The Next Chapter


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

I won’t be posting much this week, as I try to take my annual week to reflect on the year, and make lists of goals for the year ahead. Plus, I’m preparing a monster post for you about Project Wedding Dress (yay!) It’s not finished yet, but thus far it’s turning out to be worth all of the pain and heartache involved.

My New Year’s panderings have made me realize just how eventful this year has been. We got engaged, I started this blog, David transferred law schools, I took scads of night-school classes. We’ve been so busy it’s been hard to think, but looking back over the year I’m grateful to all the many joys and the few disappointments. And if this year was big, next year is set to be a whopper of a year – we have piles of things to look forward to with the wedding being the cherry on top.

Setting out goals for this coming year has made me think about coping with the potential let down after the wedding, or post-nuptial depression, if you’re being dramatic. Several of you have emailed me to ask for the practical approach to dealing with life post wedding. I am, of course, wildly unqualified to talk about this subject, but here are my thoughts:

In movies, weddings are always the very last scene – the point the whole story builds up to. life happens, and then if all goes well, you get a wedding. Done. Culturally (and even out here in blog land) we’ve developed something of an obsession with weddings. They are pretty! They are dramatic! They are emotional! They are easy to make fun of! So, it’s not surprising that when a wedding is over, many of us slip into a bit of a depression‌ the party was really fun, and its sure not going to happen again. Now what? I think we need a invitation to re-imagining things. What if we didn’t think of weddings as the End Of The Story And Happy Ever After, but we thought of them as The Very First Chapter Of A Brand New Book? Of late, when people ask me about the wedding, I tend to sigh and say “It can’t come soon enough.” After saying that to a few people, I realized that it might sound like I was excited for the big party, and I wanted it NowNowNow, when in reality I was saying, I was really excited about being married, and I wanted that to begin immediately.

So for 2009, I’m making lists of things that I want as a newlywed. I’m making plans for adventures we will take together, goals that our partnership will help me reach for. I’m making lists of places I’d like for us to travel before we have kids, and career goals that I’d like to get moving on now that I’m wed. The week we return from our honeymoon, David will start his final year of law school, and with so much ahead of us, I hope we won’t be taking too much time to look back.

My wishes for 2009: May we continue to try to live bravely and honestly, and may our wedding be a joyful celebration of who we’ve become together, and how much we have ahead of us.

So, Team Practical:
1. How have you dealt with (or do you plan to deal with) post-wedding let-down? Did you experience it?
2. What non-wedding goals do you have for the year ahead?

(If you haven’t read it already, go read Cate’s amazing post on this subject)

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07927933503537714693 Two Chicks Nest

    I didn’t experience any post-wedding letdown. I actually am thrilled that it’s behind us. The wedding was everything we’d hoped for, but now we have the priceless memories and none of the hassles of planning hanging over us. It’s bliss! Plus, I now have more time to channel into other things that I love. I started taking synchronized swimming classes in the fall and starting in January I’m going to start yoga and an athletic circuit class.

    Planning the wedding did teach us a valuable lesson about our ability to save a huge chunk of change to pay for the thing in a relatively short period of time and I am very happy to have discovered this. Now we’ll be saving for a house instead of the wedding. Woo hoo!

  • Elizabeth

    In planning the wedding (next October), I’m trying to enjoy the learnings and exposure but not obsess over everything. I make a decision and then I’m done. I might fret for a little but I move on and the decision settles and I feel happy to be moving along with the process. My friends keep asking me how I’m so calm about it all~ it’s been this process that has made it this way!

    Also, now that we’re engaged, we’ve been making some longer-term plans (moving, possible career changes), plans that begin about a year after the wedding…it makes the wedding feel like it’s a step along the way toward other goals and truly toward our long lives together.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13155663787718221354 Smallgood

    I loved planning our wedding, and I still love obsessing over weddings. But in no way have I ever viewed them the end. When our wedding was over, I was letdown in the sense that the day was a fantastic outpouring of love- our loved ones gathered around to support us. I have vowed to make more of an effort to return that outpouring of love which means more time picking up the phone and calling a friend, visiting the grandparents, talking to my cousins, actually listening to my sister, and of course spending quality time with my husband.

    My non-wedding goals for 2009 include a career change (I hope). I’m eager to go back to school and try something new that brings me peace. And I’m on a mission for the perfect couch that fits our tiny house.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03208244458086146065 Blablover5

    I don’t think I’ve really felt much post wedding letdown. It was weird though going from the wedding and honeymoon straight into the holiday season.

    So there was this huge push to get all the Christmas stuff done that was put way on the back burner this year. Maybe now that it’s all over we’ll feel like something is missing but I kinda doubt it.

    We just have all these little things we are always looking forward too, from a movie (My husband just has to see Deadpool in the wolveriene movie) to a video game (Arkym Asylum will never know what hit it) to attempting a fancy meal (I’m so excited we finally got patte so we can try Beef Wellington).

    I think it helps to have the little short term plans and hopes as well as the long term ones. You always feel as though you’ve accomplished something more obvious when it’s a short term goal.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18158492409598444709 Terry

    I dont think we had any post-wedding letdown at all. Having pookie get accepted to graduate school the week before the wedding certainly helped. As did having a super low-key honeymoon, during most of which we just stayed home and did all those activities we never found time for before.

    I think part of what helped us cope was our longstanding belife that a wedding as the center of a romance, not its end or beggining. Even our favorite media reflect this- our fav. comic book is fables, which has one wonderful main couple getting married 1/3 of the way into the story. Her favorite movie is The Incredibles- which actually startes with a wedding, and mine is the Prince of Egypt, which has a wedding as a high point in the lives of a couple who, overall, are more focused on a common social justice goal. Its nice to surround yourself with stories that understand that life goes on.

    as for goals for the new year, i have many. Starting my new job for one, supporting pookie as she starts graduate school for another. I also posted a challenge on my personal blog that if my freinds could think of feasible, cost-effective things THEY always wanted to try, i would promice to try new things out with them. Which means this year I will be sampleing bellydancing, birkham yoga, new books, and returning to figure drawing classes. Also, on our honeymoon pookie and I decided to erase all 70 pages of the webcomic we make together, and start the story over. I’ve been drawing like crazy, and the new year marks the debut of the improved comic!

    wow. lots to look forward to.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01723202743021861347 Cyd

    I’ve been thinking of a similar list for 2009…places to visit, restaurants to try, recipes to attempt, books to read, hobbies to pick up, movies to watch, music to discover, pictures to take and memories to make. This may just be my motivation to make that list happen.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11371172824707301749 Cate Subrosa

    Aw, Meg, thank you.

    Thank you also for the reminder I needed to take some proper time to myself over the next couple of days to really think about what my goals are for the next year. I pretty much have them all floating around in my head somewhere, but a bit of focus is in order, methinks.

  • http://www.classicandvintage.com BB

    I’m wandering around wedding blogs – and related sites – looking for backlinks and I have to say that I’m greatly encouraged by how positive and forward-looking everyone seems. Here in Gloomy England weddings are greatly down in number from last year but it seems in The States you guys are still all systems go. Here’s hoping you know something we don’t :-) I will observe though that many of you seem to consider being married a pre-requisite for doing things together; why not just do them together anyway?

    BB

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10648725099262152263 AmyJean {Relentless Bride}

    My 2008 Recap and 2009 Goals!

    Oddly enough, I just realized… i don’t’ really have wedding related goals for 2009?!?! WOAH!

  • Dianne

    I, too, found that there was really no wedding let down. The day after our wedding about 40 people (many of our guests) joined us to participate in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night walk and we raised over $11,000! We’re going to make that an annual event which will be a fun way to celebrate our anniversary each year.

    Another thing we did was host a lot of family gatherings between our wedding in September and Christmas – we had a pumpkin-carving birthday party for my older sister in October, a Broaday Birthday Bash for my younger sister in November, we hosted Thanksgiving for 22 people and a Christmas party the weekend before the holiday. So I was still using all of my event planning skills (and time) non-stop! There are three more family gatherings planned at our place through February and then lots of fund-raising activities for LLS (not to mention the special events I plan for my real job!) so I don’t think we’ll be slowing down anytime soon.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09290675964899257697 Kara

    Fitting with what seems to be the consensus, I didn’t experience much of a let-down after the wedding. I did, however, slowly wean myself off wedding blogs (and obviously I am still reading a few). :)

    My main goal for 2009 is to make better use of my time outside of work. I think that many good things, such as becoming a better cook, devoting time to my hobbies, working out more, will go along with that.

    Happy New Year, Meg!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04151848025569897213 marnieleigh

    As fun as all the planning can be, I’m looking forward to the “i do”. I enjoy the now – and when possible – the key is pacing in terms of getting the most out of any experience. there are so many layers to a wedding: what you’ve planned, the unexpected, seeing old friends, and enjoying your celebration.
    As the wedding has become a priority, there are other things in my life that I had to cut back on; I look forward to having those things back again.
    More than anything, my best friend who is the most neutral and practical person says that something happens to your relationship after you’ve declared your love and commitment to each other, and ask for your friends and families support in being a part of it. I know something indescrible happened when we got engaged. I’m looking forward to that getting married thing that happens that makes your relationship that much stronger.
    I’m also really looking forward to getting my house in order! As I work on projects – and in the months to come – my home will be more of a workshop than a house – so I look forward to redefining our physical space.
    happy new year!

  • http://www.doesthedressfit.com Does the Dress Fit

    It;s definitely hard not too get overwhelmed and too excited. Your wedding is the biggest day of your life and you want it to be just perfect, but some people do let it get to them. The best advice anyone gave me was: plan your wedding according to your likes and needs and if something goes wrong just go with the flow. I took the advice and things did go wrong, but then I just went with it and the day was just perfect.

  • http://promtoaltar.net/blog Nicole

    If you prepare, not for the wedding but for the marriage, married life is effing awesome. I love it, I love it, I love it (and this coming from someone who dated my now-husband for 10 years)! It’s a new level of awesome, you are part of something bigger than you, you are building something more, you are on a permanent team. It’s just amazing. I don’t miss wedding planning one tiny bit– there’s too much to love about being married.

    Happy New Year, Meg!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03726039357643570874 Erin

    There was no post-wedding letdown. Between moving cross country and changing jobs, we haven’t had time to feel let down by anything.

    We’re planning on the new year to start the moving process once again and get back to big city livin’!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02315460761473871020 Tiffany The Coordinator

    No let down at all. It was everything we wanted. I think when it’s what you exactly want, when you don’t cave to pressure from outsiders to have a specific kind of day that ISN’T you…there is no let down. I loved my personal planning process and love weddings in general but did feel relief in a lot of ways when ours had passed. It’s a major undertaking and it was nice to be able to breathe again, and think about our next phase in life.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02991729311009392448 Villain Extraordinaire

    Married life is certainly rockin’. (Every once in a while I turn to hubbind and say “Married!” and he says “High five!” Hehe)

    I find it hard to believe, though, that no one commenting here was just a leettle bored after the wedding with no more projects to complete, things to sew, and things to plan!

    I wouldn’t call it a “let down” exactly, but I couldn’t help feeling like there was some crafty thing I ought to have been doing. Guess me and Rebecca are the only ones!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06340596452794447277 Wedding_Skulls

    We haven’t had wedding ltdown at all – if anything it’s been the opposite. I’m an extreme goal setter, so I already had my next two huge projects – our 3 month trup to Europe, and our plans to build our own home – lined up, so I launched straight into those as soon as wedding was over :)

    Husband was the same – he’s started forging medieval armour.

    Our non-wedding goals are many and varied – europe, designing the house, making our suits of armour, my writing projects, and improving my meagre vegetable garden – I started on a whim one day and now I’m hooked on fresh veges!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07403568057361632423 GC (God’s Child)

    well, thanks for the headsup
    I’m afraid of the wedding letdown meself
    I’ll try to keep it in mind as we continue to plan.
    Sometimes I sit back and have to remind myself that we have other things to work on such as where we want to live, where we want to work, what we want our lives to be after the wedding. It’s so easy to get so caught up.
    $2000 wedding linked to this and mentioned not looking at all the wedding porn–I think I’ll be backing away from that. A LOT.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13781314774264492284 blind irish pirate

    I plan to teach myself to play the Appalachian dulcimer, appropriately inspired by one of the musicians at our wedding. Huzzah.

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