Happy Fri-YAY. I’ve been waiting for this post for a LONG time. Technically, our anniversary was on April 9th, but I’ve been waiting for my photographer to get the film from this session back and I knew it was going to be a good one so I didn’t want to rush her. We’ve started a tradition of doing an anniversary shoot every year and it’s such a wonderful way to celebrate each year of marriage. You can check out our wedding pictures here and our first anniversary pictures here if you don’t want to miss out on those beautiful images!! Our theme this year was vintage romance, and our vendors didn’t disappoint. I am blown away by how incredible the flowers and decor turned out. It was everything I pictured in my head and more. In addition to raving about my fabulous vendors – Adam and I are also sharing 8 lessons we’ve learned over the last two years. Let’s dive into this.
One: Get outside of your comfort zone.
I’ll admit, I was not born to do makeup voiceovers, but I believe in the work that my wife does, and I want to support it. If that means doing my wife’s makeup for youtube video, or being a part of anniversary photo shoots where I was forced to wear suspenders. Then do it, not just to be supportive, but also to get out of your shell and accept your equal partner’s interests into your life. You’ll never know how you grow. I see Tay do this when she might play a video game with me or when we go to the gym together. You might not think you enjoy it, but when you show interest and get out of your own zone you really learn and grow with your partner.
Two: Forget yourself.
I do not want to say don’t take care of yourself, but I’ve noticed that I grow most when I’m serving others and that goes especially for serving my wife. This goes along with getting outside of your comfort zone. Service can mean a lot of things. It can be as simple as getting a glass of water for her before bedtime, giving foot rubs, or spending time to plan a well deserved date night together.
Three: After work talk about your day.
One of my favorite parts of the day is telling Tay about my day at work. As soon as I get home from work we spend a good 20-30 minutes just talking about our day, or successes our challenges, say how much we missed each other (I know, so much cheese) but it’s an important part of my day, it shows that we have a mutual interest in each other’s lives.
Four: Support their dreams.
This is one that takes a lot of talk and discussion between you and your partner. My wife and I graduated college about a year and a half ago and our dreams have changed quite a bit. She’s had some strong desires to work for herself, and I couldn’t help but support that passion. It takes a constant effort to support each other’s dreams. We try to keep the line of communication open and work towards personal goals together. We both have the dream of getting a house at the end of this year, and we’re working diligently to make that happen.
One: Laugh when you want to be mad (especially about the little stuff).
I’ve been really working on not being so high strung throughout the last two years. My tendency is always to be hyper first, and figure out the issue later. That meant that little things that didn’t even really make a difference made me so upset and we’d argue over nothing. For example, a few weeks ago we spilled an entire bag of rice on the kitchen floor. A year ago, I would have gotten SO upset about this waste of food and mess and probably started a big argument. However, instead, we chose to burst into laugher. It was JUST RICE. It wasn’t the end of the world at all. We sat on the kitchen floor and laughed and laughed at the absurdity of the situation and cleaned it up together. I much preferred that ending to one in tears and yelling.
Two: Take road trips often.
This is such a good way to get to know each other better and just spend quality time talking and laughing. We take road trips often because it gives us time to just be alone. We get to eat car snacks, sing along to music together and hold hands. Since we don’t have children yet, it’s the best time to take advantage of quiet stretches of road together. It’s one of our favorite pastimes. We’ve honestly had some of our very best and deepest conversations on road trips.
Three: Support each others goals and dreams 100%.
It’s not easy meshing two lives together. You have different likes and dislikes and different priorities a lot of the time. We weren’t totally sure how our careers would line up, but the more we support each other and are willing to compromise and work together, the more we realize how perfect our lives can fall into place. Adam’s job has been up in the air in the last year as he’s been working on furthering his career, and at the beginning of this month, it finally all panned out the way we hoped it would. We get to stay in St. Louis and he gets to work at a job he really enjoys. I’m so glad it happened this way, but honestly, I would have been happy to move anywhere as long as Adam would have been happy with his job and we would have been together.
Four: Remember to be best friends first and lovers second.
The most important piece of advice I ever received before getting married was to be best friends first. Adam is truly my best friend. He’s the first person I want to tell exciting news (and sad news), the person I want to sit at home and watch bad movies with and the only person I want to wake up next to in the morning. He makes me laugh and can completely turn my mood around when I’m having a bad day. We are best friends before everything – and that helps to solidify our marriage so that it will last long after we have wrinkles and all our kids have left the house. 😉
I honestly can’t say enough amazing things about Erin. Over the last year, we’ve not only done several collaborations together (including – but not limited to – NYFW last September, my birthday styled shoot and my Galentine’s Day shoot), but we have also become really amazing friends. I love every time we get to work together and one of these days we will finally do that double date we keep talking about.
Erin is immensely talented – and it shows in her work. She is goofy and silly with her clients and her weddings always look like an absolute dream. If you are looking for a local photographer (though she does travel), she is the best in the business in St. Louis. I honestly just can’t say enough nice things about her work ethic, her finished images and her personality. 10/10 A+ professional right here.
I am pretty obsessed with Jody and her design team. I came to her with a vague idea about a vintage romance themed shoot and she turned that outline into a finished product. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the floral arrangements turned out – they were EXACTLY what I pictured in my mind: flowing with greenery, light pink and cream blooms and a little bit of blue for my “something blue” in the shoot. I also met with her before hand to go over each of the decor pieces they’d be bringing to the shoot. They had everything I needed: vintage suitcases, a parasol, a blush chair, side tables.
They even hung around during the shoot to make sure that my flowers and decor looked perfect in every single shot. I felt like an absolute princess with everyone bustling about. Jody and her team are professionals that will make any and every event roll smoothly without any hiccups. It’s so easy to work with them and regardless of what your event theme is, I guarantee they will have everything you need to pull of the party of a lifetime.
I had SUCH a great experience with Big Shark Bikes. I was looking all over for the perfect tandem bike for our shoot because I just knew it would look adorable for the vintage romance theme. Big Shark Bikes was one of the only places in St. Louis with vintage bike rentals, so if you are looking for something picturesque this summer to do with your sweetheart, they have you completely covered. They have reasonable prices, dozens of choices and it’s so easy to rent online.
PIN THIS FOR LATER:
I hope you enjoyed these lessons in marriage and looking at our amazing styled shoot images. I am SO blessed to be surrounded by such incredibly talented human beings in St. Louis. Every time I collaborate with local artists and professionals, I am reminded how lucky I am to work in this field.
Let me know what you think of this shoot and these lessons in the comments below!