Dear Newlyweds,

“A strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It is a husband and wife who take turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak.”

In the past three years, my husband and I have been to nine weddings. With each wedding came slightly different emotions, but one thing that has remained the same is the pure happiness that I get as a wife to know what is in store for them. Each time I heard the bride say “I do”, watched them sign away their last names forever, or kiss their groom — I always find myself looking at my husband.

I love watching two people we care about pledge their loyalty and commitment to each other with such confidence that they go so public about it. But being a wife has taught me just how sentimental a wedding is. When we go to weddings or plan them, we often are thinking of the wedding; the ceremony, the bride’s dress, the open bar, the dancing, the cake. But once you are married, when you are someone’s wife, a wedding is about the marriage. The marriage is what comes after the dust of the wedding has settled. The marriage is the hard stuff — getting married is easy, but being married can be tough.

Each wedding is always about a new love – a new marriage – a new bond between two people. They are all different than the others, but each touches my heart. In every ceremony, in every toast, in every reading, there is something that makes me think of my own marriage and my own husband. That man that only two years ago I vowed to spend the rest of my life with. Each time I hear those things I look at my husband whether he is right next to me or across the room, and each time we lock eyes. In those moments, I know that no matter where we are in life, no matter what hardships we have recently encountered, no matter what disagreements we may be in, I know that he is thinking the same thing I am; we are really lucky. We are lucky to know the love that these readings are talking about, to know that marriage is tough but its worth the fight. We are lucky to know that we can find comfort on each other’s shoulders and support in each other’s hands. We are lucky to have found the person who keeps us grounded, but encourages us to grow.

 

So Newlyweds;

Enjoy the sparkle and shine of your reception. Enjoy the laughs and flowers of your ceremony. Enjoy the food and desserts and alcohol. But don’t forget to soak in the love and support that your guests are giving to you, and pour it all into your marriage.

Your wedding day is going to be phenomenal – and anything that may go wrong, will be the things you joke and laugh about a year later. Excuse the flower girl who cries for her mom, excuse the friend who shows up in jeans, excuse the florist who messed up the bouquets. Those things won’t matter – what will matter is that you are going to stand with your best friend and listen to them as they vow to cherish and love you for the rest of their lives.

It’s hard to believe this right now, but your wedding day will not be the best day of your life. There will be random days throughout your marriage that will make you fall in love with your spouse all over again, your wedding day is just one of those days. It will happen spontaneously and it will happen often. It will also happen with the births of your children, the day you buy your first home, the day your spouse gets their dream job, other weddings you attend. Years from now, you will love your spouse a million times more than you do today. THAT will be your best day.

Marriage is the greatest thing we can ever endure. Waking up every morning and knowing that there is someone on this planet who was willing to bet you half of everything they own that they’ll love you forever is quite breathtaking. It is not to be taken lightly. Marriage will also change things. Whether you have lived together previously or already have children, marriage changes things. It brings you closer in a way that I cannot describe to you. Being married means you are marrying your lives, your dreams, and your hopes together. You are now living for the same future. However, you must not lose yourselves. Continue to do the things you need to do for yourself, but learn the healthy mix of doing those things alone, letting your new spouse do their own things, and finding time to grow as a couple and spend time together.

There will be hard times, but in those times, remember the love you share today. Remember all the times you have locked eyes on this special day. Remember the touch of your spouses hands while you said your vows to them. Remember the tears they shed while your family and friends gave their speeches.  Remember that there will be another day soon that you will fall in love with them all over again. Remember that the best is yet to come, but the best things don’t come without work. And most of all, remember that that person loves you with more than their being and they deserve for you to try your very best.

You have waited your whole life for this day — and you chose the perfect person to spend your forever with. My hope for you on this day, is that you have really good stories to tell tomorrow, and that in twenty years, you are more in love with one another than you ever dreamed possible today. You will get there, and it’s because of the fights and downfalls and struggles that you will end up making it.

Cheers to you, Mr. & Mrs. Go celebrate your new life together and learn to share your mashed potatoes.

XOXO, Shelby

**Huge congratulations to the beautiful couple that got married yesterday. We were thrilled to be a part of your wedding! Mr. & Mrs. Johnson, I know you two will make it through anything that comes your way. Congratulations on your forever!**

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