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Signed, Sealed, Delivered: I’m Yours! Reflections on Marriage, One Year On…

October 13th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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I don’t normally write too many personal posts here on the wedding blog, such is the vast amount of real wedding loveliness and wedding inspiration gorgeousness flooding my inbox on a daily basis, but today, a year minus three days from the day I said I do, I thought I would share some of my thoughts on my first year as a newlywed. 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Copyright Julia Braime

Taking in the Grand Canyon, Top Gun style, in Las Vegas on Honeymoon

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On a (sunnier) Thursday this time last year, we would have been just about to meet our closest family and friends for our wedding rehearsal at Durham School chapel.  This holy place would be packed to the rafters with friends, flowers and song just a few days later, but on that Thursday night it was all about taking the time to practice, saying our lines and thinking about what we meant to each other.

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And that, brides to be, is kind of what the first year of marriage has been about for me: taking the time to practice being a wife, adjusting to this huge promise that we have made to each other and reaffirming how I feel about the person I call my husband.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Copyright Julia Braime

With my new in-laws on our Wedding Day

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The people make the marriage, no question about it, and you both have to be in on the deal.  As no person (with the exception of perhaps Pippa Middleton*) is 100% perfect, no marriage will be 100% perfect.  A year is made up of 365 days and a lifetime is made up of a whole lot more.  There will be bad days and good days, up days and down days, happy days and sad days.  It’ll be how you face each day and the sum of those days that make a happy marriage.  You need to decide: are you together, or are you apart?   

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I’ll be honest with you.  Sometimes I can be a bit selfish, self centred or whatever you would call it.   I blame my parents (not really Mum!).  I’m an only child, an independent spirit… a lone wolf.  Hmm, I like that, maybe I could get that on a t-shirt?  Anyway, I digress, but you see what I mean!  I’m easily distracted by pretty things, fun and games and new adventures.  I have been programmed to think for myself.  And now there are two of us.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Copyright Julia Braime

Adventuring in Malibu

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It’s not really ok to carry on partying till 4am, forgetting to charge my phone, buying fashion like its going out of fashion, eating all the Rice Krispy Squares in the pack, making plans for the weekend on a whim and booking girls holidays. 

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Or is it?

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I am a wife.  I should be baking, fluffing pillows, fetching his slippers, mixing him a martini… or at least making sure there is food in the fridge. 

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Or should I?

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The thing is, I’ve been a little confused this past  year.  I’m not sure if I was expecting domestic goddestry, but I at least I thought that things would be a little more rose tinted.  Except they’re not.  Every thing is normal, it still rains, we still don’t have a house deposit, I don’t own a single pair of Jimmy Choos, he still leaves piles of coins and parts of the Sunday paper everywhere, I still can’t cook and we still have our little arguments.  Add to that a burgeoning career as a on top of my old job as a lawyer with barely enough time to eat, blog and sleep and for the best part of the year our living space has been chaos.  Ok, our living space still is chaos. 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Copyright Julia Braime

Our first Christmas

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In getting hitched, I’ve also tied myself down.  I’ve given up any chance of being editor of New York Vogue, marrying Leonardo Di Caprio or living in a hut in Bali.  Instead, I’m to be the wife of an accountant and factory owner from West Yorkshire (albeit a hot one) FOREVER.  It’s a big commitment. 

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The thing is though, I really really love him.  I love him more a year on than I did at our wedding rehearsal.  I love our life together, our geeky in jokes and our private world.  I love that we both like crap tv and junk food.  I love that I can be myself around him, that he doesn’t mind me going away with the girls, wearing the same jogging bottoms for a week or paying for my false eyelashes addiction.  This past year he has shown me what real love is: unwavering support, belief and affection.  

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Copyright Julia Braime

Valentines Day in Bangkok

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I would say that nothing changes when you get marrried.  But something really has: now we are committed.  Properly committed. 

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What I have learned this past year is that marriage isn’t this perfect romantic dream.  It’s real life.  Or it’s two real lives, bonded together, with (metaphorical) warts on.  I like that.

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And on balance, we are very, very happy.  That’s all I ever wanted.  I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring…

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Love you hubs  x

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Copyright Julia Braime

Summer in Spain

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Ten tips for marital bliss from a very undomestic goddess  – to be kept under review:

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1.  Let him watch sport.  But only when you are out or sleeping.  Sky Plus is your friend ladies.

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2.  You’ve heard it all before, but a date night once a week is just lovely!

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3.  Talk to each other about it all – the big stuff, the little stuff.  Share your life.

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4.  Plan things to look forward to together like holidays, big purchases or even just a cosy night in so that you are working towards a common goal.

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5.  Try not to have the default switch set to nag.

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6.  If you are constantly finding fault in your other half, hold a mirror to yourself and take a good long look.  Pobody’s nerfect, after all. 

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7.  Sexy time.  Never overrated. 

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8.  Do not criticise his driving or navigational skills at the start of a long road trip.  You have no where to run.

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9.  Merge the finances and prepare to be accountable.  It’s time to grow up.

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10.  Take some time apart now and again.  No matter how much I was looking forward to some me time, I always want to be home in our bed after one sleep apart. 

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Have a lovely evening.  Please, leave me a comment and some of your own tips!  I think I might need them…

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*p.s.  I was joking about Pippa Middleton.  She’s a bit too posh and bony to be perfect. 

.p.p.s We’re not always on holiday, that’s just when I’m carrying the camera…

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  – Images © Julia Braime, Nicola Perrott and Carly Elliot

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comments

  • October 13, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Aww Julia, This is gorgeous! <3 I think its Good for brides to have a little bit in the personal side of things that you KNOW that you've been there and its lovely! <3

  • October 13, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    That is such a lovely post, Julia. All from the heart, and very meaningful. Certainly moved me! I hope you both have a lovely anniversary in a few days time! take care and keep up the good work xx

  • October 13, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Awww Julia happy anniversary in advance! What an open and honest post, I completely agree with what you’re saying, I still feel the same, and I’m approaching the 4 year anniversary mark!
    Hope you have a wonderful anniversary weekend :-)
    Sophie xx

  • October 13, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Love this blog post Julia, sounds like you’re getting the hang of it just fine :-) It’s a constant learning process, I’m 10 years down the line and all of the above rings true xxx

  • matt smith
    October 13, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Julia- boys love sport…how about upgrading to sky sports (full package) for your anniversary…he will love you forever! Happy anniversary x

  • October 13, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks so much everyone for all your lovely comments and tweets! You have made me feel more confident in my wife-ing skills! Or at least I’m not alone in feeling my way as I go!! xxx

  • October 14, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Julia – what a fabulous post – very insightful advice! Happy Anniversary!

    PS- I love the picture of you in Mailbu – you look like a Malibu Barbie!

  • Pearl
    October 16, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    wise words friend xx wise words indeed! x

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about the author

Julia Braime
Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…

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