at the local bar, or jump in the car and head out for ice cream and a stroll randomly after dinner one night.
Keeping things fresh and exciting means you will always have a special spark in your relationship.
This isn’t just for the realm of the school playground, or sleepovers at the bestie’s house. Sharing secrets with your partner is an easy way to build intimacy and strengthen your connection with one another.
Talk about what you dream your future together will look like. Where would you want to live? What is your dream career? What will your future family look like (yes, even if it’s how many fur-babies you want!).
Where you have similar desires, you can start to work on a plan to make them a reality.
Build a home
Give your space a fresh look with some paint, or spend some time giving your garden some TLC together. It will help you to create an atmosphere that matches the significance of the next step in your relationship.
Have fun with your registry gifts
Display your wedding photos
Have one framed or stretched over canvas and displayed in your home so you can always have a reminder of the magical day you had. If you want to spend some time getting a little crafty, you could create a wedding scrapbook and fill it with photos and memories from the day.