How to Keep the Passion in Your Marriage

Bills can wait! Here's why you should savor the heady, irrational romance of the Passion stage for as long as you can.

By Sarì Harrar and Rita DeMaria | Ph.D. from The 7 Stages of Marriage

1. Frame your wedding vows. Whether you wrote your own; agreed to love, honor, and respect using the traditional vows of your faith; or were married by a justice of the peace, your wedding vows are your promise to each other — they recall the moment you made your “forever and ever” pledge. Hire a calligrapher or use one of the fancy typefaces on your computer to create a beautiful, frame-worthy version of your vows. Hang it proudly in your bedroom, the foyer of your home, or another place of honor.

2. Show off your bouquet. Hang your flowers upside down in a dry, dark place for two weeks after the wedding. Display in a china closet or under a glass dome: Dried flowers are lovely but fragile. Or ask your florist in advance to freeze-dry your bouquet so that it looks nearly as colorful as it did on your wedding day.

3. Finish your wedding album! If you haven’t finalized your album yet, or didn’t use a photographer who assembles an album for you, now’s the time to get organized. Dedicate a weekend — or the evenings of a week — to sorting and choosing wedding photos for a simple album. Pick your favorite shot of the two of you and order a large copy (we like 8 x 10s). Hang it in your living room or bedroom.

4. Create a honeymoon shadow box. Assemble all the odds and ends you probably collected on your honeymoon — the napkin from that romantic spot where you had a glass of wine together, the ticket stubs from the boat ride, postcards, maps, brochures, stones, the flower you plucked on a walk at the botanical garden, the prized recipe a chef never gives away (except to a new bride like you!). Purchase a shadow box and double-sided tape at a craft store. Create a pretty collage you’ll always love.

5. Turn minutiae into a montage. You’ve got your embossed wedding napkin, your invitation, the receipt for the cake, the wedding program, the cake-topper, the groom’s bow tie (which he’ll never wear again), the pearl-and-crystal clip you wore in your hair, and a copy of the sheet music for the song the harpist played as you marched down the aisle. Arrange these memories inside a large shadow box for a pretty way to relive your wedding day whenever you like.

6. Go candid. Find the most beautiful, artistic, spontaneous snapshot from your honeymoon. Have it enlarged (8 x 10 is perfect) and framed.