We know we are photographers and NOT necessarily people you would think to give you marriage advice. However, we can’t help but share our hearts in this area because we too were once where you are. We know what it’s like to hustle and plan a wedding (we planned ours in 6 months) and then when it is all over think “now what?” So consider this your reminder! Reminder for what? That planning for a wedding is awesome and your ONE day is going to be great BUT that you have a whole LIFE to plan for as well! Here are some of the things we think you should be thinking about when planning for your marriage!

1. Rest

Work and busy schedules can allow couples to get caught up in the routine of life and not work on their relationship. We highly recommend putting in some down time in to your weekly schedules where you just hang out on the couch or in bed and simply do nothing. Also, instead of taking big vacations it can be really beneficial to take long weekend trips quarterly. This allows less stress time to build up before taking a break! Mini vacations are so great for marriage!


2. Surround yourself

Today marriage means something different to almost everyone. It is important to surround yourself with people who support the two of you and believe in a marriage that lasts. Choosing to spend more time with friends who are married will give you couples to walk through life’s ups and downs with. We always say find someone younger and in love to remind you of that newlywed stage, people who are at the same stage of life as you and then people you can look up to. When dealing with hard marriage questions always call those people who have already been there and will have the most wisdom.


3. Read together

We haven’t always done this but when we do it’s so beneficial! We find a book on marriage and we read it together. It gives us some talking points and allows us to dig a little deeper than we would on our own.


4. Don’t shove it

The longer we are married the more we realized how passive we were in our first years of marriage. It can be so easy to shove feelings under the rug to avoid conflict but that won’t help. What you think you are ignoring is only going to grow bigger and come back later. The more open communication is in a marriage the better! If it’s something you think you can’t resolve on your own than reach up to those wiser friends!


5. Same team

Marriage can sometimes turn into what feels like a competition “I did the dishes every day this week” — and that’s not the case. You are on the SAME TEAM! We have to remember when arguments and situations happen that we are rooting for the same thing even when it doesn’t feel like it. You would never tackle your own team mate on a football team or tag them out in baseball. When you are going through conflicts reminding yourself that you are standing together and not representing two different things can help. This becomes even more present in parenting.


6. Love and respect

This is hard but so true! Guys, all she wants to know is she is loved. When you are out with friends, she wants the words and body language that comes from you to speak love. Ladies, he needs respect. You shouldn’t joke or talk down about him in public or even alone. His biggest desire is to know you respect him and that you will stand beside him.


7. Journal

Sometimes it can be hard to get all your feelings out right. A journal is a great tool to vent and allow those raw words to come out before saying them too harshly to your spouse.


8. Together

Usually there is one person who can be quick to make decisions. It’s pretty natural to have someone who is more dominating. We have learned that waiting for the other is always better. Making big and small decisions together allows room for less confusion and blame in the future.


9. Date nights

Schedule those date nights! Even if they are date nights IN, put them down. Guys, add some dates on a whim too and throw her for a surprise, even if she says she hates surprises.


10. Dreams and Goals

We are dreamers! We love to talk about all the things we would love to do. Make your dreams and goals clear to one another. Make quarterly goals, year goals and even five year goals. Knowing what you are working towards and having vision helps the course of your days. There is nothing more rewarding as a couple to see goals being met. These can be financial, travel, family planning, work, buying a home, and more.


Sharing, serving, and celebrating,

Andrew + Chrissy