Hello again, BG readers! While I wait for my official wedding photos to come back from my photographer (stay tuned for full recaps of my décor, amazing Christos gown and heartfelt highlights from the day), I'd love to share what newlywed life has been like for Michael and I.
We jetsetted to Hawaii for our honeymoon, where we enjoyed luxurious oceanside massages, scenic ATV rides and lazy beach days.
After two blissful weeks, we arrived back to New York, where we live, and were slammed back into reality. Here, the errands that brought me back down to earth.
1. Endless piles of dirty laundry. Despite doing my laundry every single day for countless years, I was still in shock when I realized just how much clothing I needed to clean upon our return. After an 11-hour flight, I dove right into sorting everything; I spent six hours washing and drying, two of which were spent hand-washing delicates. If you can, I would recommend breaking up the laundering into two days. First, wash any underwear, bathing suits, and any other clothing that you may have worn outdoors. The next day, you can do the rest.
This laundry day reminded me of another important article of clothing that needed a good wash. When I opened the bag that my wedding gown was stored in, I was devastated to see just how filthy the train and the bottom of my veil were. The following day, I hunted down a dry cleaner who agreed to restore it to its pristine condition at a reasonable price. Thankfully, all of the stains were removed and my gown is now stored away for safekeeping.
2. Opening and depositing gifts. Mike and I were super thrilled to come home and open all of the cards from our loved ones. What wasn't so thrilling: Spending a half-hour at the bank teller's window, receiving dirty looks from other customers waiting for us to finish our deposit. If you encounter a similar situation, just grin and bear it, thanking everyone for their patience. Also don't forget to write down every gift you received so that you can personalize your thank-you cards.
Crista and Mike at a friend's recent wedding.
3. Nesting and shopping for new furniture. Michael and I decided not to move in together until after the wedding, so that we wouldn't be overwhelmed setting up our apartment the month before the big day. We signed a lease and began our furniture hunt right away to ensure we wouldn't be eating on cardboard boxes. We spent two unsuccessful weeks traveling in and out of stores, unable to find furniture that fit both our style and budget.
Discouraged, we decided to search our local mall, convinced we wouldn't find anything, and of course, that's where we ended up buying everything. I recommend seeing all pieces in person before purchasing. My husband and I didn't want to invest, but when we saw the poor quality of some of the pieces, we realized it was worth splurging on a few things. Who wants furniture that will fall apart in a year?
Crista and Mike on the day they first received the keys to their new home.
4. Changing my last name legally. Honestly, I thought that married women were exaggerating when they complained about how terrible it is to change your last name. They weren't. First, you need to change your social security card, bank accounts, credit cards and reward cards. Then comes the much-dreaded trip to the DMV to change your driver's license, where it could take hours to wait in line and retake your photo (bring a book or iPad for entertainment).
5. Adventures in cooking. I was so excited to cook a meal for my husband that I even thought about it prior to my wedding day, planning out what first dish we would eat as newlyweds. I ultimately decided on penne marinara, one of Michael's favorites, and used a recipe from one of my new cookbooks that I received at my bridal shower. The result was the worst-tasting sauce I've ever had — it had a soup consistency and zero flavor. My husband was extremely gracious and appreciated my effort, but I was disappointed in myself. How was I going to manage cooking for us every night?
I shook the chip off my shoulder and decided to try another recipe, stir-fry with peppers and rice. I'm proud to say it was delicious. Every meal since the infamous marinara failure has gotten better and better. I'd recommend getting recipes from other newlyweds, which are likely portion-controlled for two and don't require a professional chef to make.
Crista's stir fry, peppers, and rice dish.
Leave a comment with your best advice for newlyweds!
Crista Battiato is a newlywed and the co-founder of Style She Wrote. She tied the knot in July 2012 with Michael, her newly-minted husband. This chic NYC couple describes their wedding style as “modern romance"—fitting for a pair who had their first date at a quaint seaport and became engaged in the same spot, overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. This fashion-forward blogger loves to infuse her traditional taste with unexpected contemporary accents.