On wedding blogs we often spend a lot of time detailing the wedding day, and the things that surround it – but the part that comes after the wedding day is actually the most important, really. When the band has stopped the music, the sparklers have died out, and the couple is on their happy way – that’s when the real work of a wedding begins. The marriage and relationship building is what keeps those wedding day flames going well into the future.

We were thrilled to see this ten year anniversary session slide across our editorial desk. Each anniversary year is an accomplishment, but the first ten years is a milestone definitely worth celebrating! Whitney & Tyler are not only sharing their Oregon Coast Anniversary Adventure with us today, but they also took the time to share some pointers on marriage and what has kept them going together for these first ten years. We hope you enjoy!

from the photographer, Georgia Ruth: “Nestled at the top of Cape Perpetua is a beautiful historic stone lookout shelter full of character. We knew a place with so much history would be the perfect place to celebrate Whitney and Tyler’s 10 year anniversary and the history of their relationship up to this point. We spent the first half of their session exploring the small shelter and enjoying the coastal trails and foliage before heading down the cape to finish their session on a deserted stretch of beach. We knew we wanted to focus on that special connection that can only develop after being together as long as these two have been, so we kept the posing and directing casual to really bring out that comfortable love. The results were a perfect mix of happiness and romance; a beautiful documentation of the bond they share.”

How did you meet? We met while attending Arizona State University. Tyler was dating a friend of a friend when we met. He actually tried to set me up with his brother! A year or two later, he texted me on my birthday and the rest is history!

What’s your proposal story? We always did the make a wish thing at 11:11. So Tyler took me to Tempe Town Lake on November 11th to propose. He wanted to propose right at 11:11, so he got got a little panicky when we ran into parade traffic. We ended up with a few minutes to spare, so then he had to stall for a few minutes. At 11:11 he told me to close my eyes and make a wish and was down on one knee when I opened my eyes.

Tell us about your attire choices! We decided to go formal for our anniversary session for a more romantic feel. The dress I wanted to wear actually didn’t show up in time due to crazy snow we got here in Oregon. This dress was a backup, but I love how it all turned out. Tyler’s suit is Calvin Klein and my dress is Lola Jade.

What was your favorite part of the day? The Oregon coast is a special place for us. We feel so much joy and peace there. We actually took our kids to the coast with us and my brother watched them at a different beach during our session. It was so nice to spend that time celebrating the two of us in a place we love then pick up our kids and feel the joy of what we have built together. And the sunset that night was absolutely breathtaking. Definitely a day to remember!

What’s your definition of marriage? “Marriage is two people choosing each other every day. Choosing to love, care for, and support each other through the good and the bad. Every day.” What’s one thing you’ve learned about marriage that you didn’t expect? “I didn’t expect just how much choice is involved. Choosing forgiveness, choosing patience, choosing kindness, choosing to accept my spouse’s efforts. As long as both of us are trying, we get to choose how good our marriage is.”

Do you have any advice you want to share about marriage? Tips for success or your thoughts on building a strong marriage over the last 10 years? “Sure! Let’s see … low expectations. That may sound awful, but it’s true! Don’t expect too much of each other. Like, don’t expect your spouse to read your mind. It’s okay have to tell them what you want or need from them, whether it’s unloading the dishwasher or something more serious. And don’t expect so much from each other that you’re definitely going to be disappointed. We’re all human. And say thank you! Spend intentional time together (especially after kids!). Whether it’s date nights out or Netflix binging or takeout after the kids go to bed, it’s so important! Even if it’s just ten minutes a day! Just make sure to put your phones away! Find both common interests and separate interests. It’s so great to have things to do and enjoy together. We have a lot of common interests like sports, Broadway musicals, and TV sitcoms. BUT we also have things we like to do on our own or with our friends. Everyone needs some me time! Don’t hesitate to apologize! Maybe even before you mean it! Not every argument needs a winner. Swallow your pride, your relationship is more important.”

Photography: Georgia Ruth Photography | Film Lab: The FIND Lab | Submitted via: Matchology

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