When my husband and I got married—a whopping 30 days ago, and yes, I'm already doling out marriage advice—we were determined to keep that "newlywed glow" as long as possible. (Long story short: We've been together for six years—lived together for almost five and a half—so we were fully aware a marriage license or even a far-flung honeymoon wouldn't usher us into some new state of being.)
Over the course of a 48-hour flight schedule, we came up with a plan (again, we had 48 hours): Upon returning to New York, we were going to date beyond date night—do little things for one another, keep the stress of our jobs at bay, and just generally revel in the fact that we're lucky to live life together. Below, see the newlywed essentials we're relying on (plus a couple of must-have items worth the investment—looking at you, washer/dryer).
Relive Your Honeymoon
We traveled to Bali for our honeymoon, and I can honestly say it was the most relaxed we (two very type-A people) have been in ages. Of course, the sun, sand, and general lack of responsibilities contributed to that—but I'm sure the afternoon cocktail hours and nightcaps didn't hurt either. Since drinks out can add up quickly, we're testing a straight-to-your-door wine service called Winc. They ask you a series of questions (like how you like your coffee or how adventurous you are with food); then they suggest wines to add to your delivery. Now we always have wine on hand for an impromptu happy hour for two—no planning required.
Practice Small Gestures
The best part of planning our wedding was thinking of the little details we could work into the ceremony or reception that were nods to our favorite moments together. Now that we're back to our regular lives, we've been enacting this through little thoughtful gestures. One night, my husband Jonathan made my favorite dinner while wearing the T-shirt he wore the first night I met him (I had joked about it in our vows). I plan on re-creating our first dance in the living room, record player on. Are you rolling your eyes yet?
Make Each Other's Lives Easier
One of my love languages is acts of services, so there's nothing I appreciate more than a household chore getting taken care of for me, particularly the dreaded laundry. This is a hard sell for Jonathan, since our washer and dryer are tiny and take forever to run even one load, so I added this to our must-have investments list. The washer has TurboWash technology that cuts your wash time by 30 minutes, and the dyer can fit a full set of king-size bedding in one load. You can even connect it to Wi-Fi to start your loads remotely so when I'm running late from the office, I don't have to dread staying up all night to finish a load. That could convince anyone to do your laundry, right?
Repeat Your Favorite Dates
It can be difficult to think of new date-night ideas all the time, so sometimes I just dust off an old one and make it new (shhh!). For instance, Jonathan and I spent one memorable snow day hunting down every Netflix special that featured Christina Tosi, before ordering one of every Milk Bar cookie we could carry home. I wanted to relive that memory, so I recently ordered one of her cookbooks. Now I just need a big snowfall…
Elevate your everyday
Our lazy Saturday morning routine includes ordering breakfast in bed via Postmates and sleeping off Friday night—not exactly romantic. But someone gifted us a breakfast tray for our wedding, and as silly as it sounds, it makes our weekend routine feel more special. Granted, we're still ordering in, but it looks much prettier.
Don't Sweat the Petty Stuff
Nothing ruins that feel-good newlywed vibe faster than having the same pointless argument you've had a dozen times. I will always get makeup on our towels, and I can live with that—but Jonathan cannot. (Sigh, men.) I finally came to the realization that we could stop discussing it if I just ordered darker towels. Let me tell you, money well spent, my friends. Money well spent.
Upgrade Your Shared Space
Since we've lived together for most of our adult lives, we registered for mostly cash funds and experiences rather than household items. But I did get a little FOMO, thanks to some of my other friends who were getting married, moving into houses together, and starting from scratch. Rather than throwing out the furniture and starting from square one (which I did run by Jonathan), we decided to upgrade one major item in our apartment. We're ordering this Framebridge set to replace those old frames we bought fresh out of college.
Have Dinner Together—a Real Dinner
Jonathan and I are really terrible at dinner. We both have long commutes and get home late (and make far too few trips to the grocery store). As a result, we spend a lot of money on dinners out or ordering in. Now that we're married, though, we've made a pact to be adults and cook more. This do-it-all Le Creuset Dutch Oven our friend gifted us has made that so much easier. Since it's cast iron, you don't need a half dozen dishes to make a meal. Plus, it can go straight from stove to oven to your table top, because it's so pretty.