It’s been almost five months since Toff and I got married. It still feels strange and all too grown-up to say that but it won’t be long until we can officially say we’ve been married half the year already. I can’t believe how quickly this year is passing by but I thought enough time has gone to enable me to talk about a few of the things I’ve learnt as a newlywed.
Marriage is always something that has been a bit of a tricky subject for me. As a child of divorce I was never sure where I sat on the constitution of legally forever and what that exactly meant for me. Throughout my teens I was adamant I would never, and in my twenties I had come around to the idea but it didn’t sit comfortably with me, in fact, it petrified me. But when Toff proposed to me on top of Runyon Canyon overlooking LA with the most beautiful ring that he had had made just for me, I had never been so sure of anything in my life.
While I had no idea what kind of wife I’d be and what this marriage would look like, these are seven things that have come to light so far…
EVERYTHING’S THE SAME
I was always a little nervous about how being married would change our relationship. Would it add more pressure? Will I start to nag (more!), would I stop washing my hair and succumb to a life of no make-up? Those kind of things. But, actually, even as a newlywed, everything has stayed exactly the same! After the excitement of the wedding subsides and normal life resumes, you’re still the same people with one exception — you have this amazing day that you share in your memories and talk about at any available opportunity.
YOU’LL CRAVE A PEOPLE DETOX
Maybe this one is just me, but after the stress of the wedding (you can read all about the drama HERE), I was excited to have some much-needed time out any enjoy being a newlywed. In the lead up to the big day when everything is hectic and adrenaline-fuelled, you spend weeks and perhaps months, surrounded by family and friends either literally or via phone calls, texts and emails.
Questions are being fired at you on a daily basis and your decision-making ability is seriously called into question to the point where you have absolutely no idea what shoes to wear on any given day! When the day and the honeymoon was over, I wasn’t quite ready to integrate myself back into society for a good few weeks. I just wanted quiet, peace and time by myself or with the new hubster. And that’s fine. Sometimes we all need that space.
HAVING A NEW NAME IS WEIRD
So weird. In my adolescence I had a big problem with giving up my name. It’s probably as close to feminism as I was to get but it felt like I was giving up a huge part of my identity. I had lived with this name for 30 years — sewn into my school jumpers, embossed on my degree and printed on my monogrammed accessories — and now it was to be no more. I tried to persuade Toff to take my name which, surprisingly, he considered for all of three minutes before politely declining.
I still felt a little odd about it in the lead up to the wedding and a little guilty that, as one of four girls, the Harris name was to be lost when I slipped that ring on my finger. But I also felt excited and incredibly proud to join a new family. I learnt to think of it as the next stage of my identity instead of sacrificing my former self. But it’s still weird AF!
YOU HAVE TO PERFECT A NEW SIGNATURE
My elaborate scribble is one that has been honed since my 12th birthday when I watched my dad meticulously sign a cheque. It was the epitome of being a grown-up and I have kept the same signature ever since. It’s not something I thought twice about until I was asked to sign my new debit card at the bank under my new identity. Shit. Something so important could not be merely practised on the back on a clipboard handed to me by the clerk. It had to be perfected, practised over and over like a teenager pretending to be married to the class hottie. Could I not just use my Jessica Pitt signature from 9th Year because that baby was ready to go? I scribbled something truly awful and have been practising ever since. Any suggestions very welcome.
THERE’S A LOT OF ADMIN
Although I’m a self-confessed lover of form-filling, I haven’t quite been able to nail all of the post-wedding admin quite yet. Yes, it’s boring, but necessary, and can even result in a fine in some cases which, I think we can all agree is not ideal timing when you’re a little cash strapped after the big day. If you’re unsure what you need to change, look HERE
THE ‘BUZZ’ IS DIFFERENT
There’s no denying that the hype around your wedding day is like no other. The excitement, the anticipation, it’s hard to imagine how anything else will compare. But being a newlywed offers a whole new range of butterflies, like the first time you overhear him call you his wife, or when a total stranger calls you by your new married name. Those are the surprising little moments that gave me a surge of excitement that I hadn’t anticipated.
I was fully braced for the post-wedding newlywed blues. Everyone warned me. I even made sure I had new little projects like my wedding photos and the possibility of a pre Christmas getaway as something to look forward to but they never came. I didn’t feel the depressing lull of being married or having nothing to organise. In fact, I was unbelievably relieved to have nothing occupying my tired little mind. Perhaps it was because I’m self employed and didn’t have that dreaded back-to-work feeling or maybe it was because we’d had a super stressful wedding and an impending renovation to think about but either way, I’m not mad about it!