What Does Marriage Mean To You?

It's my three year wedding anniversary today! Goodness it feels like such a long time ago now, that beautiful day back in March 2009 {the first day of Spring that year, a day chosen especially by us both, for it's symbolism and representation of new meanings}.  So much has happened in three years, not least the arrival of our beautiful second daughter, as well as the birth of a blog!

Us on our wedding day, this time 3 years ago…

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2010, Karen McGowran

My Wedding in Whitby...

I could have dedicated this post to my Husband, about how much I love and adore him, but he knows that already, and besides, I've kind of done it anyway. Instead I thought I'd consider what this anniversary means to me – three years on, how has my marriage changed things, what role does it play in my life and that ultimately, marriage means to me?

I don't intend on making it too long, don't worry, but if you'd be kind enough to allow, I'd like to reflect for a little…

I've said it already, how before that day on Christmas Eve, 2007, I didn't have a clue about weddings, and I certainly wasn't expecting the proposal. It was a complete surprise.  Took me when I was least expecting it to be honest.  Fifteen months later, after months of DIY craft, growing our own wedding flowers, paining over who to leave on/off the invite list, I was walking down the aisle, feeling my most pristine ever, to my awaiting husband ahead, his eyes full of tears. I was about to embark on the brand new adventures of 'wife'.  And what an adventure it's been.

Admittedly, it's not been 'perfect'  I'd safely bet there have been more than a 'few' tantrums and misunderstandings along the way.   I'll never pull the wool over your eyes and pretend that marriage is your ticket to 'happy-ever-after'.  We have good times and sometimes we have bad. Doesn't everyone?  And by the same token, I don't buy into the idea that marriage is just a piece of paper – that ultimately, it won't change a thing.  For me, marriage is about love, understanding and respect, it is about establishing a basis, a common ground between two people that they can return to when the going get's tough; a bedrock of trust and support that can be built upon layer upon layer day in, day out, year in, year out – that big old bed with fluffy cushions that bounces you right back up if ever you might fall.  It offers security in moments of self-doubt.  It provides a reason to work hard through all the rubbish when life turns more challenging on you.

It has strong springs that bed, and they don't mind a bit of exercise every now and then. They'd probably cease up and turn rusty if not, afterall.

My Wedding in Whitby... My Wedding in Whitby...

I'm not saying that you can't have all these things without marriage, but in my three years of experience of being a wife, the fact I have been married has definitely strengthened our foundation. Marriage might be an official act, but to me, it is also a sacred and very spiritual one. I value my marriage right up there in the same way I value my two beautiful little girls.  And I have found that taking a moment to stop and recall your vows when things are hard can be very comforting and a means of finding your way to a happier place.

After three years, I most certainly feel that my relationship with my husband has moved on to a new level, that everything we've been through – all those experiences and emotions, all those memories, they have added a fair few layers to our foundation.  It is stronger now, more sturdy, and like a good bottle of red, it has matured some.

How does one measure the success of a marriage? I'm unsure, but things are looking OK from my view.

What does marriage mean to you?   … and what does a successful marriage require?

What, ultimately, do you think makes a good marriage?

What do you think is the key to a long and happy marriage?

By the way, ever wondered what to buy for that anniversary gift? Apparently this year for us it's all about leather…

1st – Cotton
2nd – Paper
3rd – Leather
4th – Fruit and Flowers
5th – Wood
6th – Sugar
7th – Woolen
8th – Salt
9th – Copper
10th – Tin/Aluminium
11th – Steel
12th – Silk and Linen
13th – Lace
14th – Ivory
15th – Crystal
20th – China
25th – Silver
30th – Pearl
35th – Coral
40th – Ruby
45th – Sapphire
50th – Gold
55th – Emerald
60th – Diamond
65th – Blue Sapphire
70th – Platinum
80th – Oak
85th – Wine
90th – Stone {Granite}


So there we go folks, three years on and I'm still here, loving weddings, loving being married and appreciating having my husband more than ever.  And besides, if my marriage has got to three years and I can still look in his eyes and feel my knees go week, then things must be OK 🙂 It feels like my marriage is a good one. It feels like we're doing OK. We're aiming for platinum at least here 😉

I'd love some feedback on this post and to engage with my readers on their thoughts on marriage.  In the meantime, much love all, and to anyone wlse out there who also happens to be celebrating their wedding anniversary this week, well happy anniversary to you ! 🙂



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.