Thoughts on The Successful Marriage…


"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person."
Mignon McLaughlin

This morning, I'm handing my blogging duties over to my lovely new friend and recent newlywed Laura, who isn't all too unfamiliar with this wedding blog, for she graced their very pages herself with a simply beautiful and DIY jam-packed wedding day shot by the ever-charming Sarah of Assassynation Photography.  Laura ponders what makes a successful marriage, and poses some reader questions.  We would love your feedback so let's get some discussion going through some comments peeps 🙂

♥    ♥    ♥

In the throes of planning your big day it is easy to forget that the morning after the day before the most important thing you are going to be left with is a marriage. Without a doubt, everyone accepts the proposal because you can’t envisage yourself without your “other half”, but do we take time to imagine what being married actually is?

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – All detail shots, Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Assassynation


In the weeks prior to your wonderful wedding your mind will be whirring with florists and favours, and you probably won’t have time to ask Great Aunt Vera about the key to her 60 years of matrimonial bliss! Of course, everyone is different, and no two marriages will ever be the same, but as a newlywed, I am always thrilled to hear friends and family’s anecdotes about their own relationships, and I hope you lovely ladies are too! I understand unsolicited advice isn’t always appreciated, so see this as a genuine insight, and reflection of some real life marriages.

2 2

What in your opinion is the key to a happy marriage?

Many words are naturally associated with a happy marriage; love, respect, friendship, but the key is often real life happenings. A combination of being honest with each other when you don't agree, keeping your own interests while still making time for each other and, quite simply, talking. Whether you want to remind your partner what they mean to you, get their understanding when something is worrying you, or share something funny, as soon as you feel that wonderful moment where you both realise that there is no-one else in the world who would appreciate it as much, share it with each other.


Adversity is best faced together. Remember that whatever life throws at you, you have each other to lean on. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a terrible thing to make you remember just how much love you have between you. Together you can get through anything!

"We promised ourselves to each other for better or worse, and when times are tough, it’s a real comfort to know that you always have someone there to stand by you and keep you strong. Use that bond you have – there is no other support quite like it."

Bethany & Ian Donald


How have you weathered the storm that life often throws at us?

"We'll sometimes not see eye to eye, and really fallen out over stuff, but when that happens, I always, always remember the vows we made to one another. They weren't just some words spoken for the sake of saying them, they represent something truly meaningful to me – so 'for better for worse', the fact we are married and made that committment to one another helps me through the more challenging times.  And don't hold on to negative things.  Grudges fester – let them go."

Annabel Beeforth, Love My Dress

Differentiate what you can and can not control and put your energy into what you can make happen. Throughout our marriage we have learnt to accept uncertainties as inevitable and believe there is always another option.


Marriage isn't done, dusted and made happy the moment the rings go on. Like a good recipe, they take work, and at times you'll have to take chances, and risks. It isn't always plain sailing, but try to make the journey fun and exciting. There may not be a recipe for the perfect, happy marriage, but you'll still have to find all you need, weigh it, mix it, cook it and love it. Make it together.

What do you love most about being married?

"I always have something to be grateful for. Life is full of ups and downs, and we've been through our fair share, including family bereavements, failed IVF and nursing a chronically sick parent, but through it all, every day I am reminded how lucky I am to have The Most Amazing Husband. I can honestly say that there has not been a single day that has gone by in the last 10 years where I have not acknowledged the blessing I have in this marriage."

Pen McKinley-Rodgers


Our initial ideas of what marriage is and how it works come from observations. From a very small child you'll witness all types of marriages, each one different and successful in their own right. Whether it's seeing your parents working as a team to create a fantastic dinner party, your grandparents bickering about the best positioning of plants in their rambling garden, or friend's parents, juggling every day life and creating a balancing act of school runs, working a nine to five and home cooked meals. It isn't until we hear anecdotes of marriage, or incur it ourselves, our understanding increases.

7 7 

What values of marriage will you pass on to your grandchildren?

Respect each other – that underpins everything and makes sure that you never take what you have, or the other person for granted. All obstacles can be overcome through respect, communication, listening and understanding.

11 11

Have children grow up in homes full of laughter, love and gratitude, where marriage and partnership gives you wings to fulfill your dreams. My mum always told me to never go to sleep on an argument, if you need to, stay up until it is resolved. A new day should always begin with a stretch and an acknowledgement of how lucky you are to have someone you love, and who loves you….


Keeping the romance alive can often become difficult, especially with the pressure of everyday life. You don't need to live in each other's pockets, or be together twenty four hours a day, but allocate time together to enjoy each other's company. You will never forget the feeling of butterflies the first time you kissed, or the happiness of your wedding day, so take time to remember those when times are tough. You husband or wife is your best friend, and someone you can share everything with.

Don't ever forget, when words escape you, all it takes is a hug.

"Marriage should free you, and make you be the best you can be." 



Huge thanks Laura – now it's over to you readers, we ask you to consider and respond:-

What in your opinion is the key to a happy marriage?
How have you weathered the storm that life often throws at us?
What do you love most about being married?
What values of marriage will you pass on to your grandchildren?

You can get involved with more discussion posts here.


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.