CHEERS TO FOUR YEARS
Four years ago, my life changed forever.
It's funny how you don't realize how much you didn't know until you're old enough to look back and laugh at yourself. I'm thankful for these moments. It means I've grown. It means that I can be grateful for being wrong.
When I was 25, I had reached a point where I was okay with being mediocre and just settling. From what I had encountered up until that point, my heart was lost, scattered to the wind with false hope and disappointment. I was pretty convinced I wouldn't own my own business full time. Wouldn't really be successful. Wouldn't actually help impact lives. Definitely wouldn't be confident enough to truly love who I was. And atop of all that, finding that man created as my counterpart was just a lost cause.
But thank God, I was wrong.
SPOILER ALERT - I met that man and married up. ;)
When Jay walked into my life, everything changed. I knew there was something different about him from moment one and at first, only wanted to be his friend. But even he'll admit, the connection between us after that first lunch together cannot be disputed. We were hooked. I'm still amazed to this day how in sync we were, how well we fit together. And about eight months to the day we started dating, we traded up and became husband + wife.
Today, I own my own business and run it full time. I have my own definition of success and part of that is how I get to meet and serve such incredible clients. I know I'm making a positive impact. Without being bragadocious, I kinda dig who I am. And I really love who I'm married to.
"You were everything I didn't know I was looking for."
L: The VERY FIRST photo we ever took together the night we first met.
R: A goofy selfie we took in Colorado back in May this year.
Traveling is one of our favorite things to do together. - Coco Cay Island, Jamaica 2015
And of course, we LOVE our fur babies Molly + Duke!
Being a wedding photographer, I have a really great opportunity to encourage my couples throughout their journey to the wedding day and into marriage. I tell them, "We're not just taking engagement photos, or talking timeline details. We're celebrating this exciting time in your love story." I remind them to take a day off from planning their big day to enjoy each other out for date night. To learn each other's love languages. To never forget why they've decided to spend the rest of their lives together.
So to encourage all brides + grooms, wives + husbands, even singles out there dating, Jay and I answered some questions and wanted to share our advice with you!
MARRIAGE Q + A
1. WHAT IS ONE THING YOU'VE LEARNED OVER THE PAST 4 YEARS OF BEING MARRIED?
J: I've learned that time passes quickly, so savor the moment and enjoy life! The early years of marriage can be difficult as two lives merge into one. Money is usually tight and education or careers occupy most of our time. It's important to set aside time to spend with your spouse and remember why you fell in love with them.
B: I wrote the questions and this one is tough! There are so many things I've/we've learned that it's hard to narrow down. One main lesson we've both learned and continually have to reteach ourselves is that we're in everything together. There's no "my life" and "his life". Sure, we have different hobbies/jobs/friends but our life is united. We don't hide what's bothering us. We don't keep those walls up. Being two very independent people even to this day, that's been a lesson we've had to continually remember - that it's not "you + me" but "US".
2. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE BRIDES/GROOMS AND NEW WIVES/HUSBANDS?
J: Good communication is the foundation of a healthy marriage. Being able to engage in discussion instead of argument makes things much easier. Keeping things bottled up usually doesn't work out, so be honest and address problems when appropriate.
B: Don't be all consumed with the wedding day. Yes, the wedding photographer is telling you this! The day itself will be amazing, rain or shine, because of the miracle happening inside it. That perfectly imperfect miracle is marriage. Be focused on being a great spouse, giving 100% to the person opening their entire life to you and be open in return.
3. WHAT MATTERS MOST TO YOU IN OUR MARRIAGE?
J: The thing that matters most to me is that we are a team, no matter what. I can rely and trust my spouse to have my back and be there for me. As time goes on we grow and change but the love we have for each other never dies.
B: Mutual understanding. It's taken time, but Jay and I can read each other well. We know when the other person needs us or needs space. When we need to talk and when we need to just listen. It matters that we make the effort to stay on the same page with each other ensuring that we're happy and fulfilled in our marriage.
4 years down, forever to go. :)