In a continuation of the "Advice from Not-So-Newlyweds" series, today I'm featuring Jess of Wedding Co. of Williamsburg, talking about what she's learned in 3 years of marriage - and 12 years into her relationship with her husband!
When I was asked to write a blog post about the biggest lesson I have learned in marriage so far, I chuckled and thought to myself, “where the heck do I begin?” Before writing this post, I had to think about the advice I had been given and stories I had been told. Just about everyone I know has said “Marriage is hard, it takes work,” or “Happy wife = Happy life” And while those are definitely true (definitely the second one, hubbies out there haha), I personally have learned 3 big lessons in the first 3 years of our marriage. But before I share those with you let me share with you our little love story...
Tristan and I met at the local county fair and that night I rode back on the fire engine to the station with him (I know this totally sounds like a country song, but it's our story)! At the time I was just seventeen and Tristan was eighteen. To say we were babies is an understatement! Our relationship grew quickly and we dated for the next nine years. As you can imagine, I was dying for a ring after so long. Tristan 100% shocked me the day he proposed. Just like any other day I came home from work and was ready to get in my comfy clothes and eat dinner. Tristan was not home yet so I called to find out if he wanted me to get started on dinner. Little did I know he was at my parents' house and had waited for 3 hours for them to get home so he could ask them for their permission to marry me. Soon after he got home and we had our normal evening, until....I received a wedding inquiry on my website from Tristan with the sweetest/kindest message about our relationship and he ended the message with, "Will you marry me." I flung the computer to the side and looked down to see Tristan on one knee and the most stunning solitaire diamond! I'll never forget that day (July 25, 2013). We planned our wedding over the course of the next year and got married on November 1, 2014 at Colonial Heritage here in Williamsburg! Our wedding was huge, with 220 guests, and the day was truly everything I dreamed of. If you would like to see a glimpse into our day, you can watch our wedding video. Now, three years into our marriage and 13 years later, I wouldn't want to do this life with anyone else!
Now for the lessons I have learned thus far:
Marriage absolutely takes hard work but more importantly COMPROMISE (oh gosh…the amount of compromise sometimes….(insert eye roll and huff here)). Sure, there are times where I know I am right and he is wrong (this is about 90% of the time) but if I know my husband like I do, I know sometimes a girl just can’t win the battle and it’s not worth the time and energy. So, you might ask, how do I deal with it without blowing up and saying awful things?
How to deal with lesson #1: Personally, I grab a beer from the fridge, take a nice hot bath and after I have read my Southern Living magazines, I pull up our wedding video on Vimeo and remind myself of where this chapter of life all started. While this can absolutely be a vicious cycle, it keeps me sane and keeps my marriage great so I’ll take it!
Moral of the story: Hire a videographer!
You will become different people, but when you do you have to accept the new relationship that comes with it. To be fair, I know not everyone met their spouse when they were a teenager. While I know many of you are reading this thinking “aww that is so sweet that they were together in high school” (which it totally is, I’m not disagreeing with you)…we have grown up (thank the Lord) and we both have more stressors in our lives and have different concerns day in and day out than we did back in the day. I used to only care about my American Eagle jeans and my biggest stressor was whether or not I could fit into them. Fast forward, 13 years later and my biggest stressor is managing a wedding planning business with 5 planners, 20+ couples and trying not to make any (okay let’s be real….a few) mistakes!
How to deal with lesson #2: Growing up is an incredible thing! While a lot will change over the first few years of your marriage, if the two of you can stay grounded and not let the stressors of everyday life affect your relationship, then you will be golden!
Moral of the story: Don’t forget the couple you once were, but also don’t think you will stay that couple you once were!
The third and final words of wisdom I can provide you with is:
Marriage is going to throw some serious crap at you! Crap that you never thought would happen to you individually or as a couple. The biggest example of this personally is that my husband and I never thought we would have a problem with infertility, and it has tested us financially and emotionally. We always thought we would take a year to enjoy marriage and then try for a family in year two. Unfortunately, our journey continues. We have also taken on kick-butt careers that have taken a lot of our time together away and we don't get to see each other as often as we like! It's hard some days but there are many more great days!
How to deal with lesson #3: Honestly, I’m not quite sure on this one and I’ll have to get back to you! All I can say is be each other’s support system and try to enjoy the few date nights you do get together!
Moral of the story: #thankthelordforasupportivehubby
Jess Aiken of Wedding Co. of Williamsburg, LLC., has been a part of the Williamsburg, VA, wedding industry for over 12 years. She got her first taste of the industry at just 17 when she interned for a local wedding planning company. Her internship continued over the course of the next 4 years while she spent her time at Radford University and James Madison University studying organizational communications. Following graduation, Jess went back home to Williamsburg, where she grew up and first got started. Her career in events continued to grow over the next 5 years. From working as an event rentals consultant at Williamsburg Event Rentals to Assistant Director of Weddings at Kingsmill Resort, her portfolio grew. While weddings were her heart and soul, Jess found herself yearning to connect on a deeper level with her clients, which led to the opening of Wedding Co. of Williamsburg, LLC. in August of 2012. From 2012 - May 2017, Jess hustled hard with Wedding Co. and executed 20-25 weddings a year in addition to her full-time position of hosting events for William & Mary. In May of 2017, Jess's passion and dreams of going full-time with her Wedding business came true and she hasn't looked back. With 3 lead wedding planners, 3 wedding assistants and multiple interns, the business continues to grow and Jess can't wait to see what the future of Wedding Co. holds.