• Abbi Schultz

Lessons learned from our first year of marriage

I help my couples plan the best day of their life, but I am also here to help navigate this new journey they are on. I am here to be really open, honest and supportive as they enter a lifetime of marriage. A successful wedding day is my goal, but a successful marriage is the ultimate goal. I’ve been married a little over a year and a half and I can honestly say I have learned some insightful lessons that I love to pass down to my couples as they enter the fun newlywed chapter.

Love Languages

I cannot emphasize enough how important love languages are and I HIGHLY recommend all couples read this book before your wedding. (Email me or DM me on Instagram and I’ll send you the link to the book!). You not only want to know your love language, but also your spouse's. Learning your love language will help you understand your emotional needs in a marriage and help you better communicate those to your partner. Acknowledging the love language of your partner will help you learn how to show affection, love, and respect in a way that is meaningful to your spouse. Really embracing one another’s love language can be difficult. My husband’s love language is words of affirmation, so the best way to show him love is through uplifting words, verbal compliments, praise, etc. Now I will admit this is HARD for me; it is not the easiest way for me to show love. I recognized how he truly needs these words of affirmation and how this is a personal way for him to feel loved, so I really worked on being more vocal with my feelings.

Often times it is easier to give the same love language you want to receive because that is the one you are most comfortable with, but it might not be what your spouse needs.

My love language is quality time. My husband works night shifts, sleeps during the days, and is a full-time grad student, not to mention my crazy wedding planning schedule…quality time (or any time) is rare in our current life situation. He may use words of affirmation to make feel better or even acts of service (another love language) and while these are thoughtful, all I need is time together to make me feel special. When he learned that this is my way of feeling loved, he was able to plan his days to make time for us to have a date night or even just go for a walk. Doing something where I had his full attention and spending time together made me feel so loved. In the end, it’s about learning and growing together, stepping outside of what you may be comfortable with, and learning how to best communicate and express love in a way that is meaningful to one another.

Find the Good

You’re going to have good days and you’re going to have bad days. Life is about lifting each other up and finding the good in every single day. My husband and I started a fun thing we do (or try to do) every night at dinner together, it’s called orchids and onions. Orchids are the good in your day and onions are the bad. We found that as we kept doing this, the orchids were always so much easier to point out for each day. Some days it’s hard to even find an onion, which is a great problem to have! It helped us keep a positive mindset and center our attention on what made us happy that day. You get a chance to dive deeper into that specific thing and really appreciate the good in every day. This also helps with communication because when you are forced to come up with an onion for the day, it allows you to get it off your chest and talk about it further. For me, it’s hard to share something that may be bugging me. I often feel that I don’t want to burden someone with it and sometimes think it’s really not that big of a deal, but through this exercise I have found it’s much easier to share these things. Our orchid and onion routine has helped us focus on the good as well as creating an open door for communication, allowing us to share something we normally wouldn’t.

Balance/ Shift in Focus

The first year of marriage is a transition. Even if you’ve been together for 10 years or lived together before marriage, your new life is going to be a transition regardless. When planning a wedding, it is really easy to focus on one day, your wedding day. Rarely do you think about the day after (unless you’re jetting off on a romantic honeymoon), the month after, or even the whole first year after. As a wedding planner, I like to keep this in perspective for my couples. Majority of the decisions you make while wedding planning impact only one day. Now, the majority of the decisions you make will impact your future and that can be kind of scary. There is a shift in focus, all of the sudden you are prioritizing your life, making financial, career, and family decisions as a team. We’ve been tasked with thinking about things that have years of impact, such as where we want to plant our roots for a future family. So, my tip to you is to embrace this new shift in focus while at the same time finding balance to enjoy it and live in the moment. It can be a difficult road to navigate but doing it with your best friend makes it all worth it.

I could go on with more lessons learned in one year of marriage, maybe I’ll save them for another blog post, but these are the top three that came to mind. Marriage is a journey, the first year sets the pace for the rest of the years. Enjoy, live in the moment, embrace one another, and love without limits. Congrats to all the newlyweds out there and happy wedding planning to all the brides and grooms to be!

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