Anniversary sessions are seriously underrated! Of course, we’re biased but we think having a photo session is an amazing way to celebrate your marriage, to say “hey look how far we’ve come,” and to capture what your love looks like now after years of being together. When Whit got in touch with me for a session and let me know that they were celebrating their 10 year anniversary, and wanted to do a session wearing beautiful formal attire at an incredible location, I was so giddy! It’s all my favorite things wrapped into one session! So we made a plan to escape to the coast for an evening, and thank goodness the weather did not disappoint!
We chose Cape Perpetua as the perfect place to start and then adventured to a random stretch of beach to finish off the night. Throughout their session, Whit and Tyler were so cute and in love, and I could see such comfortable happiness emanating from these two that I would guess only comes from being together as long as they have been. 10 years is a beautiful milestone! An entire decade of love and partnership; moving through life together no matter what hardships are thrown your way.
We talk a lot about weddings here because that’s the bulk of what we photograph as a business. But I’ve been making a conscious effort to shift our focus beyond the wedding day, beyond the sparkler exit at the end of a beautiful reception, to the life that comes after the big party. So much of our interactions with our couples are about all of the pretty details, finding the right light, planning the schedule, making the wedding day as perfect as can be. But I sometimes feel like, in the hustle and bustle of planning to photograph those big days, our bigger message gets lost. Ultimately the heart of why we love photographing weddings is because we get to preserve the relationship that is the whole reason for having the wedding day in the first place. We love preserving those memories so that when life gets a little tough and your relationship is tested, you can see your wedding images and feel the love that you shared that started you on this journey together. We’re in the wedding business, but I feel like even more than that we’re in the business of encouraging strong and lasting marriages.
With this shift in focus, I decided to take the opportunity to ask Whit a few questions about building a strong marriage over the last 10 years. Here’s what she shared with me.
What’s your definition of marriage?
“Marriage is two people choosing each other every day. Choosing to love, care for, and support each other through the good and the bad. Every day.”
What’s one thing you’ve learned about marriage that you didn’t expect?
“I didn’t expect just how much choice is involved. Choosing forgiveness, choosing patience, choosing kindness, choosing to accept my spouse’s efforts. As long as both of us are trying, we get to choose how good our marriage is.”
Do you have any advice you want to share about marriage? Tips for success or your thoughts on building a strong marriage over the last 10 years?
“Sure! Let’s see…
– Low expectations. That may sound awful, but it’s true! Don’t expect too much of each other. Like, don’t expect your spouse to read your mind. It’s okay have to tell them what you want or need from them, whether it’s unloading the dishwasher or something more serious. And don’t expect so much from each other that you’re definitely going to be disappointed. We’re all human. And say thank you!
– Spend intentional time together (especially after kids!). Whether it’s date nights out or Netflix binging or takeout after the kids go to bed, it’s so important! Even if it’s just ten minutes a day! Just make sure to put your phones away!
-Find both common interests and separate interests. It’s so great to have things to do and enjoy together. We have a lot of common interests like sports, Broadway musicals, and TV sitcoms. BUT we also have things we like to do on our own or with our friends. Everyone needs some me time!
-Don’t hesitate to apologize! Maybe even before you mean it! Not every argument needs a winner. Swallow your pride, your relationship is more important.”
Wow, isn’t that great stuff!? Marriage is an incredible adventure and I hope we’re doing our part as wedding photographers to not only encourage beautiful photographs but more importantly, beautiful, strong, lasting marriages too. Thanks so much, Whit, for sharing some of your thoughts with us about marriage! Scroll down to see all of the happy in love photos from Whit and Tyler’s 10 year anniversary session!