Here at Young Hip & Married, one of our values is the fact that we care more about your marriage than your wedding. And we think you should too! After all, why wouldn’t you invest just as much, if not more, into your lifelong marriage than you put into your one day wedding?

But it can be hard to prioritize your marriage, especially while in the depths of wedding planning. Wedding planning is tangible. There are clear steps, checklists and things you need to do. But in marriage, it isn’t always so easy.

While the secret to a great marriage isn’t always obvious – though we do have some great advice from our officiants here – there are some fun ways to start marriage planning, inspired by your wedding planning.

Here are 10 ways to turn your wedding planning into marriage planning!

Inviting guests to your wedding becomes…

by Emily Nicole Photos

Inviting your friends and family into your life! You know how you sit down with your spouse-to-be to create your wedding guest list? You spend all of this time thinking about all of the important people in your life and who you want to be there to celebrate this milestone moment with you. Well, that doesn’t have to end after you say I do.

Those same people who you chose to witness your love and share in the joy of your wedding should be a part of your married life too. These are the people who support your relationship and maybe even model a great marriage for you. So invite them over for dinner, head out on a double date, host a party, catch up over coffee and keep these special people involved in your married life too.

Your wedding to-do list becomes…

by Emily Nicole Photos

Planning your life together just as intentionally. A wedding to-do list is often a comprehensive document with charts and tables, numbers and names, and more items than you can count. It’s likely something you started working on, at least in your head, months and months before the big day. So if you’re willing to put that much time, effort and planning into your wedding, why not do the same for your marriage?

Take that intentional attitude and apply it to your relationship. Of course, your marriage probably doesn’t need a to-do list. But it does need you and your partner to be prioritizing it, thinking about it and working on it even harder than you worked on your wedding.

The first looks becomes…

by John Bello Photography

Surprising one another. If you do a first look, or decide to exchange cards or gifts with your partner before the ceremony, you know what it’s like to plan a little surprise. It’s exciting! You might have had butterflies and you just couldn’t wait to see the other person.

Keep that same excitement by planning little surprises throughout your marriage. This can be as small as grabbing your spouse their favourite chocolate bar when you’re at the gas station. Or it can be an elaborate date that you whisk them off to without any clues about where you’re going or what you’re doing. Little surprises that put a smile on your partner’s face are a fun way to transition wedding planning into marriage planning.

Writing your vows becomes…

by Erica Miller Photography

Living your vows. Remember all of those things you promised to uphold in your marriage? All of those things you said about loving in sickness and health, supporting one another and never watching an episode of your show on Netflix without the other person? Well, now is the time to live up to all of that.

Your vows are important. The promises you made to one another at your wedding are the bedrock of your marriage. You should live them every single day. That’s not to say you won’t slip up. Of course, there will be days when you get frustrated and when you don’t live up to those vows you made. But every single day of your marriage you should be working towards those vows.

Taking wedding photos becomes…

by Erica Miller Photography

Cherishing memories. Wedding photos are one of the best ways to remember your special day forever. But there are so many more special days to come throughout your marriage. So take the time to cherish these memories as well.

A few ways you can cherish your marriage memories include keeping a journal to document your days, celebrating milestones with special attention, doing a photo session on your anniversary, putting together a scrapbook of your favourite moments, and taking time to regualrly reflect together on your marriage and life.

The first dance becomes…

by Emily Nicole Photos

Making time for romance. We all know the trope of a couple who has been together for so long that they feel more like roommates than spouses. They only talk about logistical things, like figuring out who is going to buy milk on their way home from work, and spend nights together scrolling through their phones on opposite ends of the couch.

Don’t let the romance leave your marriage. Remember all of the love and romance that was wrapped up in your first dance? Infuse a little bit of that into your marriage. That doesn’t mean you have to ballroom dance every day (but if you want to, go for it!). There are lots of small and meaningful ways for you to be romantic such as holding hands, sending sweet texts out of the blue, kissing for a little longer than expected, completing chores without being reminded, planning thoughtful dates and writing love notes.

Choosing your wedding menu becomes…

Cooking at home together. One of the most fun wedding planning activities is choosing your menu. Who doesn’t enjoy tasting great food and putting together a wonderful menu for you and your guests to enjoy? Bring that same fun back into your kitchen at home.

Cooking together can be a great activity for spouses. It’s a chance for you to be creative, work together, chat about your days, have a little fun and produce something tangible. It’s a great way to connect and hone your culinary skills. If you’re not so savvy in the kitchen, you can sign up for a cooking class together or just head out on a food tour or restaurant crawl.

Wedding toasts become… 

Telling the people in your life (including each other!) what they mean to you. At your wedding, you may have had people giving toasts. Often these include sweet stories about you, the couple of the hour, and well wishes for your marriage. But why do we need to wait for a wedding to tell our best friend how much we love her, thank our parents for their constant support, and make our brother laugh with a hilarious story from childhood? We don’t!

While it might be weird to start giving toasts everytime you go out for dinner with friends or family, it’s not weird to tell the people in your life what they mean to you. Keep that “wedding toast” spirit with you when you interact with your loved ones. And that includes your spouse! Don’t forget to take time in your marriage to appreciate one another, show gratitude and say again just how much you stinking love him or her.

Going on your honeymoon becomes…

Taking time together throughout your marriage. Your honeymoon, while likely a pretty epic trip, doesn’t need to be the one time in your marriage that the two of you take some time away together. Prioritize your alone time, especially when you get busy with work, kids, the house and your other obligations. Carve out time for just the two of you.

You don’t have to go on big expensive trips to achieve this. Taking time together can be as simple as dropping your kids at the in-laws for the afternoon and heading out to your favourite brewery to catch up. Or maybe it’s a weekend trip to a nearby town you want to discover. Or maybe it is a big international trip to Paris or New Zealand (if it is, can we come?). Throughout your marriage, make time for just the two of you.

Eating wedding cake becomes…

Still eating cake. No need to change this one. Who’s mad about eating more cake?

written by Riana Ang-Canning
feature image by Erica Miller Photography