You just got married. Hopefully, you had at least a mini-moon if not a full-blown honeymoon, and now you've arrived back home. The funny thing is that most brides and grooms expect life to become easier the minute the wedding events are finished. All those months of planning and stress come together in a few fabulous days of events and then POOF, it's done.
The wedding is over, but unfortunately, the stress is not. In fact, many of my brides and grooms tell me that the first month after their weddings is far more stressful than the 30 days leading up to it. I can relate to that. My company was rebranding less than a month after my own wedding and 24 hours after I returned from my honeymoon, I was headed to their headquarters in Connecticut for a month.
This is not uncommon. Professionally successful couples have to put their lives on hold for a week or two to get married, and just like anytime you take a vacation, it starts back up as soon as you return. In fact, since you've likely taken off more consecutive days than you normally would, you're going to be buried. A normally 40-60 hour work week may be a 60-80 hour work week until you can find the top of your desk again and answer the zillion emails that built up. Clients will respect that you're out of the office for your wedding, but you get zero slack upon your return.
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Even if you've stayed on top of the thank you notes for the wedding gifts you received prior to the big day, if you had a big wedding, you're going to be blessed with many, many more gifts once you've actually tied the knot. True, etiquette gives your guests a year to send a wedding gift, so some will trickle in over time. But for those who are more on the ball, you have an obligation to get the thank you note in the mail to them within a month of returning from your honeymoon, if not faster. Old-fashioned etiquette gave the bride and groom more time for the notes, but now that two-thirds (or more) of your guests are shipping things to you via online shopping sources, you have to let them know their gift arrived and thank them.
Everybody wants to see you socially as a couple and you will be inundated with invitations to the new "Mr. and Mrs." You can't do it all, so you might consider planning to do your own entertaining the next month and politely decline with an invitation to something a little farther out. But your friends and family want to celebrate with you and you cannot blow them off indefinitely.
Be prepared for the chaos that will ensue. Ask your friends to be patient. And respect that you each have professional obligations you must fulfill before you can get back to "real life" as you prefer it to be.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional and destination wedding planning company and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms based in the Washington, DC area. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show "Wedding Island," about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques. Sandy's book "How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional," will be released on March 1st, but is available online for pre-orders now where books are sold.