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Every year, we do our best to fill our annual print edition with advice and tips that will help you not only plan your wedding, but also (more importantly), help you and your fiancé prepare for marriage. We ask every couple we feature how they go about preparing for life after the big day, and were so happy to include many of their answers in V8. Please enjoy their words of wisdom every Sunday here on Southern Weddings!

Rachel Moore

“Planning for our marriage was just as important, if not more, as planning for our wedding. We participated in a premarital course offered through a local church. This provided a place to talk about many things we had touched on previously, and allowed us to dive further into our values, goals, and hopes for marriage. We also made sure to have date night once a week to regroup on our life outside of wedding planning and make sure we were on the same page. This was essential in planting the seeds for a fruitful marriage.”
Hilari + Grant

lisa Written with love by Lisa

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Will y’all send all your good thoughts to the Winchester house next week, pretty please? We’re staying in Florida for Thanksgiving, and I’m attempting to make my grandmama’s famous Turkey Dressing for the first time all by myself. It’s KPW’s favorite, and he swears it’s not officially Thanksgiving without it. Spending the holidays away from your family can be a bittersweet part of getting married, and I remember having a bit of a meltdown as I approached our first married Christmas, knowing it meant my first Christmas Eve not with my parents and baby sister. Whether you’re celebrating with your new family or you’re riding out a holiday solo with your darling husband, I have a few ideas for how to make the holidays a bit brighter.

It’s good and healthy to embrace the traditions of your new family, and to remember that they are likely just as beloved to your significant other as your traditions are to you. But it can be fun to do a little blending. Talk with your husband early in the planning process about something you’d like to introduce his family to (ideally something that doesn’t clash with one of their established traditions). Maybe it’s a Thanksgiving dessert, or something that goes in every stocking year after year at your house. Letting your new loved ones in on of your special traditions is a great way to make your family feel close by, even if you’re apart.

Make it a point to spend a little one-on-one time with your new husband doing something that will be special just for the two of you. Perhaps you can go on a morning walk to get coffee before the hustle of Thanksgiving prep is in full swing? Or sneak away from the family and drive around to look at Christmas lights after supper. Kyle and I drag our Christmas stockings (from each other) upstairs and open them by ourselves at bedtime on Christmas night. The best part is that we can do this little tradition regardless of which family we are spending the holiday with!

I begged the rest of the married SW gals for a few tips based on their personal experiences, because, after getting married, we’ve all spent different holidays away from our families. I hope it gives you a bit of extra encouragement and perhaps a little inspiration for the upcoming holidays

Emily: Think outside the box. My family has come to hold the actual dates of holidays quite loosely, and to celebrate when we can be together. (It’s actually a bit of a joke in the SW office, as the girls see me taking “Christmas vacation” over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend!) Home truly is where the heart is, and we’ve found that Christmas is also when we are together. This allows us to travel to celebrate with both families, which is our highest priority, and to not go crazy rushing from one house to the next.

Amber: We love the opportunity to host our own holiday dinner (even if it was just the two of us!) featuring not only dishes or recipes we grew up on, but a few new ones to start our own traditions. Decorating for the holidays is something I enjoy immensely, and instead of being disappointed that my family wouldn’t be visiting and able to enjoy all the festivities, I scheduled a FaceTime date with them to do a little tour of our home including all the inside holiday decor and the outside Christmas lights! I even made hot chocolate and Christmas cookies for the occasion.

Marissa: With our families living in different states, my husband and I have yet to have the chance to celebrate a combined family holiday, so before we got married we decided to alternate years. Thanksgiving with one, Christmas with the other, then each year it switches. Though we have had to be a bit flexible, having a system in place has helped deter hurt feelings, on everyone’s part! However, no matter how loved you are by your in-laws, it’s never easy to be away from ‘home’ for the holidays. Making a point to FaceTime with my family has helped to ease missing them. And even having a rescheduled holiday before or after the actual day helps feel like I’m not missing out on anything.

Photos by Blue Ribbon Vendor Jen Dillender, from Christina and Blair’s home tour

Part of the fun of getting married is blending two families and two sets of holidays schedules and traditions together. Remember to give yourself a little grace as you work to figure things out. Do you have a great tip for how to spend the holidays away from your family? Please share below! 

kristin Written with love by Kristin
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  1. avatar Christina reply

    Oh my heart! I love seeing these photos, but I love even more the traditions my sweet Mr. BMF and I have now created and share for the holidays! That first Christmas away from my family was a doozy (to say the least), but I have grown to love our time with my family and his family during the holiday season! This year my mom is joining us in Houston with his family to celebrate! Happy Holidays ladies! xo

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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Though we love providing y’all with inspiration and practical advice, possibly the most rewarding part of our job is creating products that will live in your homes and at your weddings, helping you to celebrate the things that are most important. And we won’t pretend—we make the things we’d love to have and can’t find anywhere else!

Today, we are thrilled to introduce you to two new products in the Southern Weddings Shop!

Our Welcome Home Guestbook is a place for your friends and family to record the memories that they make at your home—anything from the first dinner you host as newlyweds, to Friday night movie marathons, to Thanksgiving as one big family. My favorite part of this guestbook is that it’s something you can start together, whether you’re dating or have been married for years!

The Welcome Home Guestbooks come in coral, blue, and natural linen. Each is foil-stamped with hand lettering from Hand Lettered Designs!

Our Vows Booklet Sets are a sweet place to write down your wedding day vows. At less than 4 inches wide, they’re small and beautiful enough to carry down the aisle and read from on your wedding day. Knowing this, we partnered with Moya Minns of MM Ink Studio for our cover calligraphy—we know her styles are timeless and that these booklets will look just as beautiful for years to come.

The Vows Booklet sets are available in blue and cream. I love the covers of each of these little booklets—they’re soft to the touch, and embossed with Moya’s calligraphy.

Find these and all of our products in the Southern Weddings Shop!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole

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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