Photo Credit: @stephensalazar
Planning a wedding is hard stuff, it really is. You spend months and months of months of your life planning one day, and it’s stressful and time-consuming and exciting all at the same time - but then it’s over. And no one really prepares you for what comes next. There might be some post-wedding blues (and when I say some, I mean a lot, at least that’s what happened to me!), there might be some growing pains, but there will be a lot of love. The first year of marriage is just as big as the wedding itself, and it takes patience and understanding, compromise and consideration from both partners to make it work. But in the process of becoming newlyweds and settling into new roles in your relationship, you also learn so much and grow even more connected to each other.
That’s what Sabrina Bryan, Cheetah Girl, actress, dancer, and all around bubbly blonde told us, when we asked.
See, we’ve gotten pretty close with her over the last year, since she got engaged and married, and we thought she was the perfect person to tap on the ins and outs of year one. Here’s what the new wifey had to say about her own journey, and spoiler alert, it pretty much applies to every recently-wed couple out there!
What happens after your wedding day is done?
Life after your amazing big day is filled with so many mixed emotions. There is a part of me that was thrilled to be done with planning, answering questions, and all the anticipation. But, then there is another part of me, where after a few days of rest, I miss all the excitement.
We were lucky because the holidays came quickly after our wedding. They helped to keep us busy and to avoid the post-wedding blues. By delaying our honeymoon, we’re vying to keep the wedding celebration going a bit longer. Our goal is to take advantage of all the FIRSTS during our first year of marriage! Our first Valentine's Day was one of the best!
Post-wedding blues aren’t a joke, and they can very quickly bring a couple out of their bliss bubble and make them wonder ‘what’s next?’ That’s why it can be helpful to have distractions - whether it be work, hobbies, spending time with family and friends - after the fact. 5 ways to cheer up once you’re done saying I Do
Are you planning a honeymoon?
Due to our work schedules, we are waiting to take our honeymoon until this Spring. We are currently planning a Mediterranean cruise! We love cruising and are excited to get a chance to see so many new places for the first time together. I'm thinking my favorite port will be Barcelona, where we filmed our second Cheetah Girls movie. I can’t wait to show Jordan all the incredible places we filmed.
As much as a honeymoon right after the wedding seems standard, postponing for a little while, to accommodate your work schedules or whatnot, can actually be pretty beneficial. Not only will you still have something tangentially ‘wedding’ related to look forward to, you’ll be able to jump back into ‘real’ life sooner than later and avoid any more disconnect with your daily routine. It’s healthy! Plus, with a trip planned a few months or even a year later, you’ll really have time to hone your honeymoon wish list and make the most of your first vacation together as a married couple.
Photo from: @sabrina.bryan; dance competition @udadance
How have you adjusted to life as a newlywed couple? What things did you have to do to get there?
I love being married! After getting married, I noticed how much stronger our sense of commitment seemed to be. While our day-to-day experiences do not seem different, we have a strong sense of partnership and a deeper love that makes everything feel different and even more special. From the time we wake up to kissing each other goodnight, we just feel that much more connected.
I must admit, it has taken some time adjusting to say "my husband" or for him to say "my wife," but every time we do, we cannot stop smiling.
Things might not feel all that different on a daily basis, but overall, there’s much more at stake when you’re married. Remember that, because if you do, you won’t take each other for granted.
What kind of documents and paperwork do you need to do as married person, what was the process like for you?
As bridal shower gift, one of my best friends introduced me to a service that takes care of all of the name changes including drivers licenses, passports and bank accounts. It was a fabulous gift. You still need to spend time at the DMV, which is a big production -- but it's all worth it to be Mrs. Lundberg!
Changing your name is more work than you think. If you have resources to help you go from Miss to Mrs. than definitely take advantage of them! How do I change my name after I get married?
Photo Credit: @stephensalazar
How did you tackle the post-wedding tasks (thank you notes, creating your albums, unpacking gifts, returns of doubles, etc.)?
Our photographer did an amazing job by helping us organize what seemed to be thousands of pictures. Designing our wedding album was a big task, but it is something you cherish forever, so the effort is worth it.
Unpacking our presents took HOURS!!! We made sure to stop and appreciate each gift, who it was from, and the thought behind it. We are blessed and grateful to be on the receiving end of so much love.
As much of a pain in the ass as it can be, make sure to sit down and handle the aftermath of the wedding together. He might not be gifted in the handwriting department, so do him a favor and cover the actual thank you writing, itself, but take time to open each gift together, consider the person who gave it to you, and come up with sweet sentiments to say thanks (that show both of your appreciation). Also, album making can be a mountain of work, but it’s all worth it. You’ll look back on these pictures for the rest of your lives, so you’ll want to share the responsibilities of picking the absolute best shots from that day. This company takes the torture out of writing thank you notes
Photo from: @sabrina.bryan
How were the holidays adding in extended family? How did you learn to make time for each others’ family needs, requests, schedules?
We have celebrated the holidays together before, but obviously this year was different, following our wedding. We continued our families' cooking traditions, which included my family's tamales and Jordan’s family’s meatballs. We also added a few new recipes to kick off our own traditions.
Going back to that earlier point about the stakes being higher, when you’re married, it’s no longer a ‘well, he’ll do his thing with his family, I’ll do my thing with mine.’ While it’s a challenge to make sure you’re placating each side, you learn how to do it best, and what just feels right. Sabrina hit the nail right on the head when she said that she and Jordan kicked off some of their “own traditions.” That’s a huge deal in marriage, to start building a life together, a family together, and new hobbies, new habits, new interests to share and cherish together, are all ingredients for a successful marriage (sorry, we had to go with a food analogy...what with talk of tamales and meatballs 😜).
Are there advantages to having other married couple friends?
While spending 18 months planning my dream wedding, I learned so much from my married friends who were instrumental in helping me formulate a plan to make our newlywed years happy and fulfilling. I am launching a blog and podcast with the latest news and advice for achieving a successful newlywed life. You can check it out at www.newlywedplan.com
Lean on your peers (and relationship role models, be it parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, family friends, etc.) for support as much as you need. Ask questions, seek advice, learn from their examples. While it’s never great to use other people’s relationships as barometers for our own, jealousy and envy are quick to follow, if there are specific things, strengths, skills, coping mechanisms, conflict resolution wisdom we can borrow from the people we respect, honor, and love most, then we should certainly try! And keeping dialogue open across the board - with friends, family members, and our spouses - is always endlessly helpful.
And because we still can’t get enough of Sabrina and Hayley Paige’s love affair, here’s this!!