The tradition of seating newly-weds side-by-side at formal
dinner parties during their first year of marriage is now archaic
and outmoded. But it reflects the 'special' aura that surrounds
couples as they embark on married life.
The early days of the marriage are seen as a kind of suspension of normal life. Up to a point, newly weds are expected to dote on each other, find it hard to keep their hands and eyes off each other, and generally behave as if they're passionately in love with each other. But only up to a point…
Patience will soon wear thin amongst onlookers if there's too much silliness and 'love's young dream' behaviour.
After the Wedding
However rosy the afterglow of the wedding, normal life must
resume at some point. The following practical tasks must be
Formal thank you letters must be sent for all wedding presents.
It's a pleasing gesture to also send effusive thank you letters to parents, in-laws, the best man, ushers and bridesmaids, acknowledging - gratefully - all their hard work on the day.
If a name change for the bride is planned, the practical bureaucracy should be attended to, avoiding a confusing interregnum in which both names are being used.
If the newly-weds are a relatively recent couple, the following recommendations apply. Of course, many newly married couples have already lived together for some time, and their family and social circle will be perfectly used to seeing them as a couple…
The newly-weds should spend time with their respective families, so that everyone can get used to relating to them as a married couple. The immediate aftermath of the wedding and honeymoon is a good opportunity - there will be endless photographs to admire, and reminiscences and anecdotes to share.
Returning to Normal Life
Newly-weds should begin to gently break down the aura of
coupledom that suffuses them by starting to invite people into
their lives. This means asking people around to the marital home,
and offering hospitality.
Don't over-prolong the after-wedding glow. The world is full of married people, and getting married doesn't make you unique. The wedding itself was your big day, and sometimes it's hard to come down to earth after the festivities. You may have been the centre of attention for several months during the lead-up to the marriage and - if the wedding has gone according to plan - you will have basked in all the admiration and good wishes.
But weddings are one-off rituals, not models of how life ought to be. Remember this, and concentrate on embracing, and welcoming, post-nuptial normality. Don't be depressed if you feel a little anti-climactic, that's only to be expected. Just remind yourself that you're embarking on life's next big adventure.