After the Honeymoon ~ Keeping The Romance Alive…

Most of you will know that right now, I'm away enjoying my jollies, so this week is a light version of usual content and in my absence, I've asked the wonderful Jess Billington of {who some of you may recognise from having written this post} to write a guest piece for me.  You'll be seeing more from Jess in the future – she is member of a brand new 'team Love My Dress' that I'll be sharing details with you all in September – I can't wait! Today, Jess discusses the concept of 'date night' and comes to your post-wedding-blues rescue with some really fun suggestions :)  Over to you Jess…

Heart    Heart    Heart

Rumour has it that after the honeymoon comes 'the blues' – a sudden 'come down' from the wedding where weekends of wedmin and planning have finished and there is a sudden emptiness.

More than that, after the big day and after an even bigger honeymoon which would probably have wiped you out financially, or at best, have been 'dealt with' by putting it on the trusty credit card, it seems like everything's over and all that remains are the photographs and the debt.  It is easy to feel depressed, especially when you add rumours that 'the first year is the hardest' and the recent statistics showing that the divorce rate has increased for the first time in seven years.

true love guideImage Source: The New York Times

II went out and asked CEO of Relate Cornwall, Crystal Pearce for her thoughts on the above, she explained that "after the honeymoon it's easy to suffer as a unit.  The wedding planning brings you together and it's often built around a fantasy and not a reality, the stresses and strains of real life can really impact a relationship once the fairytale wears off.  There is often a feeling of anti-climax after the wedding is over but it is the marriage and looking forward together as a team that make a successful committed relationship.  Making time together as a couple is so important, not just during the first year but it’s a good idea to get into the habit" 

So what can we do about it? 

Crystal recommends spending couple time together and enjoying regular date nights doing fun things for the year after the wedding – try and schedule a year’s worth of fun (this doesn't have to cost a fortune!).  I love this idea and being a romance blogger for it was right up my street so I have put together an annual schedule of fun date night ideas to inspire with a different idea each month….

Wrap up warm for a pub dinner and a night at the movies – watch a romantic film then stroll to the nearest pub with an open fire and a glass of red wine.  Celebrate the first month of being married, cuddle up and just relax!

The month of St. Valentine!  This also means all the prices are astronomical!  Avoid red roses and fancy restaurants (as well as being overpriced it's a bit of a cliché anyway!).  My most romantic Valentine ever was my first with my now fiancé Mr. C.  He text me telling me to come to his for 7pm and wear 'something special'.  When I got there the place was full of candles and he had cooked me a gorgeous meal and was wearing a suit himself!

Although slightly bizarre it felt so special dining with him dressed like that in his home -to this day it is the most romantic date I've ever had.  Recreate the 'at home romance' with a nice meal you cook together and a bottle of wine, followed by a game of Monopoly by candlelight.  It makes the game MUCH more interesting if it turns into strip Monopoly each time someone lands on Free Parking or can't afford the rent!

Spend an afternoon having couples spa time – find a romantic pool with jacuzzi and steam room, softly lit treatment rooms and a relaxed vibe and enjoy a day there – a swim in the pool, a nice lunch and a relaxing couples massage.  A bit of a splurge but so romantic….

Spend a night at the theatre watching a show of some sort.  Mr. C and I have seen some great shows – I highly recommend anything by Derren Brown as it’s truly incredible and if you ever get the chance you MUST see top Broadway play Defending the Caveman.  I’m not sure when it’s back on the stage but it will be – keep an eye out for it, it’s all about the difference between men and women in a relationship and it’s hilarious! 

You don’t always have to spend a lot of money to have a good date night – a bottle of wine and a big bubble bath for two is always a treat and a chance to reconnect away from the TV, the smartphones and our busy everyday lives.  Just put some candles around the bath and fill with scented bubble bath.  Ah bliss… If you want to go one step further, stock up on massage oil and try your hand at being massage therapists for one another.

Six months of being married!  Celebrate with a mini-break; a long weekend somewhere secluded and sexy for you both!  Try out luxury cottage companies made for two such as for a private romantic break or stay in a swanky hotel with room service!  If budget doesn’t allow, why not try ‘glamping’ in a yurt somewhere with a view or just take a long weekend off at home, enjoy breakfast in bed and turn your phones off! 

husband and wife date night
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Spend a day horse riding –whether taking a lesson or going for a hack, horse riding through a forest or trotting along sand as the sun sets in Summer is incredibly magical and also great exercise!  Afterwards head to a country pub for a home cooked meal or have a BBQ at home with toasted marshmallows for dessert.

Why not have an evening picnic on the beach or somewhere beautiful such as a woodland walk, lake or local area of natural beauty.  Pack a flask of hot tea, a bottle of wine, blankets, hot pasties, chocolate and Kettle Chips…settled down for a blissful evening beneath the stars with just each other…

Go out for a night of entertainment: a musical, a live band, a live comedy act or a dance lesson.  Something you do together that makes you try something new, sing or dance or simply laugh until your sides hurt.  Sometimes a bit of fun away from reality is just what you need!

Go to the fair, even if it’s not visiting you in October, switch this month with another month!  There is nothing more romantic than playing on the Dodgems, squealing on the Waltzers, eating hotdogs with mustard, having him win you a cuddly toy playing 'Hook a Duck' and waving candy floss from the dizzy heights of the big wheel.  Get loved up 'Notebook' style and enjoy the affair of the fair!

Have a romantic evening out ice skating.  Visit a rink nearby you: check out Somerset House in London, voted London’s most glamorous ice rink by Harper’s Bazaar, the outdoor ice rink in the historic cathedral city of Winchester with its Christmas market, and in my neck of the woods, the renowned Eden Project have a pretty cool ice rink in the Winter months too!  Find a rink near you, get those skates on and enjoy some mulled wine afterwards.

Woo-hoo!  One year since the wedding, time to go on a real holiday to celebrate!  Hopefully by now any debt from the wedding will be cleared and you can treat yourselves at the very least to a long weekend somewhere lovely.  Top of my list with husband to be, once we hit twelve months of marriage is Paris – I’m a sucker for France in Winter and where better than the twinkly lights in the tree lined streets of gay Paris for l’anniversaire d’amour!

As well as these fun suggestions, make new projects together: take up gardening or work on a DIY project, it’s good to work together towards a goal. 


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At the end of the day, it's our responsibility to keep the romance alive and, whilst I agree life isn't a fairytale and we have to face a certain amount of reality, it certainly doesn't hurt to plan a little bit of fun each month and a chance to enjoy the first year of being a Mrs.  After all, it's going to fly by! 

Have you got anything planned for the first year of marriage, as a one year anniversary treat or any ultra-romantic date night ideas?  Do you like the idea of 'date night' and do you already set time aside to have regular dates?  Do let us know…



Jess Billington is a freelance writer based in the South West. She blogs about all things romantic at and is engaged to the fabulous Mr C. Jess is also contactable via Twitter and Facebook.

From now until Monday 3rd September 2012, Love My Dress will deliver a lighter, but just as
beautiful set of content – whilst Summer breaks are taken.  Thank you so much for your patience during this time.


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.