Getting married is the beginning of a new kind of relationship which is absolutely exciting. However, this change comes with its unique challenges. Here are some ideas that will make your first year both amazingly fun and a sturdy foundation for the rest of your future together.
1. Start a weekly tradition
Create a tradition that the both of you will look forward to every week. It could be having brunch every Sunday morning or reading a book together on Tuesday nights, it doesn't matter as long as it brings you joy.
2. Go somewhere new
Whether it's a hole-in-the-wall restaraunt or a neighboring state, go somewhere that neither of you have ever been before and make a memory that's all yours.
You are two different people trying to live a life together. It would be unnatural if you had all the same beliefs and opinions. One of the great things about being married is you get the perspective of someone else. Look forward to having discussions about things you don't agree on and learn to resolve your differences.
4. Make a goal you can accomplish in a year
Maybe the two of you want to learn to speak Spanish or have a great desire to save your pennies so you can visit Canada. Make a goal that the two of you can work on together and accomplish before your first anniversary.
5. Frame a wedding photo
Put a picture of the day you became a family somewhere where you can see it daily to remind you of the promises you made, and how awesome it is that you got to marry your sweetheart.
6. Porn-proof your home
Pornography has the power to destroy your marriage. Take precautions to safe-guard your family against it such as only using the internet in public locations.
7. Learn each other's love language
You could tell your husband you love him over and over, but he won't hear it if his love language is acts of service. Make understanding each other's love languages a priority in the first year of marriage. You can take an online test or pick up a book that will help you know how to tell your spouse "I love you."
8. Cook together (at least) once a week
Creating something you can eat together - whether or not the dish is amazing - is a great way to develop unity in your marriage by learning to work together and having fun.
9. Do something your spouse loves but you don't
Even though you have interests in common there's probably some things your husband loves to do that you don't. Within your first year of marriage, make sure to take your husband to a superhero movie or go cross country skiing even if that's not your cup of tea. He'll appreciate it and you'll enjoy being with him, if nothing else.
11. Look at old pictures
Now that you've settled on a future together aren't you a bit curious about their past? Looking through pictures is a great way to learn how the person you love became that person. Maybe you'll hear tales of your husband rocking out in his high school's production of "Bye Bye Birdie" or discover your wife had an affinity for collecting bugs when she was 4.
12. Pray together
One of the best ways to safe-guard your marriage against catastrophe is to invite God into your relationship. Pray with and for each other.
13. Create a budget
It's common knowledge that many marital issues start with financial issues. Guard against that right now. Sit down and discuss how you will spend your money, how to stay out of debt, make a savings plan, etc. This will help you avoid many potential challenges.
14. Be spontaneous
At least once in your first year of marriage do something on a whim. Just decide to grab some ice cream and watch the sunrise at 4 in the morning or take work off and spend the day binge-watching a TV show together. Keep things unexpected and exciting like when you first started dating.
15. Make couple friends
First of all, don't ditch your old friends (they're pretty great people, too). But the two of you need to make some friends together. People you can go out on double dates with and talk about #newlywedprobs.
16. Have talk time
Make sure you always find out the best and worst part of your partner's day. If necessary, set aside the time to make sure you talk daily. You can even find interesting conversation starters to mix up your conversations.
17. Praise your spouse in front of other people
There's nothing like hearing your someone tell someone else how great they think you are. Make your honey feel amazing by never hesitating to express your appreciation for him.
18. Find your theme song
Maybe you already have "your song" but if not, it's time to get one. You need a song that is like a musical kinship between the two of you, that makes you smile when it comes on at the grocery store.
19. Set up a chore routine
You could plan to do some house cleaning together every Saturday morning or divvy up the assignments, but make a plan to share the load of the chores so that there's fairness in the necessary mundane tasks.
20. Eat together
Try to eat at least one meal together every day - whether it's breakfast in the morning or sharing dinner. If nothing else, set up a Skype date and both eat quesadillas from wherever you are. Eating is a great way to date your spouse daily.
21. Share secrets
The love of sharing secrets lasts past whispering in friends' ears on the playground. Build your intimacy by revealing that one time you egged someone's house, or share your secret desire to become a famous actress.
22. Set boundaries
You need to know what each other's expectations are for dos and don'ts. These are things such as, "I won't have lunch with someone of the opposite sex," or "I won't make a purchase more than $200 without telling my spouse." Clarify what you each feel is (and what is not) acceptable.
23. Say "I love you" every day
Make a goal to not miss a single day all year.
24. Start a photo album
Find some way to start preserving your new family's history. This year is going to be great and something special. You lose so many memories by not documenting them.
25. Have pillow talk
There's something special about talking in a dark room. Sometimes you can't stop, no matter how tired you are.
26. Go on dates
Just because you're no longer "dating" doesn't mean you should stop dating your spouse. Take your lady out and do fun things together.
27. Try something neither of you have done before
Do something that neither of you know about, like fly-fishing or a attending indie concerts. Trying new things together will get you out of your comfort zone, and maybe it will become "your thing."
28. Have unplugged time
Whether you choose to take a day hike several times a year or to turn off your tech for half an hour every night, set aside some time together that's free of television, phones, and computers.
29. Read a book together
Pick out something you loved as a kid or something you've never read before. It can be fun to read out loud together and discuss all the great characters.
30. Put your marriage first
No matter what, make sure your marriage is your priority (second only to God).