Today is the sixth episode in my Life After the Dress series where I interview real women, asking them real questions about their lives after their wedding day (click here to go back and read the other episodes).
Today I am very happy to introduce you to the beauty and brains behind the lovely lifestyle blog Becoming You. Kathryn and I have been in contact for a while, but in between kiddies parties, Christmas and my computer going on the brink, it's taken a little while to get her post up.
So go grab yourself a cup of tea and get ready to be inspired.
Q1: Please introduce yourself (age, of both yourself and your husband, where do you live, what do you do & how long have you been married for?)
My name is Kathryn, I'm 33 years old and have been married to my husband Brad for 12 years in April. If you do the sums you'll discover I got married when I was only 21. A child bride as some of my friends like to tease me! We live in Cape Town and have 2 kids aged 7 and 3.
Q2: Which Disney character do you feel sums you up to a ‘T’?
You'd think with the amount of Disney that gets played in our house that I would have a definite answer to this question but I'm really not quite sure who I identify with. So instead I did a quiz called "What Disney character are you" to discover that I am in fact... Mary Poppins - does she count as a Disney character? Or must it be animated? In that case I want to be a princess ;)
Q3: How did you and your hubby meet?
How did you meet? is one of my favourite questions to ask couples too! Probably because our story is quite unique. Not many people can say that they met on a blind date! I'm now a big advocate of taking a chance when it comes to meeting "the one" - I encourage my friends to go on blind dates, try internet dating, step out of their comfort zone. I had to and it paid off beautifully...
Q4: Was your wedding everything you hoped it would be? Would you go back and change anything? Do you have any advice for brides-to-be?
My wedding at Suikerbossie in Hout Bay was so lovely, I have very fond memories of the day. I loved the process of planning it and became quite involved as the project manager with a HUGE file of ideas but back then (sounds like it was centuries ago) the wedding industry wasn't nearly as hectic and as long as you had a venue, dress, florist and photographer you were good to go. The only things I might change looking back is to have had beading on my dress, less plus+1s I didn't know and that my honeymoon flight wasn't at 4am the next day! The day goes by in such a blur of busy-ness that my advice would be not to sweat the small stuff too much as often you don't even notice that stuff and neither do your guests. It makes you so incredibly busy in the run up to the wedding and takes the focus off what is actually happening - you're marrying the love of your life!! On the day something WILL go wrong so expect it and then just roll with it! Hand over responsibilities to as many people as you can so you can just glide through the day and enjoy it. And don't forget to stop every now and again and sit back to soak in the day. Capture little pictures in your memory of the people, fun, smells, views, everything.
Q5: Has ‘life after the dress’ been as you imagined it would be?
Yes and more! We didn't live together before we were married, in fact we didn't sleep together either! I know some people think that's pretty crazy or weird, but for us it was the best decision we made and we are so blessed to have only known each other. The first year can be up and down while you both are still finding your feet and needing confirmation of your partners commitment to the relationship but if you can push through those times, keep talking always and use every conflict to help you grow in your understanding of yourself and your spouse, then they will be worth it!
Q6: What have you learnt about yourself since being married?
I was pretty undomesticated moving overnight from my parent's home to our marital home so I had to learn a lot about cooking, cleaning and I still do! I've learnt how to communicate better and that it's important to talk even when I don't feel like it or don't have the right words to say, I need to be prepared to talk things through and that's a start.
Q7: If you could describe your marriage in 3 words, what would they be?
An Honest, Fun, Partnership
Q8: Do you have any pearls of wisdom you would like to share with my readers about being married? Perhaps something some wise person once told you, or something you’ve learnt the hard way?
I've learnt that giving each other a little bit of space and room to breathe is far healthier than living in each others pockets. In the first year of marriage I remember trying to do everything together but keeping your own interests and having something that is uniquely yours, especially once you're a mom, is so NB for your sanity (and his). Spending time with my girlfriends and maintaining those relationships is also very important to me but I'm careful not to over share with others about our private world especially if my husband is sensitive about a topic. Another top tip is to travel with your spouse as you learn a lot about them that way. You can do this before you get married or after but I would say you need to do this before you have kids so that when the going gets tougher (once the babies arrive) you have some fun memories to fall back on to pull you through. Also our pre-marriage course and counselling sessions that we attended (before we were engaged!) were invaluable and I recommend everyone does something similar through their local church or marriage counsellors as they help you to discuss the big questions you might never have thought of.
You can find Kathryn at the following places:
I hope you have been enjoying this series as much as I have enjoyed putting it together. Each lady I have been in contact with so far has taught me so much about life and marriage, and I feel so honoured to be able to share their stories with you. Thank you Kathryn, and thank you to each of the wonderful ladies I have featured here so far. You are all so inspiring <3
If you would like to be featured here on the blog, you can drop me an email using the contact form above or leave me a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!