How to Keep Love Alive Long After “I Do”!
7 Steps to Happily Ever After
Taking part in one of the most memorable days of our clients’ lives is truly a gift. There’s really nothing like being there on a couples wedding day and seeing the contagious joy, energy, nervousness, tears and yes sometimes pain knowing a loved one won’t be there with you to share your special day. Or the feeling that someone is there in spirit. The little looks, the transparent feelings that happen in the flash of a moment can often say everything. They can also be everything. As photo journalists this is what we live for, the split moment in time where a single image can say everything. One image can say everything about a story and this is what we look for. Being able to share the gift of hard evidence that we were here, we exisited, we lived we love.
On the day of your wedding the excitement can’t be contained; palpable energy floats through the air as two people step into a lifetime of love together. The wedding day is the stamp of commitment, but the story surely doesn’t end there.
Choosing to love another person for a lifetime is one of the greatest journeys we can embark upon. Unfortunately, as busy people working toward our goals and dreams, we can get sidetracked on the journey! It’s easy at times to forget that the smallest of gestures can make our lover’s day, and easier to overlook something sweet they’ve done for us. We must choose, day after day, to grow our love.
We’ve put together seven steps toward happily ever after. By incorporating these into your love life you’ll nurture romance, rekindle passion, and ensure trust. Most of all, you’ll be well on your way to a love that lasts!
Make a Love Jar
The first step is the easiest because it can be a part of your wedding reception. Gather your bridesmaids and decorate an old mason jar or small chest (size can vary depending on your preferences). We all need support through our life and having your bridesmaids help you is symbolistic of your friends supporting you and your marriage. At your reception, ask your guests to fill the jar with their wishes on your wedding day. Read all the messages with your partner on your honeymoon.
Then, on your honeymoon bring another jar and create a jar together. Decorate it with things you find on your honeymoon to remind you of fun and romantic times. Then, write each other a special note each day and add it to the jar. It can be a love note or something you love about eachother. Each month on your anniversary date, add another note. On each year-anniversary, you’ll have twelve messages to read one another inspiring love, respect, and appreciation. You can read one a year or all of them at once on each anniversary.
Write a Bucket List
Goal-setting as a couple is the ultimate way to bond long-term. To keep the spark alive and add some excitement to this activity, start a bucket list together! A real “if only” or “maybe someday” bucket list. Want to sail to Tahiti? Learn French? Or start a small farm? Dare to dream big!
It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we write our dreams down. You may see some of your wildest ideas come to fruition. After all, you’ll have a lifetime to work toward them together!
This is right up there with dreaming big because it’s about setting goals and witnessing them come to life because of your joint efforts. For newly married couples, it’s all about nesting. Find some DIY home or garden projects that both of you can participate in. From beginning to end, you’ll be partners on a team working to finish this project.
You’ll get to experience one another planning, making important decisions, and putting in the footwork to get to the desired result. We often respect our partners most when they contribute to the home because it demonstrates concern for our comfort and happiness. There’s no better way to keep love alive than by building a home together!
Sometimes life gets so busy we can barely catch ourselves, let alone lavish love and attention on another person! Trading favors is an easy way to remind one another to slow down and offer love and romance when it’s needed most.
Couples who do this usually practice the coupon-giving method: ‘IOU one back massage’, ‘Good for two home-cooked meals’, or ‘One dance class on me’. A favor coupon can have anything on it as long as it’s selflessly dedicated to what the other person might appreciate the most. Trade coupons every few months to bring your A-game to the relationship and reinvigorate your commitment to your partner’s satisfaction!
Start Your Own Traditions
One of the perks of getting married is that you and your spouse get to decide what tradition looks like for your new family. From holidays to birthdays to weekly rituals, there are a million right ways to celebrate together! Customize your special days so that they’re just unique enough without losing the meaning. Celebrate birthdays with pies instead of cake. Open holiday presents a day early so you can spend the holiday watching movies and eating non-traditional foods. Spin reords on Sundays, dance in your kitchen and collect records together. Or cheers to big accomplishments over cheap pizza and beer at your local dive bar.
Whatever your traditions turn out to be, they will be shared only between the two of you. Traditions grow love steadily and give you plenty to look forward to year after year!
Try Something New
Trying something new together as a couple should be a routine practice. It keeps the dull, monotonous routine at bay and builds trust in the relationship. Aim to add an activity that’s fun and out of your comfort zone to your calendar at least once a month. It doesn’t have to be anything extreme, like skydiving, but that’s certainly an option too! It could be something simple like an Italian cooking class, tennis lessons, taking a trip somewhere you have never been or trying an arcade game you’ve never played together.
Ask About Their Day
This last step might seem a little understated, but it could not have more of an impact on the overall health of the relationship.
Make it a practice to ask your partner about their day – every day! The simple question shows that you’re curious about their life, even if it doesn’t always directly involve you. It shows that you care and that you’re invested in their daily satisfaction as much as your own. Plus, the more you ask them, the more likely it is they’ll return the interest!
There are many ways to make love last long beyond your wedding day. Oftentimes couples will find what works best for them based on trial and error. It doesn’t matter what your steps to happily ever after are – as long as they work for you!
We’re in the business of documenting couples authentic and real stories at their most beautiful and vulnerable moments so that those memories can become a part of their traditions in keeping love alive. Sometimes looking at a framed photo or slowing down and looking at an album of you and your partner during an intimate moment like your wedding is all it takes. I challenge any of you when times are sit down and look at your wedding or engagement album together. Being reminded of those moments together sometimes is all it takes to get the love flowing again. A picture speaks a thousand words, but a wedding picture just speaks love!
For more tips on keeping love alive or for information on capturing all the love of your wonderful wedding day simply contact us!
Jacqueline and Jay have more than 20 years of journalism and photography experience and have been married for over 16 years in love and covering weddings together as a couple. Their home photography base is Southern Maryland but they also cover Maryland, DC, Virginia wedding and Destination weddings anywhere else your heart takes you. When they are not covering weddings or creating albums they can often be found at sunrise on the bay with their Jack Russell named Tiger or spinning records dancing in their kitchen or living room with their bird willow singing along. They believe that life is about living and feeling life to the fullest and enjoying the moment. They love supporting couples on their wedding journey and on their happily ever after. They also know that life can sometimes be hard and creating traditions can often be one of the things that supports you when the winds of life blow. They are artists, poets, adventure travelers, collectors of memories, and lovers for life.