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Moving to a new city, no matter the circumstances, can be tough. When you pile moving on top of a newly established marriage and all the changes that come with it, life can quickly become overwhelming. While I was beyond excited to stop long-distance dating, for me, getting married meant packing up my life and moving it to a brand new city and state. Darling husband aside, I was exceedingly unprepared for how hard it would be to move away from the comforts of my life in NC. With three major moves under my belt in the first four years of our marriage, I feel like I’m becoming a bit of an expert on how to settle into a new city and make it feel like home, especially in the newlywed stage of life. Since you can’t rely on your partner for all your happiness, here are a few of my best tips for making that post-married transition a bit smoother!

1. Wear your “I’m New” nametag with pride. Step outside your comfort zone and strike up conversation with people you interact with in your new city, be it a server at a restaurant or the checkout gal at the grocery store. Fessing up to being new can lead to quick conversations where you learn about places to go and things to do. My go-to questions are “Do you have a pizza/sushi place?” and “Where’s your favorite brunch spot?”. Be brave – remember, many of these conversations will be random one-time interactions with little pressure, but can lead to new places to explore and new things to do to help you fall in love with your new zip code. And, who knows: I met my first new friend in Blacksburg while I was getting a manicure on a dreary February afternoon. A simple “I’m new to town” conversation led to a follow-up lunch date and a full-blown friendship.

2. Go on friend or double dates. We live in the digital age, so use it to your advantage! Spread the social media word that you’re in the market for new gal pals and couple friends in your new city. Ask your friends and family if they can connect you with anyone in your new landing spot. Say yes to invitations for coffee or lunch. Take it from a girl who loves to make friends but spent the first few months post-marriage fairly friendless and moderately homesick – not everyone you meet is going to become your next BFF, but it’s worth it to keep trying. I could tell you a lot of stories about failed connections. (I distinctly remember being in a spin class and commenting on the pearls the girl next to me was wearing. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work.) I also met one of my dearest friends in Florida because I shared about our move on Instagram prior to moving and she invited me to brunch once I got relocated. This works for double-dates, too. Couple friends are valuable assets as you settle into married life. Perhaps your new husband has a colleague at work or a new acquaintance at the gym. Having a few new friends in a brand new city can make you feel a whole lot less lonely!

3. Get cozy. All friendliness aside, having a safe space to retreat to after a long, hard day in a new place is invaluable. I’m a big believer in settling into your space no matter how temporary. Ikea has very inexpensive drapes. Command Strips let you hang pictures without putting hole into the walls. Candles, framed pictures, a few blankets, and a plant can do wonders for making any room feel more homey. While I am a card carrying extrovert, I understand the importance of having a place to rest and recharge. I also think that living among piles of moving boxes for too long can be mentally and emotionally exhausting, so get to unpacking fast! Being able to make coffee and scramble some eggs a few days after moving in can do wonders for your well-being and outlook on your new city.

4. Dig into your surroundings. Joining something is a great way to meet new people. Go to the gym – you can burn off some steam and meet people in a low-key environment. Find a church and investigate their activities calendar. Join a kickball league or look into volunteer opportunities. Research opportunities to take creative classes — these days you can find everything from hand lettering to cake decorating around the corner. Learning a new skill alongside someone who is also learning a new skill means everyone may be feeling little awkward! It’s really easy to hide away at home when you’re feeling lonely and homesick, but it’s also nearly impossible to make new friends that way. So, go out and pursue your interests, and be open to finding a new friend along the way.

5. Practice a “365 Days of Acclimation” mantra. A few months after moving to VA, I remember someone asking how long it had been since I’d moved to town. At the time, it had been a little more than five months, and while it was getting easier, I still didn’t feel ‘at home.’ She wisely said, “Give it a year – you won’t believe how different you’ll feel once you cross that 12-month line.” Remember, there’s a lot to figure out, from navigating the layout of your new grocery store to driving around your new city without using GPS 24/7, so show yourself some grace. Moving is hard. Give yourself 365 days to get settled and comfortable in your new location.

6. Make new friends, but keep the old. Just because you moved doesn’t mean you have to let go of all the great friendships and relationships you established in your former location. Schedule consistent phone calls, FaceTime dates, and Skype hangouts. Drop postcards in the mail. I averaged a weekly mini meltdown in the months following our wedding, so having regularly-planned times to connect with old friends was invaluable for resetting and regaining courage after a hard day.

My sweet grandma says, “Home is where you make it.” My granddaddy was in the Army and they lived all over the world for the first twenty years of their marriage, so I’m confident she is an expert on today’s topic.

Have other ideas for how to settle into a new city, especially after getting married? Please share them below!

Love,
KNW

P.S. I’ll never forget having coffee with someone right after I moved to Blacksburg, VA. She gave me a “Welcome to Blacksburg” booklet to share some of her personal hints and tips about my new town. It was a handful of half-sized pages, hole punched, tied with a ribbon in the corner and overflowing with information – everything from the best local car mechanics, to recommendations for new doctors and her favorite restaurants (including some of her favorite things to order). I can’t tell you how many times I referenced it in the first few months. If you’re the one who is settled in – here’s your chance to help out a new friend!

kristin Written with love by Kristin
11 Comments
  1. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    One of my biggest dreams is to move to the Raleigh area someday and I’ve wondered how that would work as newlyweds (as I’m not yet married!) but this post offers so much encouragement. Thank you Kristin! :)

  2. avatar Kelly reply

    Oh I love these tips! I need to make a welcome to Knoxville bag! I’ve been here long enough now I want to share my wealth of information.

    • avatar Kristin reply

      Yes! I love this idea, Kelly! I have a list of CH favorites I send when I meet new friends moving to the triangle (even though I don’t live there. ha.) !!!!

  3. avatar Abby reply

    All of this is so true! I moved to Chicago right after we got married a year and a half ago and now just moved Durham! It’s so hard getting settled and acclimated-especially as you were just getting used to the last “home”! So glad to have these reminders now that I’ve hit the 2 month mark in NC- still feels so new! That said, anyone that wants to hang out/double date in the Triangle- call me! Insta:abbyenyquist

    • avatar Kristin reply

      Abby! I wish I would reach through the computer and give you a big squeeze! Moving isn’t for the faint of heart, and I feel you with a two moves in 18 months. Keep holding on to that ‘365 mantra’!! And go grab a Sutton’s milkshake on Franklin Street or a Merritt’s BLT when you need a little comfort :)

  4. avatar Justin DeMutiis reply

    I hope the adjustment to FL is going well! Please let me know if I can offer any help/advice!!

  5. avatar Liz-Tampa, FL reply

    I have moved a few times and your tips are right on. However, I will say moving is really hard and when you don’t have kids, & work from home it is so hard to make connections that are more than acquaintances. Three years later I feel I am still struggling.

    • avatar Kristin reply

      Liz! I couldn’t’ agree more that working from home + no littles makes it even more complicated to make connections. I’m right there with you. Sending you a big hug!

  6. avatar Your Favorite Blog Posts From 2016 – Vend Raleigh reply

    […] Our friend Kristin Winchester, newlywed and newly announced editor of Southern Weddings, offered to share her most personal post this year. “Having moved 3 times in the last 4 years, this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I remember crying at the dinner table once a week after moving to Blacksburg after getting married. I am a big believer in pretty and practical and this falls under the practical category. Sharing lessons learned and hoping to help someone else who might be going through a similar situation makes my heart swell.” Here’s Kristin’s pick for her favorite personal post from 2016: 6 Tips for Moving to a New City After Getting Married. […]

  7. avatar Gary Lun reply

    Great post! I really like the idea of making new friends as well as keeping the old. Especially when moving to a new city (or new country in my case) we need to reach out to new people!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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Emily and I are packing our bags and heading to the Lone Star State next week, and we can hardly wait! As some of you may know, Texas is my home state, and I’m giddy with excitement to share some of my favorite places (ahem, Torchy’s Tacos) and my old stomping grounds with Emily. We’ll be doing two editorial shoots for V8 while we’re there, and since we’re not in Texas very often, we knew we had to take advantage of this opportunity to hug as many of our sweet Texas readers and vendor friends as possible. We’ll be hosting meet-ups in both Houston and Austin on Tuesday, March 24, and having a Southern Weddings Shop pop-up shop in Houston–see below for all of the details!

Houston: We are tickled pink to be hosting a meet-up and Southern Weddings Shop pop-up shop at the beautiful BHLDN store in downtown Houston! Vendors are invited to join us at 9:00 AM, and readers and brides are welcome at 10:30 AM. We’ll have our favorite prints, our Marriage Certificate, Love Note notepads, and the Sweet Tees line available for sale, and Whisk Bakery will be providing tasty treats! No, 10:30 AM is not too early for lemon blueberry cupcakes and Mexican hot chocolate brownies :)

Austin: We can’t wait to spend time with y’all in Austin! We’ll be at Hey Cupcake on South Congress from 7-9 PM. Come by, grab a cupcake, and hang out with us! (If the weather is bad, keep an eye on Instagram for an alternate location).

We can’t wait to see y’all! Comment below and let us know if we’ll get to meet you in Texas!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Kelsey Patterson reply

    So happy y’all are coming to the Lone Star State! Can’t wait! :)

  2. avatar Kim Hemenas reply

    I will see you in Houston!

  3. avatar Morgan Parks reply

    Will you be making it to other states this summer? Say, Richmond, VA? :)

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Hi Morgan! We are actually going to Richmond next week, but it’s just for a quick day trip. We definitely hope to be there again soon with time to do a meet-up–we’d love to meet you! :)

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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SWPS Volume 7

by in In The Office on

The Southern Weddings Postal Service, or SWPS, as we’ve nicknamed our in-house shipping department, picks up pace around this time of the year, when over 15,000 pounds of magazines are delivered to our office. It’s definitely an exciting time, and one that I, as the “Head Elf” this year, was honestly a little nervous about! I was interning at SW this time last fall when V6 arrived, so although I was exposed to the happenings at SWPS, there was still a lot I didn’t know about the process.

A lot of prep work is done prior to the day the 18-wheeler packed with V7 pallets pulls into Lara’s driveway. We order all of the necessary shipping supplies, write thank you notes to slip into each order, print and sort packing slips, and get the garage cleared out to make room for all the new magazines. Thankfully, the rest of the SW gals were super encouraging guiding me through the preparation process, and Rhiannon, Grace’s nanny, helped me clean, organize, and rearrange the garage weeks earlier. We expected V7 to arrive on Halloween, but a shortage of delivery trucks at the shipping facility forced us to wait until Monday. Despite the delay, we were ready!

Since the holiday season is upon us (yippee!), I’ve found a few parallels in the SWPS to none other than Santa’s workshop! It starts with the five of us pushing and pulling pallets upon pallets of magazines up Lara’s slightly uphill driveway. I imagine we look a little like reindeers pulling a sleigh!

Simultaneously, our little Dymo label printer is working hard to print hundreds of mailing labels that we’ll stick onto envelopes and boxes filled with copies of V7.

We were grateful on Monday for the sunshine that made it possible for the SW gals and our sweet helpers to move our workspace outside. Like Santa sifting through the naughty and nice lists, we scan each mailing label and match it with the right personalized note before sealing the package and adding it to the pile. Our littlest elf, Gracie, even helped by sticking chicken stickers on several lucky boxes!

After hours of packing, with our arms feeling weak from lifting and our legs wobbly from standing, our kind postman pulled into the driveway to collect over 300 packages of V7. I have to admit, I doubted that we could fit everything in the back of his little mail truck! I should know by now that, like our team of seven gals, small can also be mighty!

Just like that, V7 was on its way to your homes! We love thinking about y’all receiving the magazines and pouring through the content we’ve joyfully worked hard to create and curate! We’re incredibly grateful to everyone for supporting our mission and we can’t wait for y’all to see V7!

Written with love by Morgan
4 Comments
  1. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    I am impressed with how efficiently you worked to get V7 into the hands of brides and readers all over the country within just a few short days. Well done! :)

  2. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] than seeing your copies of the magazine pop up on our #SWV7 hashtag. We hustled to get all of our preorders out the door, and are thrilled that so many of you have your copies in hand! If you haven’t been able to […]

  3. avatar Say Howdy to the Southern Weddings Holiday Collection – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] flattered to hear that, and tend to agree! In fact, now that we’ve gotten our mountain of V7 pre-orders out the door, we can turn our attention to the SW 2014 Holiday Collection. There’s lots of […]

  4. avatar DYMOsupport reply

    Love the idea of Gracie putting stickers on a few lucky boxes! Good luck with your project girls and have a nice day!

    ^GB

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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