The Secret to Everlasting Marriage

Filled with little moments and big milestones, our lives are moving stories. And our marriages are the biggest chapters. Not to be biased, but visual artists can help tell those stories since, let's be real, not everyone can have an author craft a novel of their lives... photographers are far more accessible!

Today, I'm thrilled to have Tidewater and Tulle vendor fam Rachel and Mark of Tiltawhirl Imagery share interviews they conducted with two married couples through anniversary-like photo sessions and divulge the secrets to everlasting marriage in a modern ever-changing world.


It's no secret we at Tiltawhirl Imagery think marriage is a big deal. When the flowers have faded and the guests have gone home, you are left together hand-in-hand to figure out your journey through life.

What kind of life will you have? Where will your careers take you? Will you love each other as much in 10... 20... 30 years as you do this instant?

We interviewed two amazing couples who have built strong and lasting marriages to find out what the secret is to loving each other more today than when they said "I do" 33 years ago.

First up... Sharon and Tom.

Sharon and Tom have been together since 1976. That is when they met at party at the young ages of 18 and 20. Her best friend was dating his best friend. Sharon knew that night that he could potentially be the one; Tom needed some convincing.

Five years later, they tied the knot. One of Tom's favorite memories from that day is how Sharon's veil was sliding off during the ceremony, and he had to stop and help her pin it. (Mental Note for the Ladies: Use extra bobby pins on that veil!)

What has been the hardest lesson to learn during your marriage?
Sh: How to forgive and then let it go.
T: Just because you think that you're right, it doesn't mean the other person agrees with you.

How do you manage to stay connected to one another?
T: We try to do something together every week. We talk about our lives and our kids. We take an interest in each other's careers. We have friends and interests in common.
Sh: I message him on Facebook! Our lives are pretty busy during the week so we make it a priority to do something together during the weekend. We talk every day throughout the day. We confide in one another.

Sharon and Tom have a daughter getting married at the end of the month. So our final question for them surrounded around what advice they would give her and others just starting out in marriage. The answer was simple and clear... be open and honest, patient and kind, and always willing to change.

Next up... Susanne and Curtis.

Susanne wore cut-off jeans the day she met Curtis... and the way she looked is something he will never forget. After two years together, Curtis just had an inner peace about her being the one. In 1981, they were married in front of a row of California redwood trees in Sanborn Skyline State Park. Susanne remembers how that hot August sun made her long-sleeved Gunne Sax dress a little uncomfortable.

What has been the hardest lesson to learn during your marriage?
C: Learning who she is and accepting her.
Su: Unconditional love and not trying to change him.

And with both couples, they all agreed that trying to do things together is key. Life is busy, and you can easily get pulled in a lot of different directions away from one another. The secret to everlasting marriage is to not let other things become more important than the relationship; it's a partnership that constantly requires work and dedication. And it's oh so worth it.

Have a marriage-related tale to share? Please leave a comment here or on Facebook!

- Rachel and Mark

This Williamsburg-based husband and wife photography team can be found on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+. With a sharp wit and infectious humor, they're pretty rad people with a keen modern photography eye!