As part of our ongoing series of Where are they now? posts, we’re catching up with couples featured on Offbeat Bride, after the wedding dust has settled. This time, we’re chatting with Alix about learning to budget and having a baby three months after getting married. Also, tips for drinking while on romantic dinner dates.
Offbeat Bride profile: Alix & Nick’s WWII era 1940s elopement, March 20, 2012.
Where are they now?
Three months after we were married, we welcomed our baby boy, Wilder Townsend Craft, with the help of Geraldine at Fremont Midwifery. His birth was transformative for me and us; I became a new, different, stronger person.
When he was two months old, we decided to move from Seattle to the much smaller town of Bremerton, WA where Nick works. We were able to cut his commute from three hours to 15 minutes, doubled our space, and saved lots of $$$ in the process. Bremerton is not awesome, but we are finding our way.
I quit my job when Wilder was born, and have been a stay-at-home mom ever since. I swing back and forth from pride over Wilder’s latest skill, or mastering projects, to crying tears of frustration when we can’t afford to see people we love as often as we’d like. Being in debt is a real bummer.
Looking back, what do you remember most about your wedding?
I am so content over all the choices we made concerning our wedding and the start to our marriage. We worked extensively with a premarital counsellor to start out on the best foot possible prior to doing the deed, and I highly recommend this. Marriage can be consumed by a lot of things that have nothing to do with the shiny bright start that your wedding was, and having a solid foundation to iron those issues out will literally save your marriage, your life, and your sanity.
My parents tried to pressure us into having a second, larger party for friends and family that they weren’t willing to foot the bill for, and I am so glad we took an honest look at ourselves and said no. I was a little sad at the time when I realized the big white dress would never be in the cards for me, but I am satisfied that a big party is not part of the debt we are currently chipping away at. Don’t live beyond your means, people! It’s not fun to clean up later.
Did you re-purpose any wedding decor or attire? We want to see!
I wear that Goorin Bros hat all summer long! I even wore it at my son’s first birthday party.
What big challenges have you faced? What have you learned from them?
We did a double-whammy when we added a baby so soon after getting married. I’m glad we had the stability of marriage, but learning to be a wife AND a mother at the same time has been hard. It’s been a year-and-a-half, and I just now feel like I am keeping my head above water and not drowning on a daily basis.
We also got serious about our finances when Nick and I decided that I would stay home. We had to start living on a very tight budget, and that has been the worst! Being so broke has allowed us the freedom to drop the dreams that other people have had for us, and focus on the bare bones essentials to achieving what we consider a satisfying and harmonious life. Our latest adventure may be giving the big middle finger to Bremerton and try living on a farm up north. We don’t have too much junk tying us down and the future is open to new adventure… if you are willing to risk a little to get it.
How do you keep your romance alive?
So far, it’s not easy. We have no money for a baby-sitter, but we need some regular date nights super-badly. I recently posted an ad on Craigslist which was answered by a sweet, snappy mom my age, and we are forming a mom’s babysitting co-op. Nick and I are going on our first date in about eight months and I am so excited. We’ll probably just end up talking about our kid and arguing about whether we should move from our comfy town home to the wild yonder, but at least we can do that over sandwiches and Manhattans instead of a baby and dirty dishes, per usual.
What advice do you have for newlyweds?
The best advice I can give is to always remember that there was a time when you wanted the same things. Keep that moment alive in your mind, even when you seem to stray far away from common goals. Together you can achieve anything the world throws at you, but it might be hard and it might suck a lot.
The good news is that you aren’t alone, and it is so fucking satisfying to start racking up the shared accomplishments. Pat each other on the back for a job well done. Cling tight to your friends. Apologize when you’ve been an ass. And always: have a two drink max on romantic dinners.