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Over the summer, we had the pleasure of meeting Denise at a local reader meet-up, and we were immediately inspired by her heart for the Southern Weddings mission. She even kindly lent a hand at the V7 launch party! Since she and her husband, Dan, will be celebrating 24 years of marriage just a few days after Christmas (don’t you love her white poinsettia bouquet?), we couldn’t resist asking her to share her favorite piece of advice for newlyweds in today’s Sweet Tea Sunday post. Enjoy!

You will both come into marriage with traditions and expectations from your upbringings. Those can be wonderful foundations to use as a springboard in creating your vision of the home you want to make together. Be flexible and enjoy the process of your newly created family, while keeping your faith in the forefront. Down the road, your children will draw upon what they have experienced and witnessed. Create your own traditions, routines, and ambitions that are totally unique to you as a couple, then fine-tune them as the years go by. This will create a bond between you, and a home that is a true reflection of your love and commitment. And one more little advice nugget: get flannel sheets! During the cold months, turn the heat down at night and snuggle up in some soft, flannel sheets for your bed. They will keep the bed so cozy and warm, you won’t want to get out–which is a good thing! ;)

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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    For longtime readers, today’s couple needs no introduction–Katharine is a beloved Southern Weddings alumni, as well as the first SW gal to get married while working here! The classic black and white images from her and Kyle’s wedding, as well as Katharine’s no-nonsense approach to planning, have gone down in SW history, so naturally, we couldn’t resist asking for her favorite piece of marriage advice to include in V6. We love what she had to say!

    A Bryan Photo

    The best lesson I’ve learned over the last three years is to enjoy the “now.” Like all newlyweds, my husband Kyle and I are busy making plans for our future and for the family, careers, and life we hope to have. But more important than our planning is remembering to enjoy the stage of marriage we’re in at this moment. For us, that means enjoying being newlyweds and a family of two – and all the blessings and struggles that come with that.

    We enjoy carpooling to work and meeting for lunch, because we’re lucky enough to work in the same building and know we won’t always have this luxury. We love our evening runs through Charlotte’s Freedom Park and on Duke’s trails, looking happily at the passing baby strollers, but content in spending time with just each other. We treasure long road trips home to visit our families, because we’re saving would-be airfare for Kyle’s last year of medical school. Don’t get me wrong: we think about, plan for, and work towards our future all the time. We’re always cognizant of ways to improve our marriage and our routines in anticipation of that life we want to share. But we try, above all else, to enjoy the now.

    So enjoy your two-bedroom apartment with not quite enough closet space, because home ownership (and its many responsibilities) will come soon enough. Enjoy weekend-long Homeland marathons on your living room couch, while you don’t have babies to feed or Little League games to watch. Enjoy Kraft macaroni and cheese dinners served on your wedding china, because, really, there’s no finer dining. Plan for your future, yes; work to make your marriage better, certainly. But remember to enjoy the precious, fun, infuriating, happy, crazy “now” in your marriage–whatever that looks like for you.

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
    2 Comments
    1. avatar Lisa Hays reply

      Such great advice – for everyone but especially newlyweds.

    2. avatar Madelynne Moulton reply

      Thank you for sharing this painfully relevant advice to my point/position in my own marriage. I love the cute babies in strollers and our tiny 2 bedroom apartment, and especially the (Breaking Bad) marathons. Reading this makes me realize it’s okay that this is enough for us, for now :)

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    Can y’all believe we’ve almost come to the end of a full year of Sweet Tea Sundays? We’ve heard from couples just married and soaking in all of the joys of newlywed life, all the way to couples celebrating their golden anniversaries, and each one has inspired us and made us fall in love with love all over again. As fun as planning a wedding and being engaged may be, it’s peanuts compared to what comes after the wedding day. If you’re new to Southern Weddings (welcome!), I encourage you to spend some time this morning scrolling through our past Sweet Tea Sunday posts–there are buckets of wisdom in these pages. To start you off, please enjoy these words from Sue and Sean, who celebrated their 51st anniversary last month!

    Sarah McKenzie

    Wedding date: November 8, 1963
    Children? Eight children, 19 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren
    When did you know he/she was the one? Sue: When I first saw him, it was looooooove at first sight. Sean: On our first date, just being with her, I knew she was the one.
    What is your favorite wedding memory? Sue: Sean picking me up at my momma’s house and seeing her cry. Sean: Just getting married, finally.
    What’s the secret to your marriage? Sean: We never argue–we talk through it instead of fighting. Sue: Compromise and communication, communication, communication.
    What’s your favorite thing to do together? Hanging out on the back patio and gardening.
    What is your best memory related to the South? Planting and eating okra.
    What is your best marriage advice? Don’t get mad over little things, do not raise your voice, and communicate with each other.

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
    1 Comment
    1. avatar Claire Cowman reply

      Ok, this one has me tearing up! Six great-grandchildren?!! Those kiddos have one heck of a marriage to look up to!

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