If you attended the recent Pop-up Wedding, I’m sure you would agree that the absolute highlight was the authentic love story we all witnessed between Carolyn and Ryan. They have been married for almost 16 years now and yet we were all dabbing our eyes as we watched them renew their vows. I thought it would be interesting to hear their advice for newly married couples. If you’re engaged, take note!
Getting to renew our vows was a glorious experience. The opportunity came up (thank you Tara!!!!) and we jumped on it. We had talked about it before in the past, but never did anything about it. We were always soooooo busy. Had other things to do. Had the children to take care of! Work to do! House to clean! Lawn to mow! Etc…etc…etc… Sound familiar? But a couple of years ago Carolyn and I decided that we would actually take the time to focus on US sometimes (ya! Crazy… I know!). We realized we were going down a slippery slope of “life’s hustle and bustle” and not focusing on what really mattered the most to us: each other. So, a couple of years ago we rededicated ourselves to each other… to our relationship… and to always becoming stronger TOGETHER.
Advice for newly married couples
Carolyn and I are no experts on marriage. Trust us! But we’ve learned and are continually reminded to not take each other for granted and firmly believe in the “till death do us part” part of marriage. We’re dedicated to each other for life and we’re committed to work through anything that comes in our way. We’ve been married for 15 years and have a renewed dedication to our relationship that perhaps did not exist a couple of years ago. So, what have we learned that’s made a difference?
1) Communication. This is key. And not just about your work… or your kids… or the movie you just saw (although those are important too!), but about how you FEEL! Your dreams… your goals! You have to always be on the same page with each other and know what the other wants deep down inside. If you don’t know… how are you going to support and encourage them to reach those goals?
2) Date Night AT LEAST once a week. Make time for each other to do the things you love to do. To reconnect after a long day or long week. To work on our Number 1 point! To just BE with each other. You should be best friends. This point in our house is non-negotiable. We always have date night once a week at least! If you are parents or not, you need this dedicated time.
3) Don’t be afraid to ask for help. From your spouse. From each other. And even from a third party if need be. You have decided to commit your lives to each other. Sometimes you won’t have all the answers, but a burning desire to get them answered and move forward in your relationship so it can grow strong and loving. Carolyn and I have worked very hard to make our marriage last because we believe in each other and believe in our love. But sometimes we needed some help and guidance to support that love.
Renewing our vows was a great opportunity to pause, reflect and evaluate how far we’ve come and where we’re headed. It also gave us a chance to say ‘I love you’ in a very special and memorable way. We didn’t have to renew our vows to express our love for each other… we do that everyday. But it was a definitive moment in our lives that will set the stage for our many, many, MANY more years to come!
Thank you for your insights Carolyn and Ryan.