February 18, 2016

The First Year

virginia wedding photographer first year of marriage adviceThis blog post has to be one of my all time favorites, and I didn’t even write it for the most part! I’ve always said that the greater purpose of my business is not only to provide couples with beautiful and timeless photos from their wedding day, but more so to help them on their way to a beautiful marriage. Capturing the joy and excitement of their wedding day allows them to relive those moments for years and years to come. But this business has also given me a platform that I can use to lift up and encourage many more couples than just the ones I photograph!

One marriage topic that I’ve been wanting to touch on for a while now is the first year of marriage. When Branden and I got married, we were young barely-adult kids in love with no idea what was ahead of us. I think we can both agree that our first year of marriage was for a more struggles and less warm fuzzies than we had anticipated. Learning to be selfless partners proved to be harder than we thought! But there were still so many amazing things about that first year- our first apartment together, going grocery shopping together, referring to each as our husband/wife and more! That time period was such a rollercoaster of ups and downs for us, but everyone’s story is different! What we experienced and learned from that first year is different than what someone else may have learned or experienced.

So what better way to shed light on what to expect from that first year than to hear it from the people that are going through it right now- my Audrey Rose Brides!! My sweet couples have graciously shared their stories and experiences of their first year of marriage so that those couples that are about to enter into their marriage can get a glimpse of what to expect! I love hearing how their relationships have changed, the things they’ve learned and what they’ve loved the most about their first year as husband and wife! So here are a few snippets from my sweet couples about their first year of marriage!

Amanda & Stephen

“One of the best things that has really made these first 8 months of marriage so incredible is getting to see Stephen’s face when I wake up in the morning. He greets me with a genuine smile in return and a sweet kiss on the cheek or my shoulder . My day begins with his smiling face and ends with such an overjoyed smile and hug when I walk through the door from work. It has been so humbling and exciting making our first place together our home. I learn from him everyday and I know we have grown so much since we got married. My advice to all those dating, those preparing for marriage and those currently married is to always see the best of yourselves reflected in each other’s eyes. May your love story never end.”

virginia wedding photographer first year of marriage advice

Katie & Alex

“I think the hardest thing we have had to deal with since getting married is the unknown! At our wedding I didn’t have a job lined up and Alex was also looking for places to go for grad school. Thankfully, since then things have fallen into place and we are settled in Winston-Salem, NC where I found a job and he got into school for this coming fall. We were hit with a good bit of big decisions about finances and the future not too long after tying the knot and all I have to say is that even though it felt frustrating at times to not know what was next, it was such a blessing to have each other through the process. Sure, it made it more complicated to include someone else’s plans in your own, but it is so worth it! We have already learned a little bit of how to be patient together and lean on one another through some frustrating things! Makes us feel more prepared for the next time life inevitably throws some curve balls at us!”virginia wedding photographer first year of marriage advice

Emily & Michael

“My husband and I spent more of our relationship and engagement apart due to long distance dating and him being deployed multiple times. The weekend we got married kicked off us actually being together – no more extended separations in the near future. So the biggest adjustment in our first few months of marriage was getting acclimated to each other’s “routines” and finding a way to intertwine them. The silver lining to the separations is that we quickly learned how important every minute you get together is. Whether it’s a spontaneous Wednesday night dinner date or thirty seconds in the morning before leaving for work (we never leave the house without a kiss and an ‘I love you’!). It’s so important to cherish every single moment together. The wedding day itself is surely a magical day but it doesn’t automatically make your relationship a fairytale. That’s your work to put in everyday to constantly fall in love with your spouse over and over again. And my favorite thing about being married is hearing my husband call me his wife. :)”virginia wedding photographer first year of marriage advice

Anne & Aaron

“It is so easy to put all your energy and focus on your wedding and it being such an event–with the right colors, the right flowers, the Pinterest-worthy calligraphy… What I really tried to focus in on was that I was planning a marriage and this was just a way to commemorate our commitment with people we love (in a place that happened to be super pretty!). That made it so easy to look forward to our life together afterwards. Instead of feeling sad that the party was over, I was excited to jump into “doing life” with my husband being a wife. Plus whenever I see a great reception idea and I feel a twinge of “I wish I had done that or seen that…” I remind myself what it’s all about. It’s one day that you have beautiful pictures to remember by but your marriage is every day and that’s what’s important. We’ve enjoyed taking our time getting to know our new city and how to live with each other, settling into a new routine. I’m so grateful for this period of life that’s “just us” because this time is so fleeting.”virginia wedding photographer first year of marriage advice

Kelsey & Matthew

“Marriage isn’t easy and sometimes it isn’t fun- but it is so worth it if you put in the effort to make it worthwhile. Be patient, honest and understanding with one another. Make time for your relationship and surround yourself with people who make you both better people. Go on adventures and challenge one another to grow in new ways. Then, when your lives begin to grow- make sure they grow together instead of apart.”

virginia wedding photographer first year of marriage advice

Grier & Miles

“Our favorite part of being married so far is the time we make a point to spend together. I love our Saturday mornings where we make Pinterest breakfasts (sometimes ending in a Pinterest fail especially if I’m doing the cooking) and watch littons weekend adventures. Miles loves that we make a point to go to the gym together most days of the week. It surprised us both that it hasn’t been much different other than we now both wear rings.”virginia wedding photographer first year of marriage advice

Katie & Matt

“First year of marriage has required us to realize we are now a family and while we don’t have children (yet) the decisions we make impact each other so spend time making those decisions together!  We still make it a priority to find that quality time together and not let “routine: become the norm.  It is a really awesome feeling to be able to introduce people to my “husband” and even though we dated for three years before marriage; I am even more in love then before!” virginia wedding photographer first year of marriage advice

Lindsay & Alex

“Alex is truly my best friend, we know how to make each other laugh and we know how to get on each other’s nerves, and that definitely didn’t change after we said “I do”. Our first nine months of marriage were amazing, in the next 3 months we were put through the ultimate test, Alex was sent to Washington State to work through the shipyard (which gave me to opportunity to go out there to celebrate our first anniversary). What I didn’t know is how much stronger our relationship would be after he got back, the saying is true, absence really does make the heart grow fonder. After that, my heart will always go out to the men & women who serve our country and have to spend months apart from their significant other constantly, because those 3 long months were the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through.”virginia wedding photographer first year of marriage advice 

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