Notes on a Modern Marriage – 1 Year In

Posted in Weddings.

vintage style weddingYesterday marked one whole year since Rob and I got married.

Our first year of marriage has been hectic to say the least – we tried (and failed) to buy a house, moved into and entirely furnished a new rented place, saw two more of our friends tie the knot and one bring a baby boy into the world. We’ve done bridesmaid and best man duties, launched new ventures, experienced the terrifying reality of freelance life and navigated insane work schedules, amazing opportunities, tricky finances and both success and disappointment, together.

One thing I found when planning my wedding and working through my first year of marriage is there are very few ‘real’ accounts of weddings and married life. There’s an endless supply of ‘wedspiration’ and I loved looking at this when I was planning (particularly Love My Dress, which is the original and best in my opinion). But it’s often disheartening and depressing to see the barrage of total and utter perfection when you’re planning a wedding that feels like it’s careering off the rails, or trying to work with a budget that’s about 10 grand short for your ideas, or freaking out at the overwhelming pressure of the day.

english country weddingI wanted to include this particular photo in this post – not only because it’s one of my absolute favourites from my own wedding, but because it’s a good example of how imperfection can be welcomed, celebrated and remembered fondly.

I printed this photo out as part of Rob’s first anniversary present. It’s now in a lovely frame and sitting pride of place on our mantlepiece. We love it because it’s such a real representation of our wedding – my veil is gone and my dress is hooked up on the bustle. I did this literally as soon as the group photos were over, because the veil was pissing me off and the dress was dragging about everywhere and people kept standing on it. Rob’s jacket is off and his shirt is untucked, because we’d done the hard ceremony bit and he was ready to party.

I have looked at countless wedding photos, and you very rarely get to see stuff like this. I just wish I had a photo of the state of my dress at 11pm, because that shit was DISGUSTING. Don’t wear a long dress if your wedding reception is in a field, that’s my advice. It took three industrial attempts to clean it, and it still has a grey tinge.

ideas for vintage weddings

I’ve already shown you the ‘perfection’ of my own wedding, and now I’d like to write about the bits I struggled with – the most stressful parts of the planning, what went wrong on the day and why it totally didn’t matter, what came next – and what’s happened since the ‘big day’, during 12 months of married life. My notes on a modern marriage, if you will.

I’ll be kicking off next week with the number 1 question asked of all newly married couples – ‘when are you having children?’ – but for now, if you have any wedding/marriage-based topics you’d like me to cover just let me know in the comments. You should also ready Poppy D’s excellent, honest accounts of her own wedding planning. And I’ll see you here next week!



Cannot wait for this series of posts! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog immensely over the past few years (never commented, oops) and though the clothes and vintage shopping drew me in, your fabulous personality has kept me coming back. I’m curious about so many of the experiences you’ve been through and am really looking forward to more ‘lifestyle’ posts..

Anyway, a few points I’d love to hear more about are: how did you balance family input/suggestions/demands with your own hopes for the big day? What kind of sacrifices, big or small, did you have to make during planning because of finances/practicality? In hindsight, how would you change your approach to planning certain aspects of your day? Which elements do you think worked best on the day, and which (if any!) do you think you could have saved time, energy and stress over as they just weren’t as important on the day? And I’ll wrap it up now – do you ‘regret’ anything about the day, ie. not having a videographer or not having photographs of certain decorations/moments?

Finally, how has getting married changed your relationship? So much wedding inspo online focuses on pretty dresses and sparkles, and although that’s incredibly exciting, I’d love to hear your take on how important marriage was to your relationship. And also, your husbands take! Not a fan of how female-centric wedding blogs can be, so a few words from your partner would be excellent.

/end of demanding comment, sorry!


I love to see the imperfections, because that’s what love is. It’s not this perfect thing, relationships aren’t always easy and life definitely isn’t.

Congratulations on 1 year, my parents marked 33 years of imperfections this weekend 🙂 I wish you a long, happy and healthy future! x


Aaah I can’t wait to read more about this series Jen! Marriage is so romanticised (and so it should be) but I can’t imagine for a couple that has been together as you and Rob beforehand it’s THAT different to be Mr & Mrs? I dunno? Either way, looking forward to reading 🙂 xxx


Congratulations on your anniversary! And it sounds like a great series of posts.

I have a question more about relationships than marriage but I hope it is still relevant. I think you and Rob have been together for a long time, but when you were younger were you always sure that you wanted to be with Rob and did you ever question it? I am very nearly 23 and have been with my boyfriend for nearly six years. We have done both ends of the spectrum in terms of distance apart – long distance during university and then travelling together for six months when we didn’t spend more than four hours apart. We have now reached the stage where we are back at home after uni but contemplating moving in together soon. I would love to live together but am I being too sensible for my own good by worrying about what this means? So any advice for being teenage sweethearts… Thank you!



Great post and happy 1 year anniversary! They always say the first year of marriage is particularly hard … maybe that could be a topic you cover in your honest marriage posts?

I look forward to reading more!!


Happy Anniversary! I’d love to hear more about your first year of marriage. I’m married almost TWO years now and I just thinking about how much life has changed since then. I think I might write a blog about it as well, if only to help myself realise the changes and the lessons I’ve learned!


I love this post and can’t wait to read more in this series. Before you got engaged, how much pressure did you get from people asking when you were getting married and how did you respond to it? Currently Mark and I are getting a LOT of it but neither of us wants to get married but equally do not have a non snappy answer! 😛 Apologies for the long-winded question!

Maria xxx


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