On July 28, 2022, my wife Amanda and I will celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary with a special vow renewal ceremony at Walnut Hill. Our wedding 10 years ago feels like yesterday, and it is just so amazing that we get to celebrate our love and our journey at the wedding venue that we now own and manage together. We feel so lucky and blessed, so we wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on our marriage and offer some wisdom and advice to our couples as they are just beginning their marriage journeys. We don’t pretend to have all the answers and everyone’s love stories are different, but we thought just sharing some of the things we have learned will hopefully help some of you out.
Photography by: Arika Jordan Photography
The first thing we have learned is that marriage and life goes by super-fast so do your best to enjoy each day because in the blink of an eye 10 years has gone by and you can’t believe where all the time has gone. We each only get one life to live so it is so important to try and enjoy the little and simple things in your marriage. For us, some of our favorite memories are just sitting in bed eating leftovers, drinking wine, and watching our favorite ridiculous reality tv shows and laughing until it hurts. We are not ashamed to admit that some of our favorite shows include Bachelor in Paradise, Love Island, Summer House, Southern Charm, Siesta Key, and Floribama Shore! We just love to own the ridiculousness and enjoy those times together after a long hard day of work and watching the kids. We also enjoy a fancy date night dinner out on the down. It is so important to try and get a babysitter for the kids at least once a month and try and make time for just the two of you and like they say on Parks and Recreation, “Treat yourself!” As much as we love laying around in our sweats and pajamas, we also love getting dressed to the nines and going to explore new restaurants around town or going back to some of our old favorites. This helps us remember why we fell in love with each other in the first place and that although we are older and are parents now, we still know how to party once in a while!
The next piece of advice that we would like to pass on is that marriage is hard, and it is something that needs to be worked on every day. When you say your I Do’s, it means you want to spend the rest of your life with that person. With that comes a great responsibility and with the reality that over the span of a possible 50- or 60-year marriage there are going to be a lot of long and hard days. Marriage is a journey and comes with a lot of ups and downs, so it is important to remember that you are a team, and it is ok to ask for help. Amanda and I are very open and honest about the fact that we went through a year of marriage counseling after our first child was born and it was the greatest thing we could have ever down. Life completely changes when you have kids and although it is such a blessing it comes with a lot of difficulties as well, so it is important to understand that and that seeking outside help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. Both partners need to be willing to work out what is wrong equally and without judgement. People change as marriage and life goes on and that is ok and can be a good and healthy thing if both sides remain understanding and respectful. We learned so much about how to better communicate and what both of us needed from our marriage from our year in counseling and we would highly recommend it to all couples.
Photography by: Fabiana Skubic
Lastly, it is important to remember why you initially fell in love and to have a clear picture of why you want to continue to be with your partner for the rest of your lives. For us, we have two beautiful children so we just want to build the best life we can possibly give them. We want them to have the most magical and memorable childhood possible so now we are not only living for each other but for them as well. Audrey is now 2 and Phillip is almost 5 and they are such a blessing and a joy (most days) and they have given us a renewed purpose. But we also realize that for us to be the best parents that we can be we also need to maintain a strong and healthy marriage as well. This is why we work so hard at trying to make Walnut Hill the best it can be. We want to provide couples with the foundation to start something beautiful and meaningful for them as well. We are so lucky, and we want to share our blessings with all that choose to start their love journey at our venue.
Cheers to 10 amazing years of marriage and I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years will bring!