Our favorite moments to capture are those that could never be posed, or staged. They are the ones that just.... happen. Those that showcase the personalities and deep connection between two people. Two summers ago, while capturing Joey and Kelly's wedding day, we were SPOILED! All day long there were stolen glances, contagious laughter, and numerous moments where it truly seemed like the world stopped, and even in a room full of people, the only ones they saw were each other. There is no question that these two were made for one another, and that they love choosing each other - day in and day out.
All too often, there are negative connotations associated with getting, or being, married. We hear marriage associated with "settling down", "giving up your life", or being "the end of freedom".
While it is certainly not without it's difficulties and sacrifices, we have found that those stereotypes could not be further from the truth. And we love the opportunity to share stories of couples who fight every day to keep that from becoming their truth.
Joey and Kelly have already faced there share of ups and downs, apart and together. Years ago, Kelly mourned the tragic loss of her beloved mother, who just so happened to be a nurse whose life and work inspired Kelly to become a nurse as well! After Joey and Kelly were married, Kelly decided to pursue this dream of hers. She applied to and was accepted to a program at Villanova University! That is no small feat. Nursing school is tremendously difficult and time consuming to start with, But it is especially so when you embark on an accelerated program. 14 months that demand your all - time, attention, resources and mind. Even knowing this, Joey encouraged and supported Kelly in pursuing this course and making her dream a reality. It has led to a lot of time apart; even a year living in different states. But these two never stop encouraging, cheering for, and pursuing one another.
In the midst of the craziness of this year, they graciously took the time to reflect on these past two years and share what they have learned on this crazy, adventurous ride that we call marriage (which you can read about below!). They remind us that regardless of how hectic life gets and how strongly we are pulled in opposite directions, we can (and need to!) always make time to come together to assess how things are going in our lives and marraige.
You can also relive this highlight of their beautiful celebration in the Poconos at Woodloch Pines Resorts - the place were the met, got engaged, and became husband and wife!
"The little things go a long way. Never lose site of the small things because they always have the most sentimental value and they show the other just how much you care when they least expect to see it happen."
What has been the best part of marriage?
Kelly: Having someone to share each day with through the good and bad times and knowing that no matter what happens, he is always there for me at the end of each day. The endless support and love and confidence to chase my dreams, which has been especially important this part year in nursing school.
Joey: The best part of marriage is knowing that you have your best friend by your side each and every day. Whether you had a good day or a bad day, just knowing that there is someone at home to share it with is an amazing feeling. I know that I can talk to Kelly about anything and she will always be there to support me or to give me advice when I need it. Each of those moments have definitely made us closer over the last two years and I think that will only continue to grow with each passing year.
What has the most surprising thing about marriage (good or bad)?
The most surprising thing has to be the amount of work that it takes for a relationship to remain healthy. It is easy to just go through the day to day craziness of life without sitting down and talking about what is good and bad and how things have been going. This past year has been especially hard work because we have been living in two different states while Kelly is in nursing school at Villanova and Joey is holding down our home base in New York.
What has been the most difficult part of being married?
We always knew that communication and compromise would be a big part of marriage but until we were married, we didn’t realize just how many times you would have to have those types of discussions. Of course there are always minor compromises, like what are we going to watch on tv or what are we going to have for dinner, but it was surprising in a way, just how many major compromises you have to make throughout the course of the year. Things like where you are going to spend the holiday holidays, major decisions around managing finances, decisions about careers or where you are going to live, all things that are critical to your life as a married couple.
At times these decisions can be really tough to make. It might lead to some unhappy feelings or even a few fights but at the end of the day, it’s important to remember is that you are a team and the decision that you both agree on is something that will work best for both of you at that time in your life.
What has helped you to overcome or work through said difficulty?
Talk, talk, talk !! Even though there are so many times where the conversation might be difficult or uncomfortable, avoiding talking about whatever is difficult is even worse. Once the conversation begins, it is always a better solution than avoiding the subject.
What's your favorite (or go to) date night?
We love trying new restaurants and pubs that are in our area, but we always seem to revisit the same places that have great memories attached to them. Sometimes instead of going out we will just stay at home, have meat and cheese, a bottle of wine and watch TV.
What has been the most helpful thing you've implemented or consistently do to help you stay connected?
This is something that is a little different for us since we have spent this past year living in two different states while Kelly attends nursing school. But before school started, we always made it a priority to have dinner together and talk about our day. If there were days we couldn’t have dinner together (because of work or other activities) we would always set aside some time to talk and see how the other person’s day went.
With being apart, we definitely spend a lot of time talking on the phone or through FaceTime and we will even set aside nights to FaceTime while we cook and eat dinner so it’s like we are there together.
Is there anything that you wish you would have known before going into marriage?
Expect the Unexpected. I think no matter how much you plan your life out or talk about the future, things will always happen that you never expect (like adopting a puppy 5 days after your wedding). We’ve definitely had our fair share of unexpected moments or events that did not go according to plan. Over time we have been able to help each other take them in stride and go with the flow, but I don’t think we expected to encounter all these types of moments before we got married.
Anything else (advice/insight/encouragement) you can share with other couples entering into marriage or already married?
The little things go a long way. Doing something small like writing a note letting the other know how much they mean to you when they had a bad day or making a cup of coffee for them while they are still sleeping are things that mean so much and go a long way in a relationship. We would tell them to never lose site of the small things because they always have the most sentimental value and they show the other just how much you care when they least expect to see it happen.
Thank you, Joey and Kelly, for sharing this glimpse into your real life love story. Thank you for inspiring us to always cheer each other on to chase our dreams, live life to the fullest, and love each other in the big ways while never stopping to love in the little ways as well - the ones that tend to make all the difference :)
What is something Joey and Kelly have shared that stands out to you?
What are your favorite "little things" that your spouse does that are full of sentimental value that mean the most to you?
Do you consistently (or ever) carve out time together to talk through how things are going so you can re-evaluate moving forward?
How can you cheer on and support your spouse in chasing their dreams?