Your work doesn't end when the reception does.

By Ellie Finn

After the big day is over, it can be hard to remember what your life was like outside of wedding planning. Coupled with the challenges of learning to navigate married life, the months immediately following the ceremony and reception can often be a strange transitional period for newlyweds. To ensure your days as a married couple begin on the right foot, we asked three marriage and family therapists from Philadelphia MFT to share their post-nuptial advice.

Related: How to Keep Your Love Alive After the Wedding Day

Take care of yourselves.

A knee hitting the ground during proposal can often feel synonymous with the starting gun of a race. From that moment on, it's a blur of go, go, go thanks to everything from the engagement party to wedding-planning meetings and more. Perhaps that's why MFT Malyka Cardwell's advice feels the simplest and the most important all at once: breathe. "Planning and executing a wedding can be taxing for couples. When the big day is over, each person should take the time to recharge," the pro explains. While it sounds like the opposite of work, taking a moment for yourselves is actually a really important part of building a relationship, as we don't all relax in the same way, Cardwell adds. "Figure out how to regroup as individuals and as a couple. Make sure your partner is aware of your needs. You want to start your marriage with a fresh head space."

Take care of logistics.

Once you've let the flower petals settle, MFT Alanna Garder suggests taking an opportunity to wrap up all of the logistics before departing for your honeymoon. "More clients are delaying their honeymoon to help themselves decompress and restructure as a couple before heading off,: she says. "The post-wedding blues can set in, so making a plan around thank-you notes, gifts, and additional post-wedding logistics would be a great way to bond as a couple and be free to enjoy the honeymoon without the stress of organizing and restructuring post wedding." Likely the last thing you want to do post-wedding is more planning and organizing, but imagine how good you'll feel not thinking about anything but umbrella drinks as you lick the stamp on your very last thank-you note.

Take time for fun.

Post-wedding is just the beginning of a long and happy life together. That's why MFT Danielle Massi encourages couples to get a date night routine started early during this critical time period. "When the dust from the wedding settles, couples (especially brides) can often feel a sense of emptiness. Their schedules that were once packed with cake tastings and dress fitting are now totally empty" she explains. "Plan for the strange emptiness that follows a wedding by trying to fill your schedule for the six weeks following the wedding with some interesting date night ideas, like going to an art show or taking a hike through a nature reserve."

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