Pittsburgh Wedding Cinematographer | A Year In Review | Matt + Erin
Last June, Nazari and I found ourselves trekking up north to Ellicottville, NY to capture the wedding of Erin and Matt. While most people only dream of marrying their high school sweetheart, on June 18, 2016, Matt and Erin made that dream a reality. While their wedding day was nearly 10 years in the making, the love story had actually begun 45 years ago, when Erin's parents met at Holiday Valley. They were married five years after their initial meeting. June 18 not only marks Erin and Matt's first anniversary celebration, but it also marks her parents 40th!
It seems like no coincidence that their anniversary falls on Father's day. Erin is an only child, and super close with her parents. They grew up going to Holiday Valley as a family. For the Father of the bride speech, Erin's dad wrote the poem of all poems. In addition to the incredible stories and extraordinary love between Matt and Erin, their day included battling saxophones, so much incredible dancing, the greatest wedding dress and surprise fireworks. Yes, that's right, surprise fireworks - a gift from her mom and dad!
After their wedding, Matt and Erin ventured to Hawaii for their honeymoon, and immediately upon returning home, they purchased their first home together. They had never lived together before, so they were not only adjusting to the quirks of living with someone new, but learning to be homeowners (renovations and all!), AND adjust to new jobs. They headed to California to celebrate this momentous first 365 day journey around the sun as husband and wife and have graciously shared some of the wisdom they have acquired thus far along along their adventure (Read about it below!)
It was truly a privilege to be a part of the incredible wedding day team that helped to make Matt and Erin's dream come true. We are blessed to know this amazing couple and especially to learn from them as they continue on their journey as husband and wife. Congratulations Matt and Erin!
"Trying to pursue each other specific to each other's love language has been fun and beneficial to our relationship."
The best part of year one of marriage.... has been being in the same physical location and seeing each other every day. We did long distance for such a long time prior to our wedding that actually being together, married, in the same location felt surreal at first! After being together a year I now realize how easy it is to take that for granted. While we each have kept up with some of our individual extra-curricular activities (such as girls night and yoga for me) we always make a point of trying to spend some time together in the evenings eating dinner and relaxing together.
I try not to take for granted the time we get to spend together. Even on very busy days between
work and other commitments, where it feels like we only have time to spend a few waking hours together, I try to be fully present. I think back to those weeks where we didn’t see each other and remember how I would have killed for a few hours together just hanging out at home.
The most surprising part of marriage has been... learning to live with another person and all of the good and bad that comes with that. Choosing not to live together before marriage, we both have had a lot of learning and compromising. Learning even just the little things about each other such as how we prefer our laundry folded, when to make the bed, etc. has been funny.
Also, learning the big things such as how we prefer to spend money and free time has led to
surprises. We are both continually learning to pick our battles as we adjust to our new life.
However, I have no regrets in our decision not to live together before marriage. Despite the ups
and downs, living and learning with Matt and experiencing life together this past year has been a joy.
The most challenging aspect of marriage has been... We signed on our first home the day we got back from our honeymoon because well, this was what you did…. You got married, got a home and settled down. We proceeded to take the next couple months to move from two separate apartments (one in Pittsburgh and one in Erie) and renovate a home. Unfortunately, this experience inhibited on that care free honeymoon phase of life you often here newly married couples speak of. Owning and caring for a home is a huge responsibility that we learned very early on in our marriage. While I don’t regret getting the home, as we have had so many wonderful memories here already, I don’t know that I would recommend it to other newly married couples.
Being able to own a home is a huge blessing. However, moving, taking a new job, learning to
live with each other and take care of a new home all at the same time was a lot. We got through
it and I truly think this experience made us stronger as a couple.
To help us overcome or work through said difficulty... Matt and I learned (and continue to learn) that communication is key in marriage. Many of our early disagreements about home responsibilities and decisions came from a lack of communication. We have since learned to communicate our priorities, goals, expectations, etc. very openly to each other. For example, Matt may know I would like to cook dinner with him, but he doesn’t know that means I expect him to get the meat out of the freezer to defrost when he gets home - unless I ask. That type of thing. Increased communication and an openness to listen can really help solve or avoid a number of disagreements or disappointments in my opinion.
Additionally, our faith has helped us get through difficulty as well. Taking the perspective that
we cannot change on our own but though God’s work in us, thus we turn to him when in need.
Learning not to criticize a flaw in your partner, but instead turn and pray to God to work through
your partner has been a goal of ours and a helpful perspective to take.
Our favorite/go to date night... In the winter one of our favorite date days was skiing together at Holiday Valley where we got married. Being able to do that together was always a highlight of our week. We also really enjoy cooking a nice meal together, making it special with appetizers, dessert and wine. This has become our tradition for Valentine’s Day and other special date nights.
In terms of pursing each other post wedding... We still have planned date nights every few weeks where we cook or go out to a nice meal and movie. We will dress up nicer than usual for these which aids in making them feel special. Sometimes we have date night during the week which gives us something to look forward to after a long work day.
We also read the Love Languages book which I received as a shower gift and have tried to
pursue each other with more intentionality to the other’s love language. For example, I value
small jobs/acts of kindness so I really appreciate it when Matt mows the yard, takes out the trash, empties the dishwasher, etc. before I can even ask for help. Trying to pursue each other specific to each other's love language has been fun and beneficial to our relationship.
The most helpful thing we do to stay connected... each day is make time to eat dinner together, technology free. This allows us to connect via conversation and spend quality time together.
Dinners during the week are often quick and sometimes late due to work obligations but we still
try to always wait for each other to sit down and eat. On weekends we really enjoy cooking a
bigger meal together or going out to eat. This allows us to spend quality time together (One of
Matt’s love languages) and really connect.
In the year we were preparing for marriage and planning our wedding we did a daily bible study
for couples which included a planned reading, reflection and questions around a specific topic
relevant for engaged couples. We truly enjoyed this and the conversations it sparked. We
typically did it every night via skype. Since being married we have tried using a few other
resources such as the couple’s prayer challenge and a daily devotional for couples in order to
take a few moments to pray together every day. The book we used while engaged has still been
our favorite. However, we try to use our shared faith and prayer as a way to connect daily as
What we wish we would have known before going into marriage... I think Matt and I were well equipped with knowledge going into our marriage. We both
have had great examples of marriage in our parents. We had already had plenty of arguments
and many of those difficult pre-marriage conversations. I think doing the daily bible study for
engaged couples really aided us in this preparedness. I would definitely suggest this to other
couples. I think reading the love languages book before marriage would have been beneficial as
well. I actually picked it up and started reading it about 8 months into marriage when we were in the midst of disagreement. Luckily, Matt is very open to things such as the bible time, love
languages theory, etc. We both read this book and were really able to relate to the advice and
easily apply it to our marriage as well.
In terms of advice for other couples... I would say make your marriage a priority. Learn to communicate openly and show love to your partner in a way that they value. A general
openness and desire to continue working on your relationships goes a long way.
What is something Matt and Erin have shared that stands out to you?
What were the silliest things you found your significant other was particular about (I.e. folding laundry, loading the dishwasher, etc.)?
Books, (particularly the Love Langauges book by Gary Chapman) have been so helpful to our marriage as well! What books, if any, have made a difference in your relationship?
When in your day to day life do you make sure you unplug for quality, intentional time together?
THE AMAZING VENDOR TEAM:
Ceremony Venue: Holy Name of Mary Church Reception Venue: Holiday Valley Resort Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Heavenlee Weddings Band: Me & The Boyz Cinematrography: Dorosh Documentaries Photography: Jenica Knight Photography