If you're someone who's spent the last several months (or years) planning your wedding, you're probably looking forward to the day when the stress of planning and those pre-nuptial jitters are far behind you. "Most couples don't realize how stressful a wedding can be until they go through it, but once it's all said and done and the celebrating has ended, they can relax and start their new life together, as well as be proud of the teamwork it took to plan and go through the wedding process," says Dawn Michael, Ph.D., clinical sexologist and relationship expert.
That's why the experts says that anyone who tells you that the first year of marriage is the hardest isn't quite right. In fact, for most couples, the year that precedes it is the toughest 12 months of any given relationship—your year spent as an engaged pair typically involves more stress, responsibilities, commitments, and to-do lists than the year after. Here, some ways you can expect your relationship to get easier after you say "I do."
You'll be less stressed.
We're not here to say that your entire time as a bride-to-be will be packed with stress, but there are a number of stressors that you'll have to deal with as you plan your wedding—like budget, the guest list, and family drama. "A lot goes into getting the wedding organized and off the ground, from bridal party choices to prenups," says April Masini, relationship and etiquette expert. "Once the wedding is over, a well-matched couple can really begin to enjoy each other."
You won't be as strapped for cash.
Planning a wedding is expensive, and we're certain that you and your partner will be glad to not have to strain your eyes over Excel spreadsheets late at night. Plus, once the wedding is over, you'll also have more in your bank account thanks to the generous gifts from friends and family. You will, however, have to learn how to save and spend together.
You'll have more time to spend doing nothing.
Remember the good old days when you'd wake up late on a Sunday morning, order takeout, and veg out on the couch side-by-side? You finally have them back. Your weekends are your own again. No more appointments with vendors and hours spent licking envelopes. "Weekends, post-wedding, are downright hedonistic celebrations without alarm clocks or appointments for wedding preparation," says Masini. "Civilization looms large for your marriage with these weekends that are all yours!"
You can reunite with your friends.
Gone are the days of spending your precious time with friends venting about wedding planning. Friendships relax and deepen as a result. "Now, you can have those double dates, dinner parties, or impromptu coffees with friends, simply for fun—not because you have 'wedding business' to discuss," says Masini.
You can start planning your lives together.
"All those emergencies and fires you needed to put out, or surprise expenses are behind you," says Masini. What's in front of you is your beautiful new life together. The next several chapters you get to write are your own—and yours together. "Whether it's retirement, a Tesla, a condo, a kitchen remodel, a second home in Fiji, children, a bicoastal lifestyle—whatever you decide you want for your future together, you can start working towards it."