A lot of us fantasize about getting married long before we’re ready for the commitment. We shamelessly create Pinterest boards for our dream dresses and start planning the perfect wedding down to the last detail. And for some of us, marriage comes as a surprise, entering our lives when we least expect it and changing them forever. When we aren’t prepared for it, and even when we are, marriage can be extremely overwhelming. I received a lot of advice before my wedding, but here are a few things I wish I’d known before I walked into the biggest commitment of my life.
1. Let your mom plan your wedding.
I mean, she will anyway. You might as well surrender and know your place before things get messy.
2. Don’t shop at Victoria’s Secret.
When I went wedding shopping, I walked into a Victoria’s Secret in Dubai and all logical reasoning flew out the window. I didn’t know why I needed $200 lingerie, I just knew I needed it. But let’s be real, you’re going to be spending most of your time as a married woman slumming it on the couch in a onesie. You won’t be needing lacy support.
3. Live with a roommate at some point in your life.
DO IT. You need to be intimately familiar with the person YOU become when you live with a stranger. Also, it’s good practice for the control freak in you who never fails to remind people of their responsibilities.
4. Don’t stress about looking on point all day, every day.
Sure, dressing up for yourself (and for your husband) is nice every once in a while. But girl, if he doesn’t like you in sweats and a tank top, tell him boy bai.
5. Don’t let the first time you cook something end in tragedy.
Let’s face it. Cooking is an art not bestowed upon all of us. If you’re not going to practice in your mom’s kitchen before getting married (which you should), maybe sleep with several cookbooks under your pillow. That way, you can learn the ropes through osmosis, so you don’t burn your own kitchen down later.
6. Live for the small moments.
Once you’re married, you’ll go through your fair share of misfortunes. But instead of dwelling on the bad days, remember the moments that make the hopeless romantic in you weep with joy.
7. Don’t lose sight of who you are.
Never try to live by other people’s standards. People will try to convince you that their advice is the law of the land, and that you would do well to follow it. Trying to make everyone but yourself happy will only make you insecure and miserable. Remember, you’re fabulous just as you are!
Now that I’ve been married for a year, I’ve learned a lot about myself—as a wife, but also as a person. Being married is a lesson in patience and tolerance, and you realize early on in your relationship that you should put up with things you normally wouldn’t put up with because it’s the right thing to do.
Marriage is hard work, but if you surround yourself with people who love you, they’ll give you good advice and remind you of the reasons you chose to get married.