I’ve been planning this anniversary photo shoot for years. What else is a girl suppose to do with her wedding dress. When my daughter was born I knew it would be fun to photograph her in it someday. But why wait 20 years to have someone wear it again? I thought it would be fun to recreate some wedding pictures, but I wanted to wait until it was a big anniversary. 15 years was the perfect time.
That’s right my hubby and I have been married for 15 years. 15 years ago I held hands with him in the San Diego Temple and promised to be his forever. It was honestly the best day of my life. And we’ve had so many amazing days, but the day we started our eternal family will always be my favorite. I am so blessed Grady is my sweetheart, best friend, and eternal companion. Marriage isn’t easy. It’s actually a lot of work. But the best things always are.
I am so thankful that the beautiful and talented Shari Hanson was able to take our anniversary pictures. We used to take family pictures about once a year, but with moving to Arizona they have been less frequent. All through our marriage we have tried to have pictures of us as a couple. I want our kids to see us as husband and wife, not just a mom and dad. And these pictures will make it easier for our kids to put together an amazing video for our 25th wedding anniversary.
I wanted to wear my wedding dress again and was thankful I was able to still fit in it. My back up plan was to take pictures from the front in case I couldn’t get it to zip up all the way. This doesn’t mean my body is the same size it was 15 years ago. After having 4 children my hips (and bust) have altered. But it was so fun to get dressed up and take pictures together. Shari found this beautiful park in Huntington Beach. And maybe we didn’t look enough like newlyweds because no one stopped to congratulate me. What’s up with that?
And anniversary pictures are the perfect gift. We are going to have to have another photo shoot for our 20th anniversary. But I don’t know if I’ll be wearing this again.
My best advice for any marriage is when things get hard (and it will) and their weaknesses become more obvious, take time to evaluate yourself. Are you doing everything you can to be a good spouse? For me those things include personal prayers and scripture study. I look at how my personal relationship is with my Savior and reflect on what I can do to be better. Those simple things help my perspective. Because the fact is we are two imperfect people trying to become one. And we fall short. But as we each strive to come closer to our Savior we also become closer to each other.
And I am so thankful for our different strengthens! I’ll admit I have some great talents, but the vision of marriage is relying on each other and becoming better together. Probably my favorite thing about my husband is how funny he is. He makes me laugh all the time. His light heart and quick wit bring so much fun into our family. I’m also really grateful he’s great at math and computers. Those things really aren’t my favorite. I love listening to him sing. I love that he is a master builder and can spend hours playing Legos with my kids. I love his forgiving spirit and how he can let things roll off his back. I love that he is such an amazing father. It’s one of the reasons I married him. He’s especially wonderful at helping our oldest son as he is getting closer to becoming a teenager. Anything I say seems to only make things worse. But my husband is able to reach him and I’m so thankful for that.
He’s an amazing dad to all our kids, probably because he is a big kid himself. But most importantly he love me and shows it. It’s been said that’s the most important thing a father can do, to love his wife. He kisses me and cuddles. He voices his appreciation for the things I do for our family. He takes me out on dates. And he never complains about dinner. He takes family pictures because he knows it’s dear to me. He patiently endures the many holidays and traditions I plan for our family. Our daughter, who is sure to be a romantic someday, often talks and lights up when talking about her parents being in love. She’ll run to me to tell me when Grady has shaved because she knows I’d much rather kiss a smooth face to a poke-y one. She’ll tell me I can kiss him and watches happily as I do. She loved seeing me all dressed up.
I love how loving and faithful he is. But my favorite thing about him is his valiant testimony of our Savior. He strives to magnify his role as a husband and father. He serves the Young Men in our church with his heart in the right place. He strives to keep his covenants and keep the commandments. And I am so thankful for him. He is truly my best friend. I’m so thankful I was able to meet him when I was only 18 and that we have had all these years together. I’m thankful for his commitment to our marriage and our Creator. I’m thankful for Gordon B. Hinkley who encouraged my husband to work for our marriage. Thankful for amazing friends who supported us and encouraged us. And thankful for our Savior Jesus Christ who made repentance possible so we can return to our Father in Heaven. My greatest desire is to be with my family forever.
Photographer: Shari Hanson Photography
Dress: Handmade by Sister Taylor
Shoes: Nine West
Hair: Kristie Kerr
Make Up: Maskcara Artist Tonya Todd
Flowers: Trader Joe’s
I love this hand shot. I know someday our hands will look much older. I can’t wait for the amazing photo shoots we are going to have one day. Thank you again Shari! (Go check out her FB Page)
And Shari made me promised to post an original wedding picture too. Man, I wish I knew her back then.
Celebrating 10 years of marriage
If you are looking for more anniversary ideas check out this Anniversary Printable Pack for more ways to celebrate your marriage.
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