Smith – One Year Anniversary

October 20, 2016

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How has it been a year already!? I can’t believe that one year ago I got to photograph Courtney and Mark say their vows and become one. It was a magical day and I feel so grateful that Courtney trusted me enough to photograph the biggest day of her life. As the year rolled around to their anniversary I asked them a few questions to share on the anniversary blog. Here are their answers.

What is the best thing about being married to the love of your life?

The best thing about being married is hitting all of our biggest milestones together, and knowing that no matter what big or exciting thing, or sad thing happens in your life, that person is always there to experience it with you. You don’t have to ask “hey, do you remember when…?” Because they were there with you. Our first year brought us many losses in our families and friends, new jobs, promotions, a new car, and many other exciting changes, and through it all, we got to grow and experience it together.

What has been the biggest struggle during your first year of marriage?

Our greatest struggle was being on opposite work schedules, so we didn’t see each other but maybe once or twice a week. But, Mark is on day shift now, so we are getting to re-work the dynamics of our relationship. It’s been a big adjustment, but it’s been such a blessing as well to be able to spend time together.

What advice would you give to newlyweds?

My advice would be to always communicate. Even when it’s hard. Even when you have to open yourself up and be vulnerable. Always say what needs to be said. Talk about how you feel, and be responsive to how your partner feels. Even when you don’t think they should be upset, apologize and always remember that you’re a team. Take your time with things, and don’t feel rushed to have everything right. Being married doesn’t mean you’re done, and that everything will be sunshine and butterflies. It’s just a new chapter in a very long book. There are going to be days when you don’t like your partner. And days when they don’t like you, but you have to choose joy, and patience, and be forgiving and always stay committed to the future you are building together.

Courtney and Mark, I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to be a part of your day. It has been a joy to watch your marriage grow and you two to grow more into each other. Your struggles this year have only made you stronger as a couple and your advice to other couples is profound and real. I can’t wait to see where many more years of marriage take the two of you.

Shortly after Courtney and Mark’s wedding, Courtney lost her grandmother. She had been sick for a time but was able to make it to their wedding. I spoke with her briefly during my time there and you could tell how immensely proud of Courtney she was and how much she enjoyed being a part of their day. I could see how happy she was as she placed the veil on Courtney’s head and how much she loved the two of them. I asked Courtney to write a few words about her grandmother and the lessons she taught her through their time together. Always remember Courtney, you have an angel in Heaven and she loves you more than you’ll ever know. 

It was such an incredible blessing to have my grandmother well enough to attend my wedding. She went through so much, and we hurt with her every step of the way, but to have her there with me, and to see the joy in her eyes is something I will cherish forever. We were so close, and I have learned so much from her. I remember all the stories she used to tell me about her wedding day, and how special it was, and how excited she was to start her life with my grandpa, and how she stayed busy decorating their home, and cleaning and cooking, and how she was so happy to do those things, because it was her way to show how much she loved and appreciated my grandpa. It helps me to find joy in the chores, and the day to day stress of building our lives together. I try and remember to do it as an act of love, and that has shaped so much of my relationship with Mark. My granny has always been, and always will be one of the greatest influences in my life, and I am so thankful for the life I had with her, and I hope that I can be even half of the woman, wife, mother, and grandmother that she was.

Your future family heirlooms await.