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September 27, 2017

After I Do…

After months and sometimes years of planning and designing your dream wedding… the day after comes. Some of us are swept away to a magical honeymoon, while others immediately start building their lives together.  For all of us no matter what our honeymoon looks like, the day after comes and then the next and the next. We spend so much time with our couples in the weeks and months before the wedding and then on the actual day of the wedding, we feel like family. And then the day after comes for us too. It’s almost a let down from being so high the day before.  We wonder what our couples are doing and how they are adjusting to married life in the weeks that follow. We’ll peek at social media to see what they’re up to. We want our couples to win and win BIG the day after and the next day after they say I do.

Lambert and I have always been about serving. We both have the spiritual gift of serving. When we show up to a wedding, we are looking for ways to help. We’ve helped grandma to her seat, we’ve changed diapers, cleaned up spilled champagne, wiped noses on little ones, and only once (and never again) I have applied makeup to the mother of the bride. There was nothing spiritual about that service!

We asked ourselves how can we better serve our couples even after their wedding day… what would it look like if we really invested in their happily ever after…

We want to share just a few nuggets we’ve learned from GOOGLE (my favorite way to research)

45-50% of marriages end in DIVORCE… that’s TOO MANY.  Why do we spend so much time and money in planning for the event of  marriage? But then VERY LITTLE time or money investing in the act of marriage??? 

One divorce occurs every 13 seconds… The family is broken, kids are damaged. The effects are for a lifetime. ( i know, I’m from divorced parents.)

This is a big one… Divorce is most common during the EARLY years of marriage. As head over heels as I was for Lambert, our marriage almost didn’t make it to the 5 year mark.  Marriage is hard work and takes effort.  We make such dumb mistakes in the early years… We make financial mistakes because social media tells us we need to make purchases we can’t afford to keep up with our virtual peers… Comparison happens… why are they going on all the great vacations, and building the new house and spending weekends at trendy downtown bars and we’re stuck in the apartment.. so what do we do… Google says we follow the crowd and fall right into the trap of debt!!  Walls go up between us, communication isn’t great and isolation sets in. We become resentful with each other and often think… IS THIS REALLY WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR? I can’t stand the person I’m married to or the person I’ve become. I CAN do better and find SOMEONE else who will MEET MY NEEDS and GIVE me what I DESERVE… (it’s true my friends). Google says so..

Then we decide to HAVE A BABY… it will be so much fun to plan a shower, prepare a nursery in our newly constructed house, and have a photo session with SLP… IT’s FUN and it’s what everyone else is doing… And.. maybe it will bring us back together… THIS IS NOT THE BEST MARRIAGE SOLUTION!   Google says this plan or unplan.. attributes to the divorce rate. (we believe your marriage can still win even if this happens.. but guess what… it will take work).

We’re going to stop here! KEEP READING there is hope and it’s coming. We’re not marriage downers or marriage experts… We almost didn’t make it, so we’re not judgers either. We love marriage and winning at marriage. We are your cheerleaders. Many of our couples we’ve known from serving in our youth group at church. They’re all grown up now and  that does not make us OLD… We’ve wittnessed only a couple go down the wrong road and sadly end in divorce.  So this is when we decided to get serious about pouring into our SLP couples and start having real conversations about after I do. We want to share a few resources with every couple we have served or will potentially serve,  AND YOU too!

1. We (Lambert and I) are believers. We believe in Christ first and foremost. We believe in prayer and the power of prayer in marriage. (ours would have ended had prayer not entered in year four). We believe in sacrificing for each other and outdoing one another in loving acts and finally we believe that INVESTING in marriage is key to making it for the long haul.

2. In your first year of marriage go on a couples retreat. There are GREAT Christian weekend retreats hosted ALL over our country every weekend. You can find one.. make it a date night, get a room downtown and INVEST in each other.  We Love the conference hosted by Kirk Cameron, Love Worth Fighting For.  These weekends are not meant for marriages on the brink of divorce..  they are VERY entertaining and cover real topics from great sex to healthy arguing.  And no GROOM is too cool to attend and you won’t look lame. You will be a hero to your wife and probably enjoy a great INTIMATE weekend. Truth be told Lambert and I were TERRIBLE communicators and pretty selfish individuals when we said I do. We’ve learned so much from weekend retreats and we always return home refreshed and recommitted. We want to gift every SLP couple with tickets to a retreat in your first year. Its our way of saying we still believe in the two of you. We’re still cheering you on!

3. Brides never stop studying your husband. Study him like you studied the wedding industry when you planned your special day. Find out what makes him tick and what drives him crazy or stresses him out. Be his number one cheerleader. Always be on his side. Pray for him.  NEVER absolutely NEVER EVER criticize or correct him in public. Be willing to be the bigger person and let it go until your in private. We don’t always have to win or be right. ( gosh I sucked at this for a long time and did major damage). Tell him when he makes you proud. Be available. Be present and be intentional. When our husbands feel lifted up and supported, something happens and they’re just better husbands. I’d love to share our story with you personally if you’re interested. 

4. Be on the same page with finances… Don’t make the mistakes your friends are making because you want to keep up. Dont fall prey to the debt trap. Be realistic. Don’t be house poor. Go on vacations that are paid for. Save money together and set goals.  Eat at home, and put your phones in a drawer on silent… do it.

5.  Check out these FANTASTIC marriage blogs for couples who are realistic about happily ever after:

http://marriage365.org/

http://fiercemarriage.com/

http://unveiledwife.com/blog/

http://staymarriedblog.com/blog/

http://www.happywivesclub.com/

We leave you with this. We really like serving couples who are more invested in the day and days after than the actual wedding day… We want to see you succeed and leave a legacy. Live like what you do matters because it does! (I can’t remember who said this but its not my quote). Be the husband and wife you wanted your parents to be. And show your children what love and grace and serving looks like so they can win too!  Never be too prideful to get help when you need it, even if the other one won’t go with you.  Never give up!

We love you guys!

SLP

Wedding Photographer, Houston, Texas
Wedding Photographer, Houston, Texas
Wedding Photographer, Houston, Texas
Wedding Photographer, Houston, Texas
Wedding Photographer, Houston, Texas

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