4 Lessons I’ve Learned in 4 Years of Marriage

It’s hard for me to believe that 4 years ago today I walked down the aisle in my church to marry my best friend: a man who I met so very randomly on a free dating website due to him just happening to search what kind of women might be in the Chicagoland area because maybe someday he plans to go to grad school there (spoiler alert: he didn’t).

Under no logical circumstances should mister and I have Found each other, and I’m sure if it wasn’t for the internet, this Chicago gal and Florida boy would have never crossed paths, but God clearly had another plan. When I received a message from him in my OKCupid inbox, I decide to write back simply because he took the time to write a legitimate message and show he read my profile rather than just sending a “wanna hook up?” message, which I got far too many of. Little did I know that writing back would be the beginning of my relationship with the man I would marry. It’s crazy how things like that work out, isn’t it?

Even though we’ve only known each other since summer of 2011, it feels like no time and a lifetime all at once. I can barely comprehend life before him and I can’t imagine what life would be without my husband by my side. I guess that’s a sign that things are going pretty well, huh?

In these 4 years of marriage, through crazy adventures, moves, job changes, and challenges there are a few things I’ve learned about marriage and the relationship I have with my husband. Read more

Getting Married is Not an Accomplishment…but Marriage IS!

Marriage Accomplishment

Allow me to be more specific: a good marriage, that is.

I’ve seen this article titled “Getting Married is Not an Accomplishment” floating around Facebook and getting shared by various people for a few weeks or so now, and while it made some great points, it’s the reaction and comments of the readers that really got me thinking. 

The entire premise of this article is the getting married part.  The excitement and ritual leading up to the big day.  People are then taking this to mean that marriage is not an accomplishment. I say that getting married and marriage are two very different things, and I do agree that getting married is not an accomplishment. However…

I also believe that a marriage; a good, strong, loving marriage, is a huge accomplishment.

Read more

7 Tips for a Wonderful Wedding Experience from a Newlywed

 

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  If you already haven’t figured it out by magazine articles and Facebook status updates, it’s wedding season!  As a newlywed who had, in my opinion, the absolutely perfect wedding day (I’m not even exaggerating, it was amazing), I thought I’d offer my two cents on some wedding advice, not just for the wedding day, but in general.  Do with this what you will.  Some of it might sound like common sense, some of it you might think is just not for you.  Whatever your thoughts, it was tips like this that made my wedding planning experience and my big day pretty low stress and very enjoyable.

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1. Don’t be a totally crazy “everything has to be PERFECT” bridezilla!  Seriously ladies.. I think my sisters thought I’d really be a bit more of a bridezilla than I was, but I am proud to say that apparently I was a rather easy bride to please.  My situation was a tad unique with my wedding being in Illinois and my being in North Carolina, so I was not there to monitor every move, but I learned that it was okay.  Between my team of my sister and mom running the physical errands for me, and my coming home once or twice to do things like our tasting, it was pretty easy to let the little details go.  For example, I had a friend of the family design our centerpieces, gave her a few ideas and let her run wild.  She’s the pro.  When my mom went to pick a color for the chair sashes, I told her just pick the purple that was closest to the centerpieces.  It took her a whole two seconds to clearly see which swatch that was, and the choosing was done. Our wedding coordinator at the Hyatt was beyond stunned.  She said some people will take weeks to decide which color and fabric to choose for the chairs.  I said that was ridiculous and what does it matter as long as it matches right?  Same went for the flowers.  I told the woman my ideas and the color scheme, but since she was the professional florist I knew she’d know best.  Guess what?  Everything in the wedding and the reception was beautiful and I didn’t have to micromanage any of it!  AND the easier I was to work with the more people were willing to work with me and gave Erik and I an outstanding experience.  It’s amazing what a little kindness and calm will do for people.  Just relax and let go, ladies.  Your wedding day will be beautiful.

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2.  Let your photographer get all up in your business on your wedding day.  Seriously, allow your photographers to get up close and personal.  I had my (male) photographer in the room and inches from my body while I was getting my corset undergarments and wedding dress on.  He definitely saw me in very little clothing, but I got some beautiful shots out of those moments.  I had two photographers and two videographers there the entire day( one of each followed Erik and I around separately until we were at the church), and the memories I have on film because of it are amazing.  Granted, I happened to know my photographer personally (not well, but I at least knew him), but still.  You eventually learn to just ignore the fact they’re there all the time and just start living in the moment.  Let them capture everything.  You want these moments to last a lifetime.  I still get all romantic and happy feeling whenever I look at those photos.

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3. Eat food!  I’m being dead serious.  Eat before you put the dress on (it doesn’t have to be much…I had a muffin, fruit and a skinny latte) and make sure you get the chance to eat at your reception.  Erik said from the beginning of our engagement that he didn’t care if it was rude or whatever, he would tell guests that he and his wife would be taking time to eat.  Turns out we didn’t have to.  Right after we got in (and danced, and had toasts, etc) we started heading to the tables to greet guests until the soup came out.  The wait staff was amazing nd kept an eye on us and would serve us when we sat back down.  Amazing soup: check!  Off to talk to a few more tables before salad.  We got to enjoy every course of our meal in a relaxed manner and we still managed to hit every table before the cake cutting.

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4.  Have someone pack up food for you to take to your wedding suite.  This is also really important.  Your day is  go go go from the minute you wake up and by the time the night is over and you and your new hubby are headed up to your room for the night you will realize you’re hungry and exhausted.  We had someone pack up fruit from our dessert table (although we really should have had the desserts packed up!) and we took it to the room with us so we had something to eat.  Some of our friends (who we allowed to have the privileged information as to where our wedding night room was) went up before us and set up our gifts, lit candles, and laid out granola bars for us too so we had something else to munch on.  No matter what other plans you have for your wedding night, make sure having a snack is on the to do list. 5. Accept that something WILL go wrong.  It’s inevitable.  This was a piece of advice I got from my good friend Katie, and it was.  I can’t tell you what it will be, but something will go wrong.  We kind of built our something in to the ceremony by asking Erik’s nephew to be the ring bearer.  At the time of the wedding he was a week or so shy of turning 2.  We knew this was risky, and we didn’t care.  What was the worst thing that could happen?  People get a good laugh (which they did) and he needs a little help.  We also had a small sound issue, but whatever.  Just relax and know that there are people to help solve any issue that comes your way on wedding day.  When you expect something to go wrong right from the start, it’s not a huge stressor when it actually does.

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6. Enjoy the day! Remember, a wedding is a celebration and a party.  Don’t sit and worry about what comes next or if things will go as smoothly as you planned them in your head.  Enjoy the moment and party just like your guests are doing.  I didn’t just enjoy my wedding day because it was my wedding; I actually had an amazing time!  It was seriously one of the most fun parties I’ve ever been to.  We were surrounded by our closest family and friends and we had a blast.  I didn’t think I’d dance much, but it turns out I danced the entire night (except for a few minute break to sit and eat our cake).  I remember when my mom, Erik and I went and picked up our guest book Thursday afternoon (we were married on Saturday) I looked at her and was like: “That was the LAST thing!  I don’t have to think about the wedding anymore!”  Because I took that approach and on the day of the wedding I decided to just go with the flow and let the whirlwind roar around me rather than be caught up in it, it was the best day.  Relax and celebrate.  You just made a life changing decision, successfully went through all the crazy planning and made it to your day and you still got up there and said “I do.”  I say that deserves a celebration!  Enjoy the fun.  If you have fun, odds are your guests will have more fun too.

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(One of my favorite pictures that my sister took.  Right after the ceremony we went back to the bridal hangout area and Erik and I were so wrapped up in each other since we hadn’t seen each other all day that, at least for a moment, nothing else mattered.  We just needed to be together.  Kristina caught that:-) )

7. It’s not about the wedding, it’s about your love.  Remember, the wedding is only one day.  People get so overwhelmed and stressed over having the perfect wedding (and I’m not saying it shouldn’t be an amazing day), but remember, it is one day out of the rest of your days.  It’s the first day of you uniting with the person you love and starting your own family unit whether you plan on having kids, a dog, or remaining just the two of you, the wedding is about committing yourself to your love as you vow to protect and care for him through thick and thin and putting your trust, faith and your whole heart into one another.  Its okay to try and get all the details worked out for your ideal and perfect wedding day, but in the midst of all the wedding planning don’t forget to do some marriage planning too.  So what if your wedding day has a blip or two?  Make sure your heart’s true focus is on the bigger picture: not the wedding, but the marriage.

 

 

Photos were all done by Marcin Tomaszczyk and his amazing crew.