The 3 Biggest Lessons I've Learned in Our First Year of Marriage + Our Wedding Photos!

by - November 13, 2017

It's our first wedding anniversary today! 365 days ago was one of the most fun, most precious days of my life so far. Being married has been a gift, every single day since. On one hand, I can't believe it's been a whole year, but at the same time it feels like it's been so much longer. Transitioning to married life has not been difficult for us. It's felt so natural and like it's been this way all along! 

I've been spending lots of time this week reflecting on our first year of marriage and looking back at our wedding photos. We've had plenty of hard circumstances, but even still, this year has been the best one yet! It's just been so sweet!

In honor of our first anniversary, I wanted to share some of our favorite wedding photos with you, as well as the three biggest lessons marriage has taught me so far!

3 Biggest Lessons Year 1 of Marriage Taught Me

Marriage Isn't Always Hard

We've been so surprised at how easy marriage has been. Before we got married, so many well-intentioned friends told us that "marriage is awesome, but really, really hard". In a way, it made me afraid that married life was going to be full of conflict, communication struggles, and my own weaknesses constantly being exposed. Now, of course, all of those things have happened in the past year! I'm not saying marriage doesn't take work. But those moments of conflict have not occurred nearly as often as I expected them to based on all the advice we were getting. Learning to live together, communicate more than we think is necessary, manage one budget together, make big life decisions... sure, it's taken intentionality, compromise, and self-sacrifice at times. But those transitions have happened smoothly and felt so natural along the way.

I think part of what has kept it easy for us, even when conflicts have come up, is staying focused. Logan and I dated for a long time and by the time we got engaged we were SO ready to be married. We wanted to be a family and we wanted our marriage to not just survive, but be thriving and fun. When you can keep your eyes on the ultimate goal of having a life-long and fulfilling marriage, making the decision to prioritize your spouse suddenly feels easier, even in moments of conflict. When I'm focusing on the short-term, what's happening right now in front of me, my self says I need to win (I may be a liiiiiitle competitive by nature!). But when I look forward to our long-term goal, it's easier to remember that what I REALLY want is to support my spouse the best I can and be the best teammate possible. That kind of perspective shift can make an argument over how to load the dishwasher feel a little silly all of a sudden. :)

Routines Help Minimize Conflict

A huge thing that has helped us keep conflict from arising has been setting routines. So much of the hard stuff in marriage comes from unmet expectations, but routines help us know what is coming next and let us rely on one another.

These routines don't have to be anything crazy. One of my favorites is how our weekday mornings go. Mornings are a serious struggle for me, and may occasionally lead to some grouchiness from yours truly... My college friends can confirm haha! But knowing in advance what's going to happen when I finally drag myself out of bed helps there be less surprise and fewer reasons for my ocassional grouchiness to come through :) Before I open my eyes, I know how my husband is going to wake me up, what he's going to make for breakfast, where he's going to be sitting when I come out of our room, what time he'll get in the shower and when it's my turn to have the bathroom.

To some, the idea of routine sounds constricting and boring, but for us, they've felt natural and unified. When we're each taking care of our own responsibilities, we feel like a true team. These routines have given us simple ways to make life better for one another, and over time they build up our trust in each other. I have needs, like needing to eat breakfast every morning, that I don't even have to think about because my husband has so sweetly made it part of his routine to care for me in that practical way. He's done it every day since we've gotten married and I know I can trust that he's going to do it tomorrow as well! In the same way, he doesn't have to worry about having clean underwear when he goes to take a shower tomorrow... he may have to dig it out of the dryer because I haven't gotten around to folding that load 4 days later, but at least he knows where to find it! These simple routines give us practical ways to show love and help us function better together. We feel like a well-oiled machine!

My Life-long Teammate

Before we got engaged, a big reason we talked about wanting to get married was to be unified as one team. I already knew that Logan was a great teammate. In our three years of dating, we had made tons of decisions together, dominated at board games, had so much fun, and made each other better people. I knew if I stuck with him, my life was going to be better, plain and simple.

I knew in my head that when we got married, we were signing up for a life-long partnership. But there were many times over our first year of marriage where the gravity of that statement still surprised me. When times are boring, when life is so hectic we can barely manage it, when we're faced with life-altering decisions, when days are utterly monotonous, it doesn't change. I never have to make a decision about where to live, or what job to take, or any other major changes, by myself again! I have a constant companion, someone who is always in my corner. Like how crazy is that! Just like any team, I know we're only going to succeed if we both pull our own weight, and that as time goes on, we're only going to get better with practice! I'm so grateful I have such an amazing, caring husband as my teammate, and I'm so excited to see all the places our team is going to go in the years to come.

A Peek at Our Wedding Day!

And now what I know you're all really here for... wedding photos! We have hundreds and hundreds of photos from this gorgeous day, but I've pulled together a few of my faves to give you a peek at what our day was like!

Our Wedding Vendors

Photography: Melissa Eve Photography
Venue: The Signature Club
Flowers: Thomas Ripley Flowers
Cake / Cupcakes: Sam's Club
Coffee Bar: Valet Coffee
Photobooth: Clear Choice
Dress: David's Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie (color: Mulberry)
Groom / Groomsmen Rentals: Macy's with Men's Warehouse

There you go! Hope you enjoyed a little behind the scenes at my most favorite day ever!

If you're married, what was the most surprising thing you learned in your first year?! I'd love to hear!

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  1. Happy Anniversary!! It's so exciting to celebrate the first year of marriage but really every year after that too. My husband and I just celebrated 3 years married and it's been amazing.

    I love the lessons you've learned. I can definitely agree that the first year of marriage was pretty easy! When people say marriage can be hard I think it's more of a "life can be hard". Life happens and you sometimes have to deal with the crap that comes with it.

    Cheers to a lifetime of happiness for you and your husband!