Written by Annette Furio, Founder + CEO of Season Journals
Over the past couple of months, I’ve been conducting research and interviews for our next Season Journal. I’m excited to share that this journal will focus on the first year of marriage. This comes as a natural progression from The Engagement Journal and the season of engagement into married life. I’ve heard from some couples that there’s a sense of relief — or even a sense of emptiness and a bit of loss after their wedding. For some, planning their wedding was a month- or even year-long process. It’s perfectly normal to feel a variety of emotions when it all comes to a conclusion, the guests have said goodbye, and the honeymoon is over. Our new journal will serve as that perfect next step to begin an intentional, mindful, and deep marriage.
My intention for the first year of marriage journal is to build on the relationship foundation that we began laying in The Engagement Journal with even more detail. The first year of marriage allows for space to work on your relationship without the undertone of planning your wedding and working through its unique challenges. Instead, it will guide you through navigating transitions and communication challenges, and give you space to document moments, big and small.
I remember that first week after our wedding (we took a late honeymoon), my husband and I came home from work, sat on the couch, and watched a movie. We hadn’t watched a movie in months. Even with the best laid plans, the season of engagement can be really focused on the event. The first year of marriage journal is all about you — both as individuals and as a couple. I want to share a few tips for transitioning from engaged to married life you can utilize before the journal comes out later this year.
01 / Decompress
There’s a reason why the honeymoon exists. One of the great benefits of taking your honeymoon is that it gives you built-in time and space to relax and allow your mind to settle from all of the emotions of the wedding week. Whether or not you planned an all-inclusive beach resort, a backpacking adventure, or something in between, your mind will have more free space to focus on the change of scenery. You may feel an instant wave of relief come over you after the wedding day or you may slowly come down from the emotional high little by little. In any case, take time to decompress in the way that works for you and your partner. Sleep in. Get a massage. Read a book. Listen to music. Meditate. Be intimate. Exercise. Play with a dog. And if you’re unable to take a honeymoon right after your wedding, or opted out of one all together, we still recommend taking time to unwind mentally and physically in your own way.
02 / Share Gratitude
Thank you notes get a bad rap. If you have a large wedding, you’re in for many days of writing. If writing isn’t your strong suit, this can prove to be an even bigger challenge, and maybe something that gets pushed off week after week. Let’s reframe the thank you note as an opportunity to start a gratitude practice. Studies have shown that sharing gratitude and even specifically writing letters of gratitude have positive psychological benefits*.
The general rule of thumb out there is to send your thank you notes within three months of your wedding. I’m here to give you permission to take your time. I’d rather you spend time on one or two thank you cards per day that are heartfelt and intentional instead of a template you’ve created to copy and paste into each card. This way, you can do one card per day and start building a gratitude habit for yourself (habit-forming/breaking takes 66 days or more). After you’re done with your thank you notes, use the practice you started to start a gratitude journal or share one piece of gratitude with your partner each day. You’ll have completed a task, built a new, positive habit, and shared gratitude with someone else all at the same time.
03 / Reminisce
Reminiscing on shared experiences is something we recommend starting early on in your marriage. It’s a powerful tool for connecting and feeling closeness to your partner. A great time to reminisce on your wedding is when you receive your photos and videos back from your photographer and videographer. Talk about how you felt, moments that are burned in your memory, something that was surprising or unexpected, something you may have experienced without the other person present, and something that you didn’t plan for but ended up being really amazing. Another way to reminisce is to look back through your Engagement Journal, especially if you utilized the journaling pages through the wedding week and wedding day. Enjoy seeing the vision you planned in those pages come to life.
Annette is the Founder and CEO of Season Journals. She creates, writes, and designs journals that facilitate expression and dialogue for the many seasons of our lives. She also publishes the weekly Season blog and oversees marketing, sales, partnership and operations at Season. She has a true entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the intersection of business and people.
Furio resides in downtown Columbus, Ohio with her husband, Giovanni, and their menagerie of houseplants. In her free time, she enjoys running, cooking, learning about wine, and reading.
Photo by Lauren Pennington Photography