Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! I’m so excited to be spending the day with my little loves making all things heart; toast, jello, cookies, paper chains, and pictures!
I’m also excited to introduce a new series on marriage today! MRE is in the business of keeping our clients love-focused so why not share other’s love story with our readers during the love month! While Valentine’s Day is traditionally associated with more of a romantic love, those of us who’ve been married for a while know that it certainly takes more than a romantic love to maintain a strong and healthy marriage. It takes, among other things, a deep commitment to put true love first in your lives. I introduce to you…..
The love always wins series features couples at various stages of marriage and tells their stories of love, perseverance and making marriage last. Marriage isn’t always a walk in the park but it can be one of the most rewarding things in life. Join me each week as I share the stories of some of my most favorite married couples who share with you why Love Always Wins.
First up in our series are Rachel and Corey Smith. Rachel is the fabulous photographer behind Rachel Ruffer Photography and the person responsible for my awesome head shots and a couple of the events shown in the my work section of my website as well as home page. I met Rachel last summer when I was looking for a wedding photographer with a certain aesthetic to team up with and make beautiful things happen. If you’re not following her work, you should be! Without further a due…..
1. How long have you been married? 2 years
2. Tell us about your love story
Rachel: We had some mutual friends in college and had talked a few times. I found out that he was an engineer major and I was literally failing my Calculus II class so I asked him to tutor me. After spending time with him I realized how incredibly witty and hilarious he was, as well as super patient. I started falling hard and he did too. The rest is history!
Corey: We met in college at a party my fraternity was hosting. It was ~6 months later on a bus ride between campuses that we started talking and I offered to help her with math classes. This led to us spending more and more time together focusing less and less on mathematics.
We were married on a beach in Mexico with our immediate family and my grandparents in attendance. We each also had a personal attendant. The wedding was small, low key, and short.
3. Tell us a bit about your wedding (color, location, attendants, etc). Is there anything you would change?
Rachel: We actually did things a bit different than most and had a destination wedding in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Corey didn’t want to have a large wedding, but he was in a fraternity in college so he knew a ton of people and I also knew a lot of people, so we knew we couldn’t have a wedding in our college town without inviting everyone! It was so beautiful, and very different from what our friends have done! We had just our immediate families there, along with my best friend and his best friend. The only thing I really missed out on was a proper wedding reception with dancing and fun. We did have a low-key reception a few months later and invited everyone to that, but it was basically just a grill-out.
Corey: We were married on a beach in Mexico with our immediate family and my grandparents in attendance. We each also had a personal attendant. The wedding was small, low key, and short.
4. What is your favorite wedding memory?
Rachel: I have three favorite memories. We were waiting in the lobby of the hotel before the ceremony started and this little girl and her dad were walking by and the little girl was just staring and smiling at me. She said something to her dad about “princess” and it was just so sweet. The second is when the ceremony started and my dad started walking me down the aisle. We actually had to walk from the resort lobby through the pool area to the beach where the ceremony was. As we were coming down the stairs, everyone who was lounging started clapping and whooping for us. I was a mixture of embarrassed and excited! The third was at dinner. We didn’t have a normal reception but we did have a fancy dinner at one of the resort restaurants. Corey and I got so many compliments and congratulations from other people eating in the restaurant. It was like the whole day we were able to share with all of these friends that we didn’t really know but were happy for us anyway!
Corey: As our wedding was more of a weeklong affair, it all blurs together as our wedding. Looking back, it was a fun-filled week with numerous enjoyable moments. It really all blurs together so it’s hard to pick one as a favorite.
5. What is the key to making your marriage successful?
Rachel: Hands down is communication, which we are still learning and working at. All of our major arguments/disagreements have been because of a simple misunderstanding or miscommunication. We also have been trying to learn to speak each others’ love language (http://www.5lovelanguages.
Corey: Humor, communication, understanding
6. What are some of your favorite things to do together as a couple?
Rachel: We watch quite a few TV shows together… we love Castle, Big Bang Theory, Revolution, and Elementary. We tend to be homebodies, but he plays on numerous sports leagues so I like to go to his games and cheer him on!
Corey: We enjoy boating on our friend’s boat in the summer. Other times, spending time with our mutual friends.
7. What would you tell the younger you on the eve of your wedding day?
Rachel: I would tell myself that marriage takes a lot of work and learning but it is definitely worth it. Oh, and living with a boy can be really gross sometimes! 😉
Corey: Enjoy this day/week. It all goes quickly and before long the real world is back at your doorstep. It is important to always reflect back on this moment in time and the happiness you experience together.
8. What does LAW (love always wins) mean to you as a couple?
Answered together: To us it basically means what it says it means. That even though sometimes life gets crazy, love is always there holding us together.
9. How did you know your spouse was the right one for you?
Rachel: We were pretty much inseparable from the get-go, but at one point I really found myself planning my future with him in my mind. It’s kind of a hard thing to put into words, especially because I fell hard and fast for him and pretty much “knew” after only a couple of months! (But then we dated for three years before we actually got married.)
Corey: Love is a choice to work hard and commit to a lifelong adventure with a special someone to join you. Rachel was ready for that commitment before I was, but I knew she made me happy and I wanted to spend my life with her.
10. What is your best marriage advice for couples soon to be married or considering marriage?
Rachel: Sit down and have honest conversations. Conversations about life, goals, dreams. Your goals should probably be somewhat in alignment or you will be in a constant tug of war with each other. Definitely have conversations about money. Because Corey and I got married in Mexico, we didn’t have any pre-marriage counseling. BUT, we did take Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University a month after we were married and it was the best thing we could have done. A lot of divorces are due to financial problems in the marriage, and we had lots of conversations about money right at the beginning so we’ve been on the same team and working towards the same goals since day one, so we pretty much never fight about money. It’s great!
Corey: Marriage is hard work. It’s important to remember why you chose this person to spend the rest of your life with. You will notice certain quirks in your partner that you never knew about, but it’s important to realize you have quirks of your own that might drive your spouse crazy. But it’s great because you always have someone to hang out with and enjoy life with.
Thanks Rachel and Corey for your honest and insightful answers! Is it just me or could you tell which answer was a woman’s answer and which was a man’s answer without the name designations?