Captured by Diana Gordon Photography, Dan and Colleen had a bit of snow fun in Nicewood Park with each other to celebrate their first year as husband and wife. But with all anniversary sessions, we love to hear more about what the couple has to say about marriage and their own personal relationship. In true interview fashion told in Colleen's voice, their thoughts and humor mirror their winter shenanigans perfectly.
What are a few things that you've learned during your first year of marriage?
Dan said, "I learned to guard 'my parts' when sleeping... she kicks." But seriously, he has also learned to be more expressive when he is communicating by matching my level of enthusiasm about something that is important to me. He has also learned that I have different ways of organizing and doing things and accepts me the way I am. We both have learned that Hollywood develops unrealistic expectations for romance and sex in marriage. I have learned to keep the small things small and not to over-react. We both have learned the importance of setting aside time each week for just the two of us to spend quality time together. I have learned the importance of his spending time with his guy friends and giving him space. Initially, we both had different expectations for routines and traditions of a "married couple," so we have learned to drop these expectations and create our own unique routines and traditions together.
What are your favorite things about each other?
Dan likes that his worst qualities are my best qualities. He likes the way I interact in social situations with ease and that I am empathic towards others. He likes that I am unpredictable, tough, and not afraid to try new things. He likes my sarcasm and sense of humor (including my exaggerated startled responses! It's really bad). I love that he is great with kids and is funny. He is a giver, a great listener and has quality guy friends. I like that we are both stubborn, and we make each other stronger. He is also really supportive of my dreams and goals.
What's some advice you'd share with other newlyweds?
Our advice to newlyweds is to let go of expectations and accept each other for who they are. We also have found that keeping God first in our marriage is helpful because we have a common foundation. We encourage newlyweds to put the needs of the marriage above personal interest and keep the marriage fresh by clearly communicating feelings, wants, and needs rather than allowing small things to build up and become big issues. We are both counselors and have found that implementing basic communication and listening skills like I-statements, paraphrasing, and summarizing are crucial to good communication. Most of all, have fun with your spouse, appreciate them, and never stop being friends.
Photography: Diana Gordon Photography // Location: Nicewood Park in Newport News