You’ve Just Gotten Married, Now What?

a man and woman pointing at each other

Are there any happier people on the earth than newlyweds? The time immediately following the big day, when your wedding gown is still warm from wear, and the honeymoon phase is just beginning, is the most exciting time of life for many people. It’s just the beginning of happily ever after.

The wedding day is step-one of what you hope is a long marriage, but what are the next steps for the bride and groom? Continue reading to get advice to help your marriage get off to a great start.

What’s the home buying process like?

For many newlyweds, their first move after their special day is buying a home. If you’ve never been through the home buying process before, then you need to prepare yourself for an arduous journey.

The first step of buying a home is saving up for a down payment. If you and your wife lived separately before your wedding day and you aren’t homeowners, then you should spend your first year saving up for a new home.

The rule of thumb is that you should save between 10% and 20% of the home’s value as a down payment. Of course, the larger your down payment is, then the less you’ll have to borrow for your home loan, and the lower your monthly payments will be. Also, making a larger downpayment on your home gives you more equity in your home.

Home equity is the percentage of your home that you own. When you get a mortgage, then you and the lender are co-owners of your new home until you pay your mortgage in full. However, you get equity in your home as soon as you make your down payment, and you gain more home equity with each monthly payment to your lender.

Newlyweds should pay special attention to their credit.

One thing that many new couples underestimate is the importance of their credit histories. Your credit will be the number-one determining factor in your eligibility as a borrower. Not only does your credit score play a role in buying a home, but it’s also important when buying a car, furniture, and insurance as well. The higher your credit score is, the lower your interest rate will be for loans and large purchases.

During the first year of your marriage, as you’re saving up for your down payment for your home, you should also be working to build your credit if you don’t have any. If your credit score is low, you should concentrate on paying off your debts to improve your eligibility for home loans, credit cards, and financing.

What else should you expect during the first year of marriage?

If you ask experienced couples, most of them will tell you that in marriage, there are challenges every step of the way, but the first year is the hardest. During the first year of marriage, you and your spouse are going to learn more about each other than either of you ever thought possible.

One of the most important things for you to learn early on is how to compromise. When two worlds become one, there has to be some give and take for your shared world to thrive.

Immediately following the big day, your most pressing concern is probably just getting to a wedding dress cleaning expert to get the cake stains out of your dress so you can memorialize it. However, reality hits hard and fast following the honeymoon phase. The key to making your marriage last will be learning how to communicate effectively and walk away until you cool off if communication breaks down. The important thing is to get back to what brought you two together after disagreements.

There are moments of angst and conflict in every happily ever after story, and yours will have them too. The most important thing is to remember what made you say, “I do” on your big day.