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Marriage Advice from a Newlywed

July 21, 2014

Who Doesn’t Love Marriage Advice?

I got to photograph the sweetest wedding at Pepper Plantation, you can read about it here. When Meg and Robbie contacted me because they wanted to do another photo shoot with me, I was so thrilled. They’re just the cutest couple. Since doing this shoot I asked Megan if they would like to participate in a marriage advice post and she obliged. Here are their answers to some questions about marriage and wedding planning.

How long have you been married? 1 year on Sunday (July 20th)

Where did you get married and why did you choose it?

We had both our ceremony and reception at The Pavilion at Pepper Plantation in Awendaw, South Carolina. Since we met in Charleston, we wanted to be married here as well. We first visited The Pavilion at Pepper Plantation in the fall and instantly fell in love with its charm. We knew when we left that we had found our venue.
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Do you have any regrets or things you would have done differently about your wedding?

Since the wedding was mostly DIY and we only rented the venue for Saturday, we had an awful lot of setting up to do the day of. Because of this, neither of us were able to see our parents until a few minutes before the ceremony. We both wish that we had the opportunity to spend more time with our families that morning instead.
What is your best memory of your wedding day? For Robbie: Outside of the torrential downpour, I would say the feeling of anticipation as I waited for Meg during our First Look was my favorite memory.
For Megan: We wanted to do a foot washing to exemplify our servant-like hearts to each other, but we wanted to surprise our family and friends with that. No one knew about it except for us and the pastor. During the foot washing, there were tons of tears and sniffles, and at one point Robbie looked at me and told me that he loved me. Even though I had heard him say that hundreds of times prior, it still made my heart flutter like never before.
Charleston wedding photographers_Charleston wedding photographer__0269.jpgWhat is some advice you would give to those currently planning their wedding?

Always keep in mind that the accomplishment isn’t found in a gorgeous engagement ring or a beautiful dress. It is about beginning a life together as husband and wife, and that will last much, much longer than your wedding festivities. Far too often brides get caught up in the details and forget that they are not only working on creating the perfect ceremony and reception but that they are also working on a relationship that requires loads of selflessness and love. Never forget the person who you are marrying. At the end of it all, they are the most important part of the extravaganza. Not the flowers, not the cutesy cake pops, not the perfect pair of shoes. It’s your spouse.

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What is the best marriage advice you received before you got married that has helped and/or advice you have for others?

The best advice we could ever give is to have and keep Christ as the center of your marriage. He is the glue that holds the husband and wife together. The closer you draw to Him, the closer you draw to one another.

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How do you plan on celebrating your first anniversary?

We plan to eat the remnants of our delicious wedding cake (which at this point is just a gum paste flower… the rest of the top tier didn’t make it past Week Two of our marriage). Since we have a crazy July, went down to Orlando, FL at the beginning of the month and visited Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. We splurged and bought Express Passes, so we skipped those awfully long lines!
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What was more difficult about being married that you didn’t expect after you got married?

For Robbie: Realizing that it’s not about me anymore was tough. I had to learn (and I’m still learning) how to get self out of the way. In a marriage, there is no room for selfishness.
For Megan: Going into the marriage with the knowledge that I would have a helpmate for the rest of my life was very exciting. However, I discovered very soon that I didn’t want help, particularly around the house. I am a narrow-minded person by nature and I like things to be done a certain way (which usually tends to be my way). I gave him a hard time about how to correctly fold laundry. I nagged him whenever he would wash the dishes. Any other wife would be delighted that her husband even offered to help, but it irked me. I found myself wanting to do things on my own, and my ornery nature slowly but surely made Robbie feel unhelpful. A few months into our marriage I finally realized how stupid I was being. If he wanted to help, I didn’t need to protest. He’s the greatest helpmate, and I now know to never take that for granted.

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What was actually easy after you got married that you didn’t expect?

For Robbie: Nothing was really easy, but life, in general, seems easier. I am now married to the woman that I love and know that there is nothing we cannot accomplish together.
For Megan: After we were married, being spontaneous came very easily to me. While we were dating, I was very straight-laced and by the book, and now I find it invigorating to do things out of the blue. We’ve gone on unplanned overnight trips to the beach, taken trips to hear jazz bands, and randomly go out to get ice cream close to midnight. Doing stuff spur of the moment brings back that excitement that tends to disappear after a while, and we always want to keep our relationship lively.
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Do you agree with the statement, “love is a choice” and why or why not? 

Love is natural. It’s genuine and heartfelt and not something that has to be forced. However, acting in love is a different story. If either of us chose to speak harshly to each other because we think they deserve it, we made a choice not to act in love. Love isn’t necessarily a choice. However, the act of loving is.

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How do you plan to keep your marriage strong?

Life happens. Dirty socks don’t always make it into the hamper. The bed may go unmade for a few hours longer than you’d prefer. Dirty dishes get left in the sink. No matter the predicament, we urge each other to remember why we came together to serve and love one another. Even though we each have our numerous quirks, we still love each other more than ourselves. As Christ followers, we are charged with loving like Christ every day. That goes for everybody we come in contact with. Despite the things that get on our nerves or push us over the edge, we are called to love each other like Christ loves the church. Having Christ as our central focus has made all the difference in our relationship. We always love, no matter the circumstance.

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